How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife With a Whetstone

Sharpening knives can be a very useful skill to have. You will save money compared to sending out your knives to be sharpened and you can fix up your knives when you need them to be refreshed.

Maintaining your knives can be very rewarding overall.

Serrated knives can be harder to sharpen and many people choose to just replace their serrated knives or send them out to be professionally sharpened.

This is not always necessary, however, and many people are surprised at how easy it is to sharpen a serrated knife if you have the right skill set. Sharpening a serrated knife can be much easier than you think.

If you want to learn more about serrated knife sharpening with a whetstone, read on!

Serrated kitchen knives on the dark gray concrete table

What is Whetstone?

Whetstones are a great tool to have in your kitchen for knife sharpening. They offer superior sharpening control for your sharpening needs when compared to an electric sharpener and you will have more control over the edges that you can create for your knife.

Whetstones are also easy to store and are easy to maintain.

Whetstones can be made of many materials. You might find that you prefer one kind of whetstone over another once you have some more experience. Any kind of whetstone will work for your serrated knife.

Whetstones can be made of aluminum oxide, ceramic, or a diamond coating mounted on a metal sheet. All of these surfaces will sharpen a knife with ease.

You will probably find that some kinds of whetstones work better than others for your unique style of sharpening.

How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife With a Whetstone

Sharpening serrated knives is a bit tricky because you need to know where the separations are in the serrations on the blade.

You have to sharpen the concave spaces between each of the points in a serrated blade. Straight blades are much easier to sharpen due to the lack of serrations.

No matter what kind of serrated knife you own, you will need to sharpen the flat side with one process and the spaces between the serrations with another. This is an important part of your considerations when you are sharpening a serrated knife.

1. Secure the Whetstone

You will always want to be sure that your whetstone is secured on the counter or the surface that you are sharpening them on.

You can use a rubberized liner or a stack of paper towels to secure your whetstone to the surface. This is important to be sure that your whetstone or knife does not slip as you are sharpening. Make sure that your whetstone is coarse side up.

2. Sharpen the Flat Side

Sharpen the flat side of your blade first. Make sure to remove burrs and other imperfections from this side of the blade. Hold the blade at the right angle, typically a 20-degree angle for western-style knives and a 15-degree angle for Asian-style knives.

Always make sure to draw the blade down the whetstones carefully with a wide, circular motion. This will allow the tip of the knife to run across the whetstone too. Repeat several times.

3. Check Sharpness

Make sure that you run your thumb carefully along the edge of the blade to look for burrs. You will be able to feel the burrs with your fingertips. Do not run your finger parallel to the blade. You will cut yourself.

This will not affect your serrated side of the blade, but you need to look at the smooth side first. Being able to get the smooth side of the blade sharp first is a big help when working on the serrated portion of the knife.

4. Sharpen Between the Space Between the Serrations

This process requires some patience and an eye for detail. You will need to sharpen each space between the serrated points with small, quick motions.

If there are bent tips on your serrated edge, make sure that you work on the backside of the blade as well to straighten them out as you go.

The serrations should not need much attention once the backside of the blade is sharp, so you will just be smoothing and finishing your sharpening process as you sharpen each of the serrated segments.

Make sure that you do not apply too much pressure or become overzealous in your sharpening movements at this stage of the sharpening process.

5. Finish With a Honing Tool

A honing tool is your best friend when you have a serrated knife to sharpen. This tool will smooth any remaining burrs on the smooth side of your knife as well as cleaning up the edges of the serrated spots on the other side of the knife.

You will find that it is very easy to clean up any remaining imperfections that have been left by your other efforts once you apply a honing tool to the process.

Can I Sharpen a Serrated Blade Too Much?

You can sharpen any knife too much if you are not paying attention to your work. Make sure that you are not breaking off teeth on the serrated side of the knife and that your knife looks straight and even on both sides.

Any waves in the blade or broken parts might mean it’s time for a new knife instead of trying to fight with sharpening a knife that is beyond repair.

Sharpening a Serrated Knife is Easy with the Right Tools

Sharpening a serrated knife is very easy if you have the right whetstone at your disposal. You want to make sure that you pick a quality whetstone and that you make sure it is stored appropriately so that it does not become damaged.

Add a honing tool to the mix, and you will be able to maintain all of your knives with this set of tools.

Taking care of your knives can be rewarding and it makes it possible for you to have an ideal cooking experience every time that you decide to step into the kitchen!

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