Not only is a sharp kitchen knife easier to work with, it is safer to use. A sharp knife does not require you to push as hard through the food, making preparation much easier. Also, if a sharp knife cuts the hand, the gash will be cleaner and more shallow than if a dull knife was used. Here is how to sharpen kitchen knives to save time and effort during food preparation. You’ll be cutting through those vegetables with the ease of cutting through butter!
You will need:
- Knives to be sharpened
- 200, 600, and 1200-grit Knife-sharpening stones or a leather strop (used for sharpening razor blades featuring a single edge)
- Dish soap
- Honing oil (if desired)
- Safety gloves
Step 1: Carefully examine each knife, checking it for use-related damage like nicks and wear on the cutting edge. Damaged areas must be smoothed during the sharpening process.
Step 2: Begin with the first very dull or damaged knife and the 200-grit sharpening stone. If care instructions were provided with the knife, they should inform you at which angle the knife blade should be held against the stone. If no guidance is provided, be aware that a sharper angle is present on a paring knife than a chopping knife. Determine the proper angle using the compass.
Step 3: Put on safety gloves. Prepare the knife by wetting it with water or honing oil. Begin by drawing the knife against the stone a few times, holding it at the correct angle. Inspect the knife and continue applying the knife to the stone until any knife damage is smoothed and the knife appears sharper.
Step 4: Continue sharpening the knife at the proper angle, using the 600-grit stone. Do this until the knife edge is sharp and smooth. Any small scratches added to the blade by the 200-grit stone should be removed with the higher grit stone.
Step 5: If the knife must be extra sharp, use the leather strop or 1200-grit stone to provide a final sharpening. Keep the angle the same as when the other stones were used.
Step 6: Wash the knife with soap and water, dry it with a towel, and put it away in its container or drawer.