Musat – this is a tool designed for straightening knives or simply – maintaining the cutting edge of the knife in working order. There is a discussion among specialists about what, in fact, can be called musat. There are even links to the dictionary of V.I. Dahl, where this product is classified, in fact, as a round metal file. From which it is concluded that it can only be made of metal. But life does not stand still and you have to put up with the fact that the concepts of the 19th century take on a slightly different meaning today.
To begin with, let's take a closer look at the purpose of the musat.
Often one hears from a person who bought an expensive musat complaints that he cannot sharpen knives. But actually, musat is not used for sharpening operations, but as noted above – for dressing the cutting edge (RK).
The loss of sharpness of a knife occurs mainly for two reasons.
- First – this is a permanent chipping of the teeth of the RK microsaw during any operation of the knife. Even the sharpest cutting edge has a microserrator on its tip, the chipping of the teeth of which leads to gradual blunting.
- The second reason – episodic, leading not to chipping, but to jamming of the cutting edge. Zamin, as a rule, creates a rather extended area of damage on the RC, which leads to a practical loss of its cutting properties by the knife. For relatively soft steels of kitchen knives, jamming is a fairly common occurrence. It can be easily obtained when it hits a bone, with lateral loads on the RC (scraping), when working with a knife in the so-called. "European technology" (i.e. impact cut on a cutting board), and to be honest – just when trying to cut a piece of frozen meat. So here is a quick and inexpensive elimination of jamming – this is the main task of the musat. There is a recommendation for the hardness of knife steels that can be adjusted with musat - on the Rockwell scale from 50 to 58 HRC. Attempts to rule with musat on harder steels lead to chipping of the cutting edge, and on softer steels it is difficult to form a more or less decent RK due to its constant bending in one direction or another.
According to the basic parameters, musats can be divided by:
- size (size of the working rod),
- the roughness of the working surface (the depth of the notch or its absence),
- abrasive coating material (metal, ceramic, diamond),
- as well as the shape of the working rod and the type of its cross section (cylindrical, conical, elliptical).
With the size of the working rod of the musat, in principle, everything is simple - it must be equal to or greater than the length of the blade that we are going to edit. Although there are various options for hiking musats, sometimes sold without a handle, which are very small in size (from 10 cm), but this is perhaps an exception.
The depth of the notch or the degree of roughness of the working surface of the musat affects the rate of metal removal – the rougher, the more intense the removal, which will lead to a significant reduction in the life of the blade. In addition, rough-surfaced blades leave a significant micro-serrated edge on the cutting edge, which in turn affects the aggressiveness of the cut and the resistance of the cutting edge to blunting (the larger the micro-serrated blade, the faster the knife blunts). Here, as they say, for an amateur, if the knife is dear to you, then it is advisable to take something finely abrasive.
The material of the working surface musat also generally determines the degree of aggressiveness of metal removal, but also the choice of metal, ceramic or diamond is determined by the hardness of the steels of the blades with which you will mainly have to work. So even the hardest steel of the musat metal rod will be one and a half times inferior in hardness to ceramics. And the diamond coating, whether on a metal or ceramic basis, generally turns musat into a profile sharpening bar, transferring this product to a fundamentally different category for its intended purpose.
There is a classification of musats into the so-called. kitchen option and option for butchers. Indeed, although the nature of work in these two areas has strong differences and musats, & nbsp; those used in them are also completely different in their appearance, but the general trend is as follows - professional musats are used by butchers, and in the kitchen – very different.
Kitchen Musat, as a rule, has smaller dimensions, since its length should be comparable to the length of the largest knife in the kitchen – those. chief. The average length of the kitchen chef – about 20 cm (maximum – 30 cm), respectively, the standard kitchen musat has approximately the same maximum length. Kitchen musats, for the most part, have a cylindrical shape and a wide variety of notches, from the roughest to the absence of it as such. According to the surface material, kitchen utensils come in metal, diamond and ceramic. Butchers have larger knives, respectively, and musats are used up to 40 cm long.
As a rule, these are professional metal screws with a very thin and high-quality notch with a conical shape of the rod and often with an elliptical section.
The conical shape of the musat rod allows you to more accurately adapt the bending of the cutting edge along the wedge to its working surface. With this form of the working rod of the musat, it is easier to hit exactly on the supply of the blade, making the edit. Accordingly, less effort is expended and there is less risk of changing the angle of sharpening the knife during editing.
This is a very important point, since professional knives, as a rule, have a very thin notch, which allows them to have a very gentle effect on the RC of the knife, thereby increasing its operating time. Actually, all these factors – the quality of the notch on the working surface of the musat and the geometry of the rod, which allows for greater productivity with less effort and distinguishes a professional musat from an ordinary household one.
Now a few words about how to work with musat correctly.
In different manuals, there are different options for editing: towards yourself and away from you, resting the handle or vice versa, the tip of the musat on the tabletop, or even holding the musat directly in front of you in a horizontal position parallel to your chest. As a result, for a person who is not going to engage in this process very often, two options can be advised.
- First. Holding the musat by the handle with one hand, rest it with the tip on the cutting board lying on the countertop perpendicular to it. Attach to the rod of the musat RK of the knife at the edge of the heel at an angle approximately, in your opinion, equal to the angle of sharpening. With light pressure, maintaining the angle, draw the knife down along the rod of the musat while pulling the elbow back so that, having dropped down, the knife passes along the musat of the entire long cutting edge. At the same time, the hand remains motionless relative to the forearm. The same operation can theoretically be done in the opposite direction – from the tip of the musat to its handle, resting it on the tabletop. But, if you do not have a good corresponding skill or special gloves that protect your hands from cuts, it is better not to do this. Professionals advise that to facilitate the process at the first stage, you can imagine that you are cutting the bark from a wooden stick. This will help to keep the same angle between the plane of the blade and the rod of the musat until stable motor skills are developed during the editing process.
- Second. Hold the musat in front of you with your arm bent at the elbow. Musat is parallel to the earth and your chest. In the second hand, hold the knife at the desired angle, resting the edge of the RK next to the heel on the working surface of the musat near the very tip. The blade is located vertically, perpendicular to the musat. Working exclusively with a brush, run the cutting edge along the musat rod, moving the knife from a vertical position to a horizontal one. In this embodiment, it is very important that the length of the musat be greater than the length of the cutting edge of the blade. Otherwise, you risk cutting the hand with which you hold the musat.
In conclusion, I would like to note that if you do not work on cutting meat and you do not need to edit the knife every minute, eliminating jams, then the most optimal variant of musat – this is a musat with a core based on aluminoceramics without additional notches. Soft, sparing effect on the cutting edge – will prolong the life of your knife, sufficient natural abrasive ability of the surface of alumino-ceramic (about 20 microns) will effectively cope with any jamming, and the cost category of this product is available to everyone.