Did you know that a dull knife is far more dangerous than a sharp knife? Dull knives are accident-prone because they require more pressure to cut. This means that if you were to accidentally press a dull knife onto your finger, you could chop it off completely. Sharp knives give you a warning far before they go deep enough to cut off your appendage.

This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to keep your kitchen knives sharpened; not to mention, it is much easier to cut through your produce and meat without the knife slipping around. Here’s how to sharpen kitchen knives safely, so that your kitchen collection remains safe and effective.

Get a Sharpening Steel

A sharpening steel is a long metal rod, almost resembling a nail file for knives. This common item typically comes with the purchase of a knife set; odds are, you have a sharpening steel in your collection.

While the sharpening steel doesn’t actually sharpen your knife, it can hone the edge and make it more effective. It’s a decent tool if you have nothing else, but you may want to seek out more effective sharpening options - especially if you are going to be using your high-quality kitchen knives on a regular basis.

How to Use a Sharpening Steel

You want to hold the steel vertically, with the tip of the steel planted on a firm surface. Hold the handle with one hand, while you bring the knife to it with another. The blade should be held at a 15-degree angle at all times. Simply drag the blade along the steel on the right side, and then repeat the same actions on the left side. You will want to pull the knife towards your body, keeping the middle of the blade in contact with the steel at all times.

Get an Electric Knife Sharpener

Electric knife sharpeners are used in professional kitchens across the world. These electronic devices are great for knives that need to stay constantly sharp, or knives that have horribly misshapen edges.

The best electric knife sharpeners will remove quite a bit of the misshapen metal from the edge of your blade, restoring the knife to its razor-like sharpness. Electric sharpeners are made for ease and convenience, and are a much less frustrating alternative to the traditional whetstone.

How to Use Electric Knife Sharpeners

Since they are plug-in machines, they are fairly simple to use. The device uses motorized wheels to spin against the blade of your knife, grinding the metal down to a fine point. This helps to get rid of the bumpy and jagged edges that have caused your knife to get dull.

Hold the knife firmly and pull the blade through one of the sharpening slots. Remember to pull towards you, and the machine will do the rest. You only need a few strokes to get your knife sharp again. No matter how damaged or dulled the knife has become, the electric sharpener can safely sharpen it again.

Remember that safety is key when dealing with knives. If you have a collection of dull knives, they are far more hazardous to your safety than sharp ones. Keep a sharpening steel or an electric sharpener in your kitchen for your convenience. Remember to keep a steady grip on the knives during the sharpening process, to ensure the safest sharpening procedure. With this guide, you are well on your way to having safe and effectively sharp knives.