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How to sharpen steel knives

BY JULIA | FEB 29, 2024 | 0 COMMENTS


Owning a sharp knife is only half the battle. Without proper maintenance, that trusty blade of yours can quickly lose its edge, leaving you hacking away at ingredients instead of effortlessly slicing through them.

And let's face it, constantly shelling out for new knives isn't exactly the most budget-friendly habit to cultivate.

So, what's the secret to keeping your knives in tip-top shape? Well, it's all about sharpening.

But before you envision yourself shelling out wads of cash at a professional knife-sharpening service or spending hours laboring over a whetstone like a master bladesmith, hold up!

We're here to demystify the process and show you that sharpening your knives can be both easy and, dare we say, a tad bit enjoyable.

Today, we're diving deep into the world of knife maintenance, exploring different methods to keep those blades gleaming and slicing effortlessly through anything in their path.


First off, let's talk about the whetstone method. It's like a mini workout for your knife. Grab your whetstone, soak it for a bit, and then get ready to sharpen. Here's what you do:

Prepare the Stone: Soak that stone for about 10 minutes until it's nice and wet. You want it to absorb the water and get a bit of a film on the surface. Pro tip: splash some water on it during sharpening if it starts to dry out.

Get Sharpening: Hold your knife at a 45-degree angle across the stone, with the edge facing you. Gently apply pressure and slide the blade up and down the stone about five times on each side. Start at the tip, then move to the middle, and finally to the heel.

Clean the Burr: Feel for a burr on one side of the blade (you'll notice one side feels smooth and the other feels scratchy). Use a fibrous tea towel or some newspaper to remove it with the same sharpening motion.

Polish the Blade: Switch to a finer grit on the stone and repeat the sharpening process, but with less pressure. This will give your blade a nice polish.



Next up, we've got the pull-through method. This one's super easy, especially for beginners. Here's how it goes:

Get Your Sharpener: Grab a sharpening tool with V-shaped or ceramic wheels. These are designed to make sharpening a breeze.

Sharpen Away: Run your dull knife through the coarse slot about three or four times, always pulling it towards you. Then, run it through the fine slot a couple of times to remove any burrs.



And finally, we've got the honing steel method. This one's all about keeping your knife in top shape between sharpenings. Here's what you do:

Hold It Right: Hold your honing rod at a comfortable angle away from your body, with the tip elevated above the handle.

Hold Your Knife: Grip your knife firmly with your dominant hand, making sure your thumb is far from the blade edge.

Get Honing: Maintain a 20-degree angle between the knife and the rod. Swipe the knife across the top half of the rod, then the bottom half, using a sweeping motion from heel to tip.


In Conclusion: And there you have it! Whether you're using a whetstone, a pull-through sharpener, or a honing rod, keeping your knife sharp is easier than you might think. Happy slicing!