How Often Should You Sharpen a Chef’s Knife?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How Often Should You Sharpen a Chef’s Knife?” and will discuss some tips to sharpen the chef’s knife.

How Often Should You Sharpen a Chef’s Knife?

A chef’s knife only has to be sharpened a few times a year for normal household usage. However, once or twice a week, use steel to sharpen the edge. How frequently you need to sharpen your knife depends on a variety of factors, including the quality of the knife, how often it’s used, and the kind of food you’re cutting.

For how long should a chef’s knife remain sharp?

With regular household usage, a decent chef’s knife should only need sharpening every 2 to 3 years. However, you should use steel to sharpen your chef’s knife around once or twice a week to keep it in top condition. One of course is how frequently do I cut down on this and what exactly am I cutting back on?

Since the average home chef only cuts onions and garlic a few times per week, they may only need to sharpen their knife a few times each year. However, as a reformed gourmet who often uses her chef’s knife on anything from meat to fowl, I sharpen hers approximately once every 12 weeks.

Use a whetstone regularly to keep your tools sharp.

Depending on how often you use your chef’s knife, you should sharpen it on a whetstone two to three times each year. Whetstones, also known as water stones, are sharpening stones. However, a whetstone is used dry, whereas a water stone is submerged in water before sharpening, and a sharpening stone is sometimes sprayed with oil before sharpening, despite its name.

When using oil and water, the goal is to keep the grit of the stone in place while sharpening the knife more quickly. When I put oil on the stone and knife before, it left a film on them that was difficult to remove. As a result, I now grind my blades on a whetstone that is dry. Perhaps a spray of water would suffice.

Like any sharpener, how frequently you use it and what you’re cutting will determine how often you need to sharpen it. Using a whetstone and steel nearly every day, professional cooks sharpen their knives many times each month. Home chefs, on the other hand, only need to use a whetstone and steel once or twice a month to keep their blades consistently sharp.

Which technique of sharpening a chef’s knife is the best?

While using chef knives, it is recommended to use two different types of whetstones to get the greatest results: one with high grit and one with light grit. First, use the coarse grit and a little quantity of water to clean the surface. Keep going until you feel the blade become too sharp to work with.

You’ll receive ten different responses if you ask ten different chefs what they consider to be the “best” of anything.

To begin, let’s have a look at the most popular approaches:

The coarser grit should only be used on very dull blades, in general. Because a heavier grit removes more metal than the finer ones, it’s generally not a good idea to use one on expensive knives that you sharpen often.

To begin honing your knife, renowned knife expert Bob Kramer suggests the procedures listed below:

  • Use a kitchen scale to measure your knife pressure and see how much power it takes to get 4-6 pounds of pressure.
  • Place the steel on a cutting board and pound it down firmly.
  • Every swipe should be done at a 10–15-degree angle.
  • Angle the blade as you pull it from the heel to the tip.
  • Repeat 4-8 times, decreasing the pressure each time.

To find out whether your knife needs to be sharpened again, test it out on a piece of paper or onion after you’ve properly polished it. If this is the case, follow these steps:

  • You’ll want to have two stones on hand, one with more grit and the other with less
  • Begin by using a coarser grain.
  • Sprinkle your water stone with a little water; if it takes, immerse your stone for 10 minutes in the water.
  • Use your fingers to gently brush a little amount of water onto a water stone.
  • Use your other hand’s fingers to push and provide pressure to the blade’s flat side while holding the knife in your dominant hand.
  • Pull the knife towards you in an arcing motion from the heel to the tip while maintaining the same 10–15-degree angle.
  • Start with 4-6 pounds of pressure and work your way down to 2-3 lbs. of pressure as time goes on.
  • Moving to a finer grit stone for polishing your knife when you can feel the sharp wire edge
  • Use a finer grit stone and repeat the process.
  • Rinse and dry your stones once you’ve cleaned them with a cloth and wiped them dry.

To learn about the ultimate guide to chef’s knives, click here 


In this brief guide, we answered the query, “How Often Should You Sharpen a Chef’s Knife?” and discussed some tips to sharpen the chef’s knife.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.