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How To Sharpen Serrated Knife in 2021 – The Easiest Way!

If you work in your kitchen regularly, besides using standard cutting and slicing knives, you definitely would have used a serrated knife or a bread knife. And when a situation comes where you would need to sharpen or hone a serrated knife, the question may have arisen in the back of your mind, How To Sharpen a Serrated Knife? Because of a different edge, this knife has.

So am going to explain how you can do that very easily.

If you are in a hurry, here is 14.25 min short video (you can start the video at the 2.53 min mark)

How to sharpen a serrated knife in simple easy way?

After conducting extensive research and analyzing various methods of sharpening serrated knives, one approach that consistently stands out as dependable and highly effective is the use of a high-grit ceramic rod. This method not only ensures optimal sharpening results but also contributes to the longevity of your serrated knife.

To achieve the best outcomes, it is recommended to utilize a ceramic knife sharpening rod with a grit level of at least 1500. However, for the sharpening of hard steel Japanese knives, opting for a 1800+ grit ceramic rod is ideal.

Other Related: Best Chef Knife Under $100

By employing this approach, you can enjoy a simple and straightforward process that guarantees long-lasting sharpness for your serrated knife. This method has proven to be reliable and trustworthy, offering superior results compared to other techniques. Embracing the use of a high-grit ceramic rod will undoubtedly enhance your serrated knife’s performance and prolong its overall lifespan.

How to sharpen a serrated knife - The Method

Sharpening a serrated knife using a ceramic sharpening rod is a reliable and effective method. Here’s a step-by-step guide to sharpening your serrated knife with a ceramic rod:

  1. Select the Right Ceramic Sharpening Rod: Choose a ceramic sharpening rod specifically designed for serrated knives. Ensure it has a similar diameter to the serrations on your knife.

  2. Prepare the Knife and Work Area: Place a towel or cutting board on a stable surface to protect it from scratches. Secure the knife handle firmly for better control during sharpening.

  3. Determine the Dull Areas: Identify the dull sections of the serrated blade that require sharpening. These areas will usually have visible signs of wear or decreased cutting performance.

  4. Align the Rod with the Serration: Position the ceramic rod in one of the serrations near the base of the blade. Hold the rod at a similar angle to the bevel of the serration, typically around 20 degrees.

  5. Sharpen the Serration: Gently glide the ceramic rod along the length of the serration, moving in a back-and-forth motion. Apply light pressure and maintain a consistent angle throughout the process.

  6. Repeat for Each Serration: Sharpen each serration individually, starting from the base and working towards the tip of the blade. Take your time and ensure even sharpening on all serrations.

  7. Test the Sharpness: After sharpening all the serrations, carefully wipe away any metal shavings. Test the knife’s sharpness by cutting through a piece of paper or a soft food item. If it cuts cleanly and effortlessly, you’ve achieved a good level of sharpness.

  8. Clean and Store the Knife: Once sharpened, clean the knife to remove any residue or metal particles. Dry it thoroughly and store it in a safe place to avoid damage.

So whats going on here?

During the sharpening process, as you repeat the strokes with the ceramic sharpening rod on each serration of the knife, you may notice the formation of a slight burr and a thin wire edge. This is expected and desired. After about 30 to 40 repetitions, a wire edge will develop inside the scallops, indicating that the metal is being properly shaped.

When you examine the other side of the blade, the side that was rubbed against the rod, you’ll observe that minimal metal has been removed, and there won’t be any visible scratch marks. This is because the ceramic rod, being harder than the steel, also polishes the knife’s surface while sharpening it.

By applying backward strokes, you are effectively pushing the metal toward the primary cutting edge, resulting in the formation of a burr. You can feel this burr by running your fingers flat over the serrations. This indicates that the steel side of the knife has moved closer to the cutting edge.

To rectify this and ensure straight serrations, the next step involves using corrugated cardboard. The corrugated surface will help remove the burr and refine the edge of the serrations, allowing them to be even and sharp.

corrugated cardboard

Why I need a cardboard to sharpen a serrated knife?

Using cardboard for sharpening a serrated knife is beneficial because cardboard is naturally loaded with silicate, which acts as a natural sharpener. The corrugated surface of the cardboard provides a secure grip on the serrated scallops of the knife, aiding in the removal of the burr or wire edge and advancing the sharpening process.

To utilize the cardboard, place it on a flat surface and create a small hump on it. The crease on the cardboard fits inside each scallop and effectively eliminates the burr.

Position the knife straight and parallel to the cardboard. When done correctly, you will notice that the cardboard slightly lifts itself into the scallops. Similar to the technique used with the ceramic rod, lift the knife slightly and gently stroke backward. This action will provide a minimal polishing effect.

The purpose of this step is to polish off the burr. Repeat the process for approximately 2-3 minutes on both sides of the knife. Regularly check the knife’s progress until the burr is completely removed. Once finished, your serrated knife will be perfectly sharpened and ready to be used.

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