The lazy man's guide to sharpening a knife
We strive to make the sharpest knives out there, but even the best knife will dull with use. A sharp kitchen knife is essential for any home cook, but keeping it sharp can sometimes be a challenge. Dull knives can make food preparation difficult and even dangerous, while a sharp knife can make cooking a pleasure.
We’ll be demonstrating some of these methods in a full-length video over on our YouTube channel soon, but until then, here are some tips to keep your kitchen knife sharp, safe and functional!
1. Store knives properly
Improper storage of kitchen knives is the number one reason why they dull.
Proper knife storage will help prevent dulling and damage and add style and accessibility to your kitchen.
Always store your kitchen knives *dry* in a knife block, on a magnetic strip, or in a protective sheath or saya.
Avoid storing knives in a drawer where they can bump against other utensils and become dull.
This fella has the right idea on how to properly store our Primeaux Zenith Chef Knives on a knife block in his kitchen!
2. Use a honing rod
A honing rod, also known as a sharpening steel, can help keep your knife's edge straight and aligned.
This does not remove any material from the blade, so will actually add longevity to your blade.
To use, hold the honing rod upright on a cutting board and place the heel of the blade against the top of the rod at a 15-20-degree angle.
Pull the blade down and towards you, moving the blade from the base to the tip. Repeat on the other side of the blade.
Pictured: Our Zenith Chef Knife chilling with a super basic honing rod.
3. Sharpen with a stone
This tool requires mastery, so be sure to practice your technique on some less special blades before attempting to sharpen your nice, new blades.
A sharpening stone is a flat stone that can be used to sharpen knives, you can use anything from Japanese whetstones to dry diamond stones.
Place the stone on a cutting board and wet it with water or oil as needed.
Hold the blade at a 15-20-degree angle and slide it along the stone, using light pressure. Repeat on the other side of the blade.
A simple sharpening stone could cost between $20-$80 depending on the source.
4. Leather strop
This is probably the most simple way to keep your edge razor sharp!
By applying a few drops of fine diamond compound onto a strip of leather and gently dressing the edge, your blade can quickly go from dull to hair popping sharp!
This is a Double-sided Leather Paddle Strop which can be found starting at around $40
5. Avoid pull through and electric style sharpeners!
These styles of sharpeners tend to grind away lots of materials and actually cause the edge to become more obtuse and feel more dull quickly.
Because of the mechanics of use, it is impossible to apply the same amount of pressure throughout the blade. As a result, the edge tends to go out of shape changing the original blade profile.
Many knives will not work with this style of sharpener because the bolster gets in the way.
Please stop using electric pull through knife sharpeners. It's for your own good.
6. Hand wash and dry your kitchen knives every time
Dishwashers will dull knives and damage the edges from the harsh acidity of detergents and the heat wrecks havoc on the wooden handles.
Instead, wash knives by hand with soap and water, and dry them immediately with a towel.
7. A quality end-grain wood cutting board will help your knife's edge last much longer
A plastic cutting board will work if you want to avoid contamination when preparing meats, but always avoid cutting on stone, ceramic or glass cutting boards, as these will kill your edge almost immediately.
We also recommend staying clear from bamboo cutting boards as these contain small bits of sand in the grain that we have seen chip and dull edges.
Pictured: A Beautiful end grain cutting board made by John Phillips.
8. When all else fails, send your knife to a professional
Just shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll give you all the info you need to send your piece in for a spa day.
We can even fix chipped edges, broken tips and make your knife back to good as new and ready for its next mission.
Let John and the Primeaux team sharpen or repair your kitchen knife! We're experts and we are happy to do it!
By following these easy tips, you can keep your kitchen knife sharp and ready for all your culinary adventures. A sharp knife can make cooking easier, safer, and more enjoyable, so take the time to maintain your knives and enjoy the benefits of a sharp edge.
TLDR 8 ways to keep your kitchen knife sharp:
- Store your kitchen knives properly on a stone, block or protective covering like a saya or knife roll.
- Use a honing rod and add longevity to your blade.
- Sharpen with a stone but practice your technique before sharpening your fancy knives!
- Pick up a leather strop and apply a small amount of fine diamond compound and gently dress the edge of the blade.
- Stop using electric pull-through knife sharpeners! They can actually dull your knife more!
- Invest in a quality end-grain cutting board and stop using plastic cutting boards and bamboo cutting boards which can ultimately damage and dull your knives.
- Hand wash and dry your knives every. single. time. This is the easiest way to keep your knife sharp and corrosion-resistant for a long time.
- Send your knife to a Primeaux Knife Care Professional. Send an email to email@example.com and we would love to help you out!
Happy Sharpening! We believe in you!
xoxo The Primeaux Team*
*Primeaux (pronounced PREE-MOH) is comprised of an expert team of bladesmiths, cooks, artists, innovators, tastemakers and engineers designing professional-grade handcrafted cutlery and kitchen tools.