FAQs Answered: What Makes a Good Serrated Knife Sharpener + Helpful Tips

April 11, 2022

There are all sorts of knives on the market these days, from kitchen knives and small and efficient camping knives to big, beefy survival knives. If you’re a knife enthusiast or all-around chef, you’ll want some of your best pieces to last a lifetime, but you can only do so much with proper use. 

There's no need to invest in a whole new set of knives because a quality serrated knife sharpener can do the job for you. In this article, we'll look at some tips for using the sharpener as well as the best serrated knife sharpener features. Whether you're an experienced chef, outdoorsman, or just looking for a way to keep your kitchen knives in good shape, read on!

Tips in Using Knife Sharpener for Serrated Knives

If it is your first time sharpening serrated knives, you must be wondering how you can use a regular whetstone to the knife’s curves. You may even ask how to sharpen a serrated knife with an electric sharpener. Even when you try traditional sharpeners, they do not reach all crevices, leaving some parts dull. It is better not to force something that doesn’t work and rely on a knife sharpener instead—the tool designed for this task. With proper use, even the toughest-shaped serrations will come out sharp.

Pick the sharpener type

The most common ones you’ll see are the diamond sharpeners, which look like small screws, pencils, or pens. There are also oilstones like the India and Arkansas stones with shapes honed to fit the size of a serrated blade. No matter which sharpening stone or material you choose, what matters is they have the size that perfectly fits the knife’s serrations. 

Choose the right sharpener size

The sharpener size should be at least smaller than the serrations, so they can fit in the curves before sharpening each serration back and forth. The sharpening steel in a knife set may be too big for the serrations of a pocket knife and other small serrated knives. Hence, it is best to invest in smaller retractable sharpeners.

Increase your patience

The thing about sharpening serrated knives is you need to sharpen each serration one by one, which takes time and effort. You need to maintain an angle and sharpen both sides of the knife equally to achieve an excellent output. Increase your patience and know that the hard work will be worth it as you’ll have razor-sharp blades later. 

Be open to innovations

Many innovators have already made sharpening systems to make the process easier through “guided sharpeners.” These sharpeners work this way: There is a knife clamp to hold the knife still and a sharpener holder you can adjust at various angles. You can move the rod sharpener back and forth easier and with better control than using your bare hands only.

best serrated knife sharpener

Features of the Best Serrated Knife Sharpeners

Despite the knife sharpener’s small size, its use is irreplaceable. For instance, sharpening a serrated bread knife means always having nicely sliced bread because the blade is razor-sharp. A sharp serrated knife is a reliable tool indoors and outdoors, so invest in a good sharpener to always do and finish your tasks smoothly. Here are the criteria: 


Can you believe that small as it is, this knife sharpener has plenty of uses. First, you can use it for all your knives with smooth or serrated edges. You can also use them for kitchen shears, scissors, fish tools, power tools, pliers, handsaws, and even chainsaws. The only blade serrated sharpeners are not fit for is ceramic knives


Look for a serrated knife sharpener that is compact and not bulky. You must have seen the typical sharpening rod either in a knife set or separately. They aren’t as compact as the sharpening steel that looks like a retractable pen—these are the kinds of sharpeners you want. Even though the size is small, it has all the aforementioned functions.


If you are an enthusiast of the outdoors, a portable sharpener you can fit into your pocket is a delight to have, and you can find these kinds of designs in the market. Many serrated knife sharpeners have a cover that has pins you can clip into your shirt pocket. It’s a delight to have something close to sharpen your knife a bit before any slicing tasks. 


Although an easy-to-access sharpening stick is convenient, consider getting a safe sharpener. Pick one that has a cover for the conical end to avoid any accidents or poking. Sharpeners aren’t sharp, but the conical end can cause an accident inside your pocket if not covered before you pin it back to your pocket. 


You’ll be sharpening knives and tools made of robust materials like steel, so find a sharpener as strong or even stronger than the materials you’ll use. Pick a sharpener made of steel and strengthened with a diamond coating. Campers, hunters, cooks, and anglers like you will feel at peace knowing they have something sturdy to sharpen their tools. 

Final Thoughts

Knife sharpeners are not one-size-fits-all, and it’s essential to select the right type for your serrated knives. Pick the ones that can fit inside the serrations so that you can sharpen all crevices of your serrated knife. With the proper sharpener and a little patience, you can keep your blades in top condition—ensuring that each cut is as smooth as possible. 

You can even use the sharpeners for other tools like a fish hook, saws, and scissors, making the portable knife sharpener an excellent addition to your toolbox. This knife accessory may be small in size, but it can ensure you have sharp and usable knives at the end of the day. We hope this article has helped you understand how to use a knife sharpener for serrated blades and pick the best one for your needs.

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