How to Sharpen Knives - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. One of the first things every cook should know how to do — which will save time, make the preparation process easier, and run more smoothly — is to keep your knives sharp. Sharpening a knife is often overlooked in the cooking process because we are all so fascinated with food ingredients. But a knife — and this is the workhorse knife of a kitchen: it is called a chef's knife — you want to keep it sharpened. Guess what? That is not a knife sharpener. This is a honing steel. This is a knife sharpener. A knife sharpener actually sharpens the knife. A honing steal keeps the blade sharp after it has been sharpened. That is the first thing you should know. This is a wonderful little device that costs about twenty dollars and you can buy it in any kind of kitchen supply store. You set the knife in, and it is going to do three times on each side, on a coarse setting and a fine setting. As you place the knife down, you will find it fits in a way that the manufacturer has determined, which is the right angle. And you simply pull it through and this is sharpening the knife. And now the fine side. Three times on each side and now you have got a very sharp knife. Now you want to keep this sharp knife honed, and that is where this comes in: the honing steel. You are doing it at about a 17-degree angle, and you are moving the knife on both sides. Notice I am going away from my body. Normally I do this a lot faster. And I am running the knife from the bottom to the tip on both sides. Try to do that every time you use a knife. A sharp knife will make your job easier.