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How to Sharpen a Knife Without a Sharpener – 4 Methods

How to sharpen a knife without a sharpener

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The thing that is used a lot in our daily cooking tasks is the knife. A sharp knife to cut vegetables, fish, meat, or any other material speeds up our work. However, knives often become dull or lose their edge in daily use. Cutting cooking ingredients in proper shape with a blunt or edgeless knife is difficult. If we have an electric knife sharpener at home, we can easily sharpen the knives. However, if there is no electric knife sharpener at home, we get tense about how to sharpen the knives.

To remove that tension today, we will learn how to sharpen knives and make them as functional as ever without a sharpener.

Things that can be used in sharpening a knife

You will be surprised that you can sharpen your knife without using an electric sharpener through some readily available things. These things work magically in sharpening your knives. A list of these fantastic tools is as follows:

  • A ceramic mug or plate
  • A whetstone
  • Leather strop
  • Newspaper
  • Honing rod
  • Sandpaper

Guidelines for sharpening a knife without a sharpener

We will explore the four convenient methods of sharpening a knife without a sharpener. Follow some steps if you want to sharpen your favorite knives without a knife sharpener. Nothing to worry about. Sharpening a knife without a sharpener is not a difficult task. Here, we will learn how to sharpen a knife easily without a sharpener.

1. Sharpening with a ceramic mug or plate

If your knives are slightly dull, a ceramic mug or plate is perfect and convenient. Follow the steps below:

  • Choose a ceramic plate or mug: First, you must choose a ceramic plate or mug with a rough bottom.
  • Select the proper angle: Now, you must hold the plate or mug at a 20-degree.
  • Apply pressure: You need to run the blade down by applying light pressure. Do this several times on each side of the knife blade.
  • Complete sharpening: Stop running when you feel the knife is well-sharpened.

2. Sharpening with a whetstone

Sharpening with a whetstone

The whetstone has been used for many years to sharpen knives or tools. Depending on the shape of your knives’ blades, you can point and polish them with a whetstone. Go through the steps below:

  • Soak the whetstone: Soak the whetstone with water. However, some whetstones only require moisture for a few minutes, so no pre-soaking is necessary. So follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Place the whetstone: Now, place the whetstone on a stable surface before use.
  • Place at a proper angle: After placing the whetstone on a flat surface, place the knife at a consistent angle. Knives are usually kept at a 15 to 20-degree angle for sharpening.
  • Move the knife in a circular motion: Keep rotating the knife blade over the whetstone to sharpen both sides of the knife.
  • Alter the sides:  Keep turning the knife a few times by changing sides like this. Doing this a few times will make both sides of the knife sharp and effective.

3. Sharpening with a sandpaper

Sharpening with a sandpaper

People commonly use sandpaper to smooth a surface. Sandpaper works very well to smooth a piece of furniture before painting it so that the paint sits nicely on the surface. You can also sharpen your knives with sandpaper. Sandpaper smoothens the knife surface and removes rust. As a result, the knife becomes sharp.

  • Selecting the right sandpaper: First, you must choose the right sandpaper for sharpening the knife. Different stages of sharpening require different types of grit. For example, you can use coarse grit for initial sharpening and finer grit for the quality edge. However, silicon carbide sheets are more helpful in sharpening knives.
  • Attach the sandpaper to the surface: Attach the sandpaper to a flat and stable surface. You can also attach the sandpaper to a wooden block if you want. While connecting the sandpaper, ensure no folds; otherwise, it may affect the sharpening process. The sandpaper should be kept taut.
  • Place the knife at a convenient angle: Now, you need to keep the knife in the correct position with the sandpaper. Hold the knife handle firmly and place a suitable sharpening angle against the sandpaper. Maintain a consistent angle while sharpening. 
  • Apply light pressure: Apply light pressure to the blade as you move the knife along the sandpaper. Start at the base of the blade. Then, slowly move the blade forward in a sweeping motion. Carefully ensure the knife edge and the sandpaper are in contact with each move.
  • Alter the sides: Switch the blade after a few strokes on one side. It will maintain the even edge of the blade. If desired, You can use a finer grit for edge honing and refinement.

4. Sharpening with a honing rod

Sharpening with a honing rod

A honing rod is popular for sharpening knives. A honing rod helps to restore the sharpness of the knives. You can improve the efficiency of your knives by using a honing rod.

  • Hold the rod vertically: You should hold the honing rod vertically. Keep the angle between the knife blade and the rod around 15 to 20 degrees. Although this angle depends on the tip of the knife edge, you should match it closely.
  • Hold both the knife handle and rod comfortably: Hold the honing rod with one hand and hold the handle firmly with the other. Ensure that both the knife handle and the rod are comfortable to hold. Otherwise, an accident may occur.
  • Start from the base of the blade: You have to start from the bottom. Keep the knife’s heel close to the handle on the top of the rod. Keep the entire blade in contact with the road by maintaining the correct angle.
  • Apply light pressure:  You should apply light pressure smoothly and slide the knife lengthwise down the rod, keeping a consistent angle. You will start from the base of the blade and work towards the tip. Follow this procedure several times to get an even honing. Remember to alter the sides for even edges on both sides.

Maintenance of the knives

After sharpening, you must properly care for your knives for longevity and practical use. You can follow the following ways for their maintenance.

  • Clean after use: Try to clean your knives with water after use. Do not leave your knives uncleaned after use. It damages your knives.
  • Sharpen frequently: You should sharpen your knives often whenever you get time in your busy life.
  • Wipe with a dry cloth: Try to wipe the knives with a dry cloth after cleaning. It will help to prevent rust. 

So, you can ease the burden of sharpening your knives by following the methods mentioned. It will help if you also work on the maintenance of your knives.