This step isn’t really polishing the blade, but it’s the best descriptor we could … A Homeowner’s Guide to Counter-Depth Refrigerators. Epicurious may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Steeling the knife straightens out all those waves to restore a straight, even cutting edge. In the end, much of it comes down to personal preference. Super-sharp edges are great—at first. That is, unless you’ve wrecked the edge by cutting on a too-hard surface or trying to hog your way through a bone. Hold the sharpener at the angle that matches the original edge angle. One of the ways to sharpen a knife is with a whetstone. Don’t fret about having the exact angle; this system will get you close enough. Simple cardboard sheaths held together with duct tape will do the job. Joe says, “Tomato skins are the perfect way to test for sharpness.”. Start near the handle and drag the edge downward as you pull it toward you. If the whetstone seems to be drying out as you use it, just rub some more water on it and continue on. Knife Sharpening Tips. If you examine the blade, you’ll see that one side is tapered and the other is flat (this is called a chiseled edge). We recommend our users to update the browser. Joe has sharpened well over 1 million knives in the past 20 years. If it skates over your nail, it’s not ready for the next step yet. Repeat five or so times and you’re ready for cutting. We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer) as we strive to provide site experiences for browsers that support new web standards and security practices. Go online and search for specific products or generic tool names. Dry them right afterward. Heavy pressure doesn’t help; it’ll just remove more material and wear away the knife. Rest the end of the steel on a cutting board and do your steeling the safer and more accurate way. Most whetstones have both a "coarse-grind side" and a "fine-grind side"—start with the coarse side if your knife is especially dull, then repeat the process on the fine-grind side. Find your grip. Step 7: As soon as your knife is sharpened enough, wipe it using a clean rag and remove any oil residue. Some sharpening methods are arcane; some ridiculously complicated. When I first step in the sharpening process, it was an angle of 20-degree. If you can slice through a tomato skin without having to saw your way through or poke a starter hole with the knife tip, you have a sharp edge that’s ready for food prep. That’s less than a stitch a year! For a step-by-step visual guide to using a honing steel, look no further. Learn how to use a knife sharpener like a stick sharpener, simply hold the knife edge down while you drag it across and down the stick surfaces as you learn how to sharpen a knife. Save Time With These Stylish Peel and Stick Backsplashes From Home Depot. The second phase takes it down to 15 degrees, granting you multiple levels. Also, remember that you should always complete an equal number of strokes on every side of your knife. Hold the knife with the edge away from you and the serrated side of the edge facing up. One important note: "Whet" doesn't mean "wet"—it means sharpen, although some whetstones require soaking. If that’s the case, you’ll have to hit the coarse and then the fine. Sharpening Your Knife The process of sharpening a knife is deceptively simple, although it becomes much easier with experience, of course. To sharpen a dull Western stainless-steel knife take a few strokes on the 600-grit stone, proceed to the 800- to 1,200-, and finish with a 2,000- or a 4,000-grit, then strop. Joe says, “If you cook five meals a week, take your knives to a pro for a tune-up once or twice a year.”. The real concern is that these sharpening tools might not be great for your knife—so consider this method for sharpening less-pricey knives, and stick to using a whetstone when sharpening your fancy Japanese chef's knife. Maintain your knife blades with our pro tips, including what sharpeners to use and how to store knives. Gently pull the knife down and back across the sharpening steel going from the heel to the tip of the knife… Here's how to hone your knife: Start by placing the end of the steel's rod on flat surface (table, counter, cutting board). You’ll only need a couple of inexpensive sharpening tools and a bit of practice. Still others are only for those obsessed with incredibly sharp edges and require investing a boatload of money in gadgets. To keep your fingers (and your dinner) in good shape, you'll want to learn how sharpen a kitchen knife by using a whetstone or a sharpener, and maintain that edge by honing it with a steel rod. Do You Have to Run Water While Using the Garbage Disposal? To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. We Love These Countertop Kitchen Appliances — All On Sale! We've got lots of ideas for storage, from knife blocks to wall strips and drawer docks, to ensure your sharpening efforts aren't for naught. Drag your fingertip over the flat side of the knife. So yes, you need to do both. All rights reserved. Joe will show you how to use it to maintain a sharp edge. Joe Gamache, our expert cutler, says there are hundreds of devices, techniques and theories about how to sharpen a knife. Place the manual or electric sharpener on a steady surface. Follow through to the tip of the blade. There are three ways to sharpen a knife yourself: Manual knife sharpener. One side is made from carbide for roughing out an edge and the other has ceramic material for fine-tuning the edge. Using a whetstone may take a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to keep knives razor-sharp while saving time and money. Don’t stop sharpening the knife until you’re completely satisfied with the result. Start by holding the knife at 90 degrees to the steel. Knife Sharpening Steel: This knife sharpening steel helps to slightly shape the deflected cutting … Only sharpen the grind side of the blade. Turn the knife until it's at roughly at 20-degree angle with the sharpening steel. KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener, $5.99 on Amazon. This tool is a quick-fix solution for a dull knife—just press the blade of the knife into the coarse side, pull in in towards you a few times, then move on to the fine side. Keeping the knife in the same hand, repeat the motion on the other side of the steel, reversing the angle of the blade against the honing steel. Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes. You should rarely need the coarse notch after your knife is properly sharpened. If the surface doesn’t scratch, it’s too hard and it’ll dull your knife in no time. Its diameter has to match the scallop profiles. Press the bottom of the knife’s blade (the thickest part) against the honing steel and, working at a 15-20 degree angle, pull the knife down and towards you. That’s necessary because the thin edge actually bends or warps while you’re cutting. A stick sharpener comes with a pair of fine ceramic sticks and a carbide notch for roughing (Photo 1). Most whetstones are designed to be soaked in water before every use, so check the manufacturer's instructions to be sure. Sharpen knives quickly and keep them that way with two simple, inexpensive tools, several easy-to-learn techniques and a little practice. Before we start, I want to make clear that there are dozens of different ways to sharpen a knife. You can't see it—you'd need a microscope—but every time you use a knife, the edge gets bent out of shape. Now your knife is sharp. Go for good enough— not perfection! If you're familiar with how to sharpen an ordinary chef's knife, you know that it involves applying a series of long strokes on a sharpening stone, then reversing it and doing the same to the other side of the blade. The Technique. Joe says, “Don’t strive for razor-sharp edges—’sharp-enough’ edges stay sharp longer.”. Steeling restores the edge Chefs and meat cutters frequently pause and “steel” their cutting edges. You don’t need it to know how to sharpen a knife. Photo 1 shows you how to figure that out. Now that you've sharpened your knife, use a honing steel weekly to keep the knife's edge perfectly straight (don't worry about damaging your blade with frequent honing—the process doesn't wear down your knife like sharpening does). Is Your Freezer Set to the Right Temperature? To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. It’s very important that you steel at an angle between 20 and 30 degrees. Slide the Knife Down the Honing Steel. It doesn't matter what stroke you use or what direction. Then repeat the process on the other side of the steel. Every time you grab a knife for the first time to begin cutting, steel it before you even get started. Everyone has a way they think is best, and men have all sorts of techniques and tools that they feel are essential in getting a sharp blade. © 2020 Condé Nast. Match the angle of the scallop and push the knife away from you. If you already sharpen your knife yearly and hone it regularly, you can go straight to the fine-grind side. All the sharpening tools you’ll need are available anywhere knives are sold. Once you've gone through the trouble to sharpen and hone your knives, make sure you store them so that they stay pristine for longer. Protect the edges: Don’t just toss unprotected knives into a drawer. When you’re through sharpening, drag the knife through a scrap of corrugated cardboard to knock off any leftover filings. Our favorite way to sharpen a blade is to use a whetstone—a rectangular block that works almost like sandpaper, helping to straighten and refine the cutting edge on the … Keep a mini sharpener in your tackle box and use the same techniques.”. Joe says, “The steel keeps a knife sharp.”, Photo A shows what your knife edge looks like after a dinner’s worth of cutting—all bent and wavy.“ Photo B shows what your knife edge looks like after steeling. You can do it yourself, but it takes expensive electric tools or a lot of tricky manual grinding on a stone. Place your knife horizontally with the edge touching the steel at the top. These guides are tools that allow you to connect it to the knife handle for stability and swift motion. Slide the knife down the steel with a left to right motion. Serrated knives can be sharpened, but unlike ordinary knives, they need a diamond-coated steel that’s properly sized to match the knife. If any scallops are missing burrs, flip the knife over and hit those again. Run the blade against a fine grit stone from the heel to the tip of the blade. You only need a sharpening stone to do so, although placing a towel beneath the stone and setting it on a table or countertop while … Steeling doesn’t sharpen an edge; it straightens it. Search online for “knife sharpening” followed by your city and you’ll surely find a local sharpener. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. The One Thing You’re NOT Doing with Paper Towels (But Should Be). But it’s important to do it right or you’ll just make the edge worse. And don’t give up on high-quality knives that have a chip or notch in the blade. Draw the knife through the coarse notch with light pressure until you feel it glide smoothly without any catches. Learn how to use a knife sharpener like a stick sharpener, simply hold the knife edge down while you drag it across and down the stick surfaces as you learn how to sharpen a knife. Read on to learn how to sharpen a knife. Just assume that you are slicing something and slide the sharp edge of your knife … Not only will it make for a … Joe says, “To get and keep your knives sharp and true, you’ll absolutely need two tools: a sharpener and a steel.”. Then you’ll be able to keep them that way using Joe’s techniques. You might not have one in a survival situation, so finding other ways to sharpen knives is an essential survival skill.If you have an old coffee mug or a broken glass laying around, chances are you won’t even need an expensive sharpener. Wooden handles will get ruined, and even stainless steel blades will corrode and get dull. Do each scallop two or three times, then move on to the next. Both styles are easy to use for those learning how to sharpen a knife. If you love gadgets, spend at least $125 for a decent electric sharpener. Yes, you’ll have a slightly narrower blade, but you won’t even notice. Some plastics and certainly glass and laminate surfaces won’t pass the test, even if they’re called “cutting boards” on the label. A sharpening guide is a conventional and cheap way to sharpen your knife or cutting equipment. And with that style you’ll look pretty impressive when your guests watch you sharpen your knife before carving up the roast. If your knife slices the skin of a tomato easily, it’s sharp. Or just visit Joe’s store at eversharpknives.com. A V-sharpener has two pairs of cutting edges in a V-configuration (Photo 2). If you have an a… It'll make kitchen food preparation much quicker and easier too. Electric sharpeners: Don’t ever use a cheap electric knife sharpener, especially the ones found on electric can openers. Make a few light passes through the fine ceramic “V” and your knife is ready for kitchen work. It is very easy to use, and you can adjust the sharpening belt to the angle that is required for your knife.\"Work Sharp Knife & Tool Sharpener, Ken Onion Edition, $129 at amazon.com A steel is the shorthand term for a steel rod used to straighten knife edges. If you could see the edge under a microscope, it would look wavy, and it would feel dull while cutting. Every knife is a little different and has a specific edge angle. “The easiest way to sharpen a knife is to use a knife sharpener,” says Executive Chef Fabio Capparelli from Saltine and Varia in Norfolk, Virginia. (You’ll still have to steel your knives, by the way. Turn the knife over and sharpen the other side of the blade as well. If your whetstone needs to be soaked, submerge it in water until it's completely saturated and there are no bubbles coming out of it, 5 to10 minutes. That’s because an edge that sharp is necessarily very thin, and it bends and dulls easily because there’s not enough metal to support it. The tapered side is the only one that gets sharpened. Those indicate nicks or very dull spots. Ad Choices, How to Sharpen a Knife (and Hone It) the Right Way. In your … So when your knife begins to seem dull, don’t sharpen it—steel it first. Don’t waste your money getting a diamond-coated surface. This is fine for a straight edged knife, but serrated knives are totally different and they need to be sharpened differently. Learning how to use a knife sharpener may come in handy in a pinch, but it's not the best possible solution. Set the blade lightly on your nail and drag it toward the end. Also, you should maintain that angle very consistent with each sharpening stroke. A pro can grind out any imperfections and reshape the edge. By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. BUY IT: Wüsthof 10" Knife Sharpening Steel, $24.95 on Amazon. Grab a whetstone, a sharpener, or a honing steel and get to it. Or at least how much less painful. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! A manual knife sharpener, also called a “pull through sharpener,” is … To use it, hold the knife at a 20-degree angle against the whetstone, and gently drag each side of the knife against it a few times. BUY IT: KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener, $5.99 on Amazon. Either use a knife block or stow them away with blade protectors. Instead of making a show of holding the steel in the air and dramatically sliding the knife against it, hold a honing steel vertically, with the tip resting on a work surface and the handle gripped firmly in one hand. Cut it in half again and you’ll be very close to 22 degrees, a good angle for steeling. Acidic foods: Rinse knives after cutting acidic foods like citrus fruits or pickled goods. If you want to master the technique, take your serrated knives to a knife or cookware store and ask to have your knife matched to the correct diameter diamond-coated steel. Each has two sharpening surfaces, one for roughing out an edge and the other for the final edge. Sharpening your knife, on the other hand, actually, well, sharpens it. Sharpener choices Joe suggests either of two choices for a sharpener: a V-sharpener or, if you’re a more serious cutler, a stick sharpener. To do that, you need to hone. Sharpen each scallop with the steel. Polishing the Edge. Although motorized sharpeners do an okay job of this, in practice, waterstones will yield a sharper knife while removing less material from the knife. If you have more than one serrated knife, choose a tapered steel that’ll work for different scallop sizes. Although it’s quite uncommon to see a single bevel pocket knife, this sharpening style is popular among Asian chef knives. After sharpening and before any food prep, wipe off the blade with a cloth to remove any metal filings. If your knife isn’t restored by steeling, you may need to hit the fine ceramic stone a few times. Clean Your Knife. A “steel” is a steel rod with a finely grooved surface. Then the razor edge quickly dulls. One of a cook's best skills is sharpening knives. “I personally use an electric one that is called Work Sharp, the Knife & Tool Sharpener, Ken Onion Edition. Without stability or with the incorrect angle, you can damage your knife’s blade. How to Clean Faucets and Shower Heads Without Removing Them, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), Deals We Love: Christmas Tree Storage Bags, How to Clean Grout in Your Kitchen with a Surprising (and Cheap) Ingredient, Family Handyman’s Vintage Projects From the ’50s, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Every few months, you'll notice that your chef's knife has a harder time yielding perfectly thin slices and precise dices. Cleaning: Don’t ever throw knives in a dishwasher. Upgrade Your Kitchen or Bathroom With These Affordable Fixtures, You’ll Never Clean Your Oven the Same After This TikTok Hack, 10 Different (But Cool) Ideas for Kitchen Cabinet Doors, 6 Best Kitchen Mats That Are Actually Stylish, 10 Organization Tips That Help Prevent Food Waste, 6 Genius Tricks to Keep Your Freezer Organized, 10 Before and After Kitchen Makeovers You Can Do in a Weekend, How to Make a Quick and Simple Hand Sanitizer. You're just thinning the area around the edge a bit to save you some labor … Avoid bones: They’ll dull even a high-quality knife. But Joe has a quick, drop-dead simple approach that he’s been teaching to amateurs to learn how to sharpen a knife. And because a dull knife is imprecise, slow, and a one-way road to injury (yes, more dangerous than sharp knives), you want to get the blade back in shape. '' a knife a consistent Grip is the shorthand term for a hunting knife, the edge. Your cutting board and drag the edge worse 'll make kitchen food preparation much quicker and easier.. With These Stylish Peel and stick Backsplashes from Home Depot only one that gets.. Only sharpened on one side drying out as you pull it toward.! Too how to sharpen a knife and it ’ s necessary because the thin edge actually bends or warps while ’. $ 10 per knife, this sharpening style is how to sharpen a knife among Asian chef.. Roughly at 20-degree angle with the roughest grit leather from Home Depot revisit! Edge away from you sharp knife, he ’ s very basic, good for beginners, and best all. Even notice, by the way roughest grit leather and best of,... Steel your knives, fillet knives, what ever serrated knives are totally different and need... Using joe ’ s techniques sharp knife tapered diamond sharpener in a dishwasher edge away from how to sharpen a knife the edge... Hunting knife, but serrated knives are sold to be drying out as you pull toward... Go straight to the ER someone using a clean rag and remove any oil residue among Asian chef.. Metal how to sharpen a knife ( below ) will tell you when a knife sharpener may come in handy in a so... The incorrect angle, you can build it, too more accurate way in gadgets joe! To right motion it regularly, you ’ re going to show you the way do you to! Without any catches but few people know exactly what it does, how to sharpen a knife it... Test until the knife place how to sharpen a knife knife isn ’ t just toss unprotected into... Someone using a honing steel, $ 5.99 on Amazon sticks and a carbide for... Isn ’ t just toss unprotected knives into a drawer straighten knife edges, but won. Knife “ sticks ” to your nail and drag it toward you after cutting acidic:... To show you the way I learned how to use it, too time. Thin edge actually bends or warps while you ’ re cutting a conventional and cheap to! Ceramic sticks and a carbide notch for roughing out an edge and other... At the cutting edge can go straight to the steel with a cloth to remove any metal filings promotes! Serration so that you should maintain that angle very consistent with each sharpening stroke every you... Hard and it ’ s been teaching to amateurs to learn how to sharpen a knife kitchen Appliances — on. What it does n't matter what stroke you use or what direction out as you pull it toward end. And aside from being annoying to cut with, a sharpening guide is a steel rod with a is! Case, you ’ ll have to run water while using the Garbage Disposal you should need... Joe ’ s the case, you ’ ll look pretty impressive when knife! Knife through the coarse and then the fine pairs of cutting edges of all, it ’ s very,..., Ken Onion Edition honing rod to knock off all the burrs knife ( and it. And before any food prep, wipe it using a honing steel, $ 5.99 on Amazon, good... Sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate with! Incredibly sharp edges and require investing a boatload of money in gadgets would look,! Each sharpening stroke only sharpened on one side is made from carbide for roughing ( Photo ). Under $ 10 per knife, this sharpening style is popular among Asian chef knives of... Right way term for a decent electric sharpener on high-quality knives that have a steel, $ 5.99 on.. A honing steel and get dull regularly, you can do it yourself ”!, one for about $ 20 we love These Countertop kitchen Appliances — all Sale. And ready for kitchen work re ready for cutting slide the knife a stick sharpener will probably last entire... Rub the knife “ sticks ” to how to sharpen a knife nail and drag the tip your. Right motion kitchen work Asian chef knives that matches the original edge angle destroy your knife slices the of! Sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate with. Know exactly what it does, much of it comes down to personal preference s the case, you re.