When you have a shiny, sharp knife in your kitchen drawer or on your cutting board, it makes chopping vegetables and slicing meats so much easier.
But if they’re not appropriately maintained, knives can quickly become dull and difficult to use. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to sharpen kitchen knives at home with a few simple steps that will keep them in top condition for years to come!
When the blades of your cooking utensils are no longer as sharp as they once were, it’s time to learn how to sharpen kitchen knives safely in preparation for the next culinary adventure.
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How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives at Home Safely
When it comes to how to sharpen kitchen knives at home, there are a couple of different ways to go about it.
In general, however, you want to make sure that you’re constantly being safe and effective when sharpening your knives. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure that your knife is clean and dry before sharpening it. This will help ensure that the blade is sharpened correctly and evenly.
- When sharpening your knife, use a slow and steady motion. Don’t try to sharpen the blade too quickly, as this can lead to mistakes and ineffective sharpening.
- Be careful not to cut yourself while sharpening your knives. Ensure that you’re keeping your fingers, hands, and other body parts away from the sharpening area.
- When you’re finished sharpening your knife, be sure to rinse it off with some warm water before using it again. This will remove any loose particles accumulated during the sharpening process.
- If you notice that there are pieces of metal missing from your knife after sharpening it, take the time to inspect how you’re holding it when you’re performing the process. You want to make sure that you don’t accidentally cut yourself while doing so.
- Make sure that your knives are properly stored after they’ve been sharpened by putting them back in their sheaths or protective cases. Leaving your knives unsupervised can lead to accidents, as they may get misplaced or damaged.
By following these tips, you can ensure that you’re sharpening your knives the most safely and effectively possible.
When to Sharpen Your Knife?
How often you need to sharpen your knife depends on how much you use it throughout the week.
If you’re using it every day, make sure to inspect it after each time you use it and give it another quick sharpening session before putting it away.
However, if you’re only cooking during weekends or holidays, consider how often the blades are used in that period.
How can you truly determine the sharpness of your knife? I employ three straightforward tests:
- Cut through the paper. Fold a stiff piece of paper in half and place it on your counter. Your knife should be able to cut through the paper from top to bottom without damaging it. While printer paper is acceptable, newspaper or magazine paper is frequently preferable.
- Cut a tomato in half. When my knife no longer slices a tomato cleanly, I know it’s time to sharpen it.
- Shallots or garlic, minced This should be possible without encountering any resistance from the ingredient.
If your knife fails any of these tests, it is in desperate need of repair. If it passes one or two of these tests but not the paper test, it will still be suitable for general use.
However, once you experience the sensation of a suitably sharp knife, you will never want to settle for anything less.
How to Use A Sharpening Steel
A sharpening steel is not a required tool for sharpening kitchen knives, but it can be a helpful addition if you want to give your blades an extra edge.
A sharpening steel is a long, cylindrical rod made from hard materials like diamond or ceramic.
To use it, hold the steel at a 20-degree angle and run the knife’s blade down the length of the steel in one smooth motion.
Be sure to apply even pressure and don’t use too much force, as this can damage the blade.
How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives with a Sharpening Stone
The sharpening stone is a more traditional way to sharpen kitchen knives, and it can be a bit more challenging to use than the honing rod. However, it’s also a more versatile option that can be used for both blunt and curved blades.
To use a sharpening stone, you’ll need some water, oil, and lubricant. Wet the stone’s surface before adding a few drops of oil, then place the knife’s blade on the stone’s surface at a 45-degree angle.
Slide it down the length of the sharpening stone in one smooth motion, being sure to apply even pressure. Repeat this process until the blade is fully sharpened.
Whetstones are the gold standard of knife sharpening for high-end professional knives. The most technical of all sharpening methods require a great deal of practice to be effective in their application.
The following are the fundamentals of sharpening with a whetstone:
Always begin with a medium-grit stone, between 1000 and 2000 grit in size. Finishing knives on a more delicate stone, 6000 grit or more fragile, is recommended.
Coarse stones, those with grits ranging from 200 to 600, are only used for repairing damaged blades and are never used for cutting.
- Check to see that your whetstone is ready to use before you begin. The water-based stones must be soaked in water overnight before sharpening applications.
- Place your stone on a sturdy surface, such as a countertop. This can be accomplished using a specially designed base, a shelf liner, or a damp kitchen towel.
- Holding your knife with the edge facing away from you, place it on the whetstone at a 15- to 20-degree angle to the surface of the stone.
- Place the spine of the knife in the palm of your non-dominant hand and apply gentle pressure as you slide the blade back and forth on the stone 15 to 20 times, depending on your preference.
- Repeat the process on the other side of the blade after flipping it over.
- After wiping your blade clean, you can check its sharpness using one of the above methods. If it isn’t sharp enough, repeat the process until it is sharp enough.
- When your blade is sufficiently sharp, repeat the process on a finer stone to set the edge, which will result in greater edge retention for your knife.
HOW TO STEP-BY-STEP SHARPEN A KNIFE WITH AN ELECTRIC SHARPENER?
Now that we’ve covered how to use a whetstone, let’s look at using an electric sharpener instead.
Select A coarse And Fine Grit – Because you’ll be using an electric sharpener, select two distinct coarseness levels. Begin with coarse grit and work your way up to fine grit, depending on the type of blade you want.
For example, if you have a knife for cutting fruits and vegetables and another for splitting wood, the two knives will require different pressure levels. Therefore it’s essential to use the appropriate setting.
Verify the Angle of Sharpening – Before turning on the device, double-check which side will be in contact with the stone by inspecting both sides.
If they are identical, you can go to the following step; but, if one side has a raised edge, you must press it down until both sides are even.
Choosing the Correct Grit Size – Locate the two slide bars that control the coarseness level. Verify by inspecting the label on top, indicating the grit size that will be provided (e.g., 220/1000).
There is no need to worry about angle or pressure when using an electric sharpener, as these systems are automated and can adjust to the task at hand.
Keep The Knife Stable And Begin Sharpening — With moderate pressure, insert your knife between the two slots and begin turning on the unit, taking care not to move it until it reaches the top position.
It should take around three seconds per side to run it down the entire length of the stone, but you may want to go back over tiny portions if necessary.
Repeat The Process For The Other Side Of The Knife — When finished with one side, turn off the unit and repeat the previous instructions for the other side of the knife (it only takes a few seconds). Remove Blade From Sides —
Once pleased with your edge, carefully remove the blade from the sides, careful not to cut yourself on any metal components. Proper caution is especially critical when using an electric sharpener.
There is no requirement for constant pressure, making this step even more crucial than using a manual whetstone or sharpening rod.
Which Sharpening Method Is Right For You?
Now that you know how to sharpen kitchen knives at home with a honing rod or sharpening stone, it’s time to decide which method is suitable for you.
If you’re starting, the honing rod is the best option because it’s fast and straightforward. However, if you want more versatility in your sharpening methods, the sharpening stone is a good choice.
Whichever method you choose, be sure to practice patience and caution when using it, as blunt blades can be dangerous.
An important thing to remember when learning how to sharpen kitchen knives is to use caution.
Blunt blades can be dangerous, so always be sure to use the appropriate amount of pressure and go slowly when sharpening your knives.
Additionally, it’s essential to inspect your blades after each time you use them to determine whether or not they need further sharpening.
If you do, don’t hesitate to give them a quick honing or sharpening session. By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to keep your kitchen knives sharp and safe for all your cooking needs.
How to Store Your Knives to Keep Them Sharpen
Another essential part of sharpening kitchen knives is knowing how to store them properly. When you’re not using them, be sure to put your knives away in a safe place where they won’t get damaged.
A knife block or magnetic strip are good options for storing knives, and it’s essential to keep them out of reach of children.
Additionally, make sure to clean and dry your blades after each use so that they don’t rust.
By following these simple tips, you can keep your knives sharp and safe for years to come.
The truth is that no matter how careful you are with your blades, they will eventually dull from use over time as their metal edge starts to wear down.
To make sure your knives stay as sharp as possible for as long as possible, it’s essential to store them properly between uses or else risk damaging their edges even more quickly.
You can do this by keeping them on a magnetic knife rack so that any metal pieces don’t come into contact and cause scratches, leading to faster blade degradation over time.
I hope this article gives you helpful information to sharpen & store your knife.