Tips for Sharpening a Knife

Once in a while you will notice that your knife has started to be dull and having a hard time cutting perfectly thin slices or dices of fruits, meats, vegetables, or in general, it’s starting to fail its job. Some may also find that their knife is literally slipping from their hands while chopping, slicing, or cutting. A dull knife can be pretty annoying and dangerous, as well.

So, to keep your hands and fingers safe, read this article and find out how to sharpen your knife using a sharpener, a steel rod, and a whetstone.

Firstly, you might want to ask the difference between honing and sharpening. You probably heard these words frequently and you started asking yourself what is the difference between the two? You’ll also likely see someone using a honing rod in order to ‘sharpen’ a knife. Sounds confusing? Well, these words are interchangeable for some, but to clear things out, a honing rod does not sharpen your knife. Instead, it straightens out the knife’s cutting edge for it to have a safer and much smoother cut. On the other hand, sharpening your knife actually sharpens it. So, the answer is ‘yes.’ You need it both.

In order to maintain a good knife, one must be honing it at least once a week. When it comes to sharpening your knife, you can do this monthly or within a year, depending on how many times you often use it. You may also depend on how often you notice that your knife is starting to dull.

Now that the honing and sharpening have been distinguished, let’s now delve into the ways on how to actually sharpen your knife.

How to sharpen the knife using a knife sharpener?

Since we’re living in a modern world, you might want to invest in a knife sharpener. This tool is your quick-fix solution if you’re having trouble with a dull knife. How does this work? Well, you just press the knife’s blade into the section saying “course.” Afterward, pull the knife slightly towards you a couple of times, before moving to the fine side.  This tool may be your easiest way of sharpening a knife. It also comes in handy. However, knife sharpener may not be your best solution. The real concern about this thing is that this sharpening tool may not be great for your knife. To put it bluntly, you may use this for sharpening affordable knives, but use a whetstone for pricier ones.

How to sharpen your knife using a whetstone?

What is a whetstone in the first place? Interestingly, whetstone means sharpening stone. This tool is a rectangular block that works and looks like sandpaper. It helps refine and straighten the cutting edge by sliding the knife across this tool. As well as that, you should also know that most of these tools were designed to be soaked in water before use. Check the label or the instructions to be sure.

Like most of the whetstones, you need to submerge it in water until no bubbles are coming out of it. A good 5 to 10 minutes would suffice. Moreover, in using this, hold the knife you wish to straighten or sharpen at about 20-degrees against the whetstone. Then, gently drag each side of your knife against the tool over a few times. Note that whetstones both have a fine-grind side and a course-grind side. You must start with the coarse side if you wish to sharpen your knife, before eventually repeating the process on the finer side.

How to straighten the knife’s edge with honing steel?

As was mentioned above, you should also use honing steel once in a while to straighten your knife. If you are worrying that you’ll damage your blade, remember that the honing process will not wear down the knife as the sharpening does.

Now, in using the honing steel, you should not hold it in the air while dramatically sliding your knife’s blade against it. Instead, hold the honing steel vertically with its tip resting on the surface. Remember to hold the grip tightly and firmly on one hand. Next is to press the bottom and thickest part of the blade against the steel on a 15-to-20-degree angle and pull your knife down and then towards you. Follow through until you reached the tip of your knife’s blade. Repeat this motion on the other side of the steel as you reverse the angle of your blade against the steel.

After you straighten and sharpen your knife, you might also want to secure the knives in order to keep their condition. To do this, you can use knife blocks, drawer docks, or any other safe storage to ensure that your efforts won’t go to waste.