Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Knife Sharpening Frequency: A Guide to Staying Sharp

Rustic weathered knife on wooden cutting board with blood surrounding it at a fish market. 
Rustic weathered knife on wooden cutting board with blood surrounding it at a fish market. Click image to license. © Evan's Studio

How Often Should You sharpen Your Knives?

Keeping your knives sharp is important for the optimal cooking experience. But how do you know when to sharpen them? The frequency of sharpening can depend on how often you use the knives. The ones that you use most frequently may need to be sharpened every two weeks. On the other hand, knives that you use less frequently may only need to be sharpened a few times a year. In general, knives should be sharpened at least a few times a year. The answer can also depend on what type of knives you are using. For instance, a serrated blade needs to be sharpened less frequently than a straight one.

The Difference Between Sharpening and Honing

Honing is the process of realigning (or smoothing) the edge of the knife using a steel rod. The edge can become bent and misaligned after frequent usage. However, honing does not remove any material from the knife like sharpening does. Honing is recommended before every knife use. 

Sharpening removes material from the blade using a whetstone, a diamond stone, an electric sharpener or a manual one.

Signs That Your Knives Need Sharpening

  • The knife requires more force to cut through the food. 
  • The blade feels dull.
  • It squishes or slips off of food. 
  • It isn't sharp enough to cut paper.

How To Properly Hone Your Knives

Check out this video tutorial to watch how to properly hone your knives.