How do I remove a Nick from a Knife Edge? Chipped knives: we get questions about this all the time. When we talk about a nick (notch) in a knife, we’re not talking about a transmitter that allows you to locate your knife or a salted snack. Chips (notches) are cuts on the cutting edge. Damage that makes the edge of the blade very dull.
A dull edge can happen to anyone. For example, if you accidentally cut into a bone or use the wrong cutting technique. It is easy to make a mistake. Careful handling of the knife can prevent a lot of mischief. If you do get a dent in your knife, you can often repair it yourself. But how do you do it? Read this article or watch the video below!
What causes a Nick?
In 9 out of 10 cases, a nick is caused by careless handling of the knife. Thin knives, usually Japanese, ground at a small angle and made of hard steel, are more likely to dull. Of course, this does not mean that it is better not to buy these knives. The hard steel also ensures that these knives are ground so sharply that they have a cutting performance that you can’t really achieve with a Western knife.
Better safe than sorry! Of course, to reduce the risk of dulling, you need to know how it happens. There are several causes, but the common denominator? Carelessness
Using Cutting Boards that are too hard
It is important that you do not use a granite, marble, or glass chopping board. They may look nice, but they will always wear down your knives. All these materials are harder than the hardest types of steel. The worst thing that can happen is that the edge of the knife will bend or dull while you are cutting. But if you’re unlucky, pieces will break off and form a kind of micro-cartel pattern. Not something you want to wait for!
So always choose a plastic or wooden chopping board. They offer much more. Now, it is important that you use your kitchen knives for their intended purpose. As a rule, for cutting. And not for chopping etc. With most kitchen knives, the tip of the knife should not leave the cutting board when cutting. This ensures that the blade does the work, not your strength. Want to cut a bone in half? Or a frozen piece of meat? Use a cleaver.
The right cutting Techniques
Pocket and outdoor knives are naturally much more likely to break than kitchen knives. You use them “in the wild” and to cut many different materials. You may accidentally trip over a stone surface or come into contact with metal. This is not usually the case with kitchen knives. You use them ‘safely’ in the kitchen, and by cutting the right ingredients on the right surface, you can greatly reduce the risk of nicks. Cutting technique is also very important with kitchen knives. Kitchen knives are called kitchen knives for a reason. They are designed for cutting delicate products such as vegetables, meat, herbs, and fruit. They are not suitable for opening (plastic) packaging or tins, or for wiping cutlery on the chopping board. If you do the latter, use the back of the knife and not the cutting edge.
How do I repair a chipped Sheath? Use a coarse Whetstone
Sometimes chips (nicks) are clearly visible, but in many cases, you can’t even see them immediately with the naked eye. However, you will inevitably notice them as you cut, because the blade will weaken at some point. When this happens, it’s not time to panic. You don’t have to throw the knife away. In fact, you can probably restore the edge!
When is a knife too badly damaged? In our experience, a nick deeper than 2 mm is too big to sharpen yourself. You will need to remove enough material to make it realistic to resharpen the knife. In this case, contact us or a professional knife sharpener.
The idea is to remove material until the nick is completely gone, and the edge is nice and straight again. This means that you must remove the same amount of material along the entire length of the edge. After all, you want to preserve the profile (the shape of the blade) as much as possible. Removing a relatively large amount of steel is therefore unavoidable.
To do this, you first need a coarse abrasive that will remove the steel quickly and will not wear down (quickly). Preferably, use diamond or ceramic abrasives with a low grit, certainly no higher than 200. See all our coarse grindstones here. After removing the notch, re-sharpen the edge with finer abrasives.
It doesn’t matter whether you use a whetstone, file, or sharpening system: It can be tempting to sharpen the edge at right angles to the stone, i.e. at a 90-degree angle. This is undesirable because the edge will be U-shaped instead of V-shaped. This makes the blade too thick “behind the edge” and eventually it will not sharpen properly. We will grind in the same way as if we were sharpening the knife normally.
Place the knife on the coarse grindstone at the correct angle and pass the knife over the grindstone several times. Alternate both sides regularly and sharpen both sides equally often to get a nice, even edge. When are you done? When the notch (chip) is no longer felt or visible!
When using whetstones to remove a notch, we recommend that you use a slightly different technique to the one you might be used to for “simple” sharpening. Rather than using a “cutting” motion from heel to toe, use short up and down movements across the entire width of the stone. This allows you to remove more material more quickly.
Sanding systems or machines with coarse sanding stones or belts are also suitable.