Do Chefs Sharpen Their Own Knives?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 04/24/21 •  4 min read

A sharp blade not only makes food preparation easier but also more enjoyable.

This blade helps you chop, slice, mince and chop food with great ease like a pro.

For a chef, having a sharp knife is not a luxury but a necessity.

But, you should know that a good blade deserves the best maintenance like honing and sharpening.

Therefore, you should grind your blade regularly to restore its edge.

But, do chefs sharpen their own knives?

Yes, some sharpen their knives while others pay professional sharpeners to do the grinding for them. Some prefer grinding their knives while others opt to pay for this service due to how busy and tight their schedules are.

For chefs, having a razor-edged blade means that they are able to prepare their meals within no time.

Related: Best chef knives review

How often do their knives get sharpened?

For stainless steel knives, they require honing at least after every 3-5 uses.

Honing regularly keeps the cutting edge sharp and straight for the ultimate cutting experience.

Carbon steel cutters, on the other hand, require honing after every use.

This is because carbon steel does not retain its edges for long.

With regular honing, chefs only need to sharpen their knives not more than twice every six months.

Which sharpeners do chefs use?

There are several types of sharpeners at the disposal of professional chefs.

Ranging from steel rods, electric grinders, whetstones, and pull-through knife grinders.

However, chefs mostly use electric sharpeners due to their efficiency and reliability.

Also, these grinders are easy and effortless to use.

What is more to note about these sharpeners is that they are fast and hence sharpen your blade within a few seconds.

However, cooks also use steel rods and whetstones to do the job.

These sharpeners are tedious to use and require manual input.

Also, they are also time-consuming, and as such, cooks are not fond of using these grinders.

As a cook, you should only settle for the grinder that works best for you.

Do chefs need to bring their own knives?

In high-end and more professional restaurants, every chef prefers bringing their own knives.

The chefs clean, hone, and grind their tools personally.

In addition to this, the cooks work at a specific station that no other cook can use their station without the express permission of the other cook.

Most times, when a cook leaves the restaurant on a transfer or quitting employment, they carry their knives away as well.

Does sharpening ruin knives?

Ideally, grinding removes metal from the cutting edge to create a new edge.

While it is nearly impossible to ruin a blade by sharpening it, continuous grinding of the edge can lead to extreme wearing of the metal.

Therefore, repetitive grinding can ruin the blade in the long run.

Why is it hard sometimes?

Kitchen blades are relatively complex to sharpen as the radius curve of the blade changes along the edge.

Due to this, getting the right grinding angle can be hard, especially for inexperienced chefs.

However, with an electric grinder, it becomes easy and effortless to grind the blade consistently and uniformly.

Once you have sharpened your blades, it is only logical that you take the best care of these blades.

Make sure that you only cut on a soft surface such as a wooden cutting board.

How sharp should your blade be?

Ideally, a chef’s knife should be razor-sharp with a 10-12 degrees sharpness per side bevel.

With a razor-edge blade, cutting through food becomes easy.

Consequently, it allows you to make clean and consistent slices and cuts through all food types.

Is a professional knife-sharpening career worthy?

While most people presume that professional blade grinders do not make reasonable amounts of money, this is entirely not the case.

These professionals earn a considerable amount of money with well-established ones earning over $10,000 annually.

Like any other business, success in this trade depends on prowess, experience, and your customer base.

Where do chefs store their knives?

There are ideally four ways through which chefs store their kitchen blades.

These ways include a knife block, magnetic strip, in an in-drawer block, and in under cabinet knife block.

Whichever way you settle for, you need to ensure that the blades are stored away from moisture.

Also, ensure that the knife storage option of choice guarantees your safety.


Just like any other blade, a kitchen knife requires the best care and maintenance to remain in pristine condition.

Even the highest quality blades become dull with time and use.

Hence, you need to sharpen these blades regularly.

When using razor-edge blades, it is necessary that you exercise care and attention when handling the blades.

This is because they can inflict severe injuries if mishandled.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.