How Often To Sharpen Knives? (And Is It Actually Important?)

Being in the kitchen is one of the most thrilling moments I usually have after a long day.

It is the time I get to relax and enjoy while preparing my favourite meal.

However, there are challenges in the kitchen that require expert’s intervention. That’s why I am here!

Have you visited a professional kitchen?

If yes, you have noticed that in every dish creation, a knife is involved. A sharp knife is very important to the cook.

Therefore, it essential to learn how to sharpen your kitchen knife.

Knife sharpening is a skill that every cook needs to acquire. Now you know how to sharpen your knife.

The challenge is to know when to sharpen your knife. I am going to discuss the importance of sharpening your knife and how often you should do it.

How Long Should Your Knife Stay Sharp?

A good kitchen knife in an average home should stay sharp for not less than four months. Therefore, you will need to sharpen your knife not more than 2 to 3 times yearly.

However, you will need to hone your knife once or twice a week with steel.

The most critical question is what are you cutting, and how often is the knife being used?

Using your knife for basic activities like cutting garlic and onions may require less sharpening in a year.

For a person who likes food like I do and uses the knife for about every activity in the kitchen, you need to sharpen it once every four months.

However, you need to feel the blade before you sharpen your knife. I always feel the edge if it is still sharp by running my thumb up and down the blade.

At the back of your head, you should know that honing is not similar to sharpening.

Sharpening involves a metal blade grinding down, which is similar to saying you are removing tiny metal bits on the blade.

Knife sharpening, in simple terms, is restoring the knife’s V-shaped edge.

Honing, on the other hand, is done with steel to align microscopic metal tines to make the angle of the V shape more perfect.

Honing will never sharpen a dull knife. However, it makes the sharpened knife seem sharper.

The Best Knife Sharpening Method

The best way to sharpen your knife is by using two different whetstones: heavy grit and light grit.

Start by the heavier grit with small water amounts and switch to lighter grit.

However, when you ask other cooks, you will get a different answer on the best method to sharpen a knife. Some of the known working methods include:
• Whetstone/water stone
• Oil stone
• Handheld sharpeners
• Electric sharpeners
• Diamond stone

Different stones have different grit levels. Therefore, you should use a heavier grit if your knife is very dull.

Finer grit removes less metal; hence go for the heavier one to remove more metal tines. However, heavier grit is not suitable for regular knife sharpening.

Is Sharpening A Knife Essential?

Yes. Regularly sharpening your knife is vital to keep the blade in good shape.

Proper sharpening will increase the time for the next sharpening activity.

With a sharp knife;
• You can do a better job slicing or cutting food
• Work faster
• Work safer
• Use less brute force when cutting

So how often should I sharpen my kitchen knives?

Depending on the use of your knife and how often you use it, you should sharpen it 2 to 3 times a year.

If you are a professional chef and you use the knife every day in almost everything, you should maintain its sharpness by sharpening once or twice per month.

You need to follow no standard timeframe for sharpening your knife since knife sharpness depends on a few different factors.

Sometimes you only need honing to restore the cutting power of your knife rather than sharpening regularly.