Everything you need to know about knife sharpening

A sharp knife is a safe knife. Compensating for a dull blade by adding additional force can be dangerous and while Wüsthof knives are sharp from the start and retain their edge for a long time, honing and sharpening them when they need it will ensure they’re in top condition so that you retain control and predictability. Here is everything you need to know about knife sharpening.

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The difference between honing and sharpening

First, it is important to understand the difference between honing and sharpening. Honing re-aligns the microscopic teeth in the blade, but doesn’t remove steel to create a new edge the way ‘sharpening’ does. It is important to regularly hone your knife in order to keep the blade in good shape, this can even be done after each use. A well-honed knife will last longer between sharpening.

Sharpening a knife, on the other hand, actually takes a small amount of steel off the blade. Depending on how often the knives are used, they may only need to be sharpened once or twice a year. It is important not to over-sharpen knives as an over-sharpened knife will eventually lose the original, intended blade shape.

The right tools for the job

Wüsthof offers a wide range of honing and sharpening tools that are specially designed for home use and are guaranteed to keep your knives in top condition when used on a regular basis.

  • A steel will help revive your knife's edge, saving you time and effort in the kitchen. All it takes is a few strokes on either side of the blade before using your knife to keep it in pristine condition.

  • A handheld or pull-through sharpener uses specially designed cross-angled steel and ceramic bars to perfectly hone and sharpen all types of knives, with a course slot for dull blades and a fine slot to refresh an already sharp edge.

  • A whetstone is a particularly effective way of sharpening your knives and maintaining their edge. First use the coarse grit side to refresh the blade and then polish it to a razor-sharp edge with the super-fine grit.

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It is always recommended to use the same brand sharpener as the knives you are sharpening, because the steel hardness varies from one manufacturer to another. In order to properly sharpen your knives, you have to use a steel that is tempered at a higher Rockwell degree than the knife. Wüsthof forged knives are tempered at 58 Rockwell and all Wüsthof sharpening tools are tempered at 65 Rockwell.

Ensure your Wüsthof knives are always in the best possible condition by investing in the right honing and sharpening products.

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