Video: Don't be dull

A dull blade might be the one thing standing between you and mastering knife skills.

A sharp knife is not just one of the great joys of cooking, but safer to use as well. Sharp knives require less force to cut, saving on time and energy, and will never dangerously glance off a hard squash or the skin of a tomato. Yet a Milk Street survey found that 70 percent of home cooks never sharpen their knives! It can be difficult to find a professional sharpener and even more difficult to figure out which home device to buy. Plus, the stakes are high: Sharpening your knife incorrectly will do more damage than good to a high-quality blade.

Sharpening methods

Our only ask is that you keep you knives sharp. There are three ways we recommend, in no order of preference: sending them to a professional, using a mechanical sharpener or using a sharpening stone. And no matter which way they get sharp, keep them sharper longer with a honing steel. Here is more information about each.In this section we cover sharpening stones, mechanical, pull-through sharpeners and honing steals.

A note about blade angles:

Japanese blades are typically sharpened to a roughly 15 to 17 degree angle. The very acute angle creates less wedging than the 18 to 21 degrees of a European style blade. The wider angle is more durable, yet requires more force to use.

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