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How Often to Sharpen Knives – 5 Ways You Need to Know

Last Updated: June 15th, 2022

One of the most essential kitchen tools is a properly sharpened knife. Unfortunately, like most people, you probably are guilty of using a dull knife more often than you would like to admit. 

While you may not need a razor-sharp blade, a dull knife is far more dangerous to use than a sharp knife. So, the big question here is how often to sharpen knives. 

Here is everything you need to know about knife sharpening, including the best methods to sharpen your knife.

How Often to Sharpen Knives?

You may think that the best way to avoid having a dull knife is to sharpen the blades after every use. However, this is not the best thing to do. You see, over-sharpening your knives could shorten their lifespan. This is because sharpening usually removes bits of the blade.

So, we recommend sharpening your knife only when the blade tells you it needs it. You just need to gently run your thumb up or down the blade to feel if it’s dull.

However, certain factors may help you determine how often you need to sharpen your knives. These include:

  • The type of food you usually cut
  • The quality of your knives
  • How often you use the knife

If you don’t use your knife intensively, then you might not need to sharpen it more than a few times a year. For instance, if you only use the knife a few times every week just to cut garlic and onions. 

However, in some instances, you may need to sharpen the knife a couple of times every month. This is especially if you use the knife regularly to cut poultry and meat.  

Another way to determine when to sharpen your knives is by observing the blade’s function while cooking. For instance, you notice that you are using an increased amount of force while chopping and cutting. Also, if the quality of your cuts decreases, then it’s probably time to sharpen your knives. 

Why you Should Keep Sharp Knives?

You probably are wondering why it is essential to keep your knives sharp. Well, many benefits come with maintaining sharp knives. 

For example, sharp knives allow you to make precise cuts. This helps ensure your meals are aesthetically appealing while also allowing your food to cook evenly. A sharp knife also makes it easier to cut delicate food. 

Additionally, sharp knives aid in the speed of the cooking process. More so, they make the cooking process more manageable. 

What’s more? A sharp knife is safer to use than a dull one. You see, a dull blade requires you to apply more pressure when cutting. On top of that, it is less likely to stick to the surface. As such, there is a higher chance of a dull blade slipping, which could lead to injury. 

What’s the Best Knife Sharpening Method?

If you ask about the best knife sharpening method, you would probably get more than five answers. From stone to steel, there are several ways to sharpen knives and each one serves a specific purpose. So, here is a breakdown of each sharpening method.

1. Sharpening stone:

A sharpening stone is considered to be a tried-and-true method for sharpening a knife. Not only is it durable and reliable but also produces a flawlessly sharp blade. 

However, using a sharpening stone is not really the fastest sharpening method out there. The good news is that it does give you an even blade that is sure to cut thoroughly anything. 

Generally, there are 3 types of sharpening stones and each has its pros and cons. Let’s find out what each has to offer. 

Diamond stones

These are extremely durable and can be used dry. On the flip side, though, diamond stones are a bit more expensive than the rest. 


If using whetstones, you need to soak them in water first. They are known to deliver an extremely sharp blade when used correctly. However, compared to other stones, they are less durable and also fragile. 

Oil stones

As the name suggests, oil stones should be greased using oil before using them. For this reason, they can be a bit messy to use. 

2. Electric knife sharpeners:

Electric knife sharpeners are designed to use motorized abrasives that chip away at your blade while sharpening the knife. Of course, there are so many of these available on the market to choose from.

Like with any tool, electric sharpeners also have their pros and cons. For instance, they can get the job done much faster compared to sharpening stones. As such, they are more convenient and easier to use.

However, electric sharpeners are not the best when it comes to the long-term health of your knife. Not to mention, they don’t offer greater control on your end compared to their stone counterparts. On top of that, they can be quite costly and difficult to store. 

3. Sharpening steel:

A sharpening steel is a long and skinny rod that is used for sharpening or honing a knife. Ideally, it is best used to sharpen a fairly sharp knife. So, if your knife is already dull, this sharpening method may not work. 

Therefore, sharpening steel is ideal for everyday maintenance. To sharpen your knife, simply hold the steel in one hand and your knife in the other. Then, apply pressure while making a sweeping motion across the steel. 

4. Ceramic plate:

If you don’t have a sharpening stone or steel, you can use a ceramic plate. As it turns out, this clever hack is like pure gold. 

You see, you can sharpen your dull knives using the rough area on the back of a ceramic plate. All you need is to secure the plate so you don’t end up smashing it. Then, use the same back-and-forth motion as you would when using a stone. 

But what happens if you don’t have a ceramic plate, sharpening steel or stone? Well, then you can use the rough area on the bottom of a coffee mug. 

5. The professional:

If you don’t own a stone or even steel, you should consider taking it to your local knife sharpening specialist. Besides, sometimes it can be hard to get good results at home. 

Basically, if you want to restore your knives’ edges to almost new, you need two things. These include steady eyes as well as a good eye for angles. So, it makes sense to take your knife to a professional for sharpening. 

The best thing with a professional is that they can assess the angle of your edge and then precisely recreate it. Also, a pro will ensure that no more metal is removed than is necessary during the sharpening process. Consequently, this will help prolong your knife’s life. 


Now that you know how often to sharpen knives, we hope you find the right sharpening method that meets your needs. Just know that when it comes to sharpening knives, practice makes perfect. 

It does not matter whether you have a cheap or expensive knife, sharpening is crucial. This is because a dull knife can be more dangerous compared to an extremely sharp knife. However, you should only sharpen your knife when the need arises.

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