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How many times a year should my knives get sharpened?

Cant afford Edgepro at this moment.

Was wondering the minimum amount of times per year I could send my knives to a professional sharpener that would give me a pretty sharp edge to work with for the rest of the year?


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  1. depends on what they're made of and how you use them...sorry.

    1. Now that really depends, doesn't it. On your knives, your knife skills, what you use them for, and how often you use them.

      1. Assuming you're taking good care of them (keeping them in a block instead of a drawer, washing them and putting them away immediately after use instead of leaving them on the counter), they probably would only need to be sharpened once a year.

        1. It completely depending the quality of your knives and the usage. I say the rule of thumb is about once a year.

          1. 3.2 times.

            Seriously, it depends on your knives, how you use em, how much you use em, what surface you cut on, how/whether you maintain them, and even on the sharpener you take em to - some sharpeners give you much more durable edges than others. Most of all, depends on how sharp is sharp enough for you.

            Anywhere between once a year and once a month is reasonable. And some people get sharpened even more or less often than that.

            19 Replies
            1. re: cowboyardee

              Just got mine professionally sharpened. Guy recommended using a steel every couple of days if you use the knives alot, then have them maintained every 4-6 months. Of course, he's in the business BUT...my knives were really really dull and I personally agree with his recommendation given how much I use them. It doesn't cost that much once you get the blade done, and sharp knives are much safer to use than dull ones. Its worth the few bucks, IMHO. OH and he said only use the knives on a wooden cutting board or a plastic cutting board. Apparently the nubby glass cutting boards do a real number on the blade.

              1. re: freia

                if you use the knives alot, then have them maintained every 4-6 months.
                You're kidding ,,,right? 4 to 6 months?

                1. re: Dave5440

                  Which way do you think it should swing? Greater interval or smaller interval? Yes, I know some of us sharpen our knives like every week and professional Japanese sushi chefs do so every single day, but these people do so on their own. It would be both time consuming and expensive to get knives sharpened by professional sharpeners more frequent than every 4 months.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    I would say more often, if I wait 4 months it takes far longer to get a decent edge, I do once a week when i'm using them takes about 10 min.

                    1. re: Dave5440

                      :) But that is only because you and I sharpen on our own. That will be different when we are talking about professional sharpening. How often do you think you would send out your knives for typical professional sharpening with grinding wheels and all?



                      Let's just forget time and money, let's just forget those. Frequent professional knife sharpening can really shorten the life of a knife. :)

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I have never sent a knife out to be sharpened, what did I do before I got "into" knives, I think we always had the crappy eversharp(?) knives with the sharpener in the storage case so everytime it was pulled out it went through the sharpener thingy, my mom has always had shitty dull knives but always had one of the eversharp things as well, my MIL always had cutcos sent out once a year. But when I decided to get a good knife a big part of the search for what steel it was made out of was based on sharpening it myself , that is why the knife and the EP where ordered at the same time.

                  2. re: Dave5440

                    no, not kidding. Lets face it, if you aren't really proficient with a steel you'll do more damage than good and I'm not terribly proficient with this. I'm not a professional chef. I don't have professional knives. I have really really good knives, but with the amount of cooking I do, 3 times a year works well. It cost me all of 12 bucks to get my knives sharpened to a really good edge (I don't have many knives). I'll happily do this 3 times a year. And I'm not sure how professional sharpening will shorten the life of a knife. Everything I've read says that frequent sharpening with a home electrical sharpener will shorten the life of a knife as they take off more metal than necessary and create a shallow shortlived edge. Professional sharpening is different I think. :)

                    1. re: freia

                      you *hope* -- there are crappy sharpeners out there, just like there are crappy plumbers and electricians and salespeople and lawyers.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        LOL the consequences of a bad knife sharpener is SOOO way less important to me that the consequences of a bad plumber or electrician. Sheesh, these are only knives! In my kitchen! That i used maybe 5 minutes a day!

                        1. re: freia

                          Some people care about having sharp, well maintained knives. If you don't, that's your prerogative. But until now I had been assuming that one's participation in this thread implied that they care at least a little. Go figure.

                          In reply to your earlier post, there is no guaranty that a professional sharpening is better for your knives than running em through a Chefs Choice. For example, I'd venture to guess that maybe half the kitchen supply stores that offer 'professional' sharpening just take your knives in the back and run em through a Chefs Choice or equivalent.

                          Most real professional sharpeners use power tools of some sort (only way to handle enough volume to make much of a profit) - belt sanders or ceramic wheels. These take off metal quickly - they won't wear down your knives super quickly, especially if your sharpener is skillful, but it's not as gentle as hand sharpening. There are a few professionals who offer hand sharpening, but they tend to cost a good bit more.

                          1. re: cowboyardee

                            Well of COURSE I care. Don't be ridiculous - why else would I answer the post? But obsessing over whether or not the pro I use has a grinder or a mechanical sharpener or uses a whetstone imported from Upper Volta and uses only the finest oil on it that was derived from rare minerals selectively mined off the North Face of K2 by tiny orphan hands? Honestly.,,.it just is such a minor issue in the overall scheme of kitchen things, well, at least to me. I suppose it becomes more important if you are a chef or serial killer or someone whose profession depends completely on them.
                            Sharpen them however you like, get them professionally done from time to time, don't stress about whether it is every 90 days or 120 days or 158 days. if you feel they're dull and a steel doesn't work for you, have someone sharpen them for you. If that person says OH MY GOD HAVE YOU BEEN OVERSHARPENING THEM???? YOU'VE BEEN USING A----GASP---- HOME GRINDER!!!!, promptly recoils in horror, then sends the Kitchen Knife Police after you? Just buy a new set, you only need a couple of decent knives when push comes to shove. Take a breath, enjoy your knives, have a happy life.

                            1. re: freia

                              "But obsessing over whether or not the pro I use has a grinder or a mechanical sharpener or uses a whetstone imported from Upper Volta and uses only the finest oil on it that was derived from rare minerals selectively mined off the North Face of K2 by tiny orphan hands?"

                              If you don't care, then that is you, but there is no need to make fun of people who take care of their knives and understand the difference between a grinder wheel and a waterstone. Those are very different techniques -- much like drying cleaning vs wet cleaning. Just because someone wishes his sport jacket to be dry cleaned, it does not mean he is obsessive.

                              "it just is such a minor issue in the overall scheme of kitchen things"

                              Maintaining kitchen knives is not a minor issue in the kitchen.

                              "I suppose it becomes more important if you are a chef or serial killer or someone whose profession depends completely on them. "

                              Are you suggesting that people who care about knife sharpening are either chefs or serial killers? Again, there are plenty of ways to make your argument without resorting to preemptive insults.

                              "Just buy a new set,"

                              This is the cookware section. People exchange idea of how to best care of their cookwares including knives, not how much money they have.

                              "if you aren't really proficient with a steel you'll do more damage than good and I'm not terribly proficient with this."

                              Consider that you cannot sharpen your own knives and have trouble honing them with a steel, do you not see the irony that you are lecturing people who actually understand knife maintenance? This is like watching an armchair quarterback lecturing a real quarterback what to do.


                              1. re: freia

                                Why so shrill?

                                You've made it perfectly clear that you neither know nor particularly care exactly how your professional works. Fine. No shame in that. As I implied above, plenty of people never have their knives sharpened at all; plenty of people don't even cook. To each his own.

                                Me personally - I don't think a knife is a "minor issue" in the "overall scheme of kitchen things." I think a chefs knife is the single most important tool in the kitchen... the single tool I use the most... the tool which makes the most difference to how quickly I can cook and what I can get done in an allotted time... and last but not least, the tool I most enjoy using in the kitchen. So it only makes sense that I care for it well, and keep it in the kind of shape that makes it a real joy for me to use.

                                On top of that, I sharpen knives professionally, so it's my job (a side job anyway) to care about the process.

                                I understand the 'Its. Just. A. Knife. LOLOLOL' camp. But you can apply the same logic to anything around here. Why bother taking the effort to make a really special pizza when Digiornos will fill you up just the same? Why bother spending years working on your barbeque brisket to get it perfect when you can make one that's palatable just by googling any brisket recipe at random? That's fine if it's your attitude - there's no moral imperative to perfect one's brisket or sharpen ones knives. But everybody's got to care about something.

                                1. re: freia

                                  I am neither a professional chef nor a serial killer, but I have spent a not-inconsiderable amount of money on my knives over a span of a number of years, because I have invested in excellent knives that I intend to have for a very long time. (I can use another utensil to do just about any other task in the kitchen - stirring, scooping, turning, whatever...but find me a good substitute for a sharp knife.)

                                  They are far too expensive to just toss and go replace.

                                  That's my choice -- if you don't want to make that sort of investment, that's fine. That's *your* choice. Some folks drive Mercedes, some folks drive Yugos. Some folks buy expensive knives and take good care of them, some buy inexpensive knives and go buy new ones when the edge is gone.

                                  And feel free to substitute any other profession for the ones I used upthread -- my point was that in every profession there are good ones and bad ones...and even the good ones screw up from time to time.

                                  I spent most of my career in the metalworking industry, so I did manage to learn a few things about cutting edges...if I choose to use that knowledge to my advantage, that's my prerogative.

                    2. re: cowboyardee

                      "Most of all, depends on how sharp is sharp enough for you."

                      Yep, that's the key. I like my knives sharp enough to cut completely through the skins of bell peppers with a gentle rock-cut (skin side down) and easily slice tomatoes using not much more than the weight of the blade. So, i sharpen (using a DMT diamond hone) whenever they start to be bad at that.

                      If you want to learn how to sharpen knives, try _An Edge in the Kitchen_ by Chad Ward.

                      1. re: KWagle

                        Good answers here... maybe not the ones the OP wanted :P

                        This is a good example though. KWagle wants his knives to cut through bell peppers with skin side down -- I prefer my knives to cut through peppers skin side up (which is certainly harder!). It's all about preference.

                        1. re: mateo21

                          "I prefer my knives to cut through peppers skin side up (which is certainly harder!). It's all about preference."
                          Agree..Tomatoes are another good test for a screamin' sharp blade.

                          1. re: mateo21

                            I think it's fairly easy to get a duller knife through the skin of a pepper skin side up by applying more force, which is why I specified skin side down and a gentle rock (meaning nom much more force than the weight of the knife provides.) I commonly find a duller knife doesn't get through the skin, leaving you with strips of pepper connected together. But I'll try it the other way when I have a bell pepper in hand.

                            1. re: KWagle

                              "I commonly find a duller knife doesn't get through the skin"

                              That could be a combination of two things. The knife not being sharp enough, and the cutting board is not flat enough.

                              In addition, it is easier to cut clean of a pepper or tomato skin when the cutting board has a little "give" like a wood cutting board. It is a lot harder on say a glass or marble cutting board.

                      2. I sharpen mine twice a year. We have good quality knives, no cheap junk but nothing crazy expensive. We cook almost every day, sometimes more than once a day. We clean our knives right away and pop them into the knife block right afterward. They generally don't need much more than a gentle reshaping and a little sharpening. We also use a steel every so often just to keep things tidy on the edges. Not sure if that helps at all...

                        It really does all depend - do you use wood cutting board or glass....or plastic...or rubber. Do you put them in the dishwasher? Do you keep them in a block? How often do ya cook?

                        1. I have carbon steel knives. I run them through the Chef's Choice sharpener around the fourth of July and around Thanksgiving, just lightly. I hone on a fairly smooth steel before each use. They'll easily cut tomatoes, crusty bread, or skin side up peppers. If the sharpener is whittling away the edges, it is not noticeable. I' invest in a sharpening system you like, be it a stone or a machine, and a good steel, not a diamond steel or multicut.

                          1. I invested in a great knife sharpener (Chef pro???) and I'm now addicted to sharpening. It really makes a difference. I don't think I sharpened for years before and WOW what a difference. It was pricey ($200? Before the coupon lol) but so worth it. And, its funny, all my friends bring knives over when they visit.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: spcnj

                              What's a Chef Pro?

                              I'm guessing it's an electric multi-slotted sharpener like the Chefs Choice models?

                              1. re: cowboyardee

                                It is the younger brother of Chefs Choice.

                            2. For a lot less you can get a DMT Aligner deluxe - plus the xx-fine stone. This and a bit of patience are all you need to get your knives VERY sharp and keep them that way. I too had considered the edge pro and other options. MANY sharpening pros rely on DMT. Unlike them I am not good at "freehanding" my angles. So for only $12 more I have GUIDED sharpening via their aligner. It makes it easy.

                              Just use lots of water, and ONLY water as a lubicant and only very gentle or no pressure - let the diamonds do the work. When in doubt, try using the finer blades for longer instead of using an overly coarse blade. You'll develop the feel of it faster this way and avoid eating away too much metal too soon.

                              1. Once a honing rod doesn't restore good cutting ability, or the day you reach for "the good knife" and stop using a blade because it doesn't cut as well. :)