Any good cook knows how important it is to have sharp knives in the kitchen…it’s actually more important than having good knives!
Believe it or not, a sharp knife will be less likely to cause injury. When you get used to the glide of a sharp knife, you will cut with ease and reduce injury (which happens most often when you force a dull knife through food and it slips!).
This (above) is a steel. It is used to get the edge back on your knife (it’s the tiny nicks that make the knife lose it’s edge…when the nicks are smoothed out, the edge is returned). It doesn’t necessarily sharpen it…it just returns the edge. This should be done often.
But if you want to sharpen a knife properly, you should use a stone. Many people don’t have a proper stone to sharpen with. If you want a quick sharpen, just find a ceramic edge on the bottom of a plate…
…or the bottom of a cup.
Place the knife’s edge on a 20 degree angle and run it along the ceramic edge. Do it on both sides and you will refine the edge of your knife.
Every once in a while, have your knives professionally sharpened. When you take good care of your knives and keep them sharp, your cutting skills in the kitchen will improve dramatically.
Oh, and, btw, taking care of your knives means never putting them in the dishwasher. There is always the potential of ruining your handles if they are wooden. Flying debris in the dishwasher can also cause small nicks.
You take care of them and they will take care of you…that simple!