AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.
Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.
If you cook often, you should sharpen them once a week with a hand-held sharpener, and a more methodical sharpening once a month. Here's a video how-to for using a sharpening stone: http://bit.ly/a878cR
I sharpen my knives a little every time I use them. It is habit with me. I check to see if they will shave hair on my arm.
You should know that the recommended video is demonstrating an extremely refined and expensive knife set. Thousands of dollars. The metal is the highest level which is why it can hold a twenty degree angle. That Japanese blade in the video is steel that has been forged and beaten thousands of times. I know the knife maker. It is probably the best knife you can by in the US. For better go to Japan.
I would recommend 30 degrees or more for a cheaper version. You will figure it out with some experimentation. Also, a very cheap knife will not hold an edge as well. It will ware out faster. Good equipment is worth it.
Also, oil stones are not that bad. It just means using an oil instead of water to glide the blade. Petroleum jelly would work. Also, you could buy some expensive oil. The difference will be non-existent. The stone will look like the gray stone on this site. You need a coarse side of a stone to grind metal and a finishing or smoothing side. These stones can cost a pretty penny. Choose wisely. Do the research.
That little honing rod at the end of the video is good enough for a great many chefs of all levels. Much easier to use. Probably a good place to start as the investment is less. Use daily. A few swipes to maintain the blade each use.
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Well played. You deserve a cookie.
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