How To Sharpen A Knife

Knives are really useful tools. They have tons of uses, though knives are primarily used in the kitchen. There are different varieties of knives that are better suited to different situations.

How To Sharpen A Knife

If you consider yourself to be a survivalist or a prepper, it can be handy to have a knife at hand. After all, these tools can help you to live off the natural world.

Just make sure that you look into laws regarding the possession of knives in your area.

Regardless of the reason you are using the knife, it must be sharp. Otherwise, it may be unable to cut effectively. Luckily, it can be super simple to sharpen a knife. All you need to do is follow these straightforward steps.

How To Sharpen A Knife

3 different methods can be used to create a perfectly sharp knife. Just choose the one that works best for you! 

Method #1 – With A Whetstone

Whetstones are rectangular tools used to make knives sharper. They can be found online or in some specialist stores. For instance, you can acquire this wonderful whetstone.  Ideally, you should obtain a dual-sided whetstone.

To use a whetstone, simply:

  1. Dampen your whetstone with water if required. Many whetstones need to be moistened before use so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions. If this is the case, soak for at least 5 minutes.
  2. Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle. If you are unsure of whether you have the right angle, consider using an angle guide.
  3. On the coarse grit side of the whetstone, carefully drag the blade of the knife against its surface. Repeat this a few times until the knife looks a little thinner.
  4. Flip the whetstone so that you are using the other side, which will give you a finer grit. This will make the knife blade feel smoother. Complete the above step on this alternative side, again at a 20-degree angle.

Method #2 – With A Steel Honing Rod

This second technique involves the use of a honing rod. This tool can be found in kitchen supply stores. Alternatively, you can shop for one online. 

Typically, they are made from steel. Because of this, they are informally known as “steels.” This is a great way of sharpening the knife without having to worry about wearing it down.

If you wish to use a honing rod, just follow these easy instructions:

  1. Firmly place the honing rod in one hand, preferably your non-dominant one. Hold the handle in your hand with the rod facing away from you. Ideally, the knife should be placed on a work surface.
  2. Hold the knife in your other hand. Place it at a 20-degree angle. Pull the thickest part of the knife blade against the honing rod. You should move the handle of the knife toward you.
  3. Repeat this motion until the blade is sharper.

Method #3 – With A Knife Sharpener 

Knife sharpeners are tools that do exactly what they say on the tin! These objects allow users to quickly and easily sharpen their knives.

They have become popular for their convenience, though knife sharpeners are not the best method to use if you plan on keeping your knife for a while.

Every knife sharpener works slightly differently, but here is a general set of instructions:

  1. Press the blade in the sharpener groove. It is best to start on the coarse groove first.
  2. Hold the knife and move the blade against the groove a few times.
  3. Next, progress onto the fine side. Repeat the above step until you are satisfied with the sharpness of the blade.

What Is the Best Method For Sharpening A Knife?

Now that you know all about the different methods of knife sharpening, you will need to choose one to use. Finding the correct technique can be hard. The main method of picking a technique is to consider its difficulty.

Whetstones are arguably the most effective and fastest methods. Though whetstones deliver excellent results, they can be quite tricky to use. 

This is partially due to the specific angle that you need to achieve. It can take considerable practice to reach this stage. You will also need a steady hand. Therefore, we only advise using a whetstone if you already have some experience with sharpening knives.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy method, a knife sharpener will be the optimal option. As mentioned, these tools can be quite damaging to the knife.

How To Sharpen A Knife (1)

Honing rods might be the best of both worlds. They are easier to use than whetstones and provide more accurate results than knife sharpeners. However, they are not the most effective tools.

To pick the best method, you should carefully weigh up these pros and cons.

Safety Warnings

As you likely already know, knives are dangerous objects. If mishandled, they can cause serious damage. Therefore, you should obey these warnings when sharpening your knife to increase safety:

  • When walking with a knife, always keep the blade facing downward.
  • Do not attempt to catch a falling knife.
  • Never put a knife in your pocket.
  • Consider storing knives on magnetic strips for increased safety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Sharpen Knives Yourself?

Yes, you can sharpen your knives by yourself. However, we only recommend doing so if you are over the age of 18. Furthermore, you should take safety precautions to sharpen knives, especially if this is your first time doing this.

Can You Use A Mug To Sharpen A Knife?

Using the base of a ceramic mug is a quick and convenient way of sharpening knives. Though this technique has proven to work, it is not the most effective way of making blades less dull. Thus, we only advise doing this if you desperately need a sharpened knife.

Closing Remarks

Whether you are using your knife as a DIY tool or essential kitchen equipment, you must make sure that your knife is suitably sharp. Otherwise, you will experience difficulty when cutting or chopping.

As demonstrated above, there are a few different techniques to ensure that your blade is razor-sharp!

Tim Roth
Latest posts by Tim Roth (see all)