How often do you sharpen your knives?

I bring mine in to get sharpened about once a year. But, since my sharpening guy raised his prices, I’ve been wondering lately if I could get away with every two years. For some knives, I probably could, but maybe not my main knife. It’s just that I bring all of my knives in at the same time to his place, which is far for me to travel.

Just wanted to get an idea about how often other people sharpen their main chef’s (or workhorse) knife? Assuming you hone it regularly, how often do you check the edge, and how often (approx.) do you end up sharpening it?

might want to consider getting a jig and do the sharpening at home.
I got the EdgePro after years of free handing; it produces a much superior edge because the jig holds a consistent angle.

I don’t steel ‘regularly’ - I steel the knives every time it comes out of the block. 2-3 swipes is all it takes. I cook&do knife work daily.
my two work horse knives get sharpened twice a year, the others once a year.

that’s the beauty of DIY, you can check the edges under 10x power loupe and see if / how much work it may need.

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I sharpen my knives every few months or so. Went down the knife sharpening rabbit hole a few years ago and have a combo Japanese water stone (this one) that I’m still learning to use. Would probably be better at it if I sharpened more frequently.

Not often enough. Just wanted to represent us slackers…

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Great thread! I obsess about knife sharpening from time to time, usually in the context of not doing anything, doing it myself with my electric sharpener, or daring to do it on my stone. Off and on I’ve toyed with sending some out, but they are sort of like children going to daycare and I don’t want them to not get as good as I could give.

Some of it comes down to which knives. I’m going to try to link the thread I usually refer to.

ETA Sharpening A Japanese Knife

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I steel my knives almost before every use. I sharpen them when I feel a drag.

Sharpening knives is not difficult. Takes some equipment and some practice.

Different people use different methods.

If the cost of commercial sharpening is a financial concern, do you have a budget to purchase sharpening equipment. My local butcher shop used to charge $2 per knife.

Do you steel?

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I have the EdgePro system too - there’s a bit of a learning curve, but it does a great job once you get the hang of it. I find I only need to use it once a year or so, though. I give my knives a few swipes on a diamond sharpening steel each time I use them and that keeps them sharp enough for my liking for quite a while. I have a honing steel as well, but I prefer the results I get with the diamond steel.

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I used a steel for many years, but now I have a ceramic hone. I like it a lot better.

The cost went up from $10 a knife (over 6 inches) to $15 for a Western knife and $20 for a Japanese knife. I have one Wusthof Chef’s knife and two Japanse Myabi knives. I can’t afford to buy a whole knife sharpening kit., at least right now. I have an old Lansky kit that I used for many years, but it needs new stones, and it no longer has the proper angles for my knives. I never liked using it anyway.

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I sharpen my knives about once every six months to a yea, but this is a misleading because I have about 4-5 main knives and I rotate my knives in this duration. As such, it is probably more accurate to say that each knife of mine get used for about 3 months of use before sharpening.

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It depends if I carelessly hit bones or the cutting board too much and can’t get the edge back to satisfaction. I pick the knife for the job. Some knives I don’t care about and will abuse and then grind an edge back on or toss and replace. Some knives only touch meat and get pampered.

The problem with the majority of steels I see offered is that they have deep lines ground into them. In my opinion those and ceramic steels are for emergency use only and not intended to straighten a fine edge on normal kitchen knives.

My recommendation is to find a professional steel without lines or pits and work it in yourself with emery cloth. The steel should shine with barely detectable lines. One or two strokes will bring it back.

My apologies for the poor picture. It’s smooth like polished steel.

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Thank you - you have my full support in representing us.

Unlike the OP, I don’t have a knife sharpening guy and have never heard of one in these parts.

I do have a sharpening thingy like this one. It lives in the drawer and occasionally sees the light of day.
https://www.johnlewis.com/chantry-knife-sharpener-black/p230497825?sku=230497825&s_ppc=2dx92700055674811387&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIx7qt3KS68wIVRN3VCh3TtgF0EAQYAyABEgJwcfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

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I maintain with a loaded strop and a polishing strop, with a ceramic and metal steel as emergency backups. The loading is with green compound. As long as I keep up with the stropping, I don’t need to sharpen. Most of my knives are very hard (Rockwell 60 or so) and only need to have the edges refined. My Wusthofs get steeled from time to time.

This is great but I want to say something I remember like “parle vou france” . I think it was supposed to mean “Do you speak french?”. I do not speak French, but I am trying to learn the language knife sharpening.

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A steel and ceramic hone have different uses.

Lol @shrinkrap - the language of knife sharpening is much more difficult than learning French, to me. I fear it may be hopeless…and my favorite market that used to sharpen them closed up shop in town and moved out. Waaah, still miss that place. BUT, great new market opened yesterday. Just waiting til the novelty wears off a little before chancing a visit.

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Probably twice a year. I have a sharpening stone with 6000 grit one side and 2000 the other, as well as a steel honing rod. But I’m not very good ont he stone - the Youtube videos seem to have some variation in technique. I’d be interested to know the definitive proper way to do it.

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Hi JMat,

For me, it’s different hardnesses. My Rockwell 63’s are too hard for my steel, but the ceramic works. Below Rockwell 58, my steel is especially good, since I have both ribbed and flat parts.

Ray

Different hardness, different angles, it can be an art or learned skill.

I sharpen monthly (ceramic stone) for the two knives I use the most. Steel twice a week. Forever grateful to HungryOnion for helping me get started with sharpening. I will often not even reach for the peeler anymore. My edges are far from perfect, but last much longer than I’ve had with professional sharpening or the Trizor XV sharpener. It’s a special type of relationship.

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That’s interesting. So I assume you have Japanese knives and you strop them every day (or every use)? And you find you never have to actually sharpen them?

What about your Wusthofs?