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Knife Sharpening Tips and Techniques

Mamta Mule Oct 29, 2018
Whenever we hear the word 'Knife', the word that comes to our mind is 'sharp'. However, what if a knife is dull? It's simply useless. Here are some knife sharpening tips and techniques that you can use to get a sharp blade quickly and efficiently.
A well-sharpened knife is what makes your task of cutting, chopping, and slicing easier. Used for various tasks, from household to commercial, it gives the best results only if the blade is sharp.
A blunt blade may ruin even the simple job of cutting a tomato. So, it's better to maintain their edge by sharpening them whenever they get dull. Whetstones, sharpening steels, and electric knife sharpeners are some of the tools used for this purpose.

Using a Whetstone

A whetstone is a stone which is used for sharpening blunt knives. If you want a good blade, you should use a fine grain stone. Initially, go slow while you use this method, but when you get used to it, you can increase your speed.


1. Take a cutting board and place a towel over it. Now, place a whetstone on the towel. The coarse side should be on the top.
2. Hold the handle of the knife with one hand and lightly hold the edge with the other, against the stone.
3. Let the cutting edge touch the stone at a 20 degree angle. And the other side should be lifted at this angle.
4. Slither the blade over the stone, and keep even pressure while you draw the knife. While sliding, move the knife in one direction either front-to-back or back-to-front. Remember to glide the entire blade over the stone.
5. Repeat step 4 twelve times. Now reverse the side and follow step 5.
6. Turn over the whetstone so that the fine grit side is upwards.
7. Give each side of the blade 12 strokes over this side of the whetstone in the same way as mentioned in step 5.
8. Rinse and dry the knife and stone. Remember to keep your whetstone dry.

Using a Sharpening Steel

A sharpening steel is a long, narrow-rounded rod, which like a whetstone uses the principle of friction to accomplish the sharpening procedure.


1. Hold the sharpening steel pointing downwards in your left hand if you are right-handed and in your left hand if you are right-handed. Rest its tip lightly on a cutting board.
2. Hold the knife crossways towards the steel in your dominant hand. The part of the blade, adjacent to its handle should touch the steel, so that maximum area of the blade slides over the steel when you pull it towards you.
3. Angle the knife in such a way that its cutting border touches the steel at a 20 degree angle.
4. Now pull the knife towards you and simultaneously slide it down the steel shaft. Remember to work on the entire length of the knife in this process. While sharpening, remember to move the blade in one direction either front-to-back or back-to-front.
5. Repeat step 4 at least 12 times.
6. Change the side of blade and repeat step 1- 5.
7. Rinse and dry the knife, and it is ready to be used.

Using Electric Knife Sharpeners

Electric knife sharpeners are electronic devices. They are fast and easy to use. They easily work with both plane and serrated blades. The size and scope of the sharpeners vary and you can opt for one which suits your requirement.


1. The blade is passed through the machine.
2. The number of times the blade needs to be passed through, depends on the type of the sharpener. Sometimes, passing it only once is also enough.
3. Also, electric variants have the facility to sharpen serrated knives. They use a technique, wherein the knife moves in and out at the serrated setting.
4. The otherwise difficult-to-sharpen serrated knives are easily and correctly sharpened by this technique.
5. A sharp knife is ready for use.
So, if your knife's blade is dull, just follow the aforementioned tips. Do not test its sharpness with your fingers, use a paper instead. Though we hear about knives which never require sharpening, it is just a hype. 
The process of cutting produces friction and this causes the surface of the blade to lose its sharpness. The only difference is that some blades are made with a more durable material, which lets them last for longer without sharpening.