At The Table With: Ty Schmidt, Creator of SchmidtyBakes

At The Table With: Ty Schmidt, Creator of SchmidtyBakes

We’re kicking off Pride Month with a spotlight on one of our most colorful creators—Ty Schmidt, founder of SchmidtyBakes! We talked about the importance of acceptance, the joy of sharing a meal and who he’d invite to a dinner party.

How to Sharpen Knives at Home

Aug 7, 2023

how to sharpen knives at home

A dull knife can turn even the most enjoyable cooking experience into a frustrating and time-consuming task.

Whether you’re an aspiring home chef or a seasoned cooking enthusiast, knowing how to sharpen knives at home is a valuable skill that can ensure you have the best culinary experiences at home. Not only does a sharp knife make slicing and dicing effortless, but it also ensures safety in the kitchen by reducing the risk of accidents caused by a lack of control over a dull blade.

In this guide, discover how to sharpen kitchen knives at home and discover the right tools, techniques and tips to ensure you achieve a razor-sharp blade at home.

Hungry for more? A quality knife is an essential tool to a well-stocked kitchen, and we’ve got the one that’s perfect for yours. Plus, all knives ship free!

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how to sharpen knives at home

What you need to sharpen knives at home

With the right tools at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to bring back the sharpness and precision to your knives, making your culinary adventures more enjoyable—and more efficient.

The best way to sharpen knives at home effectively starts with the right tools. Some at-home knife sharpening items you’ll need include:

  1. Sharpening stone: Choose a high-quality sharpening stone with two sides: one with a coarse grit for initial sharpening and one with a fine grit for refining the edge. The stone should be suitable for your specific type of knives (like stainless steel or carbon steel).
  2. Honing rod: A honing rod, also known as a sharpening steel, is used for maintaining the sharpness of the knife between sharpening. It helps realign the edge and remove any minor dullness.
  3. Cutting board or towel: Place a cutting board or towel under the sharpening stone to provide stability and prevent slipping during the sharpening process.
  4. Cleaning cloth: A cleaning cloth is useful for wiping the blade and removing any debris or metal particles during the sharpening process.
  5. Angle guide or jig: An angle guide or jig can be helpful, especially for beginners, to maintain a consistent sharpening angle. It ensures that you sharpen the blade at the appropriate angle for optimal results.
  6. Lubricant or water (optional): Some sharpening stones require the use of a lubricant or water to prevent friction and facilitate the sharpening process. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific requirements of your sharpening stone.
  7. Knife sharpening system: If you prefer a more automated and precise approach, you may consider investing in a knife sharpening system that comes with built-in angle guides, adjustable settings and various grit options.
how to sharpen knives at home

How to sharpen knives at home

Now that you have the right tools for sharpening knives at home, you can easily transform dull blades into razor-sharp instruments that make chopping and julienning a breeze. Follow these steps to learn how to sharpen your knives at home effectively:

1. Prepare the sharpening stone.

Soak the sharpening stone in water for the recommended time mentioned by the manufacturer. Some stones require soaking, while others may only need a splash of water. Place the stone on a damp towel or a stable cutting board to prevent slipping during sharpening.

2.  Understand the knife’s bevel.

Most kitchen knives have a bevel angle between 15–20°. The bevel angle refers to the angle at which the blade is sharpened. Determine the bevel angle of your knife by checking the manufacturer’s specifications or doing a quick online search.

3. Start with the coarse grit side of the stone.

Hold the knife firmly with one hand, ensuring your fingers are away from the blade. Next, position the knife’s edge against the stone at the desired bevel angle. You’ll want to apply light pressure and move the knife across the stone in a sweeping motion, maintaining a consistent angle. Start from the base of the blade and move towards the tip.

Repeat this process on both sides of the blade for about 5–10 strokes, or until you see a burr (a thin metal ridge that indicates the edge is being shaped) or slight edge formation.

4. Switch to the fine grit side of the stone.

After using the coarse grid side of the stone, you’ll need to rinse the stone to remove any metal particles, then flip it to the fine grit side. Repeat the same sharpening process as before, but this time, use lighter pressure. Continue sharpening until you achieve a sharp and polished edge on both sides of the blade. This step helps refine the edge and remove any burrs from the coarse sharpening.

5. Test for sharpness.

Carefully wipe off any residue from the blade, then test the sharpness by gently slicing through a piece of paper or a tomato. A sharp knife should glide through effortlessly. If it doesn’t cut smoothly, you may need to repeat the sharpening process.

6. Keep up with honing and maintenance.

Regularly use a honing rod to maintain the sharpness of your knives between sharpening. To use a honing rod, hold the rod vertically and run the blade along its length at a 15–20° angle. Perform several passes on each side of the blade to realign the edge and remove any minor dullness.

how to maintain knives

Safety and maintenance tips for at-home knife sharpening

Remember to exercise caution while sharpening knives at home.

Keep your fingers away from the blade, maintain a consistent angle and work on a stable surface. It’s also important to store your knives properly to keep the blade in optimal condition—and ensure safety in the kitchen. There are a variety of knife storage options that can work for your kitchen space and aesthetic, including:

  • Knife blocks: Knife blocks are a popular storage option, providing a safe and convenient way to store your knives. Choose a knife block with slots that securely hold each knife, keeping them separated and protecting the blades. Make sure the block is placed on a stable countertop away from heat or moisture sources.
  • Magnetic knife strips: Magnetic knife strips offer a space-saving and visually appealing storage solution. Mount the strip on a wall or inside a cabinet, ensuring that it is securely attached. The magnetic surface holds the knives in place while keeping them easily accessible.
  • In-drawer knife organizers: If you prefer to keep your knives out of sight, an in-drawer knife organizer is an excellent option. These organizers have slots or sheaths that hold the knives securely in a drawer, protecting both the blades and your hands when reaching for them.
  • Knife guards or blade covers: Knife guards or blade covers are useful for protecting your knives during storage (and they’re a great option when traveling). These covers typically slide over the blade, providing a protective barrier that prevents accidental cuts and keeps the blades in optimal condition.
  • Knife rolls or cases: For those who frequently travel or need to transport their knives, a knife roll or case is a practical choice. These portable storage options usually feature compartments or pockets to hold individual knives securely. Ensure that the knives are properly covered and fastened to prevent any movement or damage during transportation.

Be sure to keep knives separate and avoid storing knives in a way that allows them to rub against each other, as this can cause damage to the blades. Each knife should have its own designated space or sheath. You’ll also want to dry knives before storage, so before putting knives away, wipe the blades with a clean cloth and make sure they are completely dry to prevent moisture buildup (which can lead to corrosion).

 

Hungry for more? A quality knife is an essential tool to a well-stocked kitchen, and we’ve got the one that’s perfect for yours. Plus, all knives ship free!

Explore Our Knife Collection

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