How often should you sharpen kitchen knives?

Do you love your chef knives? How often do you sharpen or hone them? Most people often wonder exactly how often they should sharpen their knives.

For your regular home use, your chef’s knives don’t have to be

sharpened more than a couple of times a tear. Nevertheless, it is important to hone the edge using steel once or twice a week.

How Often to Sharpen Knives

There are certain factors that determine how often you should sharpen your knives. These include:

But still, there are more things to know about the world of chef knives like the frequency of sharpening and honing. You will also discover a lot of surprising differences between low-quality knives and the high-end chef’s knives like the ones manufactured by WÜSTHOF.

It’s also important to get familiar with all the options for the best sharpening tools and what is ideal for your kitchen and budget.

How long does a chef knife remain sharp?

Certain factors that determine how long your knife remains sharp include how often you use it and the type of food you cut.

After all, you don’t have to sharpen your knife more than a few times a year if you just use it to cut onions and garlic a few times every week.

On the other hand, you will need to sharpen your knife a couple of time every month if you use knife on a regular basis to cut meat and poultry.

It’s also worth noting that there is a huge difference between sharpening and honing.

Sharpening implies grinding the metal blade down, which involves removing tiny bits of the metal. This shouldn’t damage the knife but should simply restore the V-shaped edge of your knife.

On the other hand, honing is done with sharpening steel which simply removes small tines of metal to ensure that the V-shape is aligned at a perfect angle.

In simple words, honing cannot make a dull knife sharp. However, it will remove the tines to make your knife sharper and in good shape.

How often should I hone my knife?

The main goal of honing is to align the tines of a knife that is already sharpened. This is something that should be done a couple of time whenever you are using your knife.

Unless you are using a carbon steel knife, you should not hone your knife with every use. This implies that we should typically hone or chef knives at home once or twice every week.

Most people make 2 big mistakes when honing a knife. They include:

  • Trying to sharpen a dull knife using a sharpening steel
  • Over-honing your knife

You should only hone your knife if it is already sharp. You can gently rub your finger against the blade to find out if your knife is sharp or not.

Alternatively, check out how your knife will easily slice through a sheet of paper. If your knife effortlessly slices through a piece of paper, then it is sharp. If the paper buckles or bends when trying to slice through, it is the right time to sharpen it before honing it.

If your knife is already sharp, it will only require a few swipes of on the sharpening steel to hone it.  

How often should I sharpen my knife with a whetstone?

A whetstone, also known as a water stone, is a type of sharpening stone. In spite of the name, a whetstone is used dry while a water stone is soaked in water or oil before you start sharpening.

Water and oil helps to hold the grit of the stone in place to allow the knife to be sharpened faster.

Most professional chefs sharpen the knife with a whetstone a couple of time every month. Honing on steel is usually done with honing steel on a daily basis. But for home use only, use a whetstone once a year and steel up to two times a month to ensure your knife is consistently sharp.

Which is the best method to sharpen your knife?

If you ask professional chefs about the best knife sharpening method, you’d probably get more than 10 answers. To begin, let’s see the most common knife sharpening methods:

  • Handheld sharpeners
  • Whetstone
  • Oil stone
  • Electric sharpener
  • Water stone
  • Diamond stone

In general, the heavier grits are best used on dull knives. The heavier grit will remove more metal than finer grits, and thus a heavier grit is not ideal if you sharpen your knives regularly.

Always wash your knife after sharpening

You should always wash your knife after sharpening. This helps to remove oil, grime, sweat from your hands, and food debris. It is also recommendable to wash your knife after honing.

How often should you sharpen your WÜSTHOF Knifes?

WÜSTHOF knives are a high-end brand of kitchenware. They have excellent quality in comparison to other knife brands in the market. According to the manufacturer, you should not over-sharpen your knives.

Every time you sharpen a knife, it will remove a small amount of steel from the blade. Over-sharpening will eventually make your knife to lose its original shape of the blade.

They also recommend the use of steel with a higher Rockwell degree than the knife you sharpen.

You should also use the same brand sharpener as the brand of your knife.

Can I sharpen my cheap knife?

The hardness of the steel is the biggest difference between a quality chef’s knife and a cheap chef’s knife.

Knifes that are made of soft steel have 2 main problems:

  • They lose their sharpness faster
  • Their metal shavings tends to break more easily and can clog you sharpening tool

Even if you have a cheap knife, sharpening is crucial. This is mainly because a dull knife is even more dangerous than a sharp knife.

However, you should sharpen your cheap knife more frequently and remember to always use a soft-bristle brush to scrub your sharpening tools. You can use oil in your sharpening stone as it helps to get rif of the tiny metal shavings.

Can you sharpen a knife too much?

You are probably sharpening your knife too much if you are feeling bothered. Remember that sharpening removes some material from your knife which can shorten its lifespan in the long run. Excessive removal is a problem if you are sharpening your knife too much or applying unnecessary pressure when sharpening.

It is always important to sharpen your knife when the need arises irrespective of its quality.

How many times should I sharpen my knife?

The numbers of time to sharpen your knife depends on the quality, steel type, and how you use your knife. A good kitchen knife should last sharp for months or longer. On average, you should sharpen your knife every 3 to for months, but you should wait longer until it becomes dull.

With proper use and storage, you can hone your knife every 2 to 3 months.


You now have an answer if you have been wondering how Often to Sharpen Knives. There are different sharpening and honing methods that are determined by the quality of your knife. The main purpose of sharpening and honing your knife is to ensure that it remains in good shape and allows you to perform kitchen tasks with ease. Sharpening your knife too often can be detrimental to its lifespan. Thus, you should only sharpen your knife when the need arises.

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