You’ve caught a beautiful fish that will make a perfect meal. After gutting the fish, you must cleanly remove the flesh from the head, bones, and skin.
The tool for this task is a fillet knife. A fillet knife has a blade that is about seven inches long or about 18 cm. Its thin tapering blade is very flexible and ideal for separating the fillet or meat from the bones and skin.
However, those bones will quickly dull the blade. You need to know how to sharpen a fillet knife to get the best use from it.
How to Sharpen a Knife
A knife has a very flexible steel blade due to the high carbon content. Because of this flexibility, sharping the blade is more challenging. The bending of the blade can make it difficult to get to the tip. A dull blade will tear the meat or leave the skin or bone behind.
What you will need to get the best edge:
- A whetstone is a smooth stone on which to sharpen the blade.
- A honing steel is a smooth tapered steel rod used to put a smooth finish on the edge.
Here are the instructions you will need so you will know how to sharpen a knife and always have a good tool close at hand.
Using the Whetstone To Sharpen A Knife
While holding the fillet knife in your dominant hand, position the blade against the whetstone at about a 10 or 20-degree angle. The angle of the blade will affect the sharpness. The edge should be pointing away from you. With long even strokes, push the knife away from you while keeping it at the same angle, be sure to drag the entire edge, including the tip, down across the stone.
You should be able to hear the stone taking some steel from the blade with a quite grinding sound. Repeat this motion several times, occasionally stopping to test the sharpness. A piece of clear plastic wrap will slice easily with a properly sharpened blade.
Do not pull it back toward you on the stone. This will possibly ruin the edge.
How To Use the Honing Steel To Sharpen The Knife
Once you are satisfied that you have sharpened the knife enough, take the honing steel in your other hand and pull the blade of the knife along the length of the rod. Let the entire edge of the blade pass along the honing steel. When you have brought it near the handle, switch to the other side, alternating to the opposite side of the blade as well, repeating the motion. Do this several times to get a nice clean edge.
If you don’t feel comfortable drawing the knife toward you, you can use the same motion pushing the knife away from you.
Follow these simple instructions on how to sharpen your fillet knife and you will always have a clean, sharp edge. Having the right tool for the job always make the job easier and more efficient.