Sharpening a knife is sometimes perceived as the most difficult knife care task; and it probably is. Modern stainless steel is very hard and, when sharpened properly, will hold a good edge for a very long time. When sharpening a knife you must have a high quality sharpener that features a rough stock removal surface (preferably diamond abrasive) and a finishing surface of hard stone or ceramic abrasive. The diamond and ceramic materials will cut away the steel on the blade’s cutting surface easily as these materials are harder than steel. A hard stone will also perform this task, but the stone is only slightly harder than the steel and so this requires more effort on your part.
Most times, simply using kitchen steel on your cutlery will be sufficient. See instructions below.
Remember, Keep your knife sharpened — a dull blade can be more dangerous than a properly maintained one.
Sharpening with a Steel
When a knife is used, the edge eventually becomes dull. The edge will turn either to the left or right side depending on how you hold your knife when cutting. Quality knives with high carbon/molybdenum/vanadium alloy have elasticity and can easily be re-aligned by a sharpening steel. Do not use a diamond-coated steel or a pull-through manual or electric sharpening device for maintaining the edge. These devices will destroy your turned edge. They can be used to sharpen, but not for maintenance.
Place the knife blade against the tip of the sharpening steel at an angle of approximately 20 degrees. Pull the knife down and across the steel, describing a slight arc. Repeat this action on the back of the steel to sharpen the other side of the blade. Repeat steps 2 and 3 five to ten times, alternating the left and right side of the blade. It is very important to maintain the angle of 20 degrees and to run the full length of the cutting edge along the steel from the hilt to the tip of the knife. Speed of movement plays no part in this process.