Kitchen knives should be sharpened regularly to maximize their functionality and effectiveness. Sharp knives will slice through ingredients quickly and safely, effectively reducing preparation time. Knives can be sharpened at home using a few basic tools. Read the article below to learn how to sharpen a kitchen knife.
Gather the necessary materials. You will need a double-sided (coarse and fine grit) synthetic sharpening stone. You will also need a sharpening steel, which is typically sold in the form of a lightly-grooved, magnetized iron rod. Both of these materials can be found at your local hardware store.
Sharpen the knife blade using the stone: Hold the knife with the fingers of one hand fanning across the length of the blade while placing it flat against, and perpendicular to, the coarse side of the sharpening stone. Raise the blade approximately 20 degrees off of the face of the stone, with the edge of the blade facing away from you. Grind the blade onto the stone in a counterclockwise motion, from tip to bolster. Use consistent pressure and grind until a burr forms on the underside of the blade. Flip the blade over so it faces toward you and repeat grinding in the same manner until the edge forms another burr.
Polish the edge of the blade using the fine grit side of the sharpening stone. Position the blade in the same manner as above. Grind the blade in a counterclockwise manner, alternating sides every 4 strokes.
Steel the blade to remove debris and irregularities that have formed as a result of grinding. Hold the steel perpendicular to your work surface, placing the metal edge on top of a cutting board for stability. Place the blade against the rod. The end of the blade closest to the knife’s handle should touch the top of the steel. The tip of the blade should point skyward and the blade itself should be angled approximately 20 degrees to the rod.
Move the blade against the steel in a downward, sweeping motion. Pull the knife toward you as it glides down the steel, positioning it so the blade’s middle touches the steel’s middle and the blade’s tip touches the bottom of the rod. Use gentle, consistent pressure. Then, turn the knife over and repeat. Eight to 10 alternate passes should effectively restore the knife’s edge.