Can You Sharpen Serrated Knives?

What Are Serrated Knives?

There are many different types of knives available and one of the most common are serrated knives. You can tell a serrated knife from other knives by the style of the blade.

Unlike many other knives that have a straight but sharp blade, serrated knives have sharpened teeth along the blade.

Can You Sharpen Serrated Knives?

The teeth make the cuts from a serrated knife less smooth and neat, but the cuts are sharper and the blade remains sharper for longer.

What Are Serrated Knives Used For?

The style of the blade with its many sharp teeth makes serrated knives ideal for a wide variety of purposes.

One of their strengths is cutting through items that have a hard exterior and a soft interior, such as crusty bread or citrus fruit. They’re also excellent for filleting fish and there are many serrated fillet knives.

Serrated knives are also very popular for hunting and outdoor activities. Many survival knives have a serrated edge and they can be used for slicing through tree branches and stripping bark.

The tough and messy cuts of a serrated knife are perfect for making short work of wood, plants, and ropes. 

How Do You Sharpen A Serrated Knife?

Due to the teeth on a serrated knife, it can’t be sharpened in the same way that a straight blade can be.

Thankfully, serrated knives don’t need sharpening as often as a straight-bladed knife does, but they do still need to be sharpened.

If your serrated knife becomes blunt and needs to be sharpened then you have a few options.

Some knife manufacturers might offer their own sharpening services as part of any warranty that came with the knife, so it is worth checking your paperwork first.

If this isn’t an option, then you can either take the knife to be professionally sharpened or do it yourself.

Can You Sharpen Serrated Knives At Home?

Yes, you can! You may have sharpened straight blades before and know that this is a pretty simple process – just draw the blade with several long strokes over a sharpening stone.

This method will not work with a serrated knife, however. As the blade is made from individual teeth, they need to be sharpened individually.

Using the same method as the straight blade will just destroy the teeth.

To sharpen a serrated knife at home, you will need a sharpening rod. This is a long and thin rod made of materials such as steel, ceramic, or diamond-coated steel.

It can be flat or round and is attached to a handle that makes it easier to hold. The rod usually tapers so it is different thicknesses from beginning to end so it can be used with various sizes of serrations.

How Do You Use A Sharpening Rod?

How Do You Use A Sharpening Rod?

Sharpening a serrated knife with a sharpening rod is easy, but can be a lengthy process. Simply place the rod against one of the serrations, making sure that the thickness of the rod matches the thickness of the teeth.

To get the most effective sharpening, keep the rod flush with the angle of the bevels as this will keep the sharpening at the correct angle.

Then, drag the rod across the serration around four to five times. Although the direction of the rod movement doesn’t alter the effectiveness of the sharpening, for safety reasons, it’s best to drag the rod away from the blade.

After you’ve dragged the rod four or five times, you can move on to the next serration. Once you’ve sharpened every serration in this manner, turn over the blade and give the flat side a quick polish with a regular whetstone.

You should also wash your knife once you’ve finished to remove any metal filings left behind.

As you have to do each serration individually in this manner, sharpening a serrated knife can take some time.

If you’re taking a serrated knife hunting with you, it’s best to sharpen it before you go instead of wasting time in the field.

How Often Do Serrated Knives Need To Be Sharpened?

Straight blades need to be sharpened very frequently. They should be professionally sharpened once a year and sharpened at home every few weeks.

By contrast, a high-quality serrated knife can last for years before it needs its first sharpening.

Many people may be tempted to purchase a cheaper serrated knife and dispose of the knife when it becomes blunt, but in our opinion, a high-quality and premium serrated knife is worth the investment.

Can You Sharpen A Serrated Knife With A Whetstone?

In essence, a sharpening rod is just a whetstone. The only difference is that a sharpening rod is a more convenient shape for sharpening serrations.

This means that you can use a whetstone, but only if it is shaped so you can do one serration at a time. 

Can You Sharpen Serrated Knives With An Electric Sharpener?

Electric sharpeners are a very popular and easy way to sharpen knives. These appliances can be found in many homes across the country because of how quick and efficient they are at sharpening a wide variety of knives.

Whether you can use an electric sharpener to sharpen a serrated knife depends purely on the sharpener itself.

Some electric sharpeners can handle serrated knives, however, most of them are not designed for this purpose.

Before you purchase a knife sharpener, double-check that it can handle sharpening serrated knives. Never sharpen a serrated knife in an electric knife sharpener unless it has a specific blade or option for this.

Final Thoughts

Serrated knives don’t need sharpening very often but they will lose their edge over time.

When it comes to sharpening them yourself, you will need to use a sharpening rod and sharpen each serration individually.

Serrated knives are a very handy tool to have and are worth keeping as sharp as possible.

Matthew Osborn

Matt is an entrepreneur who has created and successfully exited multiple companies and brands. Now, he dedicates his time to Legionary, where he produces content on guns, family, and freedom.

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