Sharpening Serrated Knives

With the right sharpening steel, it's easy

Serrated knives can be sharpened at home, but you'll need a special sharpening steel that matches the scallops of the knife. Here's how to do it and where to find the tool you'll need.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Sharpening sequence

Serrated knives can be sharpened, but unlike ordinary knives, they need a diamond-coated steel that's properly sized to match the knife.

If you want to master the technique, take your serrated knives to a knife or cookware store and ask to have your knife matched to the correct diameter diamond-coated steel. Its diameter has to match the scallop profiles. If you have more than one serrated knife, choose a tapered steel that'll work for different scallop sizes.

If you examine the blade, you'll see that one side is tapered and the other is flat (this is called a chiseled edge). The tapered side is the only one that gets sharpened. When you're through sharpening, drag the knife through a scrap of corrugated cardboard to knock off any leftover filings.

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Diamond-coated sharpening steel

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Corrugated cardboard scrap