Tasting Table Asks: How Often Do You Sharpen Kitchen Knives?

A good knife set might be some of the most used tools in any kitchen. It's no doubt one of the reasons that the chef's knife became one of the most played-out tattoos among professionals (via The Takeout).

Like any good tool, it's important to keep knives well maintained and in working order. According to The Cutting Edge, not only does keeping your knives sharp make chopping and dicing easier, but it also makes it safer. Dull blades mean more force must be applied when cutting, which can cause more mistakes, slips, and bloodied fingers.

How often do you need to sharpen your knives to keep them in cutting shape? Wüsthof executive chef Michael Garaghty told Forbes that most knives only need to be sharpened every few months. He says honing steels are good for keeping blades finely tuned between sharpenings and also recommends handing the work off to a professional sharpener every one to two years.

Sounds straightforward enough, but we wanted to know how often most home chefs actually take the time to refine their blades. So, Tasting Table surveyed 615 readers to see how diligent most people are about keeping their edges sharp.

Most sharpen their knives every few months

The survey offered a wide time range for participants to choose from, and the top results nearly came down to a tie. The winning result with 178 votes were those who followed Michael Garaghty's advice and sharpened their knives every few months. Falling just two votes short, and totaling 28.6% of the vote, were those that said they had never sharpened their knives.

The rest of the results were also nearly equally shared across the spectrum. Those who sharpen their knives weekly, monthly, and yearly each represented approximately 14% of the total — weekly with 87 votes, monthly with 90 votes, and yearly with 84 votes.

For those who want to up their sharpening game (we're looking at you, team 'never'), Chef Frank Proto told Epicurious that his favorite sharpening method is using a water stone. He also ranked some simpler methods for those not ready to invest in a sharpening stone or a knife set worthy of one.