How to sharpen your chef knives?

Every few months, you'll notice that your chef knives have a harder time yielding perfectly thin slices and precise dices. Keeping knives clean, sharp and ready to use will make your time in the kitchen easier and more fun. 

There are mainly two ways to sharpen a kitchen chef knife: 1) by using a grindstone, or 2) by using a knife sharpener.  

  1. Sharpening a chef knife with a grindstone

The first way to sharpen a knife is to use a grindstone, a rectangular block just like sandpaper that helps straighten and refine the dull blade. Most grindstones should be soaked in water before use, so check the manufacturer's instructions to be sure. If your grindstone needs soaking, soak it in water until it is completely saturated and no bubbles emerge, and it takes about 5 to 10 minutes. 

When you use the grindstone, hold the chef knife against the stone at a 20 degree angle and gently drag it a few times on each side. Most grindstones have a "rough surface" and a "fine surface "- if your knife is particularly blunt, start with the rough surface and repeat the process with the fine surface. If you sharpen your chef knife regularly, you can go straight to the fine side. 

  1. Sharpening a chef knife with a knife sharpener

This tool is a quick way to deal with a dull knife -- just press the blade into the coarse side, pull it in towards you a few times, then move to the fine surface. Learning how to use a knife sharpener might come in handy in a pinch, but it's not the best possible solution. So consider this method for sharpening less-pricey knives, and stick to using a grindstone when sharpening your fancy chef knives.

Furthermore, chef knives should be sharpened when they become blunt and their performance cannot be restored by honing. Experts recommend sharpening knives every one to two months, or the blades will be damaged or over-polished.

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