A Guide to Sharpening a Serrated Knife
Serrated knives make quick work of slicing tomatoes, crusty bread, and tender cakes without squashing or smashing them. If you've ever tried to use an ordinary chef's knife for these tasks, you know how frustrating it can be.
But that's not all that makes serrated knives one of the great wonders of the culinary world. They rarely—if ever—need sharpening.
Serrated Knives Stay Sharp
A quality serrated knife can stay sharp for years, even though the sharp edges are recessed and don't touch the cutting board. However, you might eventually find that your serrated knife is not performing as well as it used to. One sign is that it leaves crumbs on the cutting board when slicing bread, whereas it used to slice cleanly through.
If that day comes, you have options:
- Your knife manufacturer may sharpen your knives for free. Check your warranty.
- You can take it to a professional knife sharpener.
- You can also sharpen your knives yourself.
Sharpening a Serrated Knife
If you know how to sharpen a regular chef's knife, you understand that it requires making a series of long strokes on a sharpening stone. You then have to flip the knife over and do the same thing to the other side of the blade.
However, this method won't work for a serrated knife. Serrated knives require a different sharpening technique.
The edge of a serrated knife is actually made up of a bunch of tiny curved serrations. If you look closely, you'll also notice that one side of the blade is bevelled (or has indentations) while the other is flat.
To sharpen a serrated knife, you need to sharpen each bevelled serration one at a time. The flat side of the blade won't need to be sharpened. There's a special tool for this called a sharpening rod.
How to Use a Sharpening Rod
A sharpening rod is a thin steel rod used to sharpen knives. It is narrower and smaller than honing steel and tapers to a point. This allows you to use different rod sections for different knives, as other blades have different widths of serrations. Sharpening rods are available in steel, ceramic, and diamond.
To fit the rod into the serrations, just drag it along while keeping the rod flush with the bevel. The angle will be right no matter which way you drag the rod. However, for safety reasons, drag the rod away from the blade, so you don't accidentally cut yourself.
Stroke each serration four or five times before moving to the next one. As you can see, if your knife has 30 or more serrations, this will take a while. But it's an easy process.
Once you're done, turn the knife over and run the flat side of the blade along with a sharpening stone or piece of sandpaper. This will smooth out the burr you've created on the knife's edge. Finally, wash and dry the knife as usual, and you're all done!
Serrated knives are a real timesaver—they wouldn't be the same without them! They're also a great safety feature because they aren't as good at cutting yourself as a sharp chef's knife. They are a little more difficult to sharpen, but keeping them working like new is worth it.
Bronx Homewares is a small Australian family-owned business providing the best price from top brands and quality service! We specialise in kitchenwares, cookwares and home-decor, including serrated knives. If you need any advice on what would be the kitchenware or cookware for any occasion, please contact us today!