The following is an extract from 'How to Cook Everything' by 'Mark Bittman' about sharpening knives:
An electric sharpener is the best, easiest, and most expensive way to keep knife blades sharp; even moderately serious cooks should consider this a worthwhile investment. The alternatives are to learn to use a whetstone (not that difficult, and very effective, but timeconsuming) or to take them to a hardware store to have them sharpened professionally. A steel is a handy tool for maintaining the edge of knives between sharpenings. (You should use it every few days, at least.) It’s nothing more than a sturdy rod stuck in a handle, but it takes some practice to get the hang of it
Firstly, this addresses how we could sharpen knives - an electric sharpener or whetstone do the same job of sharpening. Then it mentions that a (sharpening) steel helps in maintaining the edge of the knives between sharpenings.
Does this mean that, in order to sharpen knives, we need an electric sharpener/whetsone and a sharpening steel? Can we just use a sharpening steel to sharpen knives - why?
Sorry if this seems like a silly question. I've not been taught anything about sharpening knives, and only know of its practice. My understanding is that we can sharpen knives using either a sharpening steel, or a whetstone. I've never heard anything about 'maintaining the edge of knives between sharpenings' as Mr Bittman states in his book