Sharpening a knife is an essential skill for anyone who loves the outdoors. It's also a great way to keep your kitchen knives in top condition. With the right tools and techniques, you can easily sharpen your knife at home. To sharpen a knife, you'll need either an electric sharpener or a sharpening stone.
Electric sharpeners are easy to use, but stones are generally the preferred option as they are softer on blades and relatively inexpensive. To use a sharpening stone, hold the knife at a 20-degree angle against the stone and gently drag each side of the knife against it several times. Most sharpening stones have a coarse-ground side and a fine-grinding side, so start with the coarse-grained side if the knife is especially blunt, then repeat the process on the fine-grinding side. To get the correct angle when sharpening your knife, start by holding it at 90 degrees relative to the steel.
Cut it in half and you'll be at 45 degrees. Cut it back in half and you'll be very close to 22 degrees, a good angle for steeling. Don't worry about having the exact angle; this system will get you close enough. When sharpening your knife, the steel on the edge of the blade is crushed, but sharpening it forms an already sharp blade.
To test if your knife is sharp enough, try cutting through a piece of paper. If it fails to cut the paper and slips or “breaks” the page, then you must sharpen the knife. You should sharpen your kitchen knife once every 2 or 3 months, or every time you prepare a meal. Learning to sharpen a pocket knife or kitchen knife shouldn't seem like a mystery, even if you have some art.
With practice and patience, you can easily master this skill.