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How To Sharpen a Serrated Knife-Step by Step (Super Easy)

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

After spending 48+ hours of researching through different methods of sharpening a serrated knife, the most dependable and trusted process is by using a high grit, at least 1500 grit, ceramic rod.

The method is simple, and this will allow your serrated knife to last much longer than usual.

The Ceramic Knife Sharpening Rod I recommend should be at least 1500 grit, but 1800+ grit ceramic rod is best to sharpen hard steel Japanese knives as well.

It doesn’t matter if your serrated knife has wider scallops or short or narrow scallops; this method will work evenly for both.

The Method

Now hold your ceramic rod in your hand, the tip of the rod touching the kitchen countertop, lay your knife perfectly flat on the flat side of the serration.

Here if you run the knife on the rod in this same position, it will scratch up the surface. So to avoid that to happen, we raise the knife just a hair and start running the blade backward.

You will be able to hear a sound like a telephone ring because it is serrated. If you do it right and you hit the right angle, that is the sound you will hear.

You don’t need to put much pressure on the knife, and this is the key, don’t put much pressure, because ceramic is harder than the steel and very minute amount of metal, it is so trivial that you won’t notice.

You will notice that the ceramic where you are applying the knife is turning gray.

How much strokes you need to have, doesn’t matter. It depends on your knife condition.

Same methods apply to smaller serrated knives with smaller narrow serrations, and the sound will be like a stack of cards.

So whats going on here?

By doing this, it is creating a bit of a burr and a bit of a wire edge, and it is rolling the knife mettle over. So after repeating it for 30 or 40 times, you will notice that a thin wire edge is developing inside the scallops, but that’s perfectly fine. That’s what we are looking for.

Now if you check the other side, the side which was actually being rubbed on the rod, you will notice that there isn’t much of the metal taken off after this process, and you won’t see any scratch marks along the flat side, because the ceramic is harder than the steel, so it is also polishing the knife steel.

So as I said when applying the knife strokes backward, you are moving the metal down towards the primary cutting edge, and it will form a burr, what you can feel if you run down your fingers flat over the scallops.

What this means? This means that the steel side of the knife has moved towards the main cutting edge. So now we need to move the burr back for the serrations to be straight.

For that, you need corrugated cardboard.

corrugated cardboard

Why cardboard?

Well, cardboard is loaded with silicate, and silicate is a natural sharpener.

So the corrugated surface of the cardboard grips the serrated scallops of the knife, and that’s going to help us remove the burr or the wire edge and will bring the knife forward.

So place the cardboard on the flat surface and make a little hump on the cardboard. Why hump? Because the crease on the cardboard goes inside each scallop and removes the burr.

Lay the knife perfectly straight on the cardboard. If you do it right, you will notice that the cardboard will latterly lift itself into the scallops. So just like on the ceramic rod, lift the knife a bit, and gently stroke backward. Its minimal polish.

So whats this is going to do is that it is going to polish off the burr. Do this for about 2-3 min on both sides.

Check the knife consistently until all the burr is gone. When done, your serrated knife is perfectly sharpened and ready to use.

References:
  • https://www.knifeart.com/plainbyjoeta.html
  • https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Using-the-DMT-Serrated-Knife-Sharpener-W19.aspx
  • https://www.knivesandtools.com/en/ct/sharpening-a-bread-knife.htm
  • https://www.sharpen-up.com/how-to-sharpen-serrated-knife/
  • https://ashbygraff.com/top-50-list-of-kitchen-items-to-have-on-hand/
  • http://nafissilicate.com/sodium-silicate-in-carton-industry?lang=en
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharpening_stone

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