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3 Knife Sharpeners You Need In Your Kitchen

3 Knife Sharpeners You Need In Your Kitchen

Knives are paramount for many activities in the kitchen, and they need to be in excellent working condition for the user to perform his or her tasks in the kitchen effortlessly.

As long as the knives are sharp, there is no problem, but when they become blunt as a result of constant use, the same tasks of cutting and chopping become very cumbersome and tiring. A blunt knife not only underperforms, but it also increases the likelihood of the user getting injured because you exert more pressure to complete the job. As it is not practical to take your knives to a professional to sharpen them every time your knives go blunt, it becomes necessary to keep some sharpening tools at home.

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When it comes to knives, the most significant topic that is still held in discussions and controversies is none other than the knife sharpener. Some of the most highly recommended knife sharpeners include the Lansky Turn Box Crock Stick Sharpener and the Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener. The quality differs from one stone to another and only when you understand them precisely will you be able to choose the best.

Many professionals swear by the efficiency and quality of using Japanese water stones (whetstones) as their preferred knife sharpener of choice. And it definitely comes with its share of benefits. Here is an introduction to three water stones available in three grades:

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1. Arato

The Arato stone is the perfect stone for severely worn-out knives, as it is 200 to 800 rough grit stone. When using, you will want an angle of 10 to 15 degrees, or about the height of two coins between the stone. The stone is ideally used to create a new bevel, and if used inconsistently, it leads to a weak edge. This is due to prolonged sharpening that is done at different incompatible angles. Arato stone is the roughest of the three stones and is used mostly to remove chips and recover an angle to the blade.

2. Nakato

This whetstone has a roughness of about 1500 grit and can be used for sharpening and making a sharp point. This medium grade stone is used ideally for minimal repairing purposes and primarily to produce even burr, which is also known as the initial stage of knife sharpening. Using the Nakato whetstone is done in the same method as that of the Arato stone. When you are done, you can then move on to the Shiageto whetstone for the finishing work.

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3. Shiageto

This superfine stone is implemented to provide smoother edges in addition to the perfect sharpness of the knife you are trying to sharpen. The 1500 to 3000 grit stone is used to create extremely sharp and polished edges, thus getting rid of any scratches that were left out by the medium stone that preceded it.

Before use, it is essential to prepare your stone in order to perform the sharpening process. The preparation is different from one stone to the next, even though soaking is a basic need and the time differs from one stone to the next – hence the name, “whetstone”. It is recommended to soak the stone until no droplets reach the top. At the same time, it is also not advised to leave your stone soaked in water for long, as it can lead to total damage.

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There are lots of tips online that will help you buy the best knife sharpener in the market that will be the best for your needs. Investing in a water stone, or a whetstone, might be your best bet for sharpening your blunt knives and ensuring that you get expert and precise cuts when preparing your food each and every time.

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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