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I learned this in my woodcarving club and it is valuable for our kitchen knives as well.
You can use the "back" of a real leather belt to sharpen knives!
This description is for the NON serrated blades only (the straight edged ones) although it could be used on a serrated blade as well if you keep your knife pinned flat down on the belt.
No need to wet the belt nor knife.
Just lie the belt on a flat surface. Lie the knife FLAT down with your fingers BEHIND the blade (as shown) and pull AWAY from the sharp part of the blade!!
AWAY FROM THE SHARP side!!!!!!! That's important! You will dull the knife the other way.
Doing this will rub off any burrs or bumpy edges of the blade, resharpening it.
Flip the knife to the other side then pull it AWAY from the blade side in that direction to finish it up.
Don't use your finger to test the sharpness!!!!
If you must test, woodcarvers will LIGHTLY touch their finger nail on the blade. You can tell if it's sharp by the feel of the knife on your nail.
Note: Don't try to rub the knife back and forth like an olden day barber in the movies! That can cause the knife edge to create a ROLL of metal on the edge of the knife blade, dulling it.
I have found that to keep a knife or scissors sharp, cutting kitchen foil is a simple answer.
By Anne Carter from UK
I know this may not seem important to many people, but I like a sharp cooking knife. This probably comes from living in Japan. Almost every household has a whetstone. We tend to sharpen the knife at least once a week if not every time we use it. Usually you wet the stone with water, but the water runs off or evaporates quickly.
The solution is to use liquid soap. The knife will glide better and the soap doesn't run off the stone as quickly as the water does. The extra bonus is when you have rinsed the knife off you will have a clean knife; you will have skipped a step.
By Tim from Science Hill, KY
Don't have a sharpening stone? Use a ceramic mug with a rough base. Turn mug upside down and using your opposite hand, hold the mug in place with the mug handle. Carefully run the blade at a slight angle across the bottom of the mug.
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We keep all of our knives for cutting, peeling, filleting, and other uses in a butcher block style holder. They stay very sharp all the time. The trick to this is once they are used they are immediately washed and dried off and replaced in the holder. So, if you are tired of having a dull knife try this and see how much sharper they stay
By Gem from VA
For a quick touch up on your knives, vigorously rub the blade on a green scratch pad, such as the Scotch brand. An old one will do. You will be surprised at the edge it will put on your knives.
Source: I discovered this while taking the rust off of a knife blade.
By Ann W. craftingtales.com from Loup City, NE
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Keeping your knives sharpened will cut your cooking preparation time considerably.