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person sharpening knife

If your 2020 was anything like ours, it probably was filled with a bit of cooking and a lot of eating. Because of this trend, your kitchen knives may have suffered and are now in need of some TLC. Why not try sharpening them yourself at home? It’s not as hard as you might think!

First, it’s important to know the difference between sharpening your knives and honing them. Sharpening your knife makes the blade sharper, grinding the blade down to a point that will slice easily through whatever you are trying to cut. During the process of sharpening, the blade may bent slightly to either side. Honing straightens the blade back out, without sharpening the blade. You will need different tools to do both of these things, but both processes are necessary for a perfect slice!

There are two products you can use to sharpen your knives: a whetstone or a knife sharpener. A whetstone is a rectangular block that works like sandpaper – most even have a coarse grain and fine grain side to help especially dull blades become good as new. After soaking the block in water for 5 to 10 minutes, gently run each side of your blade against it at a 20 degree angle. If this sounds too complex for you, try a knife sharpener. They also have coarse grain and fine grain sides for precision. However, most experts (including ours at Godwin Hardware!) recommend only using a knife sharpener for your less expensive knives and reserving your best knives for sharpening on the whetstone.

After this process it done, it’s time to hone the blades with a piece of honing steel. Honing can be done weekly since it doesn’t sharpen the blade or wear the blade down. Hold the handle of the steel firmly in your non-dominant hand with the tip resting on a work surface. Pull the blade at a 20 degree angle across the honing steel towards you and then push it away. Repeat this process on the other side of your knife.

And that’s it – get everything you need at Godwin Hardware! Bon Appetit!