How to Sharpen your Kitchen Knife

Keeping sharp knives in your kitchen arsenal is a must. If you’re cutting with a dull knife, you are not only making your prep time longer and making simple tasks like cutting a tomato or meat harder, you have increased the risk factor of injury. A dull knife is an injury waiting to happen.

How can I tell if my knife is dull?

Here is a quick and safe test to find out if your knife needs sharpening:


  1. your knife
  2. a tomato

*start test*

Tomato Test

Sit your knife on the tomato (no need to apply pressure or ‘incentive’ to cut). Move the knife back and forth atop the tomato. If your knife starts “slicing on its own” or biting into the skin of the tomato, you have a sharp knife and can postpone sharpening for another time. If your knife just sits there enjoying the view, your knife might be lazy, but more than likely it’s dull.

*end test*

Now what?

If your knife falls into the category of ‘laziness’, precede on to the next section. If you fall into the other category, congratulations you have a sharp knife and can resume enjoying the ease of cooking prep your knife brings you.

How can I sharpen my knife?

There are many different types of knife sharpeners out there: from electric-powered sharpeners to  to sharpening kits to whet stones to rod sharpeners. Electric powered sharpeners keep the angle on the edge of the knife consistent while sharpening. They’re user-friendly, speedy, and remove majority of user-error (not keeping a consistent angle on the edge while sharpening, not keeping consistent pressure, etc). The catch? They’re not the cheapest option out there. Average retail prices on electric sharpeners run from about $40 to about $160. Manual sharpeners require more time and user precision than the electric variety. Practice is needed, but that shouldn’t scare you away from using a manual sharpening tool. Average retail prices run from $10 and beyond.

A good electronic sharpener is the Smith’s Diamond Edge Pro 50023. However, I recommend the Spyderco Sharpmaker Sharpener. It is fairly inexpensive and delivers an effective method for bring a sharp edge to most any knife.

Check out this youtube video on how to use a Rod Sharpener from New West Knifeworks.

Want to sharpen with a whet stone? Check out this video!

Avoid injury, decrease prep time, and increase the life span of your kitchen knife by keeping your knife sharp. A dull knife just takes up space.

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