How to Sharpen Chef Knife Effectively and Effortlessly?

  • katrin moul
  • By katrin moul
  • Published: November 30, 2021
  • Last Modified: May 14, 2022
How to Sharpen Chef Knife
A sharp knife plays a vital role to make a meal great. Undoubtedly, one of the most important tools of a chef is the knife sharpener. A skilled cook is aware of how to sharpen chef knife that he uses to make food tasty by slicing, mincing, dicing, peeling, filleting, and chopping the food according to his intention.
If a chef uses a dull knife to cut food, he has to put extra pressure. The knife is more likely to slide off of food and cooking may become to him a hazardous process. Using a dull knife also increases the risk of injury.
To know how to sharpen chef knives, you do not need to attend culinary school for the basic techniques of kitchen knife sharpening.
Do not get perplexed! For achieving mastery over how to sharpen a chef knife, you need a sharpener, honing steel, and a little bit of practice on kitchen knife sharpening.

Which knife needs sharpening

A sharp knife contributes a lot to make a meal great. It is a frustrating experience to cut meat and vegetables with a dull knife. The edge of a knife, which is blunt and notched, needs sharpening. Learning how to sharpen chef knife is an indispensable skill of a chef to ensure a cooking project is safer, faster, and enjoyable.

How to sharpen chef knife with stone

Regular maintenance and sharpening increase the longevity and performance of a chef knife. When it comes to the point of kitchen knife sharpening safety, a dull knife is more hazardous than a sharp knife. You can use any sharpening stone to sharpen your knives.

Placement of a sharpening stone

The middle of a sharpening stone decays quickly, and it becomes uneven with time. You have to flatten your sharpening stone, to make the edge of a blade sharp. Follow the procedures mentioned below on how to sharpen a chef knife.
whetstone from Amazon
  • Put your stone on a flat surface.
  • Soak the stone in water for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Wait until the bubbles come out from the stone.
  • Use a wooden surface in place of a rocky surface.
  • Hold the knife at a 22-degree angle while sharpening.
  • Use water or oil down the middle of the stone. Gently massage or disperse the water across your sharpening stone.
  • Never use vegetable or olive oil on sharpening stones. You can use only honing oil approved for sharpening stones.

Knife Sharpening Procedure

A sharpened knife helps a chef to prepare food easily and at the same time, it prevents the risk of an accident. You can use Waterstone (also known as a whetstone), diamond stone, Arkansas stone, or crystal stone for kitchen knife sharpening.
Here are some steps to follow on how to sharpen chef knife with stone. You can also learn “How to use use a Whetstone” by our previous post.
  • 1
    Place your sharpening stone on a moist towel along with a flat surface.
  • 2
    Hold the knife at a 15 to 22-degree angle.
  • 3
    Begin sharpening with the coarse side of the stone to turn the U-shaped edge of the blade into V-shaped. The coarse side of the stone will help to form the knife blade back into the correct shape.
  • 4
    Start at the heel and finish at the tip.
  • 5
    Draw the knife down and across the stone gently and smoothly.
  • 6
    Circularly rub the blade until your dull knife gets sharpened.
  • 7
    Turn the blade for sharpening the reverse side. To keep consistency with how to sharpen chef knives, use the same method mentioned above.
  • 8
    Flip the blade to the original side, but now it is time to draw the blade from the tip to the heel.
  • 9
    Finally you have to turn your sharpening stone over to the fine side and repeat the actions mentioned above.
You need not rinse or wash your sharpening stone to keep it clean. You can use a damp towel to wipe away any material savings.

How to Sharpen Chef’s Knife with Portable Diamond Stone

A diamond sharpening stone is made from professional-grade diamond. It is more expensive and durable than other types of sharpening stone. It is used for grinding and honing the edge of knives. Stones are flat for working flat edges of knives.
Dimond stone sharpener

Diamond sharpening stone at a glance

  • This stone is made from diamond. The silicon carbide of it is sustainable and ensures good sharpening results.
  • The portable size is 150 mm x 20 mm x 5 mm / 5.9” x 0.8” x 0.2”.
  • You can choose one of three optional grits either for coarse grinding or fine grinding.
  • A diamond sharpening stone comes with a plastic base which will help stone installed on a sharpener while sharpening.
  • You can apply it for how to sharpen chef knife.

Instructions to follow while using a diamond sharpening stone

Here are some steps to follow on how to sharpen chef knife with stone.
  • 1
    Before using the sharpening stone, soak it in water ( salty water is better ) for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • 2
    You can use 300 grit stones for coarse grinding and 600 to 1000 grit stones for fine grinding.
  • 3
    Maintain knife sharpening angle guide ( 15 to 20 degrees) to get a better effect.
  • 4
    After using, clean the stone with a wet cloth or water, then dry it.

The best knife sharpening angle guide

While sharpening your kitchen knives, you would like to install an angle that will provide a razor-sharp, effortless cutting edge, and a sustainable angle that will not get blunt after every use.
Maintain the angle between 15 to 20 degrees while sharpening a knife. By following this angle, you can make your blade razor sharp to retain durability through constant use. You should put importance on how to sharpen chef knife, it will help the cutting edge of your blade to last long.

How to Sharpen Chef Knife with Steel

You can use traditional knife sharpening steel to restore dull knives. How to sharpen chef knife using honing steel is a method to follow while kitchen knife sharpening.
Honing Rod from Amazon

How to use a Honing Steel

  • 1
    You need to place the steel tip down on a damp cloth to avoid slipping.
  • 2
    Put the knife at the top near the sharpening steel. The applied angle should be 15 to 20 degrees between the blade and the knife.
  • 3
    Pull the knife back and forth across the honing steel.
  • 4
    Glide the blade at least five to ten times across the steel to ensure maximum sharpness.
  • 5
    Repeat this action on the back of the honing steel to sharpen the other side of the blade.
The sharpening steel should be as long as the blade while you are honing. For example, if you use an 8-inch chef knife, your honing steel should not be shorter than 8-inches as well.

How to sharpen a Chinese chef’s knife

Three major components are used for sharpening Chinese chef knives at home and in restaurants.

How to Sharpen a Chinese Chef Knife Using a Whetstone

The primary tool used for sharpening a Chinese knife is called a sharpening stone or whetstone, “moh dou sehk” in Cantonese. If your knife is blunt or even damaged, you need to sharpen your knife to get a razor-sharp edge.

Using Whetstone

  • 1
    Submerge the stone in water. It will make the stone “lubricate”.You can splash some water across the stone for how to sharpen a knife.
  • 2
    Place your stone on a flattened stone or wooden surface to make sure that your whetstone’s surface is even.
  • 3
    Hold the heel of the knife at a 15 to 20-degree angle. Push the knife back and forth through the stone.
  • 4
    Flip the knife and sharpen it again.

How to sharpen chef knives using a honing steel

A honing rod is also known as a ‘mohdougwan’ in Mandarin. You can use a honing steel multiple times a day while preparing food.

Use of honing steel

  • 1
    Hold the honing steel with your dominant hand and handle the blade with your other hand.
  • 2
    Rub the edge of the blade across the honing steel repeatedly.

How to Sharpen a Chef Knife Using a Dinner Plate

If I do not have any knife sharpening near me, I can use the unglazed bottom of a ceramic plate or mug to sharpen my knife. A sharpening plate is easy to grab and handle.

How to sharpen a serrated chef's knife

A serrated knife is a wonder of a kitchen. It can slice tomatoes, bread, and cakes without squashing, smushing, or destroying them. Slicing something on a cutting board for a long time, the knife’s edge has been worn so what once looked like V now looks like a U. To reshape your knife’s edge, you need to grind away a bit of metal and the way is how to sharpen chef knife.
You are acquainted with how to sharpen a chef knife. But serrated knives are totally different from ordinary knives. A serrated knife’s edge consists of individual curved serrations. One side of the blade is a bevel and the other side is flat.
While sharpening, you need to sharpen each of these beveled serrations individually one at a time. And make sure that you are not sharpening the flat side of the blade. A special tool is designed to sharpen serrated knives and it is known as a sharpening rod.

Pros and Cons About Knife Sharpening

Pros of the Knife Sharpening

  • Sharpening makes a blunt knife sharp.
  • To realign the blade's edge, you need to hon.
  • Sharpening rods are easy to use.
  • Easy to set up.
  • Inexpensive.
  • It does not shave away too much material.

Cons of the Knife Sharpening

  • Wear gloves to avoid the chance of injury.
  • Maintain the right angle.
  • Take a lot of practice to achieve mastery over-sharpening.
  • Need a steady hand.
  • Certain sharpening materials can be expensive.
Well! You are now wise enough. A sharp knife is an indispensable part of a good chef. With time, your knife may get dull and you need to know how to sharpen a chef knife as well as to make your knife razor-sharp. A sharp knife can give the food an accurate shape according to your intention.
A dull knife, on the other hand, may prove to be an obstacle to preparing food while cooking. However, sharpening is not now a mammoth task. You have to apply more pressure on the knife while you are cutting through food with a dull knife. Apart from this, using a dull knife increases the risk of injury. Fortunately, by learning how to sharpen chef knives, you can keep the edge of your blade in tip-top shape.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do we sharpen knives?

Ans A sharp knife cuts well and really lowers the chance of injury. It will also make you cry less. For example, if you cut an onion with a dull knife, possibly you damage the cell structure that will emit a chemical known as “lachrymatory factor” which will make you cry. A sharp knife leaves the cell intact. So it is important to know how to sharpen a chef knife.

Q: What can you not do when sharpening a knife?

Ans Five things you should avoid while sharpening a knife.
  • Do not put too much pressure.
  • Using fewer strokes than needed.
  • Move on to finer sharpening stone quickly.
  • Not maintaining the blade’s angle.
  • Not understanding the proper distance to avoid injury.

Q: How often should you sharpen a knife?

Ans Perhaps twice a year if you hone your knife regularly.

Q: Can a knife sharpener damage the knife?

Ans A bit of metal is really shaved away when sharpening a knife. For this, you need to use a quality knife sharpener that will help you to protect the blade’s edge intentionally.

Q: Why is my knife not getting sharp?

Your knife is not getting sharp. You have to focus on three major factors.
  • Maintaining the correct angle means matching the angle currently on the blade regardless of actual degree.
  • Consistency means once you have established the correct angle, you need to stay at that angle.
  • Sharpening all the edges means you have to sharpen both sides of the edges until they meet at a line.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *