We’ve shown you how to use a sheet of paper to test the sharpness of your knives, but if you’re no fan of slicing paper, Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer has a few other ways to make sure your blades are in good condition too. The next time you’re prepping a dish that requires tomatoes or onions, pay attention to the way your knife cuts through it—they may be due for a good honing.
The video above tells all, and while Kramer also shows us the paper trick we mentioned before, he also uses a rolled-up magazine page to really put his knife to the test. Still, his onion test is most compelling: if your blade can slice cleanly through an onion like his, you’re in good shape. Ultimately, if your knife can make clean cuts in paper or magazine paper, make smooth slices into a tomato without catching on the skin, or dig right into onion skin without trying to slide off the surface, you have a sharp knife.. I admit, I cringed when he dulled that blade against his honing steel just to show you what a dull blade looked like.
Sadly, I doubt many of the knives in my kitchen could pass that test right now, so it might be time for a good honing or trip to my favorite sharpener. Speaking of honing, we’ve shown you how to do that before, but Kramer has videos on how to properly hone or stone a knife as well, if you’re looking to perfect your technique.