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Answered: Can Sharpening a Knife Everyday Ruin Your Knives?

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Knife sharpening is an essential part of knife maintenance. A sharp knife is necessary for a good clean cut, peak performance, and safety. Many people are concerned that sharpening a knife every day will ruin the knife. We explore this concept in more detail. 

Can Sharpening a Knife Everyday Ruin Your Knives? The fact is that sharpening a knife every day can ruin your knife. Sharpening a knife involves the permanent removal of knife blade material. Correct sharpening methods and the right timing can help reduce the impact of regular sharpening. 

Read on to understand the correct method and the best time to sharpen your knives. We explain the various options and what works best. This will ensure you always have a sharp knife while reducing the damage caused by sharpening. 

Can Sharpening a Knife Everyday Ruin Your Knives?
Can Sharpening a Knife Everyday Ruin Your Knives?

If you are interested in buying some of the whetstones we recommend and use regularly, you can find them in the table below:

UsageGrit TypeBest Option
Fixing stone320 gritShapton Kuromaku 320
Establishing the Edge400 gritNaniwa Chosera 400
Sharpening Stone600 gritNaniwa Chosera 600
Sharpening Stone800 gritNaniwa Chosera 800
Finishing Stone1000 gritSuehiro CERAX
Polishing Stone2000 gritShapton Kuromaku 2000
Polishing Stone5000 gritShapton Kuromaku 5000
Extra Polishing Stone8000 gritShapton Kuromaku 8000
Mirror Polishing Stone12000 gritShapton Kuromaku 12000
The Best Whetstones (Amazon links)

The Importance of a Sharp Knife

Knives are indispensable tools that have been around for tens of thousands of years and are still used today as everyday implements.

Whether in the kitchen, on the farm, out camping, in a war, or anywhere else, there is very little worse, useless, and more dangerous than a dull knife. 

To cut effectively, the knife edge must be sharp and looked after by keeping it sharp during use. So here is how you can help yourself make your knife last.

Sharpening a knife involves (or should involve) the careful and accurate removal of the minimum amount of material from the dull cutting edge of a knife blade. This will restore the sharp cutting edge while maintaining the angled edges of the blade. 

Logically, excessive sharpening will remove more material than necessary and eventually result in your knife resembling a knitting needle; no more knife blade left, or at least a blade that is now too thick at the edge to sharpen economically or successfully.

How Not to Sharpen Your Knife

Now, if you poorly sharpen a knife, say by rubbing it against a brick or a rock, you may very well get something that cuts to a degree, but the rough edge will soon wear away, and you will have a ruined knife edge that must go back to the rock again.

After such treatment, resharpening it properly may be an option. Still, invariably, a lot of material has to be ground away, and aesthetically the blade will have been ruined by scratches, etc.

Minimizing Damage from Sharpening 

However, there are ways to minimize the early demise of any knife, even those that enjoy regular use. In the following article, we will address a few simple questions whereby we can put your mind at rest as to whether you are mistreating your knife, thereby shortening its life, or if you are on the right track to extending its useful life indefinitely.

While there is more than one way to skin a cat (what a horrible analogy!), the same applies to looking after knives.

TIP: Experienced knife users say that a sharp knife is safer than a dull edge. Check out the main reasons why sharp knives are safer than dull ones in the article below:
10 Reasons Why A Sharp Knife Is Safer Than A Dull One (Tested)

Can you Sharpen a Knife Too Often? 

To answer this question, defining two generally accepted elements of the sharpening process is a good idea.

This is not an article that delves into the numerous methods and equipment used to sharpen knives; for more detailed information on that subject, we recommend that you look at more details on Sharpy Knives

First, it is easier to keep a sharp knife sharp rather than letting it become too dull and then trying to restore it.

Before, during, and or after use, as frequently as necessary, honing (also known as polishing), the fine cutting edge will realign and/or remove microscopic burrs and chips inevitably created by use. 

This honing process removes almost zero knife material but restores the fine cutting edge. However, the next step will be much more aggressive when the knife no longer regains its sharpness after honing. 

This second step involves removing a significant amount of knife edge material whereby the original cutting angles, which will eventually become rounded off through use and honing, are re-established to provide a new keen cutting edge.

If a knife is blunt and won’t respond to honing anymore, it will have to be re-sharpened; you have no other choice. 

So, to answer the question. If the knife’s cutting edge is not sharp, then at best, it’s useless. At worst, it is dangerous, and sharpening is not an option; it is essential. 

However, if the knife is sharp, why would you want to keep sharpening a sharp blade when all you are doing is removing blade material unnecessarily, thus shortening the knife’s lifespan? So yes, you can sharpen it too often. But if it is blunt, sharpen it. That’s not overkilling.

TIP: It is undoubtedly possible to oversharpen a knife and, after all, your time and effort, still end up with a knife edge that won’t be sharp or does not stay sharp for long! Find out more in the article below:
Can You Oversharpen A Knife? All You Need To Know

Can You Ruin a Knife by Sharpening It?

Even when done correctly, the act of sharpening a knife removes a certain amount of knife blade material, whereby the knife’s keen edge is restored.

Sharpening it incorrectly will undoubtedly result in a knife that is still not sharp or has such a poor edge that any thought of edge retention and sharpness evaporates.

It must be redone frequently – again and again until, well, you have no knife left. Poor sharpening methods can not only result in excessive blade material loss but could leave ugly scratches and marks, thereby ruining any aesthetic appeal. 

A knife is a consumable, and using it shortens its lifespan. The good news is that most knives, of good quality and looked after, will last a lifetime or two of regular use.

A lot of us, more senior citizens, are still using grandma’s kitchen carving knives which Sheffield Steel quite possibly made in Great Britain, or similar legends, one hundred years ago.

TIP: Whichever method you choose to sharpen your knife, it will involve passing the knife over the gritty surface of the sharpener. Find out more about removing metal from your knife in the article below:
Does Sharpening A Knife Remove Metal From It? Main Factors

How many Times Can You Sharpen a Knife?

How many Times Can You Sharpen a Knife?
How many Times Can You Sharpen a Knife?

All knives will eventually lose their fine edge, even in everyday use. Poor practices in storing your knives can also add to your woes. Knives jumbled together in a drawer will tend to bash their edges together, resulting in damaged edges. 

Quality knives, made with better steels, sharpened to the correct angles, and honed to a fine finish, will have sharp edges.

These will dramatically outperform their cheaper and less resilient cousins. With both quality and cheaper knives, it is worth evaluating the basic steels used in their manufacture. 

Stainless steel knives, which should be termed stain resistant rather than stainless, are made from various steels, all of which have a relatively high chrome content. 

The upshot of this is that the stainless materials are softer than high carbon steels and do not have the edge retention of the carbon steels.

On the other hand, due to the hardness of the steel, you would be able to achieve a much finer, thereby sharper cutting edge which will retain its sharpness way beyond that of a stainless blade. 

The downside of carbon steels is that they will rust in a matter of days if not cared for by cleaning and oiling continuously. I think stainless steel has improved so much that balance favors the stainless product, as looking after a carbon steel blade is unnecessary extra work.

Good quality knives, even in daily use, can deliver a lifetime of service. Professionals, such as butchers and chefs, etc., will always whisk up the edge by honing it as soon as it fails to cut as they feel it should. 

This is entirely possible to do several times a day. You have probably seen your butcher do just that, as it removes the minimum amount of material from the cutting edge. When the edge becomes beyond the capabilities of honing, then a new redefined edge is required. 

The users may choose to carry out the sharpening process themselves, but often the job will be tasked to a professional knife sharpener as this activity may only happen a few times a year.

UsageGrit TypeBest Option
Fixing stone320 gritShapton Kuromaku 320
Establishing the Edge400 gritNaniwa Chosera 400
Sharpening Stone600 gritNaniwa Chosera 600
Sharpening Stone800 gritNaniwa Chosera 800
Finishing Stone1000 gritSuehiro CERAX
Polishing Stone2000 gritShapton Kuromaku 2000
Polishing Stone5000 gritShapton Kuromaku 5000
Extra Polishing Stone8000 gritShapton Kuromaku 8000
Mirror Polishing Stone12000 gritShapton Kuromaku 12000
The Best Whetstones (Amazon links)

Is It Ok to Sharpen a Knife every day?

You must sharpen your knife every day if you are using it daily and the edge gets dull. Of course, it would be pointless just to take out your unused, barely used, but a still sharp knife and sharpen it. By doing so, you are taking blade material off, thereby incurring unnecessary wear and tear.

TIP: Most people own multiple types of knives, each with different sharpening requirements. Find out the answer on how often to sharpen different knives in the article below:
How Often To Sharpen A Knife? (Answers For All Knife Types)

Should You Sharpen Your Knife Every Time You Use It?

Every time you use a knife, you will dull the edge slightly. However, a good edge on better-quality knives will take much longer to become dull than poorly sharpened and/or poor-quality knives. 

Applying the honing technique as soon as you feel the blade is not performing will make your job easier, and as a bonus, it will make your knife last longer.

The blunter it gets, the harder you must make it work. The harder you make it work, the quicker the path to re-cutting the edge, removing blade material sooner than necessary.


It should now be clear that sharpening a knife too often or in the wrong way will eventually ruin it. You should have a good idea now of how to reduce this concern. There is a right way and a wrong way to do it. 

The quality of the knife, particularly the blade, is essential. A good-quality knife will last much longer than a poor-quality mass-produced article, but it will cost considerably more. 

If you are not proficient at sharpening, then at least brush up on how to hone the blade, keeping it sharp for as long as possible. When you can no longer whistle up a fine edge, you would be wise to take it to a professional and pay him to re-establish the edges.

TIP: Whetstone sharpening requires skills only acquired by practice and experience, but we all have to start somewhere. Check out the complete guide in the article below:
Step-By-Step GUIDE: How To Sharpen A Knife With A Whetstone