Working in the kitchen can get hard without a sharp knife because it smashes things instead of slicing and cutting. And this creates a mess in your kitchen, which can also lead to small to serious incidents.
Going to a shop won’t be necessary if you know how to sharpen kitchen knives by yourself. You can easily sharpen them whenever you need them.
In this article, we have covered many techniques to sharpen a kitchen knife to make things easier for you.
How to Use Kitchen Knife Sharpener?
There are both manual and electric sharpeners available in the market, and you can use either of those for sharpening. Here are some easy steps to use a kitchen knife sharpener by which you can sharpen your knife even if you have never done this before. Let’s jump to the procedures below.
- Before starting, test your knife on a piece of paper to be sure of the dullness of the knife. If the paper doesn’t cut well, then resharpening is needed for sure.
- Most of the manual and electrical sharpeners have two settings named “coarse” and “fine.” The “coarse” setting is for blunt knives that need to be sharpened properly. While the “fine” setting is for the regular maintenance of your kitchen knife.
- In the case of a manual sharpener, run the blade through the “coarse” setting from base to tip several times by applying enough force. But using force is not necessary for the electric one. It would be best if you put the knife into it, and that’s all.
- After that, finish sharpening by sliding into the “fine” setting and then rinse with warm soapy water.
- Please keep it for natural drying, or wipe the extra water with a soft cloth. Otherwise, it can get rusted and blunt again soon after some days.
How to Sharpen a Kitchen Knife with a Stone?
If there is no manual or electric knife sharpener available to you, there is a household way to sharpen your knife: using a stone. But you will also find specific stones for knife sharpening, which are known as whetstones.
- First, you have to choose which stone is preferable for you. Dry rocks are much more durable than the ones soaked in water or oil. But soaked stones are easier to use as they become soft, and you can sharpen your knife easily in a short time.
- If you are using a water stone, soak it in water for 30-40 minutes and wipe with a soft cloth before using. In the case of oil stone, lubricate it with oil or any other lubricant and then start the sharpening process.
- Hold the knife with your hand, creating a 20 degrees angle with the stone piece. Now slide the kitchen knife over the stone from base to tip slowly. Repeat it for both sides several times.
- Wash the knife with warm water and use a towel or napkin for drying—test whether the sharpness is restored or not. Clean the stone for further use.
How to Sharpen a Kitchen Knife with a Rod?
Often, we see chefs sharpening their knives with a steel rod before using them. Though professionals do it at lightning speed in just a few moments, you can also consider this process a sharpening technique, which might take a while. But the process is pretty simple, and you can do it at ease.
- The first thing you need to take care of while sharpening a knife with a rod is to place the rod correctly on a flat surface so that it doesn’t slip away. Hold it with one hand properly to prevent any accident due to sliding.
- Place the knife keeping the edge downwards, and create a preferable angle where you can comfortably hold the blade with your other hand. The standard angle is about 15 degrees against the rod.
- Now slide your knife with the rod several times upward and downward. Maintain the optimum angle during the whole sharpening process. Repeat this step for both sides.
- Test the sharpness after sliding a few times and repeat the process if necessary. Now rinse with soapy water and wipe with a towel.
How to Properly Sharpen a Kitchen Knife?
You will find a wide range of different techniques to sharpen a kitchen knife. But regardless of methods, following the proper procedure only helps. Here is a step-by-step guideline to sharpen your kitchen knife properly.
Step 1 – Examine the Sharpness
Before you slide the knife against any sharpener, make sure to check the sharpness of the blade because you can’t assume how sharp your knife is. Hold a piece of paper with one hand, and cut it with the knife.
If the paper cuts pretty well, use the sharpener for a few strokes. But in the case of blunt cuts on paper, proper sharpening is definitely necessary.
Step 2 – Sharpening with the Right Tool
Among various sharpeners available in the market, you have to decide which one is preferable to you according to your task. If you are comfortable using manual tools like sharpening stones and steel rods, keep them on a flat surface and slide the knife against any of these to do it in the right way.
Using manual sharpeners might be a bit tough for some people as you have to apply enough force while sharpening. In this case, you can use an electric sharpener. The knife needs to slide on an electric sharpener, and it will sharpen the blade without any external force.
Step 3 – After Sharpening Maintenance
After finishing the process, maintenance of the knife is essential because proper care keeps any knife sharp for a long time.
You will see powder dust covering the knife after sharpening. Clean it with a dry cloth or use warm water to rinse off the dust. Now store the knife after complete drying.
Best Angle to Sharpen Kitchen Knives
Angles are essential while you buy, use, and sharpen a kitchen knife. Every knife has a specific angle, and you will find it in the instructions on the packaging, or you can ask the seller.
- Angles between 10 to 17 Degrees
This is the lowest range of angles while sharpening kitchen knives. Generally, these types of knives are used to cut softer materials. Whether using a stone or a rod, try to maintain this angle while sharpening 10-17 degrees angled knives.
- Angles between 17 to 22 Degrees
Most kitchen knives have angles in this range, and they can be used to cut almost every type of thing. While sharpening these knives, slide them at an angle of 17-20 degrees before using them.
- Angles from 22 Degrees and Above
These knives are the most durable ones and are used for cutting rough materials. Try to use an electric sharpener or a hard stone to sharpen these knives as they provide enough support while sharpening knives of higher angles.
Type of Kitchen Knives, Accessories and Their Uses
Kitchen knives have many varieties as a specific type of knife is used for cutting certain materials. There are a bunch of different knives according to sizes, cutting ability, and features. We will discuss the most common types of knives in the following section.
- Meat Cleaver
These knives are larger than the commonly used ones, and they work great for cutting meat and seafood with bones and shells. The shape of a meat cleaver is similar to an ax, but it has a hole in the upper part for easy meat cutting.
- Tourne Knife
A tourne knife is a thin knife with a small width. They are suitable for cutting vegetables, especially for delicate cuts. Generally, they are widely used for cutting veggies for salads and decorations where fancy shapes are needed.
- Honing Steel
Often people mix honing steel with honing sharpener as they both have some similarities. But actually, honing steel is not used for sharpening but for supporting a knife without damaging the delicacy of meat and fish.
Kitchen knife sharpeners are essential for people who regularly use knives, whether at home or in professional sectors. Electrical sharpeners are more convenient than manual ones as they work fast and efficiently. But you can also use the manual ones as they are more available.
- Kitchen Shears
A kitchen shear is like a scissor by which we can cut small and long veggies, herbs, fish extensions, and small bones of meat. Besides, it helps trim off the extra fat from meat. Kitchen shears are also known as poultry shears.
- Steak Knife
Generally, steak knives are a type of table knife for cutting cooked meat and steak. These are thin knives with sharp tips. For people who eat meat regularly, a steak knife is a must-have piece for them and other kitchenware.
- Paring Knife
Probably, the most commonly used knives are paring knives. They are suitable for almost every type of cut in the kitchen, like chopping and peeling vegetables, slicing meat, cutting fruits, opening cans, and much more.
- Boning Knife
A boning knife is mainly used to prepare the meat before cooking. It has a narrow and sharp blade for separating meat and fish flesh from bones. You can’t cut and slice meat by boning knives as they are not really designed as cutting knives.
- Utility Knife
These are lightweight and easy-to-use knives, and you can conduct your regular kitchen tasks like cutting fruits and vegetables, opening cans and jars, trimming meat fats, and many more. You can also use them as table knives for cutting bread and sandwiches.
- Bread Knife
A bread knife is mainly used as a table knife for cutting bread and baguettes. They are also suitable for spreading jam and butter over bread. Generally, these knives are not too sharp and pointy.
- Carving Knife
Basically, carving knives are called meat-cutting knives as they are primarily suitable for cutting and slicing meat. But you can also use them for slicing vegetables and fruits.
- Santoku Knife
The most versatile knife a kitchen can have is definitely a santoku knife. It is mainly a traditional Japanese knife having a rectangular blade used for three purposes: mincing, dicing, and slicing.
- Chef’s Knife
These knives are for professional use where you need to chop and slice a huge number of vegetables, fruits, fish, and meat. But these are not so good for accurate and precise cutting.
- Cheese Knife
Often, we get confused between cheese and butter knives as they are both table knives and used for spreading. But cheese knives have curved blades for easy spreading, and they are sharp for cutting hard cheese blocks.
Here, we have discussed different procedures of how to sharpen kitchen knives so that you won’t have to struggle with your blunt knives anymore. Learning these, you can sharpen the knife at home without paying for someone else for it.