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Best Way to Sharpen Kitchen Knives

I like to share information that makes life more joyful and meaningful. My main interests are health and general wellness in body and mind.


Kitchen Knives That Always Stay Sharp

If you have kitchen knives that always stay sharp, you definitely don’t bother to find the best way to sharpen kitchen knives. I don’t know whether you believe me or not. I do have two such knives that have stayed sharp for the last 40 years, without sharpening! Then I should not be bothered to find the best way to sharpen kitchen knives. Unfortunately I have other knives that need sharpening periodically. Actually to be truthful, one kitchen knife is good enough for me, but I have this fetish over knives! No, no, not sexually oriented, for I am not cutting anything off. God forbids! LOL!! I ended up with lots of kitchen knives and choppers for that matter! No wonder my life is in such a shamble. Do you know, there is this belief that knives are not for collection or for gifts. Why? You guess it right. Knives are sharp and pointed instruments. Psychologically, knives imply cutting and poking, cutting and poking into one’s well-being and every facet of one’s life, causing miseries and bad luck. So be forewarned, never give knives as gifts to anyone.

Ironically, the two knives I had for the past 40 years were gifts from someone as our wedding gift. That is why I can remember the year I received them. Come October 15, this year 2015, will be our 40th wedding anniversary! This person who gave us this gift definitely did it with love and nothing else. So bless her. The gift came in a set of two knives, one is the standard kitchen cutting knife, and the other is a bread knife which I find it awkward to use as it would slide to one side when I tried it on the bread. To prove that I am not simply bluffing here, please take a look at the photos below. Although the appearance of both knives are old, they are as sharp as they were 40 years ago! Read the brandname, “Henkels International Solingen Germany”. That said it all. Why can’t the Germans make everlasting cars? Or had they?

German Precision


The Knives That Stay Sharp Forever


Not All Kitchen Knives Are Made The Same

Not all kitchen knives are made the same. The price range is staggering. From the very cheapie ones to the designer chef’s masterpieces. But all have only one purpose; for cutting. And the only way to cut efficiently is to stay sharp. All my other knives needs sharpening except the one I described above. Oh yes, there is another kitchen knife for unknown reason that stays sharp eversince. Take a look at the photo below of the other one knife that stays sharp so far without sharpening. This one also comes in a set of many knives. All the others from the set need periodic sharpening except this one.

We do not usually spend lots of time sharpening knives. Sharpening knives should be on the bottom of the list in things to do in the kitchen. Nevertheless, we still need to sharp our kitchen knives periodically. The question is, how best do we sharpen our knives?

Another Of My "Forever Stay-Sharp" Kitchen Knife


The Traditional "Waterstone" Knife Sharpener


The Electric Knife Sharpener


How Best Do You Sharpen Your Knives

There are many types of knife sharpeners. They also come in different shapes and sizes with prices ranging from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. By the way, the so-called sharpening steel rod we see used by the butchers are actually not for sharpening their butcher knives. These steel rods are called by various names such as honing steel, sharpening steel, sharpening stick or rod, butcher's steel and chef's steel. The latest sharpening steel are now made of ceramics which are considered better than the traditional steel rod. The other improvement is the diamond-coated steel which proves to be most effective for the job. These sharpening steels are not exactly knife sharpeners but are gadgets to keep the cutting edge of the knife level, thus maintaining its sharpness. Any uneven edges will be smoothened or straightened by sliding the knife along the sharpening steel.

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Now let's take a look at three of the more common kitchen knife sharpeners:

1. The traditional knife sharpeners, especially in Asian countries are the sharpening stones, or "water" stones. The term "water" stone is used because in the process of sharpening the knife, water is added as a lubricant. These sharpening "water" stones are usually cheaper than the more modern kitchen knife sharpening gadgets, especially the electric ones. In years gone by, we only used this type of "water" stone to sharpen our knives. I still have one in my kitchen, but seldom use it now. Take a look at the photo on the right.

2. I think the current most popular kitchen knife sharpeners are the manual "roller-steel" kitchen knife sharpeners. You can either hold the gadget or place the gadget on a flat surface and slide your kitchen knife in between the slot contraption to sharpen. I am sure you know what I mean as you will definitely have used it. The effectiveness depends on the manufacturer's standard. I had a previous one that did not do a good job. Recently I bought another one from a different manufacturer, and this performs excellently. And it was not costly.

3. The electric kitchen knife sharpeners come in handy with minimum effort. Some come with diamond coated steel rollers. But then, why do you want to pay so much for a mere kitchen knife sharpener? However, there is no harm having one. If nothing else, an aesthetically designed electric kitchen knife sharpener will certainly enhance the image of your beautiful kitchen!

Where Do We Go From Here

Most probably, you may already have all the above three types of kitchen knife sharpeners. So enjoy yourself! For me, I don't intend to buy the electric one with the electric wire dangling around and having to search for a plug to plug in. I am happy with my manual kitchen knife sharpener for now.

Happy sharpening, all of you!

Oh yes! Please remember to thoroughly wash your knives after you have done the sharpening because there will be a bit of a very minute metal filings on the edge of the blades of the knives caused by the abrasive friction. You wouldn't want to eat those metal filings, would you?

Copyright © Justin Choo. All Rights Reserved.

Knife Skills - How to Sharpen a Knife With a Manual Sharpener


Lisa Bean from Virginia on December 24, 2018:

Sharpening knives is such a good idea! My husband got ours sharpened and it made such a difference.It was so much easier cook!

Cristiane on June 14, 2015:

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