How Often To Sharpen Kitchen Knives: Keep Them Sharp
Regular use of your kitchen knives will slowly dull the blade. This will result in knives that aren’t as sharp as when you first bought them. This is a normal thing that can happen with constant usage, and the solution is simply to perform proper maintenance on your kitchen knives.
Maintaining your kitchen knives includes proper cleaning, honing, sharpening, and storage. If you are already having difficulties trying to cut soft food like fruit, it may be time to sharpen your knife.
Find out how often to sharpen kitchen knives to keep the blade well-maintained and razor sharp.
How Often Should I Sharpen My Knives?
Kitchen knives should be sharpened according to your usage. It can be every few weeks, months, or even years.
A kitchen knife set usually comes with a honing rod, which is commonly mistaken as a sharpening tool. There are key differences between honing and sharpening, and you need to understand this first before learning how often to sharpen knives.
Honing is done to realign the knife’s edge. With constant use, your knife will move to one side or another, depending on how you use it. A honing rod will realign the blade to straighten it. Eventually, your knife’s edge will become rounded, making it unable to cut through food anymore. This is the time that you need to sharpen your knife.
Honing will maintain the sharpness of the knife’s blade, but it will not make it sharper. For this reason, you should hone your knife as frequently as possible to keep it sharp.
For a professional, kitchen knives should be honed every day after each use. For home use, you can do with honing at least once a week, or every 3-4 uses. But if you use your knife heavily, you should also hone it more frequently.
With regular honing, your kitchen knife can last for 6 months to a year before needing to be sharpened.
Sharpening your kitchen knife is the process of removing the old steel from the knife’s blade to create a new edge. This process will shorten the height of the knife, but since you only need to sharpen every year or so, your kitchen knife can last for more than a decade.
For professionals, sharpening should be done every few months. For home use, sharpening can be done once a year. A whetstone or a pull through sharpener can be used to sharpen your knife’s edge.
If you plan on sharpening a kitchen knife yourself, you will need to learn the proper technique to be able to sharpen it properly. You can also opt to have a professional sharpen it for a minimal charge.
Tips To Keep Your Knife Sharp
With proper honing and sharpening, your knife will last for a long time. Here are some more tips to keep your knife sharp.
- Avoid scraping the sharp edge of your knife across the chopping board. You can use the back edge, which is blunt.
- Use a good cutting board made from hardwood to protect the knife’s edge.
- Don’t use the knife on hard food like bones because there are specific knives for that purpose. Just use your kitchen knife for cutting soft food.
- Clean and dry the kitchen knife after each use. It is recommended to hand wash it with warm water. Don’t place the knife in the dishwasher because the edge will be tossed around, making it lose its sharpness.
- Store it properly after washing. Use a knife block or knife sleeve to protect the edge.
The guidelines on how often to sharpen kitchen knives will depend on your usage. Although the recommended frequency for home use is every year, it can go up to twice a year if you use your kitchen knife frequently. On the other hand, professionals must always sharpen it every few months because of heavy usage.