How to Use a Knife Sharpener
A sharp knife is a safe knife. If it's used to cut food, even sporadically, after some time, the blade will dull. This will then cause you to need unnecessary pressure and force to cut foods the blade used to glide right through. Although you can prolong your blade's sharpness by refraining from using it on glass or marble surfaces and cleaning and storing properly, it will require extra care at some point. Learn about the ways in which you can keep your cuts crisp, slices thin and your cutlery in tip top shape.
Contrary to popular belief, honing a blade is different than sharpening. Honing takes off very little, if any, of the material of the blade. All the steel does is recenter the blade, which loses its alignment after use, impairing cutting ability. To hone properly, hold the steel and the blade at arm's length. Run each side along the rod at a 20-degree angle, applying some pressure. Stroke each side several times, then try cutting a fruit or vegetable to test the improvements. Honing can be done much more frequently than sharpening and can even help prolong sharpness.
No need to worry about angle or pressure with this style—electric grinders will keep both straight and serrated blades in prime condition with little to no work from you. Not nearly as hands-on as a honing steel, electric sharpeners are noisier and take up more counter space but will keep knives in prime condition with little to no work from you. Safe, fast and user-friendly, they can easily be stored in a kitchen cabinet or under the counter when not in use. Keep in mind that, with proper honing, blades really only need to be sharpened a couple of times per year.