Finding Angles and Using a Belt Knife Sharpener for Busy Cooks

May 27, 2022

You love to take your sweet time sharpening knives in the kitchen, but the world doesn't give you enough of it. On most days, you're occupied with other tasks and barely have a moment to work slowly.

You know that can be a problem. Rushing the sharpening process is dangerous and can harm your knife in the long run. You don't want that to happen, so you're seeking a process and a sharpening tool that gives you quick, high-quality results.

The solutions are in this article! First, we need you to understand more about sharpening angles. Then, we'll show you an ideal for fast and efficient work: a belt knife sharpener.

Knife Sharpening Angles for Busy, Modern Cooks

Sharpening angles matter in the sharpening process. It's not as simple as running your blade along a honing rod. You need to be precise to achieve sharpness and durability that help you perform tasks successfully.

Why are Angles Important in Sharpening?

Generally, you don't need angles if you're satisfied with the cutting capabilities of your knife. However, that's short-lived. A regular tool in the kitchen will need repair at some point, especially knives.

Furthermore, angle is the only thing you can modify to sharpen or strengthen your knife. This is because factors like steel composition and heat treatment are already predetermined in the production.

belt sander knife sharpener - protractor ruler on white background

Getting Started With Knife Sharpening Angles

Sharpening a knife while considering the angle can be confusing. There are factors you need to understand to get the appropriate angle. Here are a few things to take note of.

There's No Fixed Answer for the Best Angle

If you're new to sharpening angles, you'll probably ask for the best one. The thing is, there isn't one best angle for all knives. Instead, it depends on the knife, knife steel, and application.

High vs Low Angle

A low sharpening angle (20 degrees and below) is ideal if you must cut delicate materials. Nevertheless, keep in mind that a low sharpening angle makes the edge less durable.

Meanwhile, choose a high sharpening angle if you need to cut tougher ingredients. It will increase the durability of the knife's edge so that it doesn't fold over and wear off fast. That said, a high sharpening angle is more susceptible to chipping.

The Different Angles for Sharpening Knives

Now that you know the difference between low and high sharpening angles, it's time to learn about the most commonly used specific angles.

  • Under 10 Degrees - The lowest degree of sharpening angle makes edges easy to maintain and less likely to get damaged. Some examples of knives you can sharpen with this angle are straight razors. Experts recommend using only sharpening stones for this angle.
  • 10 to 17 Degrees - This angle gives knives a general-purpose fine edge you can use for various applications except chopping. With sharpening stones or electric systems, you can use this angle to sharpen Japanese cutlery, fillet knives, and paring knives.
  • 17 to 22 Degrees - The ideal angle range for most kitchen and outdoor knives creates a balance between durability and sharpness. Most Japanese cutlery is sharpened at 17 degrees and western knives at 20 degrees.
  • 22 to 30 Degrees - These angles add durability to the knife, making it ideal for slicing, grinding, sawing, and chopping work. You can sharpen your pocket or hunting knives at these angles.
  • Above 30 Degrees - It's the best angle to achieve a super durable knife, but there is less cutting ability. You still need to add force to make a good cut. Thus, such an angle will work better for a tool like a cleaver or an ax.

Tool Unlocked: Using an Electric Belt Knife Sharpener for Quick, High-Quality Fixes

Now you know what matters when sharpening knives. Your next concern would be which tool to use. Typically, people choose between sharpening stones and electric systems. But if you're busy, consider stones out of the game.

On the other hand, electric sharpening systems make a better choice for quick sessions. However, you may also encounter some quality issues.

Torn between these two? You won't have to if you consider using a belt sharpener. They're fairly easy to use and favor technique over effort for greater results. This is perfect for busy people like you!

work sharp knife sharpener belts - belt sander in action closeup

Reasons to Use It

Other sharpening tools, especially whetstones, are hard to beat. They have a long-standing image of precision and reliability. That said, they're also time-consuming. So if you're always on the go, you're better off with a fast machine that won't sacrifice quality.

This is where belt sharpeners come in handy. Here's why:

  • A knife sharpener (belt type) is easy to use, even for most beginners.
  • Flexible; they can work on simple straight, serrated, or specialized knife blades.
  • The belt is easy to replace and adjust.
  • The belt runs at an impressive speed. You can get a razor-sharp blade in no time!
  • Some electric belt knife sharpeners include extra features for convenience. For example, brush wheels remove metal rusts or belts, and multiple speed and grit options work on different blades.

How to Use It

Here's a quick step-by-step procedure to guide you in using belt sharpeners effectively.

  1. Choose the right size of the belt according to your blade.
  2. Set your desired sharpening angle (you can use this article as a guide), grit, and speed (if there are options). Note: Start with a low speed (unless the blade is extremely dull or for testing only) to avoid harming the knife. 
  3. Start sharpening one side of the blade. Ensure that the belt moves only when it's in contact with the blade.
  4. Get rid of the burr (wire edge).

Precautionary Measures

Like any other knife sharpener, a belt sander knife sharpener has limitations. If you want to make the most of it, here are some important things you must know.

  • Belt sharpeners don't come cheap.
  • Belt sharpeners produce lots of heat due to high friction. You must be careful when using it to avoid damaging the blade's quality.

Best Brands to Look For

Now that you know the basics of belt knife sharpening, it's time to take your pick! Here are some brands known for making good belt sharpeners.

  • Work Sharp
  • Grizzly
  • Wusthof
  • Smith
  • Central Machinery
  • Bucktool

You Can Be Busy and Still Sharpen Your Knives Efficiently

We get it. Your life doesn't revolve around kitchen walls and sharpening knives alone. Still, you want to ensure they are well taken care of, so they can help you make perfect, hearty meals at the end of a long day.

In that case, you should be able to figure out the right sharpening angle for your knife and use an electric knife sharpener with belts. This sharpening tool lets you work on various blades fast without sacrificing quality.

Of course, there are a few things to note. First, it's pricey, and you need to be careful when using it to avoid overheating and other problems. Other than that, you can do well with this device.

Navigate our website categories for more knife information and product reviews like Work Sharp Knife sharpener belts and other products.

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