How to Sharpen a Knife With a Sharpening Rod

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Dull knives make cutting a difficult chore. They are also dangerous and hard to control. Keep your knives sharp and ready with a sharpening rod, also known as a steel. A steel is a specially made metal rod with a handle. It has a textured surface like an emery board or a fine rasp. You can find steels at any store where knives are sold.

Things You'll Need

  • Dull knife
  • Sharpening rod

Sharpen a Knife with a Sharpening Rod

  • Hold the sharpening rod with your left hand (if right handed), keeping your fingers on the handle. Direct the rod away from your body.

  • Firmly grip your knife your other hand. Be sure to keep your fingers away from the blade.

  • Place the blade near the handle of the sharpening rod at a 20-degree angle to the surface.

  • Slide the blade across the steel like you are cutting a thin slice off the steel. Sweep the entire length of the blade from handle to point.

  • Turn the knife over to sharpen the opposite side, pulling the knife toward you.

  • Repeat Steps 4 and 5, sharping each side of the blade equal times. Six to 10 strokes per side is usually enough.

  • Test your knife for sharpness by slicing the edge of a piece of paper. A well sharpened blade will cut into the edge with ease.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use the sharpening rod before each cutting job to keep your knife from getting dull.
  • Be aware of your surroundings; never use a knife where you can accidentally cut another person.
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