Category Archives: General

Knives are one of the most regularly used tools, especially in the kitchen or anywhere else for everyday use. Many of us use knives aggressively but often miss out the most important aspect, to improve its efficiency, which basically means to sharpen it.

Many cooks and other similar professionals who use knives for most of their woks complain about its dullness or experience blunt times over due course of time. This is mainly because the blade needs to be sharpening after some point of time.

knife sharpening

Sharpen the blunt knives

Dull knives besides being useless may be dangerous to the cooks and often give the wrong cut Chances are, you might cut your finger, if you are applying too much force using a blunt knife. Many people often use knives in a hurry and are unaware of the process of sharpening the knife. To get most of your knife and ensure that it is always in its sharpest condition, it is crucial to know how to sharpen a knife which may need the use of specific objects to ensure safe and quality hone of your special knife.

Here are some methods to help you sharpen the knives conveniently without any hazards or injuries.

1)      A Whetting Stone

This is one of the least expensive, yet most effective tools used for knife honing. Sometimes even if you have this at home, you are likely to forget using it. Those who do not have a whetting stone, can purchase it from a hardware store for few dollars.

A whetting stone is rectangular and often looks like a brick. It has two side of different texture. A rough and a smooth side. Experts would recommend rubbing it very lightly using some oil. After use, it should be preferably stored in a tight compartment to protect it from dust and ensure its consistent sharpening ability.

How to use the whetting stone

1)      Place the stone on a rough surface with the rough side on top.

2)      Run the knife on the whetting stone at least 10 times at an angle of 22 degrees. Then, turn the knife and sharpen the other side following the same procedure.

3)      Repeat this step twice for the best effect.

Whetting stones are a basic type and other sophisticated tools to sharpen the knife. These are widely available in the market. Objects like electric sharpeners are highly advanced and cost much more than the simple whetting stone.

Using a sharpening steel

Whichever method one uses to sharpen the knife, it is imperative to complete the job by honing the blade with a stainless steel. This can be easily done by running the knife of the edge of stainless steel. This is useful for removing rough edges after sharpening the knife with the stone.


To ensure durability of knife, especially in terms of the shape, these objects need to be sharpened at least once a month. A well maintained sharp knife will be durable for many years for safe kitchen and culinary purpose.

Some important considerations for sharpening different materials

  • Stainless steel knives are sleek but that does not mean they have the perfect edge. The metal is the blade is soft and thus this material needs to be sharpening every time you use it. Fine and delicate cuts are only effective after immediate sharpening.

High carbon steel has the best knife edge and may not require daily or frequent sharpening. However these knives need to be washed and dried everyday and should not be left open in water. Sharpening requires great attention as they are very easy to rust. The blade has to be polished before use; otherwise it is likely to stain you kitchen areas including your sharpening tool.

  • Knives which are made of very high carbon steel with a straight blade last the longest and give the best cutting edge for detailed objects. Such objects can be sharpened by exposing the carbon filament.  Stropping the lade in the leather may sometimes get tricky, so a safe whetting stone can be preferably used.

Rushing for sharpening the knife is the most ineffective method and this will leave you in doubt no matter how many times you try to sharpen the knifes. For the best outcome, you can use a hand knife sharpener which is used by professional butchers and is totally inexpensive.

Advanced bench grinders and electrical tools are some sophisticated methods of sharpening the knife. This need to be very carefully used as they are extremely powerful and heat up the knife too quickly. One should know how the exact procedure to use this tools otherwise; fatal accidents are most likely to occur.

Sharpening a knife does not require high technical skills but one need to remember for sure that it requires basic precision and the right material to sharpen the tool for the appropriate outcome. Also considering the frequency of sharpening the knife is very important. To less or more of sharpening is likely to degrade the knife’s performance.

The best way to sharpen the knife is to know the frequency of the knife usage and the different purpose for which you will use it. The material of your knife and the destiny of the cutting object you are using the knife for is another set of important consideration. The best way to sharpen a knife is to gradually move from one equipment to the other. A whetting stone is best for the start followed by a sharpening blade and later and electrical equipment. If you think you are good to use the basic material, there is no need of moving to an advanced method, unless you are highly recommended by someone and you consider that the sharpening method will be effective and safe without causing any fatal accidents. In any case avoiding sharpening a knife is not an option. Sharpening a knife is always a must to ensure best durability without experiencing bluntness.

Cleanliness amounts to godliness – so goes a saying that essentially illustrates the importance keeping things clean around us apart from taking care of oneself. Environment – be it home or office or anywhere else greatly contributes to the well being and success of a human being. It’s been found in research that people who keep files piling up on their tables actually suffer from hypertension alongside reduced work efficiency. So, there’s a direct correlation between staying clean and your performance beyond doubt. So, why to clean things we can actually prevent things getting dirty?

They say prevention is better than cure which is a timeless truth and well accepted across horizons around the globe. Before we get into the cleaning exercise of the expresso (for those who aren’t aware of it – it’s a machine that makes coffee) we must therefore discuss ways and means how to protect it from getting dirty.

Prevent your expresso from getting dirty:

There are no straight jacket formulae for keeping your expresso clean and healthy everyday even though you can ward it off from getting dirty too frequently by way of following a few steps religiously. It won’t take more than five minutes of your time while you can keep your expresso shining for everyday.

  • To begin with first go through the instructions of the manufacturers on your expresso guide book. It will guide you on dos and don’ts of the machine for its betterment.
  • Now, begin with your regular exercise spanning five minutes (‘m sure not more than that it will take) by switching off the machine followed by unplugging it from the switch board.
  • Take a soft cloth or duster, wet it and then wipe off the exterior of the machine gently. You may choose to apply soft cleaners like Collins (based on the requirement only, not recommended for everyday or every time you opt for cleaning such as this) while wiping the expresso off from outside and then rub it with a clean soft duster or cloth. This will effectively take away stains from outside of your expresso.
  • Do back flush of your expresso twice a week or as may have been recommended by the manufacturer of your expresso.
  • Remove the group head with the help of a screwdriver post unscrewing it carefully even though it’s not recommended for every day. You can do it as per your convenience, say once in a week or in 15 days’ cycle.
  • The next step involves in scrubbing the parts of the group head which is again a matter of your comfort and convenience and can effectively go with your effective cleaning cycle. There’s no hard and fast rule in it.
  • Drain out the residual milk, if any and clean the milk wand with a damp cloth, soak the wand into hot water so much so that the stains can make its way out. This is also not required on everyday basis.
  • Unclog the steam holes with a pin. This is required for the optimum performance of your expresso.
  • Make a mixture of white vinegar and water in a ratio of 1:1 (one part of white vinegar to one part of water) and run it through the expresso machine which effectively decalcify your machine thereby grants more life to it. This should be done in sync with your cleaning cycle and then assemble the machine yet again.


v  Refrain from using soap or any detergent inside your expresso while cleaning it. This can potentially damage the interior of your machine through chemical reaction between the caustic soda (a component of your detergent) and the galvanizing elements (essentially zinc oxide). Besides, it would leave somewhat aroma inside the expresso machine which will spoil the taste of your coffee for sure.

v  Based on usage you must take up the cleaning exercise of your expresso everyday or twice a week.

v  While using a specially developed tablet or powder for the inside cleaning of your expresso always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Preventive descaling of your expresso:

Descaling means removal of scales and scale refers to the coating here created by left the leftovers of the coffee. For effective descaling of your expresso follow the simple steps detailed below.

  1. Make a mixture of citric or tartaric acid in about a liter of water. Citric or tartaric acid should be of approximately two table spoon in a liter of water; alternatively squeeze lemon and then dilute the juice to 33% or 50% and then apply either of the solution on the expresso as well as inside the expresso. Rub the machine off with soft and dry tissue papers. Soon you will start experiencing the result.
  2. Keep an eye for the hardness of the water you use alongside accumulation of scales; need not have to undertake descaling too often; rather do it when scaling plies up to 2.5gms and above. Else the descaling exercise may be proved futile.
  3. If you are suing a single boiler machine prevent descaling becomes easy; follow the manufacturer’s instruction on this.  Alternative just fill the boiler with the descaling agent stated above, leave it for 10 minutes and then drain off the solution and flush water.

Caveat: You may confront with some greenish patches inside your expresso particularly in case your expresso has copper inside which can be ascribed to the mild oxidation effect in between the copper and the solution and this is too negligible to be accounted for.

Cleaning of your expresso:

We have come this far after passing through the processes of preventive measures from getting dirty as well as preventive descaling and as such we have garnered a fair bit of idea with regard to the upkeep of the expresso by now. We should now address the issue of cleaning an expresso that wasn’t maintained on regular basis and therefore has lost much of its glory and performances. This has eventually put strain on you leaving you in quandary as to how to clean the machine nicely with a view to get back its past glory. Steps outlined here are not exhaustive and hence can effectively work as blanket approach to the issue only. You may be required to take a step or two separately based on the situation.

Steps to follow for cleaning:

  • Purchase special cleanser for the expresso and never ever use the ordinary detergents. Before resorting to cleaning action/s you must follow the manufacturer’s guidelines with a view to have a clear cut idea about the functionality, propensity to react and general maintenance of your expresso.
  • Back flush portafilter basket and use descaling solution as may be recommended by the manufacturer of your expresso.
  • Take clean kitchen towel or dishrag for rubbing and wiping the parts gently wherever things appear sticky and / or stains appear not to have gone away with the descaler.
  • Take a container and soak the portafilter into the descaling solution; rub it and wipe it off then.
  • Religiously follow a cleaning cycle of everyday, week, quarterly or half yearly based on your usage and the harshness of the water your area.

They say a stitch in time saves nine that urges to work proactively before things can really go out of hand and issues can blow out of proportions. Let’s promise not let the expresso down us in front of our guests when we would perhaps need it very badly.

Gerber Knives Company that started as simple designers of kitchen knives by the Gerber Legendary family today manufactures thousands of sophisticated knives for multiple-uses. The company, which is today over 70 years old, has left no room for missing out on special knife designs. Moving beyond the kitchen, the Gerber range of knives is truly unimaginable- travel, defense, rescue, repairs are some popular functions of the legendary knives.  Gerber knives are those quality knives which are surely no compromise, anywhere you use them, especially for highly for all sorts’ emergency situations.

Here are the top 6 Gerber Knives which are world-famous as the best sturdy knives with striking features and unique qualities.

1)    The Mighty Gerber Guardian for Self Defense

This is a blade knife, perfectly sharp as the name suggests, best for self-defense. The sleek knife is black in color and is made of a non-reflective stainless steel, which is sure to give a deep cut.  It is light in weight and small-sized. These two striking features make the Gerber Guardian easy to carry and fast to alert the opponent.   This product of the legendary Gerber comes with a protective sheath to help you adjust tension to suit your striking style. The compatible knife can be clipped to a belt, boot or a strap and makes one feel so boldly protected.

Some special highlights of this mighty protection knife are:

  • Non-reflective black coating
  • Double-edge blade
  • Adjustable Sheath
  • Portable
  •  Suitable for businesspersons, women or any one traveling to secluded and unsafe places.

2)    Gerber Folding Knives, the travelers pride

These knifes are specifically designed to add comfort and durability for heavy works. These folding knives have a non-slippery handle made in rubber which gives it a strong grip, especially when your hands are wet. The blades are are made in titanium and come with a robust nylon sheath.  These knives are for multipurpose use and a hot favorite of frequent travelers. Mountaineers, bikers, sport fishers love the folding knife to the core.

Some of its special features include:

  • Light weight and mid-sized
  • Stainless steel blade
  • Rough texture provides good grip when wet
  • A straight combo blade provides great cutting versatility

3)    Gerber Assisted Opening Knife, sturdy for eternity

The assisted knife follows an opening and lock mechanism which makes it so easy to use and completely safe. The Gerber assisted opening knife is so sturdy, that it can help you do very big jobs like repair works in your garage or an critical rescue operation on the mountain top. This is mainly a fast knife, which will enable you to take up any challenge on the go. Its blade opening tactics is patented by F.A.S.T and is as easy as opening with one hand.  This knife essentially makes for quick and efficient cuts with its stainless steel blade and is world renowned as the”fast technology” since its invention.

This spring-assisted knife has some striking features such as:

  • High Carbon stainless steel blade
  • Robust pocket clip holder
  • Strong grip for easy handling
  • Best for quick and difficult jobs
  • Assured strength and durability

 4)    Gerber Remix, the everyday knife

This is easily recognizable by its iconic handle design, which renders it a classy look. A simple thumb lift makes it one of the most stable and still a very safe cutting tool for daily use.  The Gerber remix is made of a slim and a lightweight handle and has a special tip up pocket carrier. This knife is popular among users who love its tactical hole for inserting the finger to catch grip and prevents it from sliding, even if you strike a hard object. Gerber remix has a metallic body, which makes it more reliable than plastic. Its serrated edge renders it a special quality of a utility tool for daily use.

Many people prefer Gerber Remix for daily use because:

  • Light weight and durable
  • Thumb lift for stability while cutting
  • Great grip with its well-sized hole- not too small or big
  • Portable and very safe to carry

5)    Gerber Mark II knives, the ultimate combatant

This variety was introduced in 1966 and is one of the best selling knives till date. Mark II today comes in various serials and is mostly made of oxide-coated stainless steel with a nylon sheath. The durable quality undoubtedly makes this a long-period lifetime warranty product.  The Gerber mark II is a legendary knife with its design unchanged for over 10 years and is made of high quality steel. This sharp dagger gives a secured feeling especially when you are staying alone in a highly risky area. This knife is less for cutting and more for striking purpose.

 Its legendary features include:

  • Drag pint stainless steel blade
  • Two sided serrated blade
  • Aluminum handle with a nylon sheath
  • Best used for striking purpose

6)    Gerber Hook Knife, the latest amazement

This is a mini circular knife, which is surely going to woo anyone who sees you carrying it like a key chain.  The Gerber carry hook is a reliable and easily accessible. This knife is small so that it can be easily carried and too cute to forget.  It is  is specially designed in a way that the blade can be held in the key chain and be quickly used  to cut a piece of cloth, as a safety strap or cut a  stuck material at a fixed spot.  In other words, Gerber hook knife is used to ease all minute needs which are and mind-tickling. This surprising miniature can be used beyond home; open enveloped or boxes, cutting fish line, open a packet. The key ring ensures a safe grip as you press your thumb against the grip and cut. Once done you can place the blade-cum key ring back in to the sheath.

In a giffy, many love this special Gerber Hook knife because:

  • An attractive key ring blade
  • Strong thumb grip
  • Daily utility grip
  • Made of safe and sturdy aluminum material.