Why You Should Sharpen Steak Knives

How to sharpen a steak knife

Sharpening quality steak knives, such as serrated knives, can be a difficult task if you are unfamiliar with the process. In this article, we will give you a few tips on how to properly sharpen a serrated steak knife.

Whether you are a professional chef, or simply a steak lover, a sharp knife is an essential tool in the kitchen. It’s often the difference between a perfect dining experience or a meaty disaster that looks unappetizing. And while everyone loves a sharp knife, not everyone knows how to sharpen one.

The process of sharpening quality steak knives with a straight-edge blade is pretty much straight forward, all you need is something abrasive. Although serrated knives do not need sharpening as often as straight-edge knives, the process is a bit more complicated. The right tools will make all the difference. The good news is; this is a process that anyone can learn. To see what steak knives we recommend, see our serrated steak knives and our straight edge steak knives.

Sharpen steak knives

Sharpeners for Quality Steak Knives

Quality steak knives require quality tools. To sharpen a serrated knife, you will need a serrated knife sharpener. For maximum effectiveness, each serration needs to be sharpened individually. This is what makes the process of sharpening serrated knives much harder than sharpening a traditional straight-edge blade.

Depending on the size of the serrations on your knives, these sharpeners come in different sizes and thicknesses. You need to choose the proper sharpener. Choosing the wrong one can do further damage to your knives.

Serrated sharpeners are also made of many different materials. The best option is usually a ceramic sharpener, but you can also find diamond and carbide sharpeners on the market.

How to Sharpen Serrated Steak Knives

1. First things first.

Serrated knives do not look the same from both sides. On serrated knives, one side is generally flatter than the other. The less flat side where you will see the serrations is called the bevel. The first thing you want to do before sharpening a serrated knife is to find the bevel. You should only apply a sharpening tool to the beveled edge, otherwise, you risk ruining the surface of the knife.

How to sharpen a steak knife

2. Place the sharpening rod in the gullet.

The second step requires finding the gullet and placing the sharpening rod in the gullet. The serrations on quality steak knivesare basically like a saw blade. There are high and low points. The gullet is the low point on the serrated blade. This is where you need to place the sharpening rod. You need to make sure you hold the sharpening rod at the same angle as the bevel.

3. Sharpen the Gullet.

While maintaining the bevel angle, push the full length of the rod along the gullet. Use back-and-forth motions. By doing this several times, you are sharpening and creating a fine edge on the gullet.

As we mentioned, each serration needs to be separately sharpened. Once you’ve sharpened the first gullet, move on to the next one, and repeat the process.

4. Check for Burrs.

Once you have sharpened all of the serrations, you need to check for burrs. Flip the knife to the unbevelled or flat side, and gently run your finger over the edge. If there are metal shavings, it means that the material that was scraped hasn’t fallen off yet. Simply swipe the sharpening rod a couple of times on the flat side with no angle, and the burrs will fall off. Never skip this step. These metal burrs can catch in food and can become extremely dangerous if eaten.

5. Wash and dry.

Probably the easiest step, simply wash and dry the knife as usual and get ready for a fine dining experience!


To be able to cut through prime rib steak easily, you must take good care of your serrated knives. Sharpening them is part of that. Although sharpening a serrated knife can be a challenging and time-consuming task, it’s well worth it. Buying a new set of quality steak knives every time your current ones get blunt can get pretty expensive over time.

Think of your steak knives as an investment. Just like any piece of machinery or equipment, a good set of quality steak knives is not cheap, therefore, you need to make sure they are well-maintained, and they will last for an eternity.

Unsure of which is the best steak knife for you? Read our article to help!

How to Sharpen Serrated Steak Knives

top rated steak knives

How to sharpen a serrated steak knife. A question every steak lover will have thought about when buying and looking after their steak knives. Everyone loves a good, sharp knife. No one, however, loves it more than those who work in the kitchen. A chef’s knife or steak knife can mean the difference between a perfect cut of meat and a hacked up hunk that does not even look appetizing.

Sharpening a straight-edge steak knife blade is a pretty straight forward process. Sharpening a serrated knife, however, can be quite the task if the cook is unfamiliar. Thankfully, there is a process to it that anyone can learn!

What You Will Need

To sharpen a serrated blade steak knife, it requires more than a standard knife sharpener like you find in a good knife set. It requires a tool known as a serrated knife sharpener (now isn’t that easy to remember). These sharpeners, rather than being a single thickness all the way through, are usually tapered to help fit better between different sizes of serration.

These sharpeners can also be made of many different materials. Generally, diamond and carbide sharpeners will be the most aggressive and require the fewest passes. However, for a finer sharpening, the best options are usually ceramic. They will take more time to restore a heavily damaged blade, but they will create a razor-like edge if used properly.

How To Sharpen Serrated Steak Knives

1) Find your beveled edge

Generally, serrated knives will have one side that is flatter than the other. You want to find the less flat side. This is called the bevel. It is important to only sharped the beveled edge – otherwise, you could ruin the cutting surface of the knife.

2) Place the sharpener in the gullet

top rated steak knives

A serrated knife looks something like a mountain range or a saw blade, with high and low points. The gullet is the low point. This is where you want to place your sharpener. You want to try to match the sharpener’s angle with the bevel’s angle as best you can. It is usually a more shallow angle than you may be used to sharpening your knives at – these bevels are usually between thirteen and seventeen degrees, rather than twenty degrees that you would see on a straight blade.

3) Match the Gullet’s Diameter

This is where the taper of the serrated knife sharpening tool comes into play! Adjust the location of the sharpener until it fits perfectly between the serrations on the blade (the serrations are the high points on the knife). It is not bad if it is slightly smaller, but you want as little wiggle room as possible in the gullet!

4) Sharpen the Gullet

Using short, back – and – forth motions, move the sharpener through the gullet. This is the motion you want to use to create the finest edge and keep your knives around for a long time!

5) Check for Burrs

When working with metal, usually you want to avoid creating a burr. Sharpening a serrated knife, however, is a different story. Run your hand over the flatter edge of the knife and see if you can feel any metal shavings. Feeling burrs means that you have sufficiently sharpened your blade!

6) Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Repeat the first five steps for every serration. Each time, it is important to check for a burr on the flat edge of the knife to make sure you have made it sufficiently sharp.

7) File Away Those Burrs

Those metal shavings that you filed off come back into play now. You want to remove them with fine-grit sandpaper or a high-grit polishing block. These burrs can catch in food, and no one wants to eat metal shavings!

Closing Thoughts

Top quality steak knives

Sharpening a serrated knife can be a time-consuming task, but in the end, it is well worth it! Having a sharp knife can mean the difference a beautiful and well-prepared meal and a time-consuming and laborious process – or worse, an injury! You can also make the job easier and safer by securing the knife in a vice – this is especially important if you choose to use a “home-brew” type of sharpener like placing emory cloth on a dowel rod.

Below are our recommendations for tools on how to sharpen serrated steak knives.