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sharpening and caring for your kitchen knives

Kitchen Knife Sharpening Action Plan

Tired of not having sharp kitchen knives? Of squishing and mangling tomatoes instead of simply slicing them? If you crave performance but are crunched for time—here’s the ultimate kitchen knife sharpening fast-track plan. Grab it and go!

santoku in need of kitchen knife sharpening

1) Take an inventory of your kitchen knives. From the ones you use the most, make a short list of which are dullest. (If this inspires you to shop for some new ones, check out my article Best Chef Knives — Six Recommendations.)

2) Read Reviews of Professional Knife Sharpening Services (under the Sharpeners tab). Pick a kitchen knife sharpening service and mail out at least three knives from the above list. If you need an extra knife or two while the others are away, go to Walmart’s and buy a couple of cheapies. These can be your backups. (Or check out this bargain set on Amazon: Chicago Cutlery Essentials 3-Piece Packaging Set.)

3) Read the Top Ten Tips. . . on the home page. (Don’t click on hypertext—it will slow you down.)

4) Make sure you have a wooden or plastic (soft, not hard) cutting board as your main chopping board. Not bamboo. If you have questions, read my article Cutting Boards — Wood and Plastic. (If you’re in the market, here’s a great wood board by John Boos for $50.95; and a plastic one by Dexas for $9.99.)

5) Go straight to the How to Hone. . . article (under Hones/Steels) and watch the first video. Then, read about My Favorite Honing Steels (under the Shop tab) and order a
ceramic honing rod.

6) When your honing rod arrives, practice on your backup knives. Store the hone somewhere extremely accessible. Print out the Honing (or Steeling) Cheat Sheet and keep it with your hone.

7) When you get your knives back, follow the Top Ten Tips. Hone regularly. Remember—not much more pressure than the weight of the knife itself.

8) Hone regularly.

9) Hone regularly.

Congratulations! You’ve just reached a new level of kitchen knife sharpitude. A year or more may go by before you need to resharpen. Visit KKG in your spare time to learn more details about kitchen knife sharpening and care. And join the KKG Email Club!

Important note! If you own traditional Japanese knives, you’ll need to adapt this Action Plan some. 1) You should be extra careful about where you send them for sharpening. See the end of my Reviews of Professional Knife Sharpening Services article. 2) You should not use a hone on them, but only a waterstone.
1 Comment
  1. Great advice here, thanks for posting!

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An Edge in the Kitchen
by Chad Ward

Mastering Knife Skills
by Norman Weinstein

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