Sunday, 6 July 2008

Minosharp knife sharpener

Visiting a friend's for dinner, I spotted this Minosharp knife sharpener in the kitchen. I'm always interested in knife sharpening gadgets, although I'm usually disappointed. Not this time! I tried it with a little pocket knife I had with me - and the results were superb.

The Minosharp is made by a Japanese company, and is sold for sharpening those fancy Japanese cooks' knives such as Global. It consists of a plastic handle, with two ceramic wheels set in a shallow water bath.

You put a small amount of water in the bath, replace the clear plastic cover, and put the knife blade into one of the guide slots. Then move the blade back and forth in the slot. The slot holds the blade at exactly the right angle to the ceramic wheel, and the wheel turns so that the water is applied automatically.

There are two wheels - one coarse and one fine. Give the blade a few strokes on the coarse wheel first, then the fine one. Result, one very sharp knife, with the minimum of metal removed from the blade. It's virtually foolproof.

This sharpener won't work on knives that are ground on one side only, or on serrated blades. But for a regular knife blade, it's magic, and at under 20 quid it's good value. I'm off to get one on ebay!

Oh, and the knife I tried with the sharpener - it's a lovely little pocket knife by British knifemaker Mick Wardell. The blade is only a couple of inches long, and has a lovely wood-grain type pattern in the steel. GunMart editor Pat Farey, who gave me the knife several years ago, had my initials engraved on it. It's a little beauty, I think you'll agree.

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