Professional Knife Sharpening Equipment: Honing the Finest Edges and Beyond

June 24, 2021

Sharpening a knife isn't simple. If you're a pro knife user, you should be mindful of sharpening tools. You need to be familiar with the correct professional knife sharpening equipment required to handle kitchen tasks safely and efficiently.

However, you should consider certain things to find the appropriate knife sharpening equipment and method for a particular type of knife. From steel type to user preference, these factors will help you hone the most refined edge needed in making your desired cuts precise.

Here's a guide on what you should look for when finding the best knife sharpener in the block!

Standards of a Chef’s Knife

A knife sharpener enhances and maintains the quality of a knife. But it can only do that if you choose a high-quality knife in the first place. No matter how much you sharpen a low-quality knife, it won't provide good performance. So here's a quick guide on professional knife standards.

“What Fits” Instead of “Buy This!”

If you don't have enough knowledge about knives, it would be best to ask for an expert's help. However, if you're concerned about getting tricked, here's a helpful tip: trust salespeople who ask about your needs and help you find what fits them. Don't trust those who tell you to buy a particular knife right off the bat. 

Passing the Knife Test

Test a knife that you already have or are currently considering. Testing basic knife cuts or specific cuts you're going to make would be helpful in determining its quality. You can try various cuts, such as mincing, dicing, slicing, or carving or cutting an ingredient into thin strips.

Convenient Dimensions

You need to look into a knife's physical characteristics and see if they are convenient for you. Consider the size, weight, and balance when choosing a knife.

  • Size: Find a knife that doesn't fall short against the size of the food you're slicing.
  • Weight: Choose heavier knives for more cutting force and lighter knives for dexterity.
  • Balance: A knife should have an equal balance on the handle and the blade so that you can control it with ease and security.  

A Knife as an Ally, Not an Enemy

When you’re not used to holding a knife, you might fear it, thinking it's dangerous. While you do need to use it carefully, the fear is a misconception. Knives serve as an extension for the things your hands can't do. If you don't feel secure holding a particular knife, find a replacement.

Sharpening Equipment for Professional Knives

As good as a high-quality professional knife can be, it requires regular maintenance for the tool to last. It needs thorough cleaning and sharpening when the edge becomes chipped or dull.

Once you see some minor issues, you need to work on them immediately. Here are various options for sharpening professional knives.

Sharpening Systems

Knife sharpening systems are devices that use steel or stones. The key to using this blade sharpening equipment is to find the right angle.

Sharpening systems are primarily composed of stones, steels, or rods for sharpening, honing, and polishing the knife's blade. However, each brand produces unique designs, so some of the parts may differ.

Time is a valuable asset, especially in commercial environments, and sharpening systems make an excellent ally to manage your time. A Chef'sChoice knife sharpener, for instance, can sharpen, hone, or polish a knife as fast as a few seconds to a minute. Another example is the Work Sharp knife sharpener with belt technology and a sharpening speed you can adjust from low to high.

knife sharpening equipment whetstones

Manual Freehand Sharpening

Traditional freehand sharpening takes more time but has better precision compared to machines. You can do it with either a whetstone or a pull-through sharpener. It requires more skill since you do it by hand, but once you figure it out, you're going to produce excellent results.


The prominent use of whetstones is to sharpen cutting tools. There are both natural and manufactured stones made of silicon carbide or aluminum oxide, which forms into a substance used for grinding or rubbing materials. Whetstones have four main classifications: water stones, Arkansas stones, diamond stones, and oil stones.

The most important part of a whetstone sharpener is the double-sided block: the coarse grit and fine grit. These grits serve different purposes: you use the coarse grit for sharpening and the fine grit for polishing and finishing touches. Whetstones have a long-standing reputation as the most effective sharpening method; however, ensure you have enough time to do it.

Pull-Through Sharpener

If you want an easy and cheap option, a manual pull-through sharpener will do the trick.

A pull-through contains two to three slots and a handle to grip while sharpening. The slots are made of different materials (diamond, steel, or silicon carbide) with a particular function (repairing, sharpening, and polishing). Use one hand to grip the handle while the other pulls and applies pressure to the knife in the slots.

There are no specific skills required for you to do this sharpening method.

knife sharpening equipment electric

Electric Knife Sharpener     

An electric knife sharpener machine has the same features as a manual sharpener. The only difference is that the grinding stones are placed in motorized wheels to work on the blade. As a result, it's faster and can give you the specific power or precision level you need for your knife. 

Professional Sharpening Services

Aside from various sharpening tools, a team of professionals can be of great help. Knife sharpening services vary in expertise, cost, and other related conditions, so you don't have to be too concerned about trying them out.

Instead, you can do some quick research on these services and find one that fits your needs, budget, and preferences. In addition, some knife brands include sharpening services and offer them for free or at lower rates!


Knives usually require sharpening every six months to a year for quality maintenance. It takes much practice, so get all available support you can afford. Learn from experts, watch tutorial videos, or attend technical culinary classes. Most importantly, buy a high-quality knife and sharpening equipment to get you started the right way.

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