How Often Should I Sharpen My Knife?

We love our knives.

Knives are essential tools in any kitchen, working environments, and garages everywhere. We use them to slice and dice, cutting rope and fresh flowers, or just cutting open boxes. For some, knives are just tools that are disposable an replaceable (Always in a safe manner of course.) We however look at our knives as a crucial part of us. We never go anywhere without one and we make sure that we take fantastic care of them.

When it comes to sharpening vs honing, having the right knowledge far exceeds technology.

How often should I sharpen my knives?

There is no simple answer to that question as it largely depends on three main concepts.

Blade hardness.

Knives are traditionally made of metal, however depending on the country of origin and manufacturer different alloys of metal are used in its forging. The harder the blade is the more abuse it can take before it starts to dull on the edge.

What you use it for.

Pocket knives are designed to take more use between sharpening than a straight razor. A knife designed to take apart rope, split wood in a survival situation, and cut into a plastic packaging will be thicker and last longer between whetstone treatments than the razor which only cuts beard hair.

If you protect the edge.

Knives kept in sheaths or folded and cut on cutting boards last longer than exposed blades that cut into harder surfaces. As the edge runs across surfaces the pointed V of the edge slowly starts to look more like a U. By protecting the edge you can go longer between oilstones.

How to test your knife to see if you need to sharpen it.

Most of the time through normal use you’ll find the knife isn’t performing as well as it was new. If your chefs knife cuts like a spoon through rubber its probably time to get the stones out. Lets say you were trying to check on your chefs knife. If you had half an onion which has lines you can try and slice through it. If it slices easily its probably sharp enough for the job. If the knife struggles to cut the onion then its safe to say that you need to sharpen it.

Note: In addition to sharpening knives, sometimes what you really need is a honing treatment with a strop or a honing iron. To learn more about honing check out our article on sharpening vs honing.

Check out our best beginner knife sharpener located here!

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