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I know that honing differs from sharpening. My grandparents never altered their WÜSTHOF 4596-7/20 Classic Ikon 8-Inch Cook's Knife since buying it on Aug 1 2018. It could effortlessly slash coconut and raw Winter Squashes, but now it can't even cut paper or pears or zucchinis! Undeniably they must alter their knife. They bought 1000/6000 grit King water stone.

Ought they buy a leather strop or honing steel? enter image description here

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  • As Tetsujin says, if someone doesn't sharpen their knives at all, buying them additional sharpening tools is kind of pointless. – FuzzyChef Feb 25 '20 at 20:42
  • Multiple answers suggested pull-through sharpeners. Be wary of using non-Wusthof pull-through sharpeners with Wusthof blades. Their 14° edge doesn’t match most sharpeners 16° angle. – Greg Mar 19 '20 at 21:08
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Late edit: I eventually gave up with all this faffing & bought a good electric system - https://cooking.stackexchange.com/a/108740/42066


For people who can't be bothered to sharpen their knives, getting anything that requires practise & skill seems rather pointless.

Flat stones, honing steels and strops all require skill, otherwise the knife gets duller rather than sharper.

For the unenthusiastic amateur, I'd go for some kind of pull-through system like this Füri

enter image description here

They used to make a 3-grade version of this which I own but can no longer find, with both coarser & finer grades.

I found a store with several of these - including some by Wüsthof - Manual & pull through knife sharpeners

To get a good initial clean edge you want a guided stoning system, not freehand. Freehand is not good if you aren't practised. Aligned systems are much harder to get wrong.

This is a fairly random Google search which turned up a store selling most of the majors - Sharpening Supplies: Guided knife sharpening systems

Basically, they all have a method to hold the knife at a set angle & one or more different grits you can drag across it without ruining everything ;)

enter image description here

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There is no need for a strop or honing steel if they aren't willing to take the time and maintain the edge.

If you want something easy and reliable for them, I suggest an electric sharpener.

We use a version of the Chef's Choice at home in the kitchen. It' will put a consistent and repeatable edge on a knife. It's easy for my wife to use and eliminates the complaints about dull knives.

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