Do You Sharpen Your Knives?

How often do you sharpen your knives?  Do you sharpen them at all?  I’m guessing you probably pay attention to your equipment, so chances are good you don’t let your knives go dull.  That’s great, but do you grind them until they’re dull before sharpening, or do you hone them every day?

When we first became serious about cooking, we purchased a set of quality knives.  We shopped around and brought home a set of Henckels “Professional S” seven piece block set, which included the 8″ chef’s knife, 8″ carving knife, the 3″ paring knife, a 5″ serrated utility knife and the obligatory sharpening steel.  The difference between these gleaming instruments and the old serrated kitchen knife we’d been using was amazing.  We really felt like we were creating at a higher level, although we’re probably just lucky we still have all our fingers.  Those new blades were sharp!  For a while, anyway.  Eventually they dulled, and I was forced to learn to use the sharpening steel to bring them back.  Hey, I watch the Food Network, and that’s what all the great chefs seemed to do, right?  I had some success, but that was short-lived.

I found out later that the sharpening steel you receive with one of these sets can, after much use, lose its ability to sharpen the blade.  So, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t keep an edge.  And because I found it difficult and frustrating to hone those knives using the sharpening steel, I began to do it less and less often.  Cutting, chopping and carving began to be a chore, and forget about those thin slices of tomato that taste so great with shaved mozzarella!

About this time, I received an amazing Christmas present from my wife.  I was very surprised to find the Chef’s Choice Diamond Hone 300 knife sharpener under my Christmas tree.  Hallelujah!  This two-stage sharpener is reasonably affordable, and it puts a terrific edge on all of our kitchen knives, usually in about 30 seconds per knife.  There is no setup beyond plugging it in, and now we have extremely sharp cutting tools whenever we’re in the mood to create in the kitchen.

I don’t sharpen knives every day, but I’m pretty good about pulling out that blade sharpener at a moment’s notice when the work begins to become difficult.  It’s been a great tool to have, and if you don’t have one I greatly encourage you to give it a thought.  Certainly, I enjoy having a sharpening steel in my kitchen, but I’ll only use it for a theatrical flourish to impress our guests.  I’ll be using my electric sharpener to really keep my cutting tools in perfect condition!

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2 Responses to Do You Sharpen Your Knives?

  1. Cathy says:

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your knife sharpener. It’s never ‘dull’ at our house anymore.

  2. Nate says:

    I love that thing! I just have to count digits when I’m done, that’s all.

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