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Sharpen your knives at home — these 3 products will help

Most tasks require specific tools. Most of the time, better tools mean easier work for you. This is definitely true when it comes to kitchen knives; even the best kitchen knives don’t do you any good if they aren’t adequately sharpened.

Having your blades professionally sharpened is expensive and inconvenient — sending your knives somewhere leaves you knife-less for days. And, while you’ve probably considered sharpening your knives yourself, if you don’t know anything about sharpening stones, you may be a bit intimidated. Don’t worry! With a bit of practice and a good knife sharpening stone, you’ll be sharpening your knives with confidence in no time.

Sharpening stones

People have been using rocks to sharpen tools and weapons since the beginning of time, so why would you look to another knife-sharpening method? This method for home knife sharpening requires the highest level of skill, so many people are intimidated by it. However, if you want to learn, this method gives you the most control over your blade’s angle and bevel — and the most satisfaction, in our opinion.

The Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone is an affordable option that gets the job done. The stone is double-sided with two different grits: #1000 grit for tough jobs like chipped or dull knives, and a finer #6000 grit for honing and finishing edges. 

Be sure to keep a consistent angle of the blade and use long strokes when sharpening. This will feel awkward at first, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time. Remember to always finish on a fine grit so the blade’s edge is as polished and sharp as possible.

The main downside to sharpening stones is that you cannot sharpen serrated knives with a whetstone, and sharpening ceramic blades is extremely difficult; these types of stones work best with steel knives. 

Manual sharpeners

The manual knife sharpener sits at the intersection of ease of use and quality of results. The advantage of these manual sharpeners is that they force your blade into the correct angle every time. The gadget’s base holds the sharpening stones in place so your blade, no matter the size, is sharpened at the same angle every time. Our favorite manual sharpeners have two different grits and a final ceramic phase for honing.

These sharpeners are easy to use since the steps are labeled, and you can even touch up serrated blades with one. A few passes through each phase, and your knives will be sharpened and honed in no time. Look for a sharpener with a broad and slip-resistant base for ensured safety. This type of knife sharpener is also easy to store and will likely last a long time.

Electric sharpeners

Electric knife sharpeners are convenient and consistent, yet will likely wear down your blade. How much the electric sharpener grinds down your knife depends on the quality (read: price) of the sharpener you have. This is where your investment matters; cheap electric sharpeners can damage your blades rather than sharpen them.

The Chef’sChoice Hone Electric Knife Sharpener is more than capable of bringing knives that have been long forgotten back to life in under a minute. Routine maintenance takes as little as 10 seconds with this professional-grade knife sharpener.

There are models with set angles that will reshape all of your blades to a 15-degree bevel on each side, if that is something you desire. But, if you’re going to splurge on the electric sharpener of your dreams, you may as well get the one that lets you choose between 15 or 20 degrees. Keep in mind that you can’t sharpen ceramic knives on all-electric sharpeners, so if that’s your main goal, be sure the grindstones are diamond.

Now that you understand the three basic knife sharpening tools, and which one works well for your knives, it’s time to gather your knives and start sharpening. Especially if you haven’t cut with a sharp knife in ages, you’d be surprised at the difference a block of freshly-sharpened knives makes to your cooking and eating experiences.

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