What's The Most Efficient Way To Sharpen Your Kitchen Knives?

Home & Garden Blog

What's the best way to sharpen a knife? It really depends on the knife, as well as how much work you want to put into sharpening it. So what's the best knife sharpening system for your needs? 

Different Needs

Different knives have different sharpening needs. Thinner blades respond better to a sharpening stone (and more about that shortly), but thicker blades can easily be sharpened using a pull-through tool. These pull-through sharpeners are widely available and aren't especially expensive.

A Pull-Through Solution

Pull-through sharpeners can be handheld or can sit on your kitchen counter. They feature two angled, open steels. You place the blade in the center point between the two rotating steels and gently pull it towards you, from handle to tip. These sharpeners actually place numerous tiny (invisible) serrations into the blade, which gives it multiple additional sharp points on its blade, increasing its ability to slice through the food in question. These tiny serrations won't damage thicker blades, but thinner blades will need a smooth sharpening—and for that, you'll need a stone.

Stone Grits

Sharpening stones take a bit of getting used to, and you should be cautious while you're getting used to it. It's unlikely that the blade will move in an unexpected way, but take care to avoid accidents. You can buy a water stone from any kitchen supply store or hardware store. They're available in varying grit counts. The higher the grit count, the more polished the blade will be after sharpening. This ultra-fine grit level is generally not necessary for the average kitchen knife unless it's a professional quality, ultra-thin blade (so basically, you'll only need an ultra-fine grit level for an ultra-fine blade).

Using a Sharpening Stone

There are different ways to use a sharpening stone, but the basic principles are the same. Some people prefer to soak their water stone before using it, but this might seem like too much time and effort, and most stones are perfectly effective with just a small amount of water splashed on their surface. Just angle the blade on the stone and pull it towards yourself from the handle to the tip. Don't pull too quickly, since that's a good way for the knife to slip. There can be some trial and error before you can master using the stone in a smooth motion. 

Depending on the knives in your kitchen, chances are that the best sharpening system will involve both a pull-through sharpener and a sharpening stone. The difference will be noticeable, and once your knives are sharpened, you'll never be able to prepare food using a blunt knife again.


3 January 2023