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Everything You Need to Know About Knife Sharpening

Here at Grace in the Kitchen, we are committed to making sure that your knives are at their prime! In this blog post, we break down everything you need to know about knife sharpening, from the differences between sharpening options, a bit about our professional service and some frequently asked questions!

A Sharp Knife is a Safe Knife...

This seems a bit counter-intuitive right! But it's true, a sharp knife is actually a lot safer in the kitchen than a dull knife. A nice, sharp blade cuts through food with ease, with the knife doing all the work. When using a dull knife, more pressure is typically needed to have the blade slice through whatever is being cut, especially when chopping something dense like a squash. The more pressure that is used, the greater chance of the knife slipping from the hand and causing an accident. This is why we recommend keeping your knives super sharp!

1. Professional Sharpening

Here at Grace in the Kitchen, we sharpen all our knives by hand by using a Japanese whetstone. This is widely agreed to be the best way to sharpen knives, and is a great option for any type, make or size of blade. We prefer a sharpening stone as it gives the sharpest edge with removing the least amount of material.

Using a whetstone requires a precise technique and process that our knife sharpener has truly mastered! The knife has to be dragged along the stone at a specific and consistent angle with a steady pace to protect the blade and get the sharpest edge. Different stones are used during this process, with the grit ranging depending on what each knife needs. All knives are then finished on a polishing stone, giving it that super sharp edge to make your blade feel like brand new!

We also sell sharpening stones in our store, which is a great option for those interested in learning this craft! If you decide to go this route, we recommend learning this process with a knife that you don't care so much about as a stone can be damaging when used incorrectly.

2. Pull-Through Sharpeners

Pull-through sharpeners are a great at-home option due to their ease of use! However, a pull-through sharpener will never get your blade to the same sharpness that is achieved with a sharpening stone. This is due to the fact that pull-through sharpeners take a one-size fits all approach to each knife. Pull-through sharpeners also should be avoided on Japanese blades, unless it is one that specifically says it can be used on them, as these fragile blades are more prone to chipping. We recommend pull-through sharpeners as a great tool for maintaining the sharpness of your blade in between professional sharpens, but they cannot fully replace whetstone sharpening.

3. Honing Steels

Honing steels are not actually sharpeners, and therefore cannot replace professional or pull-through sharpeners. When using your knife, the blade tends to become slightly misaligned as it cuts. A honing steel straightens the blade, helping to protect the edge and prolong the sharpness. A honing steel should be used roughly every time you use your knife (hence why you always see chefs do it before starting their prep work). To properly use one, simply place the tip of the steel on a cutting board and firmly hold it in place. Run your knife down it carefully at about a 15-degree angle. Repeat about 4 to five times, and your knife is all set!


Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I sharpen my knives?

The answer to this question really comes down to how often you use your knives! A knife used everyday will have to be sharpened more often than a knife you use every once in a while (think a chef's or paring knife versus a carving knife). As a general rule of thumb, we recommend bringing them in for a professional sharpen about 1-2 times a year.

My knives aren't the best quality; can they still be sharpened?

Of course! Any kitchen knife can be sharpened and given a new life again. Please note however that certain quality blades will never get as sharp as higher-grade ones. The sharpness and longevity of an edge comes down to the type of steel used.

How long does your sharpening service take?

It will take about 24-48 hours. Simply bring your knives to the front counter to drop them off and we will give you a call when they are ready!

What is the best way to maintain the sharp edge?

To prolong a sharp blade for as long as possible it is important to take care of your knives. Please never put your knives in the dishwasher, as this can be incredibly damaging to your blade and handle. All kitchen knives should only be hand-washed. Furthermore, ensure you are properly storing your knives in a knife block or with blade covers to ensure they are not getting nicked from anything else.

I chipped my knife, can this be fixed?

Yes, absolutely! Our knife sharpener is amazing at repairing knives. Whether it be a chip in the blade, a missing tip, or even creating a completely new edge for the knife, our sharpener can help to make your knives feel like they are brand new! Repairs are priced based on the severity of the damage.

What do you sharpen?

We primarily sharpen kitchen knives and scissors (that are able to come apart). If you have something specific you are looking to have sharpened, please give us a call to see if we can accommodate you!


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