Is There a Knife That Never Needs Sharpening?

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Anyone who’s had to deal with a blunt blade while slicing (or more accurately, unintentionally pureeing) tomatoes and have no idea how to use a whetstone has always wished for a tool that will stay razor-sharp forever.

You’ve probably seen many products advertised as such.

And you’ve probably been tempted to go on Amazon ASAP and order that.

But like any unbelievably remarkable news, this is just too good to be true.

The truth is, all knives with a straight edge will need sharpening. Some may not require this in a year or so because they have better edge retention. But those will also dull at some point in time, particularly when used for tough items.

Let’s pinpoint some of the amazing claims some have about certain products and highlight just the truth:

Serrated Knives Won’t Go Dull

Made specifically for bread, this type of blade has a jagged teeth-like edge instead of a straight one.

Some variants are smaller and shorter and have a pointed tip, used for slicing tomatoes or for eating steak.

The Hearsay:

People claim this doesn’t go dull because the individual spiked tips on the serrations will still cut through bread or any other items, just like a saw would on wood.

The Truth:

Serrated blades may not go dull as fast as the others in your block because the teeth prevent the edge from touching the board.

But they still go dull after a while. You’d notice this when more crumbs fall off the bread.

How to Get the Edge Back:

A specialized tool – a tapered rod similar to a pencil cone-cut but longer – is pulled through each tiny arc on the knife.

Usually, the other bevel or side is flat (no serration) so you can run this over a whetstone a few times like you would a regular knife.

Ceramic Knives Holds Its Edge Forever

First made and introduced in Japan in 1997, this has become a favorite among home cooks.

The Half-Truth:

Many of its fans point out the fact that this is made from Zirconia, a raw material that is second only to Diamond in hardness, that’s why it will never get blunted.

The Actual Fact:

These can be extremely incisive and have amazingly long edge retention, true. But the extreme hardness of the material makes it quite brittle.

It also can’t be used in a lot of chopping board chores. If these are accidentally dropped, it could break in half.

And like everything, this will also degrade. Again, it may not be as soon as generic steel pieces. But it will.

How to Make It Cutting Again:

In cases where constant and/or wrong use has slightly dulled it, it is such a challenge to sharpen that you need to send it to a professional.

Knives Treated with Special Metal Ores

High-quality knives are often made with a tough core and then ‘wrapped’ in several layers of steel – others going as high as a hundred layers.

Certain knives are treated with metals said to maintain the incisive quality for a long time.

The Claim:

Tungsten Carbide is one of the materials that is said to help blades be sharp for a long period so some companies have been adding this to their steel formula and getting as many people to buy with this marketing claim.

The Reality:

There is a bit of truth in the claim. However, this makes steel brittle – even more so than high-carbon ones. And because this is made from metal like most conventional knives, it will blunt in time.

How to Sharpen:

Aside from the possibility of chipping, you will need a professional service to restore its edge.

It’s Great to Dream, But We All Should Be Realistic

Who wouldn’t love a knife that can perfectly slice through tomatoes forever?
Everyone would be happy to have that.

But right now, no technology has successfully solved that bit of quandary amateur and professional cooks have in the kitchen.

DIY It!

The best thing which we all can do is accept that bit of fact and learn how to sharpen our knives.

You can start watching YouTube tutorials on how to use a whetstone. It may take a whole day to finish all your knives but it will be worth it.

If you can’t or won’t spend too much time and effort on that, get an electric sharpener! That works too.

Mercer cutlery has a line of honing rods and whetstones.

They also have an electric variant with three grits, manual types, and even a pocket-style one for camping.

Buy Better Brands Next Time

You can also get high-quality products instead of cheaper ones because many of them offer sharpening services, especially if you’re not happy with their edges anymore.

The German brand Wusthof and the Japanese Mac offer these services. Shun, another Japanese brand from Seki, actually offers this service for free!

Last Updated on August 12, 2021

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.