How to Sharpen a Knife with a Manual & Electric Sharpener

The sharp knife can slice through your vegetables easily and also be able to cut up your meat quickly and accurately. There are two benefits of sharp knives: safety and precision. A sharp knife is always a safe knife and it does not slip and there is no risk of damage. Furthermore, it also makes precise cuts as the way you cut your food depends upon the time of their cooking. So it is very necessary to cut your ingredients into flat pieces that enable the food to cook at the same rate.

Ways to Test If Knife is Sharp or Not 

Papar Test: A sharp knife can easily cut through the paper in a while.

Tomato Test: Tomatoes outer skin is hard with a soft interior which tells us the dull knife will squish a tomato before breaking the skin.

Onion Test: You can also check by cutting the outer’s skin of the onion because the dull can’t do it.

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3 Ways to Sharpen Your Knife Yourself

The main purpose of sharpening a knife is removing metal from the blade to make it new. There are three ways to sharpen a knife yourself.

Manual Knife Sharpener

The other name of manual knife sharpener is pull through sharpener, this is the easiest and cheapest way to maintain your kitchen knives. It sharpens the knife using their slots: a coarse grit for sharpening and fine first for polishing.

Electric Knife Sharpener

The electric knife sharpener is similar to a manual knife sharpener having the same coarse and fine slots but scrapers are on motorized wheels that rotate against the blades. Moreover, the electric knife sharpener has much more power and precise results as compared to manual knife sharpener.


The whetstone is rectangular shaped block with coarse grit side and fine grit side. It is also called water stone and sharpening stone and it is considered one of the most precise ways to sharpen a kitchen knife.

How to Use an Electric Knife Sharpener

  • Same as a manual knife sharpener, simply pull the knife through the slot smoothly and slowly and let the motorized scraper do the work.
  • Do it on the other side of the knife and repeat the first step. Recurrent these steps three to five times.
  • Repeat the first two steps in a fine grit slot.
  • If you think that you are not satisfied then continue these steps and do it until it gets sharpened.

How to Use a Manual Knife Sharpener

  • Drag the knife from bottom to top through the thick slot of the sharpener and apply equal pressure 3 to 4 times. If your knife is too dull or damaged, you can sharpen it further.
  • Now finish with a pull or two from the fine grit side.

How Do You Sharpen a Serrated Knife?

A serrated knife such as a steak knife or bread knife can be sharpened using a manual or electric knife sharpener. To sharpen a serrated knife, you should use a fine slot, where the abrasive material conforms to the shape of the serrated knife.

What is a Honing Rod and Will it Sharpen a Knife?

Honing rod is also called sharpening steel or honing steel that comes with long metal rods and is included in a knife set. Honing rod is not a knife sharpener at all, it is just used to maintain the shape of a sharp blade.

How to Use a Honing Rod

  • You need to stand a honing rod up on the counter or table in a perpendicular direction and give the knife’ edge position at 15 degree angle to the rod.
  • Sweep the blade along the steel, switching sides, until it fixes the edge.

Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind While Sharpening a Knives

Sharpen knives may also have a threat for your fingers when you are slicing your food, before starting this make sure you have done these precautions.

  • You should never expose your finger naked in front of the blade.
  • Wear kitchen gloves for extra prevention.
  • If using a whetstone, make sure you keep the stone on the table by taping it to a rubber mat or wet paper towels, folded under the stone.
  • If you’re using a steel rod then hold it and the knife out and keep it away from your body.
  • Once you have done the sharpening then remove all remaining steel by using a wet sponge or dish towel.

How Often Should I Sharpen My Knives?

Ensure that you are Sharpening your knives every six to 12 months to maintain a sharp knife. Between and after sharpening, use a honing rod or run your knife through the sharpener’s “fine” setting after each use.

Knife Sharpening Angle Guide

Sharpening a knife always requires a right angle for the blade and the majority of the chef knives work nicely with the angle of 22.5 degree angle. You can follow these steps to find the perfect angle for maintaining the sharpness of your blade.

Place the Blade Down : Grab the knife with downward blade direction at the angle of 90 degree.

Rotate the Blade Halfway : Turn the knife at 45 degree angle having the distance between 90 degree angle and the blade.

Rotate the Blade Halfway Again: Move the knife one more time to the half of the remaining angle. Now you have a perfect sharpening angle where you can adjust the angle up and down as needed.

How to Flatten a Sharpening Stone

The middle area of sharpening stone goes down quickly as compared to edges and becomes uneven in shape after use. If you will not flatten your sharpening stone then it will round the edges of your kitchen knife.

You can follow these steps to flatten your sharpening stone:

Place the Stone on a Flat Surface: To make sure you have a proper working space to level your stone, we recommend placing it on a flat surface such as a cutting board.

Choose Lubricant: See all the documents that came with sharpening stone to see what it requires water or oil.

Lubricate the Stone: Put down the small line of water or oil lubricant on the middle of the stone, now slowly massage and sprinkle it across your sharpening stone.

Begin Smoothing: Plane the stone by rubbing it with 100 grit sandpaper until it get flat.

Repeat: This is an optional step, if you notice your stone has rough marks repeat the previous steps with 400 grit sandpaper. Or, if your stone is slightly worn, simply sand it with 400 grit paper and skip the previous step.

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