How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife?

A serrated knife is a type of knife that features a saw-tooth cut with jagged edges on one or more of the times. The French chef Georges-Louis Leclerc, 2nd Duc de Valmy, invented these cool knives, who found this highly practical design in Italy and brought it back to France. 

Serrations are great for cutting through meat because they slice cleanly and steadily through fibers, making rough pieces into smaller, more manageable chunks. One thing to note is that when you get down to the nitty-gritty, a serrated blade can do everything a regular knife can, except one particular thing. A serrated blade will not cut through bone.

Use the Right Sharpening Method

The most crucial consideration when sharpening a serrated knife is to make sure you are using the correct tool. Typical sharpening steel will not work with this type of blade. You need to use a special tool, like a ceramic or diamond-coated rod, made specifically for this type of knife to ensure that the blade remains in good condition and doesn’t degrade over time.

These knives are incredibly versatile, with an endless number of uses. These knives can be found in most kitchens around the world, with their unusual shape serving a variety of purposes including but not limited to slicing bread and fruits as well as cutting meats. 

Serrated Knife

However, sharpening these knives can sometimes be a difficult task for those new to their use. Here, we will reveal 5 different ways in which you can sharpen your knife and some advice on how to make the process easier.

1. Bench Stone Blocking

Bench stone blocking is a great way to sharpen these knives and will also allow you to work on different angles of the blade by using its entire edge. It is possible to sharpen a serrated one with a bench stone; just take care not to overdo it because this could damage the knife. 

When using the bench stone, leave approximately ¼ of an inch between each stroke. If you are unsure how many strokes you should make, ask someone who knows how to sharpen knives for advice.

Also Read: Sharpening a Knife With a Stone

2. Sanding Block

Using a sanding block is an effective way of sharpening your serrated knife and is a great alternative to rubbing the knife on a bench stone. 

It allows you to sharpen your knives both on a flat surface and along its edge at the same time while maintaining control over the sharpening force. When using this method, ensure that you hold your knife at an angle of around 20 degrees to give you greater control as you sharpen it.

3. Rock Wool

You can also use rock wool, or other similar materials such as ceramics, to sharpen these knives instead of using bench stones or sanding blocks. The advantage of using rock wool is that it is easily replaced when it gets dirty or worn out. 

The downside to this method is that you need to be very careful as to the angle at which you place your initial strokes in order to achieve a sharp edge without risking the serrated knife's edge.

4. Rotary Sharpening Attachment

When using knives with serrations, a rotary sharpening attachment can also be used in place of bench stones and sanding blocks. The advantage of using this method is that it allows you to maintain control over the sharpening process by restricting the amount of force being applied and reducing the risk of damaging your knife's edge.

5. Regular Knife Blade

The final method of sharpening a serrated knife is by only using the regular (straight) knife blade to sharpen it. By doing this, you can ensure that your knives are always sharp and will also work to prevent your serrated knives' edges from getting damaged.

Tips for Perfect Sharpening

Below I have listed a few tips that will help you in the process of sharpening your knives having serrations:

Sharpening knife

  • Practice Makes Perfect

The process of sharpening this knife may look simple, but it is essential to have been around hefted kitchen knives and understand how they are used before attempting to sharpen one on your own. This will prevent you from making any costly mistakes that could have been avoided by having someone show you the correct way to sharpen a serrated knife.

  • Wear Gloves 

Regardless of whether or not you are using a bench stone, rock wool, or a sanding block to sharpen your knives, make sure that you wear protective gloves to avoid scratches and cuts.

  • Be Sharp 

Always use sharp tools and sharpening stones to work on your serrated knives because dulled tools will only make the job of sharpening them more difficult and dangerous. If a tool is blunt, take it to be sharpened before opening up your knife's serrated edge by mistake.

  • Apply The Right Amount of Pressure 

Holding your knife at the right angle and using the right amount of pressure will help you sharpen your knives faster and more efficiently. Make sure that you maintain a moderate amount of pressure while sharpening to prevent damaging the edge.

  • Don't Over Sharpen 

Over-sharpening your knives could damage their edges, resulting in the need to replace them altogether. To avoid this, make sure that you use bench stones, sanding blocks, or other sharpening equipment with care.

  • Wet or Dry?

Whether or not you should use a wet or dry sharpening method when working on knives with serrations is entirely dependent on you. For those who are not familiar with knife sharpening, using a wet sharpening method will be easier. 

If you do decide to use water to sharpen your serrated knives, make sure that the edges of the stone and water don't touch each other, otherwise, your knives may become damaged as a result of this contact.

Benefits of Serrated Knives

Serrations are a series of sharp edges that you can see on the blade of some knives. They look like little saw teeth and they serve an important function when it comes to cutting. A serrated edge, as opposed to a straight edge, will cut regardless if you apply pressure or not, which is an excellent safety feature. 

Serrations also prevent your food from sticking to the knife which helps with slicing and dicing and makes for way less cleanup in the kitchen. Serrations on knives serve the same function as teeth on a saw. They give the knife a lot more bite into whatever you are cutting.

Serrations are found on many blades, including cool pocket knives, hunting knives, commando hooks, and anything in between. The fact that serrations are cut with "little to no pressure" is an important safety feature. It means that your hand will not be at risk for injury because you do not have to apply much pressure for them to function properly.