Boker Kalashnikov Automatic Knife

Sharpening serrated blades should not be a stressful event. For those of you that have steered clear from serrated knives just because you fear sharpening them, itís a new day. This guide will walk through the best sharpening tools for serrated knives and how to use them.

Serrated portions of blades are chisel grinds, which means they are only ground on one side with the back side being flat. The magic of sharpening serrated blades lies in sharpening the ground side and removing the burr (thin strip of steel that curls over on the cutting edge) from the flat back side.

Serrated Knife Sharpeners

Lansky sharpening rod

Lansky Tapered Sharpening Rod - This Lansky rod is tapered so it will fit all sorts of sizes of serration bevels.

  1. Size the Bevel - Take the rod and place it in a serrated bevel so that the angle is the same. Run the rod from the top (side closest to the spine of the blade) to the bottom (the cutting edge) a few times in each serrated groove.
  2. Knock Off the Burr - Take a fine grit sandpaper or sharpening stone and remove any burr from the flat side of the serrated grooves by making a few light passes.

Be sure to only take the tapered rod to the width of each serrated groove so that it does not deform them. You donít need to use a lot of pressure with this method.

Spyderco Sharpmaker knife sharpener

Spyderco Sharpmaker - The Sharpmaker is one of the easiest sharpeners to use. It comes with two safety rods, two medium ceramic stones, two fine ceramic stones, and a base with four slots: two 30 degree slots and two 40 degree slots.

  1. Set the Stones - Set one of the fine white stones so a pointed side is facing in. Set the other one with the flat side facing in.
  2. Sharpen - Using the pointed stone, hold the blade straight out so the cutting edge is straight down. Sharpen from the heel of the blade to the tip. The pointed ceramic stone will pass in and out of each serration and sharpen the entire blade.
  3. Refine - Lightly use the flat stone to knock off a burr that forms on the back side of the blade. If the knife is partially serrated, sharpen the straight cutting edge the same on both sides, starting with the corners of the stones and moving to the flat stones on both sides.

Benchmade work sharp field sharpener

Benchmade Work Sharp Field Sharpener - Serrated knife sharpening doesnít have to be hard. This compact sharpener has many sharpening tools in one. Itís small and perfect to pack along for field sharpening.

  1. Large Ceramic Rod - Move the beveled side of the larger serrations back and forth on the large rod. It should only take a couple passes on each one.
  2. Small Ceramic Rod - Move the beveled side of the smaller serrations on the small rod. This too only should take a few passes.
  3. Back Side - You should feel a small burr on the back side of the serrations. Make a light pass on the ceramic to knock it off.


The days of cowering in fear of sharpening serrated blades is over. Sharpening serrated knives is a breeze when done with the right tools and a little bit of patience.

Other Knife Maintenance Guides:

  • Pocket Knife Maintenance
  • How to Sharpen and Strop a Knife
  • How to Sharpen a Tanto Blade
  • How to Sharpen a Recurve Blade
  • How to Sharpen a Machete