How Do I Properly Sharpen A Knife?

Indisputably, sharp knives are much useful compared to dull knives. Thus, it is essential to maintain sharp knives to cut foods precisely and quickly.

Blunt knives can be harmful as they require individuals to exert more pressure when using them. As a result, they could slip and cause accidents.

On the flip side, sharp knives cut food precisely and accurately, thus fostering uniform cooking. So, what are the best techniques for sharpening knives?

How to Tell If Your Knife is Sharp Enough

Before sharpening your knife, you have to identify if your knife is blunt.

One method to do this is through a piece of paper. You can use a folded piece of paper from an old magazine or newspaper.

Alternatively, you can use a uniform printing paper. Once you have your piece of paper, try cutting the paper from its upper edge.

If it goes through the paper smoothly, your knife is sharp. If not, it’s time to sharpen your knife.

When to Use a Knife Sharpener

Suppose you have a relatively blunt knife, consider reshaping the edge using an electric knife sharpener.

Knife sharpeners eliminate a certain quantity of metal from the blade to make the knife sharp.

All about Electric Knife Sharpeners

These appliances are user-friendly and practical. They contain inbuilt sharpeners powered by electricity and rotate against the blade.

All you need to do is connect the device to an electric socket and switch it on. While doing this, ensure you hold the knife firmly but do not exert too much pressure on the sharpener.

Afterward, pass the blade gradually, softly and evenly against the sharpening device. Some of these devices restore heavily blunt knives using only 76 strokes.

Such advanced sharpeners can slim the blade by 5 degrees and makes your knife brand new! Nevertheless, knife sharpeners consist of various pros and cons, which include:


  • Kitchen sharpeners can restore severely damaged knives using aggressive slots.
  • The sharpener incorporates several slots that offer distinct levels of functionality to the blade.

Therefore, they cater to all types of blunt knives since homeowners can control the amount of sharpening.


  • It is not possible to use knife sharpeners to correct knives whose whole blade is blunt. Only a section of the blade gets inserted in the sharpening slot for a specific time.

Therefore, this could lead to unequal sharpness.

  • The devices are suitable if you have an unlimited budget, as they are quite costly.

 All about Manual Knife Sharpeners

Another way to restore blunt knives is by using a manual knife sharpener. Users of this device rotate the knife blade against the abrasives contained in non-motorized wheels.

Individuals do this by applying uniform pressure to the blade. Mostly, the devices come with a manual, so ensure you follow the respective guidelines.


  • Manual knife sharpeners have lengthy walls that grip the knife firmly hence allowing users to rotate the blade evenly.
  • The devices have ideal size, thus consuming minimum storage space.
  • Manual knife sharpeners are fast and effective in sharpening knives.
  • Suppose your knife has a full bolster, these devices can solve the problem effectively.
  • Unlike the electrical knife sharpeners, this device is less costly.


  • Unfortunately, manual knife sharpeners cannot restore extremely damaged knives.

All about Whetstones

One of the best ways to sharpen knives is by using a whetstone. Unlike other sharpening appliances, whetstones do not do erode too much of your blade’s metal.

Although slightly complex to use, once you know how to use them, you’ll not think of any other sharpening device.


  • Whetstones offer high versatility since the user can hold the knife at a certain angle to complement the blade. Thus, these devices can sharpen any kind of knives.
  • Like the manual knife sharpener, whetstones can restore knives with an entire bolster.
  • Based on their efficiency, they are relatively affordable.


  • The sharpening machine is not user-friendly. It can take you some time to know how to position the knife at the required angle.
  • It consumes more time to sharpen an extremely blunt blade.

How to Sharpen Serrated Knives

Use a Manual Knife Sharpener:

Presently, there are no knife sharpeners designed for serrated knives. Therefore, you can use a manual knife sharpener to restore serrated knives.

Electric knife sharpeners are not effective in sharpening such knives because their abrasives do not sharpen the edges of the serrations.

On the contrary, a manual knife sharpener can reach all sections of serrated knives, including the valleys.

But such types of knives do not require frequent sharpening as they encounter less friction on their edges.

How to Sharpen a Santoku Knife

Santoku knives have a broad spectrum of knife blades, and electrical kitchen sharpeners could eliminate their bluntness.

Electrical sharpeners can restore Santoku knives to their new state.

Degrees of Sharpness

There are various degrees of sharpness. But blades feel sharper when their angle is acute.

If you heard your manufacturer say that your knife has a 15-degree angle, they mean the narrow strip creating the blade has an angle of 15 degrees.

Knife Sharpening Kitchen Hack: Use a Coffee Mug

Suppose you have a blunt knife, and you lack a sharpener, coffee mugs could be useful. How do you use them?

Place the coffee mug in a downward position and use the lower unglazed section to restore a small blunt knife. Do not exert too much and too little pressure.

Make sure you slightly incline the knife at a 15-degree angle while holding it. Afterward, pull the knife back and forth to sharpen the whole blade across the ceramic surface.

How to Store Your Knives to Keep Them Sharp

There are various ways you can store your knives to prevent them from becoming blunt.

One of the places you should not store your knife is in the drawer since they can rub against each other and become dull.

Additionally, they could also harm you when you are not careful. Some of the safe places to store knives are in:

  • A Universal knife block.
  • A Magnetic knife strip.
  • A Knife guard.

Knife Sharpening Takeaways

In summary, blunt knives are ineffective and could lead to accidents in the kitchen. Thus, it is vital to restore blunt knives using sharpening machines or improvised solutions.

Above all, make sure your knives get sharpened frequently.

Remember that sharp knives promote safety and make your meal preparation process more manageable than dull knives.