Foolproof Knife Sharpening (Really)

updated May 1, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine )

I respect a sharp blade: I take my knives to be sharpened as soon as lemon rind or tomato skin resists, and Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving until I lecture my mother about the dull state of her steel. (Sorry, Mom.) But I’ve always been afraid to sharpen my knives myself. There’s always seemed so much room for error, and so little certainty that I’m doing more good than harm. (Am I holding the blade to the honing rod at 17 degrees? What does 17 degrees look like? IS MATH EVEN REAL?)

After taking in my knives numerous times, I started to wonder what they use and if it was something I could just use myself to save the trip. Turns out, it’s just an abrasive belt and yes I could. I came across Work Sharp Culinary and noticed they use the same technology.The last time I took my knives in, though, I asked a pro what I should do. He didn’t hesitate: Get an electric sharpener. Enter the new Work Sharp Culinary electric sharpening system.

The Work Sharp Culinary E5 Electric Sharpening System with Ceramic Honing Rod (Image credit: Darex)

A sharp knife is the most important tool in the kitchen, so it can be intimidating to start sharpening it on your own. That fear disappears when you know you have good equipment. Darex has been a sharpening-focused family company since 1973 who makes really good equipment. Their game-changing design of their Work Sharp Culinary electric sharpeners, available in the E3 and the premier E5 products, sharpens knives the same way they were made — with flexible abrasive belts — for easy and professional-grade sharpening that makes you the expert.

How professional? The 17-degree guides keep knives at the right angle, and they’re leather-lined for smooth movement. The E5’s One Touch Programming comes with timed cycles, so you don’t have to guess or worry about overdoing it. It sharpens Asian, Western, serrated, and single-bevel blades — and even both kitchen and craft shears. Plus, exclusive MicroForge technology (available on the E5) creates a durable, more controlled cutting edge in one step.

So much going on under the hood means that you don’t have to do, well, much of anything. Check out how it works:

Each belt can sharpen about 100 knives before it needs to be replaced, but switching them out is easy, and the whole device is compact enough to hang out on the countertop. The E5 also comes with a ceramic honing rod for everyday maintenance — which, I was relieved to find, also has angled guides for accurate strokes. (Math wins again.)

(Image credit: Darex)

This post was created by the Kitchn Creative Studio and is sponsored by Darex.
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