sharpen dull knives

How to Sharpen Dull Knives: 4 Infallible, Safe Ways

The Sharpening Stone is a traditional and very efficient method, but there are also other options for you to keep your knives sharp.
Knives are key instruments in any kitchen in the world! And it does not matter if the person is a housewife who cooks daily for the family or a renowned chef working in a large restaurant, it is important that the knife is always sharp, so that it can be used efficiently.
kitchen knife
A blunt knife forces you to use more force to cut, being more dangerous than a properly sharpened knife.

Sharpening a blade can be a simple act that anyone can do, for example, at the edge of the sink, or a more complex art that requires a lot of knowledge and years of practice. It all depends, basically, on the expected result and, a little, on the value of the instrument being sharpened.

It is somewhat subjective to talk about knife grinding, as each professional uses a different type of knife. To cut sushi, for example, thinner knife knives are used than knives used to cut prime meats, which require thicker blades. Each knife has a different grinding function.

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But in spite of the particularities of each knife, below you know some of the best known ways to sharpen these instruments.

1. How to sharpen a knife on stone

sharpening stone

  • First, it is necessary to wet the stone for about five minutes. One suggestion is to leave it in a container with water.
  • Then, it is worth noting that the stone has two sides: one more porous and one flatter. Those who sharpen knives regularly can usually use only the thinnest side of the stone (less porous).
  • Slide the knife across the stone. This with her at an angle of approximately 30 degrees.
  • It’s like cutting the stone very thin, all along it.

2. How to sharpen a knife on the grinding wheel

The grinding wheel is a stone wheel turned by a motor. The piece is fixed on a bench. This is a method that requires greater care.grinding wheel

  • Pour lubricating oil into the blade of the machine as it will help protect the blade while it is sharpened.
  • Turn on the grinder by holding the knife at a 45-degree angle on it.
  • Move the knife through the grinder, from the base to the point, carefully.
  • Repeat this process three or four times.
  • Turn the knife over and repeat the process to sharpen the other side.

Sharpening knives with a grinding wheel requires greater skill due to the risk of injury. I suggest not using this technique if you do not have complete control of the equipment and the act.

3. How to sharpen with a sharpening iron (honing iron)

Sharpening Steel

Sharpening Steel (honing iron)

  • Hold the sharpening iron with the tip down.
  • Slide the knife through the entire length of the sharpening iron at an angle of about 20 degrees, making movements from the outside in, always being careful not to get hurt.
  • Repeat the same movement and number of movements on both sides of the knife.
  • The idea is the illusion of taking a very thin slice of the sharpening iron.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the particular type of kitchen tool you see above on the right is the belief that it’s a knife sharpener. It doesn’t help that many manufacturers sell their honing steels as such. But a honing steel is not a sharpener. Ridged, rod-like honing steels, or “stropping irons,” as they’re sometimes called, do not sharpen blades; they realign them.

The term sharpening steel traditionally refers to a metal rod about the length of your forearm you can stroke your kitchen knives with to bring back their sharpness. Notice I say, “bring back”, not simply “sharpen” because, traditionally, a honing steel functions differently than a sharpener. A steel simply realigns the edge of a knife blade while a sharpener grinds off metal to create a new edge. They both achieve the same end, a sharper knife—but accomplish it in different ways.

Honing is non-destructive while sharpening is not. Honing is a maintenance task to be performed quite often while sharpening should be done as little as possible. You hone a knife until the edge finally gets so worn down that you need to sharpen it again.


4. How to sharpen knife with sharpener

knife sharpener

knife sharpener

Knife sharpeners / grinders are easily found for sale and the way to use them is also quite simple:
Insert the knife into the sharpener.
Slide the knife forward and back and let the equipment do what it promises.

I do not usually use a sharpener, because I consider the other two methods – stone and grindstone – much more efficient. But for those who want to use it, it’s simple.

Sharpen knives: which method do you choose?

But among the aforementioned options, what is the easiest / most recommended method for sharpening knives?

The easiest method, without a doubt, is the sharpener, since there is no risk to the person who is handling the knife. However, I prefer to use traditional methods such as stone and sharpening iron.

There are those who ask for the use of stone and water to keep the stone always wet during the grinding process. This avoids scratching the knife.

How to sharpen ceramic knives?

You have a ceramic knife and you ask yourself: how to sharpen it? Know that there is a specific sharpener for this type of knife, but the price is usually a bit high.

  • Another way is to use a diamond stone to grind the ceramic knife:
  • Tilt the knife about 15 to 20 degrees to the stone.
  • Pass the knife along the blade.
  • Repeat the movement several times on both sides of the blade.
  • Clean the blade before using it (to cut the food).


It is worth mentioning that some companies that sell ceramic knives already offer customers a service of grinding these knives.

Now you have the main guidelines for sharpening knives. Regardless of the method you use, remember to be careful, after all, with a knife do not play. Also keep them in a safe place (especially if you have children at home).

What if you do not have the tools mentioned above and need to sharpen a knife?

mug knife sharpenSo, if you are not someone who is prepared in the kitchen, who has a professional knife grinder, note the tip: all you need is a mug! Surprising, is not it?

All you need to do is wet the blade of your knife and pass it, from the tip to the end of the blade, in the bottom of the mug. The normally rough outline of the bottom of these ceramic vessels acts as a friction for the blade, which is sharpened in less than 1 minute.


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