Not only does cutting with dull knives make prepping your meals harder, but it can also be seriously dangerous.

While there’s no definitive timeframe that dictates how frequently you need to have your knives sharpened (it really depends on how often you use them and what you’re using them with), there are some definite signs that can tell you when it’s time to sharpen your blades.

If you’re experiencing any of the following, contact OC Knife Sharpening, Orange and Los Angeles County’s most trusted professional mobile knife sharpener.

Here are 7 signs that you need kitchen knife sharpening.


The Blade Feels Dull

Gently run your fingertips over the edge of the blade. Sharp knives simply feel sharp, with a blade that has a well-defined, distinct edge. On the other hand, if the blade feels dull or rounded, your knife will benefit from being sharpened.

It’s Not Cleanly Slicing Through Ingredients

Are you having to see through your tomatoes or mangos? Does it take multiple passes over an onion before the thin slices you want to appear? If this is the case, it’s time for a sharpening.

The Edge is Rounded or Rolled

Hold the knife up to a bright light and see if you can spot any rolled or rounded edges. As knives are used, their edges become rounded as metal is slowly scraped away.

Slicing is a Struggle

Having a hard time slicing and dicing? It isn’t the steak, tomato (or whatever else you’re trying to cut into); it’s the blade. As soon as slicing becomes a struggle, it’s time to have your blades sharpened.

Failed Paper Challenge

Take a piece of standard white paper, hold it upright, place the blade on the top edge, and slice in a downward motion. If the knife is sharp, it will easily slice the paper in two. If it doesn’t, you need to have your knife sharpened.

Failed Arm Hair Test

It might sound odd, but if you’re bold, give the arm hair test a try. Slowly pass the blade above your forearm, just like you would use a razor to shave. A sharp knife will cut right through the hair on your arm. If the hair folds over, it’s time for sharpening.

It Smashes Tomatoes

How well does your knife slice tomatoes? Sharp blades will slice cleanly through this delicate fruit, without needing much downward force. If your knife pushes down on the tomato or the blade catches on the skin, it’s time to get your knife sharpened.

It Slips Off an Onion

Still not sure? Put your knife to the onion test. A sharp knife will move straight through the skin and layers with ease. However, if your knife slips or slides off this veggie’s slick skin, it’s a telltale sign the blade needs sharpening.