Sharpening Solutions: A Guide to Keeping Knives Sharp in a Restaurant or Commercial Setting

Posted by Kristie French on

In the fast-paced environment of a restaurant or commercial kitchen, sharp knives are an essential tool for efficiency, precision, and safety. Especially when you operate a fresh or scratch kitchen. Dull blades not only hinder productivity but can also pose a significant risk to kitchen staff. To ensure peak performance and longevity of your knives, it's crucial to implement effective sharpening solutions. In this blog post, we will explore various options for keeping knives sharp in a restaurant or commercial setting.

Professional Knife Sharpening Services:

One of the most reliable options for maintaining sharp knives is outsourcing the task to a professional knife sharpening service. Our specialized services employ skilled technicians who use precision equipment to restore blades to their optimal sharpness. While you may think this option may require an additional investment, it’s usually more affordable than you think! There are typically 2 options with professional knife sharpening services. On site mobile sharpening and Knife or Cutlery Exchange Service. To learn more about our Cutlery Exchange Services CLICK HERE!  This option requires no set up costs or time commitment. Knives are simply exchanged on a standard schedule. To learn more about all of our sharpening services CLICK HERE.

Electric Knife Sharpeners:

Electric knife sharpeners can be a solution for commercial kitchens. These compact devices utilize rotating abrasive wheels to grind and sharpen blades. If you choose to sharpen with an electric it's essential to choose a high-quality model to avoid potential heat damage to the blade. You will also want a dedicated space for sharpening to contain any metal dust that may be created using electric sharpeners. Some amount of training in the effective use is necessary for all electric sharpeners.

Manual Sharpening Systems:

Manual sharpening systems can be used in commercial kitchens. They typically consist of sharpening stones or diamond plates, honing guides, and a base for stability. These systems allow for precise control over the sharpening angle and are suitable for both beginners and experienced chefs. Regular maintenance and proper technique are necessary to achieve optimal results with manual sharpening systems. You will still want to have a dedicated sharpening area and Manual knife sharpeners take 2-3 time longer for each knife.

Honing Steels:

While often mistaken for sharpening tools, honing steels play a crucial role in maintaining knife sharpness. Honing Steels are not a replacement for sharpening. Honing, also known as realigning or straightening the edge, is the process of removing any misalignment or minor bends in the blade. By using a honing steel regularly, you can keep your knives performing at their best between sharpening sessions. It's important to note that honing steels do not actually sharpen knives but rather maintain their edge.


Whetstones provide traditional and time-tested methods of knife sharpening. Whetstones, made of abrasive materials like silicon carbide or ceramic, typically require soaking in water before use. They offer precise control over the sharpening process but demand practice and skill to master. Multiple grit stones are required to properly sharpen an edge. Frequent stone maintenance is necessary to maintain a flat stone. High quality stones can be very expensive and can take up to 10 times longer to sharpen a knife compared to other methods.


Maintaining sharp knives is paramount in a restaurant or commercial kitchen to ensure efficiency, safety, and top-notch results. Depending on your preferences and budget, various options are available for keeping your blades in prime condition. Whether you choose to invest in professional sharpening services, electric sharpeners, or manual systems like honing steels or whetstones, the key lies in regular maintenance and employing proper sharpening techniques. By prioritizing knife sharpness, you enhance the performance of your kitchen, empower your staff, and elevate the culinary experience for your customers.

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