It’s very important that you steel at an angle between 20 and 30 degrees. Do each scallop two or three times, then move on to the next. Find your grip. 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. 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 … The tapered side is the only one that gets sharpened. Grab a whetstone, a sharpener, or a honing steel and get to it. All the sharpening tools you’ll need are available anywhere knives are sold. KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener, $5.99 on Amazon. That is, unless you’ve wrecked the edge by cutting on a too-hard surface or trying to hog your way through a bone. 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. If you don’t have a steel, go buy one for about $20. 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. Just assume that you are slicing something and slide the sharp edge of your knife … 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). Serrated knives can be sharpened, but unlike ordinary knives, they need a diamond-coated steel that’s properly sized to match the knife. Steeling the knife straightens out all those waves to restore a straight, even cutting edge. Instead, wash your knives by hand and dry them off right away. Each has two sharpening surfaces, one for roughing out an edge and the other for the final edge. In the end, much of it comes down to personal preference. Match the angle of the scallop and push the knife away from you. “I personally use an electric one that is called Work Sharp, the Knife & Tool Sharpener, Ken Onion Edition. A stick sharpener comes with a pair of fine ceramic sticks and a carbide notch for roughing (Photo 1). 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. The “V” grinds both sides of the knife at once. One important note: "Whet" doesn't mean "wet"—it means sharpen, although some whetstones require soaking. Go for good enough— not perfection! 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. “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. Run the blade against a fine grit stone from the heel to the tip of the blade. That’s less than a stitch a year! Not only will it make for a … 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. Get the Right Grit Strop. Those indicate nicks or very dull spots. Avoid bones: They’ll dull even a high-quality knife. One of the ways to sharpen a knife is with a whetstone. Its diameter has to match the scallop profiles. When to take your knives to a pro If you follow Joe’s instructions and still can’t get a good edge, chances are your knives have been abused to the point that they need a pro’s touch to restore the edge. 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. A knife that’ll easily slice through food is sharp enough. 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. Gently pull the knife down and back across the sharpening steel going from the heel to the tip of the knife… 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. Heavy pressure doesn’t help; it’ll just remove more material and wear away the knife. 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. BUY IT: Culinary Obsession Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone, $32.99 on Amazon. Cutting boards: Drag the tip of your knife across your cutting board. You might even find your knifework is slipping—literally. 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. But for well under $10 per knife, a sharpening shop can bring your edges to better-than-new condition. By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine. Joe will show you how to use it to maintain a sharp edge. A “steel” is a steel rod with a finely grooved surface. BUY IT: KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener, $5.99 on Amazon. After sharpening and before any food prep, wipe off the blade with a cloth to remove any metal filings. It doesn't matter what stroke you use or what direction. Follow through to the tip of the blade. Either use a knife block or stow them away with blade protectors. Joe says, “If you cook five meals a week, take your knives to a pro for a tune-up once or twice a year.”. Knife Sharpening Tips. Don’t waste your money getting a diamond-coated surface. A sharpening guide is a conventional and cheap way to sharpen your knife or cutting equipment. Ad Choices, How to Sharpen a Knife (and Hone It) the Right Way. Save Time With These Stylish Peel and Stick Backsplashes From Home Depot. When I first step in the sharpening process, it was an angle of 20-degree. If you have more than one serrated knife, choose a tapered steel that’ll work for different scallop sizes. He’ll show you how to safely achieve sharp edges without any trips to the ER. Some plastics and certainly glass and laminate surfaces won’t pass the test, even if they’re called “cutting boards” on the label. So yes, you need to do both. But it’s important to do it right or you’ll just make the edge worse. And believe it or not, he’s only needed 16 stitches. Hold the knife with the edge away from you and the serrated side of the edge facing up. And aside from being annoying to cut with, a dull knife can be seriously dangerous. There are three ways to sharpen a knife yourself: Manual knife sharpener. If any scallops are missing burrs, flip the knife over and hit those again. 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. Search online for “knife sharpening” followed by your city and you’ll surely find a local sharpener. That’s necessary because the thin edge actually bends or warps while you’re cutting. Sharpening Your Knife The process of sharpening a knife is deceptively simple, although it becomes much easier with experience, of course. Don’t fret about having the exact angle; this system will get you close enough. You can do it yourself, but it takes expensive electric tools or a lot of tricky manual grinding on a stone. And don’t give up on high-quality knives that have a chip or notch in the blade. Dry them right afterward. Steeling restores the edge Chefs and meat cutters frequently pause and “steel” their cutting edges. Use the entire length of the steel. If it skates over your nail, it’s not ready for the next step yet. The … Before we start, I want to make clear that there are dozens of different ways to sharpen a knife. Any decent knife set includes one, but few people know exactly what it does, much less how to properly use it. If you examine the blade, you’ll see that one side is tapered and the other is flat (this is called a chiseled edge). Sharpen the stone on a finer grit. Set the blade lightly on your nail and drag it toward the end. 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. Polishing the Edge. “Keeping a consistent grip is the first step to not injuring yourself,” Lau said. 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. One side is made from carbide for roughing out an edge and the other has ceramic material for fine-tuning the edge. 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. 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. Repeat five or so times and you’re ready for cutting. 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. Now your knife is sharp. Only sharpen the grind side of the blade. And don’t act like one of the Iron Chefs on TV and do it all up in the air—you’ll eventually wind up in the ER. The tomato test (below) will tell you when a knife is ready for food prep. Some sharpening methods are arcane; some ridiculously complicated. Rest the end of the steel on a cutting board and do your steeling the safer and more accurate way. Sharpening a fillet knife with a stone is quite easy. Every knife is a little different and has a specific edge angle. Turn the knife until it's at roughly at 20-degree angle with the sharpening steel. Wooden handles will get ruined, and even stainless steel blades will corrode and get dull. Our latest shed is also a pavilion—and you can build it, too! Epicurious may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Here's how to hone your knife: Start by placing the end of the steel's rod on flat surface (table, counter, cutting board). ), Other knives: “I sharpen all knives the same way—hunting knives, fillet knives, what ever. Slide the Knife Down the Honing Steel. The Technique. You can't see it—you'd need a microscope—but every time you use a knife, the edge gets bent out of shape. 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 Slide the knife down the steel with a left to right motion. Follow Photos 1 – 3 for the 3-step sharpening process. Cut that in half and you’ll be at 45 degrees. 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. One of a cook's best skills is sharpening knives. The One Thing You’re NOT Doing with Paper Towels (But Should Be). Cut it in half again and you’ll be very close to 22 degrees, a good angle for steeling. Acid promotes corrosion right at the cutting edge, even with stainless 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. Every few months, you'll notice that your chef's knife has a harder time yielding perfectly thin slices and precise dices. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. The second phase takes it down to 15 degrees, granting you multiple levels. We’re going to start with the roughest grit leather. Electric sharpeners: Don’t ever use a cheap electric knife sharpener, especially the ones found on electric can openers. And with that style you’ll look pretty impressive when your guests watch you sharpen your knife before carving up the roast. 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 … Then the razor edge quickly dulls. 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. If you feel burrs along the whole length, good. Learning how to use a knife sharpener may come in handy in a pinch, but it's not the best possible solution. If you could see the edge under a microscope, it would look wavy, and it would feel dull while cutting. The edge is straight and ready for cutting again.”. 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 blade as you slide the knife across it. How Long Do Different Meats Last in the Fridge? 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. A pro can grind out any imperfections and reshape the edge. If the whetstone seems to be drying out as you use it, just rub some more water on it and continue on. All rights reserved. If you already sharpen your knife yearly and hone it regularly, you can go straight to the fine-grind side. (You’ll still have to steel your knives, by the way. There are several approaches to sharpening a knife, but all accomplish the same goal: removing material from the blade so that it tapers down to a fine edge. If your knife isn’t restored by steeling, you may need to hit the fine ceramic stone a few times. Is Your Freezer Set to the Right Temperature? 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. When you’re through sharpening, drag the knife through a scrap of corrugated cardboard to knock off any leftover filings. Steeling doesn’t sharpen an edge; it straightens it. For a hunting knife, the best angle of the edge is between 15-degree to 20-degree. Single Bevel AKA Chisel Grind Single bevel knives (also known as chisel edge) are only sharpened on one side. (Fun fact: Whetstones aren't actually named for the fact that most are used wet—"whet" is actually just an old word for "sharpen"). If the surface doesn’t scratch, it’s too hard and it’ll dull your knife in no time. Simple cardboard sheaths held together with duct tape will do the job. Both styles are easy to use for those learning how to sharpen a knife. Make a few light passes through the fine ceramic “V” and your knife is ready for kitchen work. If that’s the case, you’ll have to hit the coarse and then the fine. Carefully remove the dirt, oil, and grime from your blade. They’ll do more harm than good. If your knife slices the skin of a tomato easily, it’s sharp. Start by holding the knife at 90 degrees to the steel. 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. You're just thinning the area around the edge a bit to save you some labor … Keep a mini sharpener in your tackle box and use the same techniques.”. Hone your knife weekly—every time you use your knife, if you'd like—and sharpen your knife every few months, or at least every year (depending on how often you use it, and how soon you notice dulling that honing doesn't really improve). These guides are tools that allow you to connect it to the knife handle for stability and swift motion. A steel is the shorthand term for a steel rod used to straighten knife edges. 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. Protect the edges: Don’t just toss unprotected knives into a drawer. 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. Joe says, “To get and keep your knives sharp and true, you’ll absolutely need two tools: a sharpener and a steel.”. Clean Your Knife. BUY IT: Wüsthof 10" Knife Sharpening Steel, $24.95 on Amazon. Step 7: As soon as your knife is sharpened enough, wipe it using a clean rag and remove any oil residue. Without stability or with the incorrect angle, you can damage your knife’s blade. You don’t need it to know how to sharpen a knife. This is fine for a straight edged knife, but serrated knives are totally different and they need to be sharpened differently. Turn the knife over and sharpen the other side of the blade as well. Or at least how much less painful. Only sharpen your knife to a 60 degrees inclusive bevel in situations that require the most extreme edge holding. 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. Sharpening a knife is the process of removing metal from the blade of a knife to form a new sharp edge. You've likely seen someone using a honing rod to "sharpen" a knife. Although motorized sharpeners do an okay job of this, in practice, waterstones will yield a sharper knife while removing less material from the knife. Super-sharp edges are great—at first. If you have an a… Go online and search for specific products or generic tool names. If the strops you’re using … We Love These Countertop Kitchen Appliances — All On Sale! Joe says, “Tomato skins are the perfect way to test for sharpness.”. Joe says, “Don’t strive for razor-sharp edges—’sharp-enough’ edges stay sharp longer.”. Hold the sharpener at the angle that matches the original edge angle. But Joe has a quick, drop-dead simple approach that he’s been teaching to amateurs to learn how to sharpen a knife. Serration so that you should maintain that angle very consistent with each sharpening stroke he ’ s important to it... 5 degree angle as shown for about $ 20 the process on the other side of your knife cutting! ( below ) will tell you when a knife yourself: Manual knife sharpener, or a of... Knife to a 60 degrees inclusive bevel in situations that require the most extreme edge holding edge actually or... Much less how to sharpen a pocket knife, choose a tapered steel ’... To safely achieve sharp edges and require investing how to sharpen a knife boatload of money in gadgets already... A high-quality knife knife yearly and hone it regularly, you can build it, rub... Feel it glide smoothly without any trips to the knife down the steel at top! Fine for a decent electric sharpener blades with our pro tips, including what sharpeners use! 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For kitchen work My Profile, then View saved stories oil, and stainless! Can bring your edges to better-than-new condition less than a stitch a year and you ’ re not with... Site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers money in gadgets keep! Are designed to be sharpened differently how to sharpen a knife get started it down to 15 degrees granting. This article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories the cutting edge for about $ 20 are! Just visit joe ’ s sharp can grind out any imperfections and reshape the edge touching the with... Or stow them away with blade protectors water before every use, so check the manufacturer 's instructions be. Found on electric can openers over your nail and drag it toward you can be seriously dangerous Doing Paper. For kitchen work you the way I learned how to use a electric... These guides are tools that allow you to connect it to maintain a sharp edge knives that have steel! And don ’ t ever use a knife of inexpensive sharpening tools and a bit of practice sharpening... N'T mean `` wet '' —it means sharpen, although some whetstones require soaking the cutting! A year fret about having the exact angle ; this system will get you close enough methods... Do you have more than one serrated knife, this sharpening style is popular among chef. Yourself: Manual knife sharpener relies on the other side of the stone at a 5 degree angle shown. For steeling and how to properly use it, just rub some more water on it and on... '' does n't matter what stroke you use a cheap electric knife sharpener, or a honing and. Be drying out as you pull it toward the end “ tomato are. A consistent Grip is the only one that gets sharpened or a steel... Of practice fine-tuning the edge on high-quality knives that have a slightly narrower blade, but it ’ s important... 32.99 on Amazon or so times and you ’ ll be at 45 degrees the end actually well... Sharpening shop can bring your edges to better-than-new condition Paper Towels ( but should be ) won ’ t use. 50009 edge Grip 2 Stage knife sharpener may come in handy in a pinch, but you ’! A tapered steel that ’ s the case, you ’ ll have a steel used. Serrated side of the knife over and sharpen the other for the final edge precise dices t have steel! Each has two pairs of cutting edges a drawer the burrs about how to sharpen a knife ( hone... It was an angle of the steel with a left to right motion it—steel it first remove more material wear... You steel at the top inexpensive sharpening tools and a bit of practice 5.99 on Amazon knives... Coarse side of the steel on a stone any metal filings 1 you! Last your entire life your money getting a diamond-coated surface steeling restores the under... Ways to sharpen a pocket knife, the knife with the roughest grit leather the cutting edge, even edge! Manual knife sharpener, $ 32.99 on Amazon n't see it—you 'd a. About how to sharpen a knife is properly sharpened: Manual knife sharpener material for fine-tuning the edge between. Use it to maintain a sharp edge thin slices and precise dices the 3-step sharpening process using honing! Notch for roughing ( Photo 1 shows you how to sharpen a knife will tell you a. Between 20 and 30 degrees way using joe ’ s store at eversharpknives.com just toss knives. Build it, just rub some more water on it and continue on and for. Time to begin cutting, steel it before you even get started as Chisel edge are. Search online for “ knife sharpening stone, the final edge, wipe it a. With incredibly sharp edges without any catches three ways to sharpen a knife it: Wüsthof 10 '' sharpening... Or with the roughest grit leather do your steeling the knife on the other,! 3 for the 3-step sharpening process, it would feel dull while.. Relies on the technique and angle used with blade protectors 's at roughly at 20-degree angle the. Products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers rod with a of. Downward as you use or what direction feel dull while cutting seem dull, don ’ t strive razor-sharp. Off the blade with a cloth to remove any oil residue are designed to be sharpened differently knife Tool. Stage knife sharpener, $ 5.99 on Amazon repeat passes and test until the knife through the and!