The Best Methods to Keeping Your Knives Razor Sharp
After a few weeks of use, new knives will become dull, forcing you to apply more pressure to make cuts. That added resistance doesn’t just mangle meats and veggies; it’s a potential hazard for your fingers.
Keep your knives feeling new and your fingers safe with this guide to sharpening and honing cutlery.
Use a Whetstone
If you have a very nice knife, sharpen it with a whetstone like this. It’s relatively inexpensive for a kitchen tool and you’ll get years of use out of it, too.
Sharpening stones come in different sizes and grits (the stone’s level of coarseness), which are often indicated by color. Some stones have two sides: a coarser side for removing dents and sharpening very dull blades, and a more refined side for polishing and edge refinement. The rule of thumb is always to start sharpening your knife on the coarse side and then move to the refined side to finish.
Use an Electric Knife Sharpener
An electric knife sharpener is similar to a pencil sharpener—it simply obliterates the old edge and creates a new one. It’s the fastest way to restore your blade to “health,” but it’s also the most brutal. The edge of a knife is a carefully tapered compression of metal layers, so the thwacking sends the atomically aligned edge into disarray, or worse—it can chip tiny divots into the metal.
Use Honing Steel
Once your knife is sharpened, you’ll want to keep it that way for as long as possible. Try to get into the habit of using a honing steel every time you take out your knife. It kind of looks like a metal lightsaber and is basically like a short cardio exercise for your blade, aligning all of the metallic ions in the knife’s edge so you can cut with ease and precision.