Within the sharpening kitchen knives and survival knives, there is a kind of knife we may find a little more complicated sharpening and can bring us doubts about the correct way to do: how to sharpen a serrated knife.
Serrated knives or serrated knives, having a non-smooth blade, cannot be sharpened with traditional knife sharpeners, but when they lose their edge and with it their cutting precision, it is necessary to go to the rescue and make use of the technique of sharpening more appropriate.
This type of edge is very common to restructure them with sharpeners called rat tail sharpeners since they remind them of their shape when they are stretched.
How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife
Serrated knives are meant to cut slightly harder items to cut through, and have dots and dip to create a saw-like blade. When these knives become dull, they can tear rather than cut smoothly. This is an indication of how much sharpening is required.
Due to the raised and lowered edges of the blade, you cannot sharpen this type of knife the way you sharpen a flat blade. Instead, you have to treat each dip individually.
Don’t worry. Today, I will introduce three ways to restore a Serrated knife to its original shape.
Method 1: How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife with a Saw
The way of sharpening these types of edges is very similar regardless of the sharpener that is used since you will have to “point” each of the teeth of the knife so that the whole set is perfect.
Is it difficult to sharpen a serrated knife? The answer is no. Sharpening a knife is simple but somewhat more laborious than sharpening a smooth knife.
The good thing about this type of sharpener and the previous two that we have taught you in our guide is that they are perfect for sharpening teeth of different sizes and thicknesses, given their conical shape, and that they can be used for almost any knife that we have in House.
But these are not the only sharpeners for serrated edges. And is that the brands have thought of everything and have released some models that may interest you.
Method 2: How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife with the sharpening steel
Contrary to what many people believe, sharpening is not used for sharpening, but rather for maintaining sharpness. If the knife is not properly sharpened, the sharpener will not sharpen it anymore, so do not be surprised that the blade is still not cutting.
But when the knife is well sharpened, the regular use of the sharpener before starting the cutting process is a good habit that prolongs the useful life of the knife. Every time a cut is made, small nicks are produced, imperceptible to the naked eye, on the blade of the knife. That is why it is good to remove them with the sharpening steel, leaving a smoother and more even edge.
A sharpener is a tool in the shape of a cylindrical steel bar, which is recommended to be magnetized to help us align the edge of the knife blade at an angle of 15/20 degrees. This way the sharpening of the knife will be much easier. It is important that we hold the sharpener firmly, behind the handle, so that it does not escape us. The movement that we must do is to begin by sliding the edge of the knife from the part closest to the handle and end at the tip, repeating this movement several times.
Method 3: How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife with a Stone
For example, if you are one of those who ask you how to sharpen a saw knife with a stone because that is the sharpening system you like, there is a brand, the Spyderco brand that has launched a new system that will allow you to sharpen the stone both smooth knife and tooth.
Its use is something more particularly since the routers used are triangular in shape. I prefer rat’s tail for this type of knife, the good thing about this Spyderco sharpener is that you can use it for any knife.
The sharpening stone
To regrind your knives you only need a sharpening stone. For it to work properly it is convenient to immerse the stone in water for 5 to 10 minutes. You will know that the stone is ready when it stops expelling air bubbles. In addition, during the whole process, the stone must always be kept wet. We place the non-slip side face down on the wooden base. During sharpening, a gray liquid will be produced which enhances the sharpening process.
Basic to start sharpening
The quality of the sharpening of our knife depends on the correct placement of the knife, the alignment with the edge with the stone.
Once you have removed the stone from the water and placed it on a stable surface, you should place the blade of the knife resting on the stone at a 45-degree angle to the longitudinal axis of the stone. First, you should start using the coarsest stone, rest the edge on the stone and slightly lift the blade, leaving a gap in which a couple of coins would fit, forming an angle of about 15 or 20 degrees. We must hold the handle of the knife firmly with one hand with the blade facing us, and the freehand place it on the blade, keeping it away from the edge so as not to cut ourselves.
Sharpening the knife
Maintaining this angle and applying pressure to the stone, the edge of the knife will be rubbed lengthwise along the stone in an interval of 20 or 30 passes over the stone in both directions, applying a little pressure. You will know that sharpening is taking place when you see that a burr is coming out of the edge. If you can’t see it with the naked eye, touch it gently with your fingertip. It is noticeable because the edge acquires a scratchy touch.
Remove the burr
Although in this case, it is not necessary to sharpen that much, so 10 passes will be enough to eliminate the burr. To do this, we must draw a curve from the upper left to the lower right, across the sharpening stone. After this, we must put the knife under the tap water to remove all the residues and then dry it with a cloth.
Having done the above with the first stone, we will have completed the first phase of the process. Now is the time to move on to the second stone with the finest grain, with which we will repeat the process to achieve the maximum sharpness of the knife.
Tips to prevent knives from dulling quickly
- The treatment, together with the quality of a knife, can determine a longer duration of the optimal state of sharpening. If you want your knives to last longer sharp, follow these tips:
- Avoid cutting on hard surfaces – this tends to nick the knife. It is better to use wooden or plastic boards, which will cushion the impact of the knife a bit at the end of each cut.
- When you cut oranges, lemons, tomatoes, or any other food that can release acid, clean the knife very well after finishing use: if you do not do this, the acid may corrode the edge of the knife and it will lose its cutting power.
- Do not store knives in a drawer in contact with other knives – their edges tend to bump into each other and all tend to chip. Knives should be stored away from other cutlery that could dent the edge.
- Partially serrated knives, ground in a mill, typically have an angle of 20 to 25 degrees, which is identical to the plain-edged portion of the knife.
- Check with a local kitchen supply store to find a professional sharpener if you need expert assistance. Many specialty kitchen stores have a professional sharpener visiting their store several times a year.
- A serrated knife should be sharpened only one tooth at a time.
The serrated knives are very comfortable in the kitchen, but when the blade loses a bit ‘the ability to cut are difficult to sharpen. This is a bit of common thinking, but there are 3 methods of ‘How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife’ you can practice at home too.
You must know that knives are certainly damaged by wear and also because they often collide with the cutting board. The first thing you can do is avoid using wooden cutting boards and possibly be a little more delicate, avoiding sharp blows.
But since it is a process that is not very common in homes and you may still have doubts. If you have any doubts or questions, you just have to leave it right below in the comments area.
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