A Furi of Sharpness: Keeping Knives in Shape

Actually, I saw the sharpener when its Australian designer, Mark Henry, was touring America with his prototype and for me it was love at first sight.  At last, I, who in addition to being non-competitive am a coward when it comes to handling lethal objects, could have sharp, sharp knives without having to use the dreaded steel or the gotta-get-it-precisely-right-or-you’ll-ruin-your-knives stone.

The sharpener – more technically, the system – looks like a lyrical piece of modern sculpture.  The curved part is a hand-protecting base with a clever contraption that holds the removable business ends of the system, all of them designed to be foolproof (ie, you don’t have to adjust a thing).  There’s a restorer that gets the angle on your knife into just-so condition; a springy diamond-coated sharpener; and a honer, which I think of as a polisher and use everyday – actually, several times I day:  whenever I pull down a knife, I give it a couple of slides through the honing gizmo. 

Good tools make me happy (I’m sure I’ve said this before) and I find cutting with a sharp knife a pleasure, efficient too:  sharp knives cut faster and everything they cut looks better.  This might sound ridiculous, but I think that even if your knife skills aren’t Iron-Chef worthy, you end up feeling better about your cutting chops when your knives are sharp  – at least I do. 

Dorie Greenspan