How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife

Oct 2, 2017 | Blog

I don’t know about you, but a dull serrated knife is a great eyesore for me. I simply can’t take it. After all, any knife out there is only as good as its edges. So, I prefer it to be razor sharp at all times. Unlike others, I don’t give up on them when they lose their sharpness. Why limit their lifespan, when they can be easily used for ten years and beyond? I bet you; they can last for over a decade. Let me tell you how to sharpen a serrated knife so that you can keep them going for long as well.

Before we get started; let me offer you a word of caution. Serrated knives are not your regular butcher knives. These knives are a bit difficult to restore. Yes, they are a tough nut to crack, when it comes to restoration. The chances are that they may lose their original shape during restoration. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you consider this move only when there is a REAL NEED for it. As they say, ‘Don’t fix, what’s not broken.”

We will be using a sharpening rod over here. So, hang around as we are about to get started in a cinch. Remember, we will be sharpening the knife from one side only. Begin by grabbing the knife firmly by one hand. Your best bet would be to place the knife on the edge of a table with the blade hanging outside the table for stability while sharpening. This way, you can also minimize the risk of any injury, which might arise due to constant sharpening.

You will be holding the sharpening rod in your dominant hand. Place the tip of the rod on the first serration. Now, adjust the angle of the rod to mimic the original sharpening angle of the knife. You will have to make one complete pass at a downward angle. Now, simply rinse and repeat, until the sharpness is restored on all the teeth of the knife. Make sure that you don’t use brute force over here. The pressure has to be minimal. We are not competing with anyone. We simply need to get the job done. So, don’t bring any ego into play while sharpening the knife.

Remember, it’s a one-way route. In a sense, you will only use the sharpening rod in the downward direction and not upwards. In other words, don’t pull it towards yourself because it can damage the knife by removing a large portion of the metal. Also, don’t use a rod that’s too fat for the width of the tooth because it can harm the knife for good. Simply put, the knife will lose its charm, shape, and sharpness. So, be a bit cautious over here to be satisfied with the end-result.

You can sharpen both smaller and larger serration with the same technique. This method isn’t rocket science by any means. However, don’t expect one-fix wonder over here. You have a sharpening rod in your hand and not a magic wand. So, it’s bound to take several downward passes to fix each individual serration, one at a time. So, you will have to be a bit patient over here. Once the first one is done, move to the next one, and keep doing it until you have touched up all the tooth of the blade.

Don’t worry, if you don’t get perfect results on your first attempt. You will surely get better with every attempt. That’s the nature of the game. Also, be careful not to hurt yourself while sharpening the knife. It’s a must to be ultra-attentive at this job. After all, this isn’t supposed to be a 12-year old job. So, kids shouldn’t try it, and adults must refrain from sharpening the knife in the presence of kids. Hopefully, you would take this word of advice by heart to prevent undesirable casualties in the house.

Of course, you aren’t limited to use a sharpening rod to sharpen a serrated knife. There are many ways to go about sharpening this piece of equipment. However, a sharpening rod gets the job done without too much of a hassle and expense. Therefore, it was worth highlighting its use for sharpening a serrated knife. No matter what sharpening tool you intend to use, make sure to go through the accompanying directions to learn the proper technique to be employed for sharpening the tool.

Also, some degree of care can go a long way in treating the serrated knives well. By all means, it will prolong the need for sharpening the tool. Based on personal experience and knowledge, here’s my advice for the long-term care and maintenance of serrated knives. My first golden rule for you would be to hand wash the knife. Yes, dishwasher won’t cut the deal over here. It can cause more harm than good by playing around with the edges of the knife.  So, the dishwasher comfort will come at a cost. I am someone who is not willing to pay this price.

Also, do not keep sharp knives in a drawer as it will also mess with the edges. Use mounted-knife holders to store the knives. If you don’t have it, you can store them in a drawer, but make sure to protect the edges with an edge guard. You don’t have to spit out a lot of money for an edge guard. There are quite a few cheap ones out there that can be acquired without costing an arm and a leg. With such basic care, you will be able to take good care of the serrated knife.

Finally, it’s time to part our own ways. As you can see that there is a bit of a grind involved with the sharpening process. Although it’s a bit time consuming, guys like me will find it worth the time. Not that I have all the free time in the world, but I love my kitchen tools. Moreover, I don’t let them die a premature death. It makes me feel good from the heart of hearts when my serrated knife of choice is working at its best. You will also find it worth the time and effort when you will slice stuff from your renovated piece of kitchen equipment.


Billy StewartBilly Stewart

Founder of

My dad is a true mans man, and has owned a number of grills. Ranging from gas to charcoal. Growing up with him allowed me to see what different types of rubs, spices, brines, etc went into making the best BBQ. Although my dad was a truck driver, and I had a degree in Information Technology I knew that I wanted to do something about grilling and our recipes.  That’s where Barbeque Smoked comes in.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us