The general instructions that came with your Smart Sharp will work for most knives right out of the box and most Smart Sharp users will see great results quickly. However, due to the vast array of different kitchen knives available in all sorts of different sizes, shapes and metal types, it is unavoidable that some knives may need some additional attention at first!
To quickly get to the bottom of what the issue may be, we need to ask 2 important questions first:
Question 1: Are your knives Japanese styled?
Recently, there has been a rise in popularity of Japanese knives which are sharpened to the narrower angle of approx. 12°. If you do have Japanese knives, we do not recommend that you use the Smart Sharp – unless you actually want to change the angle on your blade. (If you’ve mistakenly picked up the Smart Sharp for Japanese knives, please get in touch, we’ll be happy to issue a refund)
How to spot Japanese knives – they may have Japanese sounding names like Santoku, Sai Lakei, Kai Shun, etc. Or may have oval shaped indents on the blade sides (see pic to right). If in doubt, please contact your manufacturer or check online to find out what the blade angle of your knife is – Japanese knives are usually between 12° and 15°.
Question 2: Have your knives previously been sharpened by any other sharpening device? i.e. whetstone, sharpening steel, electric sharpener, etc
There can sometimes be issues with knives that have previously been sharpened by other methods (whetstone, sharpening steel, electric sharpener, etc). These other methods can significantly change the angle of your blade or cause uneven blade angle. If your knife has previously been sharpened by any other method previously, please CONTACT US so that we can find out more and personalise a solution for your knives.
If your answers were ‘NO’ to both of the above questions, please continue with the following advice:
Your knives when brand new, would have been sharpened by the factory to a fixed angle. Most kitchen knives in Europe & the USA are sharpened to an angle of approx 20°. (Knives sharpened to this angle, we call Western style knives.)
The Smart Sharp is a fixed angle knife sharpener which sharpens to 20° and therefore designed to work best with Western style knives.
When you first sharpen your knife with your Smart Sharp, your knife will begin the process of adopting the angle of the Smart Sharp. This is normally quick, but some knives may take longer to adopt the angle of the Smart Sharp depending on the initial factory blade angle of the knife. Please just be patient and repeat the instructions a few more times until the knife becomes sharp.
You may also like to try the modified instructions below, which can help to achieve results faster. Results will always get better and better over time, as your knife becomes fully matched to the sharpening angle of the Smart Sharp.
1) Draw the knife through slot 1 approximately 5 times to roughen and prepare the blade.
2) Draw the knife through slot 2 about 7 to 10 times at a more upwards angle. Slot 2 is the most important stage and does the bulk of the sharpening work. Pulling the blade through at a more upwards angle increases the efficiency of the Tungsten Carbide plates.
3) Draw the knife through slot 3 about 3 to 5 times.
4) Test your knife, repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary until sharp.
Once you’re happy with the sharpness of the blade, you can revert back to the regular Smart Sharp instructions.
If after trying the above you still aren’t getting great results, then please CONTACT US so that we can find out more and personalise a solution for your knives.