How To Sharpen Kitchen Knives- 3 Easy Methods

how to sharpen kitchen knives

Do you experience challenges using dull kitchen knives that turn slicing and dicing into an annoying routine? But worry no more; for today, we will bring you the chef’s secret that will reconsider your kitchen experience! Therefore, what is the trick to how to sharpen kitchen knives?

Well, the answer lies in understanding the science behind proper knife sharpening. Traditionally, many people opt to use a honing rod and or knife sharpener which offer somewhat lower quality edges. In producing a narrow, low-angle, it removes just the right amount of metal so that the edge becomes sharp again without finding its structural integrity damaged.

But wait, don’t go rummaging through your kitchen drawers just yet! In our next segment, we’ll go deeper into the methods of implementing this revolutionary technique. Believe me when I tell you that after you’ve mastered this approach, your dull knife issues will be a distant memory.

So buckle up and prepare for the hidden truths about sharp knives! That is it for the most sophisticated technique laying bare how to sharpen kitchen knives and your culinary miracles are just about ready!

Types of Knife Sharpeners:

Some different types of knife sharpeners are;

  1. Honing rods or sharpening steels: These are usually steel or ceramic rods. They are primarily used for realigning and maintaining the edge of a knife, keeping it sharp between sharpening sessions.
  2. Manual knife sharpeners: These include pull–through sharpeners and handheld Sharpening stones. This involves the use of sharpeners that require manual effort, and they are good for beginners. 
  3. Electric knife sharpeners: Electric knife sharpeners are worth considering. These devices utilize motorized grinding wheels or belts to rapidly sharpen knives. They are suitable for those who value speed and convenience.
  4. Whetstones or (sharpening stones): Among them, whetstones or sharpening stones are often considered the best because of their consistent accuracy and control. These are offered in various grits to help you gradually perfect the edge of your knife. 

3- Best Methods on how to sharpen kitchen knives:

1-  Using a honing rod:

Using a honing rod

Always have a honing rod or a sharpening steel to ensure that your knife is in its optimal condition form after every time you hone it. While holding the honing rod slightly downward, slide the knife across the rod in a smooth movement from base to tip. Perform this same process 3 to 5 times on each side of the knife.

2-  Using a Sharpening stone or Whetstone:

Using a Sharpening stone or Whetstone

A common approach in how to sharpen kitchen knives involves the use of a sharpening stone or whetstone. The stone is simply held at a slight angle against the while knife moving it back and forth in a controlled motion. First is the coarse side which is used to polish nicks or burrs off from the edge and secondly, a finer side to hone it up to perfection.

3- Using an Electric knife sharpener:

Using an Electric knife sharpener

Electric knife sharpeners are a helpful and efficient method for the purpose of honing and refining knives. These typically include precision sharpening slots and an automated knife guide. But it’s important to adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions in order not only to attain perfect results but also to escape from over-sharpening.

 Note: Each method requires proper technique and practice for optimal results. Whether you choose to use a sharpening stone or a honing rod depends on your personal preference and comfort level. Experiment with both techniques until you find what works best for you.

Mastering the Sharpening Process:

Using the appropriate sharpening tool;

Ensure that you have selected the correct sharpening tool for your knife. In case you are using a wet sharpening stone, make sure that it is soaked in the right duration before starting.

Understanding the sharpening angles;

As discussed earlier, different knives require distinct edge angles. The most important part of it is to hold the right sharpening angle ensuring adequate sharpness. Check your knife’s manufacturer guidelines or the correct sharpening angle for your specific knife model.

2- Advanced Tips and Tricks for Knife Sharpening:

For those seeking the ultimate cutting performance, advanced techniques can take your sharpening skills up a notch. Here are 2 advanced professional techniques for how to sharpen kitchen knives:

 Achieving a razor-sharp edge;

To get a sharp edge, put it through a strop or leather belt to remove any remaining burrs. Applying a polishing compound on the strop assists in last sharpening steps with your knife coming out of the process shining like a mirror.

Using strops and polishing compounds;

Strops are usually made up of leather or balsa wood and offer a way to refine and straighten the edge of a knife. The use of polishing compounds on the strop also increases the sharpness of the knife and its overall performance.

The Importance of Knife Maintenance and Care:

Cleaning Your Knives Properly;

Proper cleaning is an essential aspect of knife maintenance. Follow these directions in order to extend the life of your knives:

Hand Washing and drying techniques;

Therefore, to ensure you maintain your knives’ sharpness and condition it’s better to hand wash. Clean the knife gently by using a mild detergent, warm water, and non-abrasive sand. Then, dry the knife well to paste off any rust or corrosion.

Avoiding harsh detergents and scouring pads;

Steer clear of harsh detergents, scouring pads, or abrasive cleaning agents when washing your knives. These can remove the protective coatings and damage the knife’s surface.

For cleaning your knives, avoid using harsh detergents and ensure that the knife doesn’t come into contact with scouring pads when arranging utensils. These can destroy the knife’s surface and remove the protective coatings.

Removing tough stains or rust;

This method aims to restore the knife’s surface by eliminating stubborn stains or oxidation. It often requires careful application of the cleaning solution or abrasive, followed by thorough rinsing and drying to prevent further corrosion. Or you can check our article on how to get rust off knives.

Storing Knives to Preserve Sharpness;

Proper storage maintains the sharpness and safety of your knives. Consider the following methods:

Choosing the right knife block or magnetic strip;

Choosing the right knife block or magnetic strip keeps the knives in shape. These storage solutions keep your knives organized, readily accessible, and protected from damage.

Using blade guards or sheaths;

Blade guards or sheaths are an excellent option for storing individual knives or traveling. They offer an added layer of protection to prevent accidental cuts and minimize contact with other objects that can dull the blade.

Keeping knives in a dry and safe environment;

Hence, avoid rust and dampness by storing your knives in a dry, clean location. However, if you are having difficulties with the space in your kitchen, I would advise going for a knife roll or a knife sheath set.


A sharp kitchen knife is a prerequisite to easy and accurate cooking. This way, we provided some insight in this beginner’s guide on how to sharpen kitchen knives and methods of maintaining it. We also learned about the knife sharpening science and observed a number of knife sharpeners that enabled us to select the appropriate one, which suited our budget, skills as well as type of knives. Next, we provided 3- best method for how to sharpen kitchen knives, including methods that best suited different knife types as well as honing and general maintenance of sharpened edges. We also discussed advanced tips and tricks, troubleshooting common issues, and extending the lifespan of sharpened knives. Lastly, we covered the importance of knife maintenance and care.

We’ve our another guide on sharpening knives: how often to sharpen knives


What is the best way to sharpen a kitchen knife?

Best way to sharpen a kitchen knife is using a sharpening stone or an honing rod, which is the most appropriate tool for sharpening a kitchen knife. Begin with a coarse grit and graduate to the fine grits until you obtain a sharp edge. Sharpen with a constant angle and use a honing rod to keep the edge straight.

How many strokes does it take to sharpen a knife?

The number of strokes needed to sharpen a knife depends on the condition and sharpening method. Normally, it should generally take around 10-20 strokes on each side. Nonetheless, very dull knives may need more. It’s essential to focus on maintaining a consistent angle and achieving a sharp edge rather than counting strokes.

Should you push or pull when sharpening knives?

This depends on the kind of sharpener you are using. The use of a sharpening stone usually involves both, pushing and pulling strokes. Maintain a steady angle and pressure. With honing rods, pull gently towards you. Always comply with the manufacturer’s instructions for the particular sharpener you are using.

What is the best angle to sharpen kitchen knives?

The best angle preferred when sharpening kitchen knives is 15 to 20 degrees. Thinner edges (15 degrees) make a sharper edge but do not last as long as at slightly larger angles of around 20. The optimal angle will also depend on the knife’s intended use and can very likely be found in the knife’s specifications or an instruction manual provided with your sharpening tool.

shahzoon naz

shahzoon naz

Shahzoon Naz is a freelance Content Writer. He spends most of his time in the kitchen, you will see him in the kitchen and every time cooking something new and tasty.

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