How to Sharpen a Knife Without a Sharpener

Kikuichi GM Series K Tip on an epicurean cutting board

How to Sharpen a Knife Without a Sharpener

Do you have a dull knife? Don't worry, you don't need a fancy sharpener to get it back in working order. There are a few things you can use around the house to sharpen your knife.

Here are a few methods you can use:

  • A ceramic mug. The bottom of a ceramic mug is made of a hard material, ceramic, that can be used to hone a knife. How? Flip the mug upside down and place your knife blade against the unglazed surface. Draw the knife blade back and forth in a smooth motion that aligns with the bevel on the cutting edge, applying a bit of pressure. Do this on both sides of the blade until it is sharper.
  • Use a honing steel or ceramic rod. A honing steel or ceramic is a long, rod-shaped tool that is used to keep knives sharper. They do this by pushing the existing metal on the cutting edge back into a shaper point. Hold the honing steel or ceramic in one hand and your knife in the other. Place the blade of your knife to match the cutting bevel/angle to the steel and draw it down the length of the steel, keeping the blade at a consistent angle. Do this on both sides of the blade several times.
  • Use a sharpening stone. A sharpening stone is a flat, largely smooth stone that can be used to remove material and sharpen knives. The holes in the stone create the abrasive that can craft the new cutting edge. There are different types of sharpening stones, each with various grit (coarseness). The coarser the grit, the more material will be removed from the blade. Start with a coarse sharpening stone and then move to a finer sharpening stone to refine the edge. Pay special attention to locking your wrist and keeping the bevel even with the stone from knife tip to heel.
  • Order a shipping kit. A shipping kit is designed to make shipping your knives for sharpening really easy. Order a kit on sites like We'll send you an empty but magic mailing kit with prepaid return postage. Don't invent packaging, just pay with apple pay or google pay and pack and ship it when your box arrives. Super easy. 

No matter which method you choose, be sure to use caution when handling or sharpening your knife. Knives can be dangerous, so keep your fingers and such away from the blade.

Here are a few tips for keeping your knives sharp:

  • Wipe your knives down after each use. This will help to prevent food particles from building up and dulling the blade or causing pitting, etc.
  • Store your knives in a safe dry place. A knife block or a magnetic strip are great options for storing knives. When dry they'll also be less likely to rust or corrode. 
  • Sharpen your knives regularly. A dull knife is more likely to slip and cause an injury. They are unpredictable because you don't know how much force will be required to cut what you're cutting. 

By following these tips, you can keep your knives sharp and safer. 

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