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You got yourself a pair of shiny new chef knives and you have taught yourself to sharpen them. However, most beginners often ask how often should they sharpen their blades? That is the question that we will endeavor to answer in today’s blog.
Sharpening frequency: Well, if your knives are mainly used in your home kitchen, you won’t have to sharpen them more than 4 or 5 times a year, However, if you subject your knife to more intense use such as dicing through meat, poultry or even wrestling with bones then you will have to sharpen the knives more often – about every 2 to 3 weeks.
The quality of the knife will come into play here. Cheaper knives will wear out a lot quicker so you will need to sharpen them more often. Quality knives, on the other hand, will stand up to the rigors of intense use a lot better and can go on without constant sharpening for quite a while. The hardness of the steel alloy will also matter. Although brittle, harder steel alloys don’t need to be sharpened as often knives with a softer steel alloy.
Lastly, when the time finally comes to sharpen your blades, use a whetstone instead of an electric knife sharpener. Although faster, however, an electric sharpener will remove a lot more metal than needed thus shortening the life of the blade. Whetstones, on the other hand, are a lot gentler yet deliver a razor-sharp edge if you use them correctly. And if you ask us it is a lot more satisfying too.
The importance of honing: This is the other important part of the sharpening equation that beginners often aren’t aware of. Make sure that you hone the edge at least once or twice a week. When you regularly use your knife, this will displace the edge from the center, which may impact its performance. This is where honing comes in.
Honing doesn’t actually bring a blunt blade back to life but it realigns the edge to the center. This makes the blade feel a lot sharper. Honing will also improve the lifespan of your knife. Because regular honing means that you won’t have to sharpen the knife as often, which means there will be minimum metal removal. Honing is quite a simple process. All you need is a honing rod. Just swipe both edges (from tip to base) against the rod a few times before using the knife and you’re done.
Here’s to sharp knives and great food!