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Do Knife Sharpeners Go Bad? Here’s The Truth

Knife sharpeners are an essential tool to keep your knife edges sharp for easy cutting, slicing and dicing. Only a sharp knife will enable you to prep your meal with ease and safety.

Like all tools, knife sharpeners will eventually wear out and will need to be replaced. The question many people ask is how long do knife sharpeners last? And do knife sharpeners go bad? The answers depend on the type of sharpener you are using and the kind of abrasive surface it has. 

Different Types of Knife Sharpeners and Their Life Span 

There are different types of sharpeners, each with its pros and cons, which add up to determine its lifespan. Other factors, like how often they are used and the type of knife used on them, will also contribute to this lifespan. 

1. Sharpening Steel

Do Knife Sharpening Steels Go Bad?

Sharpening steels are in two categories. You have the ceramic sharpening steel and the diamond sharpening steel. The diamond sharpening steel has a diamond-embedded rod surface. The knife glides over the abrasive surface to get sharpened. Thus, the more frequently you use a diamond sharpening steel, the faster it gets worn out. Typically, it can go bad between two to five years. 

On the other hand, the ceramic sharpening steel is made from fired ceramic, and it is very brittle and highly durable. The abrasive surface is so strong that it doesn’t wear out at all. However, it can get clogged up by accumulated metal particles over the years, which can be removed by running warm soapy water over it. 

2. Whetstone

Do Whetstones Go Bad?

Whetstones are not strange to homes, and they are the perfect sharpeners for expensive long knives. They are also made with different types of stones and abrasive surfaces. They could be made with water or oil stones, and they could even have abrasive diamond surfaces. It’s common to find them made from Arkansas stone, Carborundum stone, or even aluminum oxide stone. 

Regardless of this material, they wear out over a while. The whetstone’s surface favored for constant sharpening gets flattened over time.  You might even need another stone to get the whetstone plain again. However, a good quality whetstone can last you for ten years, if not more, but deterioration might be noticeable within those years. 

3. Electric Knife Sharpeners

Do Whetstones Go Bad?

An electric knife sharpener seems to be an indestructible alternative when it comes to choosing a suitable knife sharpener. However, it is an electric appliance, and just like every other appliance, it can go bad and get damaged. You need to understand that not every knife is suitable for a knife sharpener. Thus, it is essential to go through the user manual to understand the best knife for your electric knife sharpener. 

Firstly, the grinding wheel cannot regulate the number of metal particles the sharpener removes. All it can regulate is the speed. The accumulated metal particles on the surface of the grinding wheel might render the sharpener inactive after a while. Secondly, since it is electric, it can run into voltage or circuit glitches, rendering the entire sharpener grounded.  

How Long Do Knife Sharpeners Last?

Investing in a quality knife sharpener is an important step to keep your knives sharp and help them to last longer. Likewise, caring for your knife sharpener with regular cleaning will keep it lasting longer.

If you care for your knife sharpener like you care for your knives it will last longer. Make sure to clean the metal particles off your sharpener immediately after use and keep them oiled when the manufacturer recommends it. With electric sharpeners, also unplug the power source when they are not in use.

If you follow the advice in this guide your sharpener will keep your knives sharp for a long time. 

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