Knives with serrated blades are known for their effective but aggressive slicing. Although their edges tend to hold up longer than straight-edged blades, they still become dull and lose their cutting ability over time. Contrary to popular belief, serrated knives can be sharpened.
How To Sharpen A Serrated Knife
Here is a complete guide on how to sharpen a serrated knife.
Method 1: Using A Sharpening Rod
To sharpen your serrated knife using a sharpening rod, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Buy The Appropriate Sharpening Rod
The sharpening rod can either be made of steel or ceramic. If you have a knife with wide serrations, use the DMT Ceramic rod. For a knife with small serrations, go for the DMT Diafold Serrated Sharpener rod.
Ensure the sharpening rod you get is tapered to accommodate the different serration sizes.
Step 2: Locate The Beveled Edges And Place The Sharpening Rod
The serrated blade has two sides – the straight edge and the beveled edge. The back side is straight from the tip to the edge, while the front side has shallow slopes known as bevels. Place the sharpening rod on the bevels and adjust it to the right angle before you start sharpening.
To avoid distorting the original shape of the blade, do not sharpen the back side of the blade.
Step 3: Sharpen One Bevel At A Time
After placing the sharpening rod on a beveled edge, move it back and forth in short and precise strokes. Change the side of the blade and apply the same pressure for a uniform grind. Make sure to maintain the same angle as the bevel edges to avoid distorting the shape of the bevels.
Sharpen the bevels until you feel a raised burr on the back side of the blade. After this, wipe the burr off with a sheet of sandpaper.
Step 4: Clean The Knife
When you are done sharpening all the bevels, make sure you remove all the shredded layers of steel from the knife. You can clean the knife with dishwashing soap and then wipe it dry with a clean piece of clothing.
Method 2: Using A Spyderco Sharpmaker
This sharpening tool can be used both at home and workshop. To use it, place the beveled side of the knife to the angular side of one of the sharpening rods. The flat side of the knife should be placed in the holder.
Slowly, move the beveled side along the sharpening rods. For best results, keep the knife a little bit slanted.
Method 3: Using A Triangle-Shaped Sharpener
This rod sharpener is specifically used to sharpen knives with V-shaped bevels. Depending on the size of the serrations, use the appropriately sized triangle-shaped sharpener. The sharpening technique used is similar to that of the rod sharpener. However, you cannot rotate the sharpener around the bevel.
Method 4: Using An Electric Sharpener
Today, electric sharpeners for serrated knives are easier to come by. The electric sharpener has two spinning rods which straighten the edges. It also re-aligns and sharpens the tips. However, this process is not as efficient because it does not polish the valleys between the tips.
Method 5: Using Dowels
You can make your own sharpening tool from dowels and a piece of cloth. Simply choose a dowel that fits perfectly to the serrations without any wobbling, and then wrap the piece of cloth half-way around it.
Hold the cloth in place as you refine the blades slowly and cautiously. Always remember to switch the dowel to match the size of the bevel as you sharpen. It is also necessary to choose the appropriately shaped dowel for the serrations – a round dowel for round bevels, and a triangular dowel for V-shaped bevels.
You can find low-cost dowels at any local hardware store.
Method 5: Using A Square Stone
In this method, hold the knife against a hard surface and tilt it a little bit to ensure the beveled edge is on top of the stone. Put the corner of the sharpening stone to the bevel and move it back and forth to sharpen the edge.
However, you should try out the other methods first before resorting to the square stone. This method is somehow inefficient, especially when used with hard blades.