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How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives (Fast, Easy & Affordable)

The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we all spend a lot of time preparing and cooking meals. While we might have all kinds of kitchen appliances and tools, sharp kitchen knives are necessary. Unfortunately, these knives don’t stay sharp for long enough. You can sharpen them at home in just a few minutes if you do it correctly. Here’s how you can sharpen your kitchen knives with ease.

How to tell when your knives need sharpening

how-to-sharpen-kitchen-knives
Photo: Zimninja

Sharp knives are safer and more efficient kitchen tools. If you’re using a dull knife, you’re more likely to slip and cut yourself, and it’s harder to chop vegetables evenly. So when you notice your knives aren’t cutting well anymore, it’s time for sharpening!

Here are some signs that you need to sharpen your kitchen knives:

  • You need to press down hard on the knife to cut through something.
  • Your knife isn’t slicing through food like it used to; instead, it pushes it around with no real effect.
  • Your food is coming out unevenly chopped or sliced.

    Why do kitchen knives get dull?

    Photo: FN Sharp

    There are a few reasons for this.

    First, if you don’t wipe your knife off after every use, it will start to collect debris. This debris will then scratch the blade as you cut and can cause tiny nicks.

    Second, if you use your knife as a can opener or pry bar (don’t do this!), it can damage the blade’s edge.

    Third, if you leave your knife in the sink while it’s still wet or has water on it, that can also cause damage to the blade.

    The best way to avoid these issues is to dry your knife off after each use and store it in a safe place away from moisture.

How often should you sharpen your knives?

how-to-sharpen-kitchen-knives
Photo: Epicurious

How often you should sharpen your knives depends on a few different factors.

First of all, how often you use your knives matters a lot. If you’re a chef who uses the same knife to cut meat and vegetables every day, it will dull faster than if you’re a home cook who only uses it occasionally.

The type of metal your knife also affects how often it needs to be sharpened. For example, carbon steel knives need to be sharpened more frequently than stainless steel.

Finally, the quality of your knife will impact how often it needs sharpening as well. Lower-quality knives are typically made with softer metals that do not hold an edge and higher-quality ones.

How to sharpen a dull kitchen knife

There are many ways to sharpen your knives at home, but there are some methods that are more effective than others. Below are some methods you can use to get your knives back in shape:

Use a sharpening stone

Photo: Mashed

​​Using a sharpening stone is the simplest and easiest way to sharpen your knife.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Wash your knife with warm, soapy water and dry it thoroughly. Make sure you remove any grease or dirt from the blade before beginning.

Step 2: Place the sharpening stone on a flat surface, such as a table or countertop, and hold it in one hand while you have the knife in the other hand. The knife’s blade should be facing away from you at an angle of about 20 degrees—this angle is called a “bevel.”

Step 3: Use slow, even strokes over the entire length of the blade until all nicks are removed, and it’s sharp again!

Use a knife sharpening steel.

Photo: Cook’s Illustrated

Here’s how to sharpen a knife using a knife sharpening steel:

Step 1: Hold the knife on its side, with the cutting edge facing away from you and the tip pointing toward you.

Step 2: Place the tip of your index finger just above where you want to start sharpening. This should be about 1/4 inch from where the blade ends.

Step 3: Press down firmly as if you were trying to cut through paper, and move your finger up along that same distance until you reach where you want to stop sharpening (usually about 1/4 inch from where the blade ends).

Step 4: Repeat this process all the way down the length of your knife, being careful not to go over any areas that have already been sharpened (this will cause them to get blunt again).

Use sandpaper

Photo: Wikihow

Sharpening a knife with sandpaper is a skill that takes practice and patience. But, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to sharpen your knives whenever they need it.

Step 1: Start by taking your knife and placing it on a flat surface at a 45-degree angle.

Step 2: Take your sandpaper and place it against the blade at an angle, so that one side of the paper is parallel with the ground. Make sure that the side of the paper that is parallel with the ground is angled toward you.

Step 3: Use even pressure to move back and forth over each side of the blade until you have achieved an even edge. Do this for about three minutes, or until all of the scratches on both sides of the blade are gone.

Use a handheld knife sharpener

Photo: Today Show

Step 1: Determine if your knife is dull or not. You can do this by running your finger along the blade at an angle. If the blade catches on any bumps or ridges, it needs sharpening.

Step 2: Place the knife in your hand and hold it at about a 20-degree angle from vertical (this will vary depending on what kind of sharpener you’re using). Then begin to move it back and forth with even strokes until all sides are sharpened evenly.

Step 3: Repeat this process with all of your knives until they are as sharp as possible!

Use an electric knife sharpener

Photo: Men’s Journal


If you’re tired of spending time sharpening your knives, consider investing in an electric knife sharpener
. These machines are fast and easy to use, and they can help your knives stay sharp for years to come.

The following steps will show you how to use an electric knife sharpener:

Step 1: Plug the electric knife sharpener into a power source.

Step 2: Place the knife blade in the slot of the electric knife sharpener, facing away from you and at a 90-degree angle to the slot.

Step 3: Hold your hand over the handle of your knife and gently pull it toward you, keeping it at a 90-degree angle to the slot. Repeat several times until you feel that the edge has been sharpened well enough for your liking.

Pro Tip: How to Keep Your Knives Sharp

1. Keep them in a block or drawer with their handles facing down. This helps the blade keep its edge by protecting it from being banged up and dulling over time.

2. Don’t leave them soaking in water for long periods—this can cause rust to build upon the metal parts of the knife, which will make it harder for you to slice cleanly through whatever you’re cutting next time around.

3. If you have trouble slicing through something, take out one of your knives and check its edge with a ruler or other straightedge tool; if there’s no visible indentation where the edge should be, then you’ll need to sharpen that knife! You can find instructions on how to do so here: [link]

4. Store your knives properly, so they don’t get damaged while they’re not being used—this means putting them back in their block when you’re done using them so that they’re protected from scratches by other utensils (or even from getting wet).

Wrap Up

When it comes to how to sharpen kitchen knives, you have many options.

But hopefully, after reading this post, you can see that there is no need to spend money on expensive sharpeners or trips to the local sharpening shop. You can do it yourself at home with a few simple tools and a little practice.

And while it might take some patience and a few dozen strokes, in the end, you’ll be happy you took the time and made an effort to sharpen your knives.

 

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