One of the most frustrating things that can happen in the kitchen is having a knife rack full of dull knives. Trying to cut through raw chicken or even to make quick work of those vegetables can be frustrating with dull knives. Fortunately, sharpening any kind of knife is easy enough.
Step 1: Getting a good sharpener
A lot of sharpeners on the market aren’t great. They don’t allow you to pick an angle, dont make new edges well, and just leave the knife too rough afterwards. Make sure to pick a sharpener that has controls so you can pick between at least a couple different angles. The more control the better.
Step 2: Pick your angle
If you know what angle your knife was sharpened at, use that one again, but if not, use an angle based on how you’ll use the knife. Shallow angles make sharper edges, steeper angles make more durable, long lasting edges. The angles should be between 10-30 degrees on each side, with somewhere in the middle being a good compromise for sharpness and durability. For meats, closer to 25 degrees is better, for slicing, as low as 10 degrees works well. around 15-20 should work very well for an all purpose knife and will improve its performance greatly from the way you bought it.
Step 3: Grind
Grind against the stone in the opposite way you would cut, and make sure that the stone is lubricated right. Some stones use oil, but the ones that don’t will be ruined by it. If oil is needed, the stone will be labelled as such. Keep grinding this way until you get about half way through the steel. Just guess at when youve gotten far enough.
Step 4: Flip
Flip the knife over and grind the other side in the same way. Do this until a burr forms. This happens when two bevels meet, and you can feel it if you feel the knife. This is good and means youve created a new edge. Flip the knife again and sharpen until there is a burr on this side too. To feel the burr, rub your finger on the unsharpened side of the knife. Rub it towards the sharp edge that you just created. At the edge, you’ll feel a little lip. Be careful not to cut yourself, but make sure this lip is there from the handle to the tip of the knife, to make sure the whole edge was sharpened enough.
Step 5: Remove the burrs
To do this, keep the blade at the same angle, but push the opposite way you’ve been pushing. This is grind down the burr more. You can further polish the knife if you’d like, but the serrations left by the stone, although too small to see, help it grasp against things like tomato skins. If you use the knife to just chop and not slice, polishing it further will help.
That’s all, you’ve now got a knife that will work better than when you got it. When you buy a knife, it is sharpened to a 50 degree angle, which is much too obtuse. Using these tips and sharpening the knife to how you’ll use it will lead to very high performance knives in the kitchen.
How To Sharpen a Knife With a Stone
Neil Wardlow has been writing professionally since 1989. Neil discovered he enjoyed writing when he suffered an injury during his 15-year building construction career. Neil now writes full-time, whenever he’s not occupied with entertaining family and friends, growing things, or making repairs in and around his beautiful ranch house.