How to Sharpen a Knife Without a Sharpener

Not only is a dull knife difficult to use, but it is also extremely dangerous. If you are not careful, you can potentially injure yourself or others, so it is very important to keep a clean, sharp edge on your knife. However, many people do not have access to a knife sharpener or sharpening stone.

Therefore, they must resort to some techniques using everyday items almost anyone can find at home. Here are a couple of ways to save yourself some hassle and sharpen your knives at home.

1. Using Another Knife

This trick is especially useful if you have more than one dull knife. In this technique, one can use the blunt edge of one knife as a honing rod for the other.

To achieve this, hold the knife that you wish to sharpen in your non-dominant hand and the knife you will be using to sharpen it in the dominant hand.

Rotate the knives so that both blades face one direction and place the blade of the knife to be sharpened at a 10-degree angle to the back edge of the sharpening blade. 

Stroke the blade of the knife to be sharpened along the back edge of the other knife in swift, repetitive motions. It is important to direct this motion away from you to avoid injuring yourself or others.

Finally, flip the blade of the knife you want to sharpen and repeat this process on the other side. If you wish, you can then repeat this process for the other knife.

Related Content: Best Electric Knife Sharpener

2. Using a Porcelain Plate or Cup

In order to use this technique, find a porcelain mug or cup with a rough lip on the bottom. If the dish is completely glazed and smooth, this trick will not work. Place the mug or plate upside down on a steady surface, hard surface.

Make sure that the dish or mug will not slip on the surface. If it feels unstable, place a kitchen rag or cutting board on the surface first. Using your dull knife, place it at a 10-degree angle to the rough side of your mug or another dish.

Stroke the knife down the lip several times in quick, successive motions. The rough side of the lip is what will sharpen your knife.

Once you are satisfied with the results, flip your knife over and repeat this process on the other side.

3. Using a Nail File

Another way to sharpen a knife without a sharpener is to use a nail file.

To use this technique, place your nail file, rough side up, on a table or other steady surface. With the blade of your knife directed away from you, place the edge at a 10-degree angle to the nail file.

Drag the knife against the nail file, making sure you are exposing the entire length of the knife to the file. When you sharpen a knife, it is important to keep it at the same angle for optimal results.

Finally, once you are satisfied with your results, flip the knife over and repeat this procedure on the other side.

4. Use a knife sharpening tool

The easiest, safest, and most effective way to sharpen a knife? By using a knife sharpening tool. This is something that you’ll have to buy, but considering the relatively low price and features this is a bit of a no-brainer in our opinion! Here’s the one that we use:

4-in-1 Kitchen Knife Accessories: 3-Stage Knife Sharpener Helps Repair, Restore, Polish Blades and Cut-Resistant Glove (Black)
  • 3-Step Knife Sharpener: With our incredible 3-slot system, we’re revolutionizing the art of knife sharpening! The 1st diamond sharpening rod repairs and straightens damaged blades before the 2nd slot sharpens to restore its V-shape. Finally, the 3rd slot fine tunes for a clean polish.
  • Easy to Use: Whether you’re right or left-handed, the ergonomic handle allows you to restore your cooking knives in a matter of seconds! Simply place the blade in each of the slots and gently pull the knife through a few times for fast, effective sharpening.
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  • Premium Quality: With our professional knife sharpener kit, you don’t have to be a chef to cook like one! Crafted from solid ABS plastic, it’s strong, durable and designed to last a lifetime. Made with high quality materials, knives will look and work like new.
  • Shop Risk Free: We’re so confident that you’ll love our knife sharpening kit, we’re backing each order with our unconditional money back guarantee! If you are not completely satisfied, simply return the product within 30 days and we’ll refund your purchase.