Works If You’re At Home Or Out In The Boonies!
You don’t need a sharpener to get your knife sharp. Don’t get me wrong, sharpeners (and stones) are awesome at getting your edge to that next level of sharpness, but if all you’re looking for is a quick touch-up, there are other ways. I’ll be talking about 3 knife sharpening tips and tricks that are incredibly useful both at home or while out in the boonies!
Word Of Caution: Read This To Avoid Disappointment
Before we get started, it’s imperative you understand this: knife sharpening is a skill just like painting, drawing, or playing a musical instrument. Like all of these skills, knife sharpening can be mastered by practice. The more you do, the better you get. Why am I telling you this? Simply because all 3 tips and tricks we’ll talk about require patience, practice, and a bit of failure to get right!
Tip #1: Use An Unglazed Ceramic Mug Or Plate
Good ol ceramic! We use ceramic to not only make stupidly sharp knives, but also to sharpen our blunt ones. Talk about multipurpose!
Interesting Fact: Did you know most consumer sharpeners and stones are made from ceramic?
Yes, ceramic is the abrasive that strips steel from your knife edge, thereby sharpening it in the process. When it comes down to it, ceramic is an awesome abrasive. Unlike diamond, ceramic is less aggressive and doesn’t strip of too much steel. It only makes sense then to use ceramic to sharpen our knives. And where can we find ceramic in our homes? The answer is everywhere! Tiles, plates, mugs, and even counter tops are made from ceramic.
How To Sharpen A Knife On An Unglazed Ceramic Plate
First let’s talk about the unglazed portion of a plate. Flip the plate over and run your finger around the circular rim….do you notice how rough and coarse it is compared to the rest of the plate? That’s because it’s unglazed. This is what you will be using to sharpen. Sharpening angles are important, so let’s talk about that for a minute. As a general rule of thumb, European/American knives are ground to 20 degrees on either side, and Japanese are a tighter 15 degrees. If you’re like most, you’ll be sharpening at 20 degrees. Hold your knife with the heel touching the ceramic at an angle of 20 (or 15 if it’s an Asian style knife). Maintaining the angle, draw the knife from heel to tip. Repeat the process 5 times in total. Do one side first, then do the other for a total of 5 times. Below is a video from Reactions that shows how it’s done (all credit to Reactions)!
Tip #2: Use Sandpaper!
Sandpaper is freaking awesome. Other than the fact that it can be used for just about anything, it’s ridiculously cheap! And that’s exactly why it’s #2 on the list of knife sharpening tips and tricks.
How To Sharpen A Knife Using Sandpaper
It’s actually pretty simple. First you’ll need to get your hands on some sandpaper! For the best sharpening experience I’d recommend you get a variety of grits from coarse all the way to extra fine. Next, you’ll wanna create a 100% flat surface. There’s a couple ways to do this:
- Cut a piece of sandpaper and tape it to a hardcover book.
- Cut a piece of sandpaper and tape it to a flat block of wood (should be completely flat!).
In the past I’ve had success with option #1 i.e. taping sandpaper to a hardcover book. Pick whatever works for you and roll with it! The actual sharpening is the exact same process you’d follow if you’re sharpening on stone. Below is a video from Sean C showing how it’s done (all credit to Sean C).
Tip #3: Roll Down Your Car Window!
Our last and final knife sharpening tip and trick is probably the most simple of them all. Summer time can be so hot, so why not stop for a bit, roll down your window and get some air!? While you’re at it, pull your knife out and let’s get it sharp again.
How To Sharpen A Knife Using A Car Window
If you remember the technique we spoke about in tip #1 sharpening on a ceramic plate, this is pretty much the exact same deal. Once again you’ll be using the unglazed portion of the glass which is the part at the very top of the window. Start at the heel and draw from heel to tip ensuring you maintain the correct sharpening angle at all times. Below is a video from OUTDOORS55 showing how it’s done! (all credit to OUTDOORS55). And remember, don’t sharpen while driving!
Let Me Know Of Any Other Cool Tips & Tricks!
Now that you know what my 3 favorite knife sharpening tips and tricks are, what are yours? Leave me a comment and let me know what’s worked for you! Last but not least, I recommend you do not use these DIY tricks on your expensive blades. They’re great for a quick touch up on a cheap blade, but that’s about it. Get a decent sharpener or stones and use that for your expensive blades. That’s it from me, see you next time!