How much do you know about the grinding and maintenance of various kitchen knives

Sharp kitchen knives are indispensable tools for making delicious food

A sharp kitchen knife allows you to prepare ingredients more efficiently.

And the kitchen knife at home is dull, what will you do?

Continue to use blunt, or sand?

1. Why keep the knife sharp?

Some people say they actually prefer their knives to be dull because they think they are less likely to “injure” themselves with a dull knife. This is actually a wrong idea. When you use a dull knife, you are more likely to slip off your food and scratch yourself. Although cuts with sharp knives may be more severe, sharp knives provide better efficiency and precise cuts, resulting in better avoidance of cuts, while dull knives are more prone to slippage when cutting, This makes it easier to cut hands. Cuts with sharp knives actually heal faster and with less damage than cuts with dull knives.


Second, the grinding frequency of different types of tools

Due to the different materials of knives, some knives need to be sharpened frequently, while others are useless once sharpened, so which knives need to be sharpened?

01 Stainless Steel Knife – Grind once every 1-2 years

The material of the stainless steel knife contains more active metals other than iron, so it can prevent rust; at the same time, the stainless steel element chromium is also added to the stainless steel knife. When the chromium element content is greater than 12%, an oxide film will be formed on the surface of the stainless steel. Commonly known as passivation film, with this layer of oxide film, it will not be easily dissolved in some media, which plays a good isolation role and has strong corrosion resistance. Therefore, the excellent element ratio of stainless steel knives makes it more durable and does not require frequent grinding. General stainless steel knives can be sharpened once every 1-2 years. The better the steel, the longer the maintenance period.


Although you get what you pay for, it doesn’t mean that expensive knives are necessarily good. Here is a simple selection method: see whether the knife is a single material or a kitchen knife made of “composite steel”.

What is clad steel? Clad steel is like a sandwich biscuit, the “heart” in the middle is made of high carbon steel: it has a high carbon content and a hard material, which ensures the sharpness of the knife.

Compared with single-material stainless steel knives, which have to choose between sharpness and corrosion resistance, composite steel knives have achieved advantages and avoid weaknesses.

02 Ceramic Knives – Can’t Sharpen

As the name suggests, ceramic knives are made of ceramic. Ceramic knives are very sharp and have good oxidation resistance, and are mostly used in fruit knives. However, due to the material characteristics, ceramic knives are not suitable for handling hard objects, such as cutting bones and meat.


It is worth mentioning that ceramic knives are easier to absorb color. Therefore, after using a ceramic knife to cut colored ingredients such as red heart pitaya, it needs to be cleaned as soon as possible.

Ceramic knives cannot be sharpened and need to be used with care.

03 Iron Knife – Sharpen often

Iron knives are traditional Chinese kitchen knives. Because the materials used for iron knives contain impurities, their durability is not high; at the same time, due to the way Chinese chefs use “one kitchen knife to go around the world”, iron knives are widely used and cut many types of ingredients, and their wear and tear is also high. Relatively fast and therefore requires frequent sanding.

3. How to polish kitchen knives?

01 Elementary Edition – Plate Bottom

If you don’t have a sharpening stone at home, you can use a plate to sharpen it. Note here that you can’t choose a plate with a smooth bottom and an enamel-covered plate, and choose a plate with a rough bottom edge before it can be used to sharpen the knife.


Put the blade against the bottom ring of the plate, the blade and the bottom of the plate are at an angle of about 20 degrees, and rub up and down; after grinding one side, switch to the other side, pay attention to the same number of grindings on both sides as possible to ensure that the cutting edge is vertical.

02 Advanced Edition – Sharpening Stone / Sharpening Stick

Sharpening stones and sharpening sticks are “advanced products”, and the sharpening efficiency is much higher than that of plates.

It’s important to note that the sharpening stick doesn’t “sharpen” the knife, it works by realigning your blade back to the way it was originally shaped (about a 20-degree angle). Plus, it removes metal thorns and food debris from knives to keep the blade sharp.

Their usage and angles are similar to the plate method, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

1. The whetstone needs to be soaked in water, and then used after soaking up the water. During the sharpening process, please keep adding water;

2. When using the sharpening stone, pay attention to pushing and pulling lightly to avoid wearing the blade;

3. When using the sharpening stick, pay attention to the positive grinding and the reverse grinding alternately, which is more conducive to sharpening the knife.

03 Premium – Knife Sharpener

Some brands will develop a matching sharpener for knives, such as a stand-alone sharpener or a sharpener attached to the knife holder. They usually have a groove for sharpening the knife, and the working area inside the groove is usually composed of two pieces of metal in a V shape, just put the blade in and sharpen it back and forth a few times.


When cutting ingredients, a sharp knife does not push and pull back and forth, does not slide the knife, but is safer than a dull knife. So, take good care of your kitchen knife and sharpen it regularly.

Four, tool maintenance tips

In order to ensure the best use effect, different types of knives should be selected for cutting different foods;
Never put sharp knives in the sink waiting to be cleaned, they should be washed with warm water, dried with a clean towel, and put away immediately after use;
Do not wash knives in the dishwasher;
Cutting boards should be made of wood, bamboo, or plastic, as they won’t damage the blade like glass, granite, or porcelain.

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