The Humble Knife Sharpener

How do you use a Knife Sharpener for beginners?

If you’re looking for a truly sharp edge, a practical knife sharpener for your blades is probably in order. With a little know how you can get any kind of dull knife blade of any kind of material to a well sharpened edge, all by yourself!

What kind of knife sharpeners are there?

There are several kinds of sharpeners that each have their various pro’s and con’s, however at the heart is the same process of removing dulled or damaged steel from the knife base to tip along the edge (also known as bevel) angle.

Pull through sharpeners

Some of the cheaper ones are known as pull through sharpeners which have a set angle. If you sharpen with one of these ensure that you pull through the entire length of the knife. Also ensure that you use a light amount of pressure if using one of these. Also if using one of these make sure that the sharpener is set for your knife. Usually these don’t work well, however with the right knife and pull through you can achieve some results.

Whet/oil stones

Next are whet and oil stones (sharpening stones), which work by pushing the blade edge along the stone. These require you to keep the knife edge in alignment with the stone. In the past as far back as ancient times these were used exclusively. Now there are special set ups that allow you to set the angle and sharpen with a stone for pro level results.

Electric systems.

Electric sharpening systems can be attractive if you want a better experience than a basic sharpener but don’t want to deal with stones. The sharpening methods vary depending on brand.


There are many sharpeners out there that are a metal rod. You drag the knife down the rod on each side of the knife. This system is common to see being used by a chef. Keep in mind that these rods can do damage if used wrong.

Also make sure that you’re using the correct kind. There are two kinds of rods, one is a sharpening steel and the other is a honing steel. Knowing the difference can save you a lot of time and hassle.

How to use a knife sharpener to get a sharp edge.

While it’s commonly thought that the process of getting a knife sharp is difficult, it truly couldn’t be more true. With a little bit of knowledge, anyone can achieve what we call knife therapy!

Assuming that you’re starting with a clean knife and that the handle is in still in good quality, the sharpening process is just a matter of applying the correct angle and working to maintain it as you use progressively higher grit stones on both sides of the knife. If you’re using one of our systems then set the blade into the vice and set the arm at the correct level. Then work in a sweeping motion from the heel of the blade to the tip. For our first time or beginner sharpening customers this is always what we recommend.

If you’re using a traditional stone then instead of the system arm doing the work you’ll need to hold the knife edge at the correct angle as you push the knife along the whetstone. This method does require a lot more control in the grip and practice to achieve results.

European style knives, Japanese style knives, and more.

When you’re setting your knifes angle, it’s important to stop and look at the angle you’re using like we said above. Different kinds of knives use different angles, and a chef’s knife is a great reflection of that.

German style chef’s knives tend to be thinker than Japanese style chef’s knives, and this is due to different cooking techniques and what it’s slicing, chopping, and other kitchen factors. As such when the knife is forged a German style knife has a much thicker blade and a different angle.

Also of note, there are some specialty knives out there like a sushi knife. These are highly specialized for a certain kind of chef. If you own one of these we really recommend paying extra attention to the details of the knife to prevent it from breaking.

When it comes to determining the angle of any good knife we always recommend using a small level to verify you have everything in correct alignment.

The humble blade care system

Despite all the improvements that have come along with all sorts of technology, we still recommend people learn the sense of accomplishment that’s so influenced by sharpening their knives. We love to call it knife therapy because of how simple but enjoyable the process can be.

Remember that if you’re having issues with sharpening in your kitchen or other wise, you can reach out to our concierge service to help you diagnose issues and connect with us on social media to find others who are on the same journey you are!

Happy Knife Therapy!


What is the best thing to sharpen a knife with?

We always recommend using whetstones in a sharpening system to help you get knives of any kind to a quality edge. Whetstones have been used sense ancient times and the systems used now make handy work of resharpening any blade.

Do knife sharpeners ruin knives?

NO! A Knife sharpening system extend the life of knives when used correctly for the blade you have. The only sharpener that ruins knives is one used incorrectly!

What does honing do to a knife?

Honing is the process of putting an edge back into alignment. It is especially needed for a thinner blade like a Japanese knife, Swiss Army knife, or a straight razor.

Is knife honing necessary?

We recommend that honing be performed after every sharpening session. A good hone can do a knife a world of good regardless of the metal used in making the knife or the brand.

Can I sharpen knives myself?

Yes! We believe that the owner of any knife should be able to care for it with the proper respect that it deserves. The process to learn is simple but not easy. We have a tested checklist to help you if you need! Also If you’re looking for a great sharpener for beginners check out here!

How do you sharpen a knife for beginners?

Check out our checklist to help you, even if you have knives like these. We follow what we call the CUSH-P method. Ensure that the blade is Clean and doesn’t have any movement it shouldn’t. Then place it in a whetstone system to help you set the angle correctly using a level. The starting from low grit work the whetstone across the edge from heel extending to the tip several times on each side. Then step up to higher grit whetstones. Post sharpening we always hone our knives using strop attachments and finally ensure that the knife is protected by putting it back in a sheath or folding it closed.

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