How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife

learn how to sharpen a serrated knife

The knives you use should be well sharpened for two reasons. First, they’ll be much easier to use and won’t smash the thing you’re trying to cut. Second, having a properly sharpened knife also means greater safety. When working with a dull knife, you have to put much more force into cutting. At best, you’ll end up with a sore wrist. At worst, the knife can slip off the item and you risk serious injury.

Now sharpening a pocket knife is not a problem. But what about sharpening a serrated knife? Yes, serrated blades also need to be maintained. How do you get all the little serrations on the knife sharp again?

There are many solutions, which we’ll reveal in this article. Your serrated knife isn’t destined to become completely blunt after repeated use. But sharpening your serrated knife can be tedious, so you’ll have to be patient. It requires specific equipment and gestures that we’ll explain one by one.

Can you sharpen a serrated knife?

Serrated knives are ideal for cutting bread, among other things. Unfortunately, their shape makes it difficult for many people to sharpen them. So how do you sharpen a serrated knife without damaging it?

There are thin bar sharpeners available on the market. They allow you to sharpen the knife tooth by tooth. Unfortunately, this method is extremely time-consuming. It requires a lot of know-how and endurance. A much better solution would be to buy a properly shaped slotted whetstone. One that’s designed with serrated blades in mind.

The good news is that there’s only one side to sharpen. Plus, this type of knife wears out less quickly than a smooth-bladed knife. With a pocket knife, the edge that is used to cut is a straight edge. With a serrated knife, it’s different. It has many teeth that serve to saw the object. So the wear isn’t the same. It’s slower, but when it happens, you have to know how to correct it.

Can you sharpen a serrated knife at home?

Serrated knives are very different from straight knives. Each of the beveled serrations must be sharpened individually, one at a time. To do this, you need a serrated knife sharpener called a sharpening rod.

This is a tool you can easily use at home. Sharpening rods are like honing steels, but they’re smaller and stronger, tapering to a point. This means that along the ceramic rod, you’ll have many thickness options to choose from. This will allow you to match it to different widths of the knife.

Sharpen each serration to its given width or you might damage the knife blade. This should only take a few passes for each serration. Follow this process until you notice a thin band of steel developing on the edge.

Want to find out if you have sharpened your knife correctly? All you need to do is perform a simple test, for which you will only need a piece of paper. Using a sharp knife, you should have no trouble cutting through the paper smoothly. Cutting a slice of tomato is also a good way to do this. If your knife is sharp, it won’t take any effort.

Can you sharpen serrated knives with steel?

The greater the hardness of a knife, the less often it needs to be sharpened because it stays sharp longer. But knives with a hard blade are more difficult to sharpen. A steel sharpener is recommended in this case.

Using a steel sharpener requires a special technique. Place the sharpener on a flat surface. Slide the knife blade back and forth through it three or four times. Make sure you’re sharpening at the correct angle. To be sure the knife is sharpened on both sides, move the blade backward as well as forward. Use long, even strokes.

A basic steel sharpener is one of the easiest to use, and it’s safe. It’s used to sharpen any type of knife and works well with stainless steel blades. It has the advantage of holding the knife firmly in place so you can easily pull the blade.

Can you sharpen serrated knives with a whetstone?

Sharpening on whetstones is the most difficult method. But it’s also the one that gives by far the best results. As long as you do it right, of course. And with a little practice, it’s within everyone’s reach.

Among stone sharpeners, we can distinguish simple knife whetstones. These are traditional stones for knives of different shapes. They can be rectangular, round, semicircular, or triangular.

Knife sharpeners are usually made of:

  • Abrasive grains
  • Natural abrasive stones (corundum, quartz, diamond)
  • Synthetic abrasive stones (silicon carbide, boron carbide) joined by a ceramic bond

Such a sharpener is used not only for sharpening but also for grinding and polishing the blade.

What is the best serrated knife sharpener?

When buying a serrated knife sharpener, don’t go for looks or affordable prices only. It’s also not worth taking the first product that catches our eye. It’s better to explore the item a bit more in depth and choose a sharpener that will meet your expectations.

Do you want to give your knives the ultimate sharpness? Are you willing to spend the time it takes? Then opt for sharpening stones or a steel/ceramic honing rod. Is speed more important than the result? Then an electric sharpener with slots is the fastest option.

When choosing a serrated knife whetstone, look for information about its gradation. This number will tell you how rough its surface is, and thus, what kind of knives it’s designed for.

Sharpeners with a low grit, between 200 and 400, are ideal for restoring very dull blades. Especially those with visible damage. For regular knife maintenance, sharpeners with a grit between 600 and 800 are best. But if you want to further polish your knife, look for a sharpener with a grit higher than 1000.

For any further information on how to sharpen a serrated knife, get in touch with Grommet’s Knife & Carry.

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