How To Use A Wusthof Knife Sharpener – 5 Steps To Follow

You will sometimes find that your knives start to require more force to make cuts. A knife sharpener will quickly reset your blade good as new. Wusthof knives are manufactured with exceptionally high quality standards, and the same goes for their knife sharpeners. We have instructions here for you to use your new Wusthof knife sharpener properly and effectively.

Here is how you use a Wusthof handheld knife sharpener:

  1. Place your sharpener on the counter
  2. Hold your knife in your dominant hand
  3. Align your knife with sharpener blades
  4. Slide your knife through the blades
  5. Repeat until the knife is sharp

Sharp knives are a necessity in the kitchen. This sharpener makes maintaining your knife blades easy and fast. There are other sharpeners made by Wusthof, such as whetstones and steel sharpening rods which will be discussed later. Keep reading for all you'll need to know before using a Wusthof knife sharpener.

A person sharpening knives with a whetstone in the kitchen. How To Use A Wusthof Knife Sharpener - 5 Steps To Follow

Steps To Use A Wusthof Knife Sharpener

1. Place your sharpener on the counter

You can find this Wusthof knife sharpener on Amazon.

To begin, you want to place your sharpener on a sturdy surface. You should place the sharpener at a comfortable cutting angle. For example, if the sharpener is horizontal to your body, it will be more comfortable to move the knife straight back.

You should avoid using this tool while holding it in midair. It should be placed on a cutting board or counter. Keeping the sharpener on the counter ensures stability and safety while sharpening. You have more control over the angle of the knife as well since the rubber is nonslip.

2. Hold your knife in your dominant hand

Next, hold the knife in your dominant hand to be safe. Although it is a simple tool to use, you still want to have a confident grip on your knife. You will hold the knife as if you are cutting through the knife sharpener. Meanwhile, your non-dominant hand will be holding the handle of the sharpener.

3. Align your knife with sharpener blades

woman sharpening a knife before cutting into a pineapple in the kitchen

After you get a good grip on the knife and sharpener, you need to properly position your knife. The sharpener has two blades that intersect to create a valley. You will want your blade resting in the valley, perfectly straight. If you pass your blade through at the wrong angle, it will not sharpen the knife properly.

With other kinds of knife sharpeners, you need to worry about finding and maintaining precise angles. Alternatively, this sharpener comes set with the correct angle for your knife. If you hold the knife at any angle outside of 90 degrees, it will offset the preset angle and result in a dull blade.

4. Slide your knife through the blades

Next, you will be ready to sharpen. It is crucial to follow two simple guidelines while sharpening your knife. Those guidelines are to only sharpen in one direction and apply slight pressure. You want to drag your blade through the sharpener from heel to tip. Sawing your blade back and forth through the sharpener can damage your knife.

man sharpening a knife using a knife sharpener on a cutting board in a kitchen.

While you use this tool, you will only need to apply slight cutting pressure. Larger knives have enough weight on their own, but you need to apply some pressure to sharpen small knives effectively.

5. Repeat until the knife is sharp

Lastly, you want to slide your knife through the sharpener a few more times to fully sharpen your blade. It is recommended to only swipe your knife through the sharpener three to four times. It is important to note that you may need more or fewer swipes depending on how dull your blade is.

There are two sides to this sharpener: fine and coarse. If your knife is completely dull, use the coarse side to reset the blade, then finish with the fine side. Otherwise, for everyday sharpening, a few swipes through the fine blades will work perfectly.

See the following video for a product demonstration:

How often should you sharpen Wusthof knives?

Wusthof knives should only be sharpened with a coarse sharpener one to two times a year when the blade gets very dull. The fine side of the sharpener can be used after every use to maintain the sharpness of the blade. Sharpening your knife removes material, so doing it too often will shorten your blade's working life.

Knife-edge of sharpened professional ceramic chef's knife.

Wusthof products are produced in the steel manufacturing capital of the world. They are sharper than many other forged knives and have edge retention. This ensures that your blades will need less sharpening than other knives over their lifespan.

Can you use a Wusthof knife sharpener on other knives?

Yes, you can use this brand of knife sharpener on other knives. However, do so with caution. The steel blades in the sharpener have to be harder than the steel of the knife itself. So as long as the knife you are using is softer than the sharpener, you shouldn't have any issues.

Kitchen knives inventory on wooden background in a row arrangement

Although the steel hardness rule is cut and dry, you may not know the hardness of your knife. For that reason, it is safest to use a sharpener of the same brand as your knife. In doing so, you know for sure that your blade will be properly maintained.

What angle should knives be sharpened at?

If you are not using a handheld knife sharpener, as shown above, you will need to manually maintain an angle. For a European-style knife, you will need to sharpen it at 14 degrees.

An Asian-style knife should be sharpened at a steeper 10 degrees. These manual knife sharpening tools are whetstones and sharpening steels.

How to use a Wusthof sharpening steel

You can find this diamond sharpening steel on Amazon.

To use a sharpening steel, the steps are as follows:

  1. Hold steel with your non-dominant hand
  2. Hold the knife in your dominant hand
  3. Gently slide your knife down the steel
  4. Repeat for the other side

When holding the steel, you want it to be nose down on a sturdy surface. You will need to maintain your angle while sliding the knife down. To sharpen, you need to slide the knife downward and toward you simultaneously in one smooth motion.

Here is a video demonstration:

In this demonstration, he uses a 20-degree angle. However, for Wusthof knives, you want to follow the recommended 14 or 10 degrees depending on your knife style.

How to use a Wusthof whetstone

Click here to see this Wusthof whetstone on Amazon.

Sharpening with whetstones is a bit more involved. Here is how you use them:

  1. Submerge the whetstone in water
  2. Place whetstone coarse side up
  3. Move the knife heel to tip across the stone
  4. Flip the stone to the fine side
  5. Repeat sharpening process
  6. Rinse knives with hot water

You should submerge the stone for about 10 minutes. While sharpening, you need to keep reapplying water to help the stone further sharpen the blade.

It is extremely important that you rinse your knives afterward. The whetstone will release small abrasive particles that you do not want getting into your food.

Watch the following video for a demonstration using a non-soaking whetstone to sharpen a Wusthof blade:

How do I keep my Wusthof knife sharp?

Wusthof knives already have great edge retention, but there are some things you can do to keep your knife sharp. The best way is to maintain the blade and run it through a fine sharpener after every few uses.

Another great tool is a honing rod. Honing rods do not sharpen, but they will realign your blade, hence keeping it sharp for longer. To use the honing rod, follow the same steps as with a sharpening rod.

You can purchase this Wusthof honing steel on Amazon.

If you purchased your knives in a set, the knife block may include a sharpener. This is handy for quickly touching up your blade after a few uses. For help using a knife block sharpener, check out our article on how to use a built-in knife sharpener.

Does Wusthof offer free sharpening?

Wusthof does not offer free sharpening services. However, they do outsource to a professional sharpening company. They have walk-in locations as well as mail-in services.

Although the sharpening is not free, it is very affordable. You can have your knife professionally sharpened for as little as $10 with an additional $10 return mailing fee.

In Closing

Having a sharp knife in the kitchen is essential. Dull knives require more pressure to cut and are more prone to slipping. If your knife were to slip while you are applying pressure, you could get hurt.

Wusthof sharpening tools make maintaining and sharpening your knives easy. Every kitchen knife, including cleavers and bread knives, should be maintained and sharpened at home. If you need guidance on sharpening a serrated knife, read our article on how to sharpen a serrated bread knife.

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