How to use a knife sharpener

When you are trying to prepare a delicious meal in the kitchen, it can be frustrating and annoying to find that all your knives have dull blades. This can make chopping, slicing and dicing more time consuming and difficult. Having a manual or electric knife sharpener to hand can quickly fix this problem. Therefore it is important to have a knife sharpener handy but it is even more important to know how to use a knife sharpener!

Everything you need to know about how to use a knife sharpener

If you invest in a good quality knife sharpener it should only take a few minutes to get your knives back in tip-top condition and make getting those ingredients ready to be cooked easier and faster. This means you have more time to relax and enjoy the cooking process, maybe even with a lovely glass of wine in hand!

There is, however, a particular way to use a knife sharpener correctly. It is always recommended to follow the instructions and familiarise yourself with how one works before starting the process. Below we’ve laid out the steps you need to take to ensure you use your knife sharpener safely and have gleaming, useful knife blades in no time at all.

How to use a manual knife sharpener

First, it’s a good idea to test the knife to see if it’s dull. You can do this by folding a piece of paper (such as newspaper or printer paper) and pulling the knife through the fold - holding it up in the air and running the knife underneath, so you don’t cut yourself. If the blade isn’t able to slice through, smoothly and continuously, the knife is dull. 

If you think the knife is very blunt, then you can use a more vigorous setting which will reshape the knife to get it back to its prime. This is known as the coarse setting and is used to remove metal from the blade, reshaping the edge to make it sharp. If your knife has been sharpened reasonably recently, or you don’t think it is very dull, you can use the fine setting which is less vigorous. 

To use the manual knife sharpener, you insert the knife blade and pull it through three to six times from the base to the tip, gently pushing down to ensure the knife remains in contact with the sharpener as you do. It’s essential to use adequate force, otherwise the blade won’t sharpen properly. A helpful way to tell is to listen out for a grinding sound which lets you know that everything is working as it should. The sound will be much louder if you have it on the coarse setting! As you pull through, you should follow the curve of the knife to make sure that the whole length of the blade is being sharpened.

If you start on the coarse setting, you can finish the process by switching to the fine setting to give your blade that final finesse which will refine the edge. 

When you have finished sharpening your knife, rinse it under the tap for a few seconds to ensure no fragments of the metal remain on the blade. Then wash thoroughly with warm, soapy water and towel dry completely to stop it from rusting.

If you want to keep your knives in perfect condition, you can repeat this process every 2-3 days, though the frequency necessary will vary depending on how often you cook. 

If you would like to know more about manual knife sharpeners, please shop our section.

How to use an electric knife sharpener

If you have expensive knives and love to spend time in the kitchen creating delicious recipes for yourself and your loved ones, you may wish to invest in a good quality electric knife sharpener. While they are a little more expensive, the benefits mean they are easy to use, will sharpen even the dullest blade back to an excellent condition very quickly and generally will take less time and effort than using a manual sharpener. So, let’s look at how to use an electric knife sharpener.  

Researching and shopping around for an electric sharpener to find one that best suits your needs and one that is tailored to your specific set of knives can be helpful. Look out for additional features such as a 5-year guarantee. 

An electric sharpener does all the hard work for you. It will guide your knife into the correct position, and sharpen with ease. Some versions include polishing discs to make your knives not only work fantastically well but look brand new again too!

Electric sharpeners also usually have additional settings so you can be more precise about how sharp you want your blade to be.

If you would like to know more about electric knife sharpeners, please shop our section.

Invest In A Knife Sharpener Today!

It’s a good idea to ensure your blade remains cool through the process. You can do this by running it under cold water before you begin, or, if you are using a manual sharpener, in-between each time you pull it through. This can ensure that it doesn’t overheat as doing so could change the shape of the blade and make it more challenging to use. 

Remember, using a sharp blade is much safer than struggling with a blunt one. So by investing in a reliable knife sharpener, you can ensure your knives remain ready for action and save yourself time, exertion and keep you safer in the kitchen too!

At Dexam, we are delighted to offer our customers an extensive range of knife sharpeners, with both manual and electric versions to choose from. Browse our range today! 

If you have any questions or would like some advice on which knife sharpener is best for your needs, our friendly, knowledgeable customer services team is on hand to help. Just get in touch, and we’ll be pleased to talk to you.