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How To Use An Electric Knife Sharpener

How To Use An Electric Knife Sharpener

If you’re a regular cook, your knives are likely some of the most treasured cooking tools in the kitchen. Maybe you have a favorite knife or set of knives that get the job done better than any others. However, knives, like any other kitchen tool, experience wear and tear after regular use. As a blade dulls, it can become dangerous to use. 

The dulling of kitchen knives may be inevitable, but there are tools you can purchase to solve this problem fast and easy. Having an electric knife sharpener easily accessible in your kitchen makes sharpening knives a breeze. These machines might appear intimidating at first glance, but once you know the few simple steps to sharpen a knife using an electric knife sharpener, you’ll see how easy they truly are. To make learning how to use these tools as straightforward as possible, we’ve made a step-by-step list of how to use an electric knife sharpener. Keep reading for everything you need to know about sharpening your knives. 

Step-by-Step: How To Use An Electric Knife Sharpener

The tools needed when not using an electric knife sharpener
Image by Natalya Danko / Canva Photos

Did you know that dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives? A dull knife requires more of your effort to cut through foods, which can often lead to poor slicing form, lack of control, and increase the risk of cutting yourself. These are the simple steps to follow when sharpening your knives. 

Before you begin using your electric knife sharpener, it’s important to read the instruction manual and familiarize yourself with the features of your device. The on/off button will always be facing you. Most machines also have three different slots for the three different stages of sharpening. These slots are usually labeled as rough, fine, and extra fine. Over the course of the knife sharpening process, you’ll slide the blade through each of these slots. 


Place Knife Blade in the Sharpener Slot

Turn on your electric knife sharpener. There should be a light humming or whirring sound coming from the machine. You should also make sure that your hands are dry when beginning to sharpen these knives. 

Gently place the knife in the “rough” slot. With your hand firmly wrapped around the handle, press the knife down until it hits the interior grinding stone. You must make sure the knife is securely placed in the slot. You want to be certain the blade is connecting with the grinding stone fully. If it isn’t, you risk a blade that needs to be slid through the rough slot more than once which can damage the blade. You should also be careful not to press down too hard on the blade. This is another way to damage the knife. Simply let the blade sit securely within the electric knife sharpener without pressing down. 


Slide Knife Through Slot

Slowly pull the knife toward you in a half-circle movement to ensure the tip of the knife is also sharpened. You should only need to do this one or two times per side. It’s important that each side of the knife is pulled through with equal pressure and the same number of times. You need both sides of the knife to be equally sharp. Too many swipes through the rough slot of your electric knife sharpener can damage the end of the blade. However, if the blade hasn’t been sharpened in several weeks and the blade is exceptionally dull, it might require two or three pulls through the first slot. You can be the judge of this. 


Repeat on Finer Stones

As previously stated, most electric knife sharpeners have three slots of varying degrees of strength. After sliding your knife through the first slot one or two times, depending on the need of the blade. Move on to the second and third slots after completing the first. Go through the same movements on both sides of the knife, keeping an even sharpness throughout the entire process. 

This step can be adjusted depending on the dullness of the knife. If the knife only needs a light sharpening, you can skip slot one and go directly to slot two or three. Another strategy is to use the third slot every three to four days. This will help increase the amount of time between needing to go through the entire sharpening process and help ensure your knives cut like new with each use. 


Rinse and Dry Knife

Once you’ve sharpened your knife, it will be covered in filings that you don’t want sitting on the blade. Gently rinse the knife in warm water with soap. Make sure all the filings have been removed from the blade and hilt. Dry the blade thoroughly with a cloth dish or paper towel before use or storage. 

Using these simple steps ensures sharpening your knives at home is effortless and safe. The entire process takes no more than a few minutes and leaves you with kitchen knives that look as good as new. 


Click to expand questions to find solutions and resources.

Using an electric knife sharpener
Image by Canva Photos

Once you master the art of sharpening knives using an electric knife sharpener, you’ll never have to worry about slicing and dicing food with a dull blade. Electric knife sharpeners are easy to use and offer a precision that manual knife sharpeners can’t achieve. With this information in mind, you can start sharpening your cooking knives like a pro. 

Further Reading

Best Electric Knives
The 9 Best Electric Knives for Kitchen & Home
Best Japanese Knives
The 7 Best Japanese Knives
Best Camping Knife
The 7 Best Camping Knife Picks Fixed, Folding, and Pocket
How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife
How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife
Best Ceramic Knife Set
The 7 Best Ceramic Knife Sets
Types of Knives
Types of Knives: Outdoor Knives