Dexam Knife Sharpening Clinic

How to identify a sharp knife

chef's choice knife sharpener

You have treated yourself to a collection of bespoke British knives made from up-cycled wood from estates in North Yorkshire. You have also invested in a new electric knife sharpener, allowing you to maintain the condition of your knives. One thing that unsettles you and leaves you unsure when caring for your knives and that is how to tell whether your knives are sharp?! Not wanting to over sharpen your knives, finding the correct standard is important is making sure that you don’t damage the blade.

At Dexam Knife Sharpening Clinic, we have put together a couple of vital tests, helping you to discover whether your knife is sharp. When cooking or preparing your food, your knife needs to be able to cut quickly and smoothly, guaranteeing your personal safety. A chef’s knife that you would use to cut both meat and vegetables needs to effortlessly slice through the ingredients, instead of sawing through the food. If a knife is harder to use, you will find yourself automatically putting more effort into the cut, creating more of an opportunity to hurt yourself and slice off a finger.

Paper test

By holding a piece of paper vertically, take your knife and attempt the cut the paper. A sharp knife will slice through the paper cleanly, while a super sharp knife will slice the paper just put pushing the point against the surface of the paper. This test is ideal and can separate a blunt knife from a super sharp knife, a blunt knife when it attempts to cut the piece of paper will fail the test.

Arm Hair

This test is only possible for those with hairy arms and will highlight only super sharp knives from blunt knives. A blunt knife when you run it just above your skin will just brush past your arm hairs’, where if you attempt this test with a super sharp knife, the sharp blade will cut every hair effortlessly that it encounters.

Slice a tomato

A tomato is one of the hardest vegetables to cut, slippery and spurting tomato juice when you slice into it. The rule of thumb when it comes to chopping tomato is, the sharper the knife the better. To test whether your knife really is sharp enough for the job, try and see how many times you can cut a tomato. Does the blade slice effortlessly through the tomato and is the cut clean? If so, then you can be certain that your knife is super sharp.


No matter the test you choose to help discover the sharpness of your knife, or your knife you choose to test, be sure to use a Chef’s Choice Electric Knife sharpener. Allowing you to sharpen Western and Japanese style knives. protecting your knives, the diamond knife sharpener can make your knives super sharp without splitting or damaging the blade. Browse our collection of Chef’s Choice knife sharpeners to find the model best suited to your cooking and cutting needs.