How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife with an Electric Sharpener

How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife with an Electric Sharpener

There are various ways to hone serrated blades. But do you know how to sharpen a serrated knife with an electric sharpener? 

Some folks believe that serrated knives require no sharpening at all. 

But the truth is both the straight edge and saw-toothed knives get dull with time.

The only difference being straight-edged blades grow dull quickly. Therefore the question is, can you sharpen serrated knives safely with an electric sharpener?

The post educates you on how to use an electric sharpener and refine a dull serrated blade. It doesn’t require much effort; within minutes you have your knife razor-sharp. But before you rush to put the electric knife sharpener to action, take note of the following points. 

1. Safety Precautions Before Using an Electric Sharpener

Exercising the following precautions will keep you safe from accidents and protects your blade too. 

Keep your hands Dry

Before knife sharpening Keep your hands free from oil and moisture. A wet or oily hand increases the chances of you slipping or sustaining an electric shock. Ideally, you should wear leather gloves.

Ensure the blade is clean

You have to be-careful, when sharpening a serrated knife. Clean the remains on the blade and even between the serrations. 

Inspect for signs of physical damage

Inspect the knife for any signs of damage like cracks, chipping, or crookedness. A blade depicting such structural issues isn’t worth sharpening. 

No use of excessive pressure

While inserting the knife into the machine, never attempt to apply excessive pressure. Otherwise, you risk damaging it and sustaining an injury too. 

Don’t test sharpness using your fingers on the sharp edge

If you wish to test how sharp a knife is, do not run your fingers on the blade. Instead, try it on a piece of paper or slicing through tomatoes.

2. Step by Step Guide on How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife with Your Electric Sharpener

The first vital step in how to sharpen a serrated knife with an electric sharpener is to identify how dull your knife is. Remember sharpeners have different stages you can use. And each setting possesses a different stone coarseness. 

If the serrated knife is severely dull and has suffered nicks, then you’ll have to begin from stage one (coarsest) through two up to the third stage.

The coarsest the stone is, the more metal it eats from your knife. Thus the more you use the electric knife sharpener, the more you shorten the lifespan of the serrated blade. 

Otherwise, if all you need is to hone, then skip the coarse setting and use the fine grindstone stage. 

Find a Stable Surface

The initial duty is to find a leveled ground or table where the electric knife sharpener can balance. Doing so will give you easy work and cut down the chances of an accident occurring. 

Hold the serrated blade Appropriately

Hold the saw-toothed blade with a sharp tip pointing away from you. For extra dull blades, insert it into the allocated slot on the coarsest grindstone, usually stage one. 

Thrust it slowly to the deepest end. Once you hit the furthest, ensure the blade rests on the grindstone at an angle of about 15 degrees. 

You can practice inserting the blade correctly

 If it’s your first time to use the machine, then maybe you can practice inserting the blade, making an angle, and drawing it out first before switching on the motor. 

Slowly slide out the blade

While maintaining pressure and angle of contact of the knife draw it out steadily. Then repeat the stroke two times. After that, repeat the process throughout each stage until you reach the last fine grindstone. 

For serrated blades jump straight to the fine grindstone stage

However, if your serrated blade isn’t that dull, and all you want is to strop and polish, then you’ll skip the first two stages and use the slot with the fine grindstone only. 

Remember, the process of how to sharpen a serrated knife with an electric sharpener is simple and takes only a few minutes once you have found your way with the machine. You don’t need to sharpen your serrated knife now and then with an electric machine. You only need to follow the above process when your blade has grown dull. Otherwise, you’ll soon lose the serrations on the knife. 

3. Some Reputable Electric Sharpeners to Consider

In the stores, there are hundreds of companies stocking electric knife sharpeners. But remember, the saw-toothed blades are far different from straight blades.

Consequently, settle on the tried and tested brands. Therefore if you browse through Knife Sharpening with Chef’sChoice Electric Knife Sharpener reviews, you’ll realize that the brands mentioned below give reliable performance.

Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect Professional Electric Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives Diamond Abrasives Patented Sharpening System Made in USA, 3-Stage

Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect

Why should you try out Chef’sChoice 15 Trizor XV electric knife sharpener?

  • Employs pure diamond abrasives in sharpening straight and serrated blades
  • Can Sharpen the side of the knife perfectly, So that it sharpens stay for the long term
  • Has a flexible spring that automatically guides the knife and thus helps you achieve the correct angle of sharpening
  • Features a three-stage sharpening system with the third stage dedicated to polishing serrated blades
  • Low noise; less than 75db
  • Makes it easy to convert 20 degrees factory angle to an extra sharp 15-degree edge
  • Compatible with a wide range of knives

Chef’sChoice 120 Diamond Hone EdgeSelect Professional Electric Knife Sharpener for 20-Degree Edges Diamond Abrasives Precision Guides for Straight and Serrated Knives Made in USA, 3-Stage

No doubt, this knife and tool sharpener is one of the top-notch tool sharpener and most chef’s choices because of professional sharpening. You can check this out from below link.

Chef’sChoice 120 Diamond Hone EdgeSelect
  • Ideal for a wide range of knives like butcher knives, pocket knives, gourmet chefs knives, sporting, and serrated blades
  • Has accurate angle guides that eliminate guessing the correct sharpening angle
  • Compact and has legs that grip the ground firmly
  • Also can sharpen any type of kitchen knives
  • Stage one and two have 100 percent diamond abrasives
  • Stage three is for polishing, stropping, and delivers hair-splitting sharp edge 

Here is a quick video recap on how to use the Chef’s Choice 120 electric sharpener for both serrated and non serrated and plain edge knives:

4. Using a Honing Rod 

The most efficient way to sharpen a serrated side of the blade is to use a ceramic sharpening rod like the Wamery Diamond Knife SharpenerSuch a tool will see you go groove by groove till you sharpen and hone every gullet.

Wamery Diamond Serrated Knife Sharpener

Wamery Diamond Serrated Knife Sharpener

Although it takes slightly longer time and effort, the result is worth the investment. Besides, a honing rod hardly eats away the metal as the electric method does. With this method, you can also sharpen any type of kitchen knives.

If you have a limited time, then here is a video that illustrates the whole process:

Also, we have an article on Best Steak Knife Set, where you can know how to chose a market best knife set before you buy.

Steps to Using a Sharpening Rod

When sharpening serrated knives, you have to notice that Serrated knives have two non-identical sides. Whereas one side is flat all the way, the other begins on a flat side and then slants before reaching the serrated edge. The surface where the knife slants before the serrations begin is the beveled edge. 

Knife on the Edge of a Table

Place the knife close to the edge of a firm table. Ensure the angled-down part faces up and the saw teeth facing away from the table. 

Get the Honing Stick of the Right Diameter

Use a honing road that matches the gullet width or a little smaller. Ideally, the stick should snugly fill the scallops.

Slide it into the first gullet. To get the position of the honing stick right, let the bevel be the guide for angle position; approximately 15 degrees.   

Sharpen One Groove at a Time

Maintaining the angle, slide the sharpener by pushing it forward smoothly. Once you have made the full-forward stroke, lift the rod back to the starting point and redo the procedure.

While doing so, ensure that you only glide the rod up to the point that its diameter doesn’t exceed the tooth to tooth spacing. Ensure that the sharpening rod makes contact with the entire groove. 

How Do You Know it’s Time to Move to the Next Groove?

Once you have made a couple of strokes, check for the metal shaving (burr) on the opposite part; the non-beveled part. If you can feel the burr, then you’ve done a satisfactory job. Proceed to the next groove. 

However, some knives have serrations that differ in sizes. So make sure you adjust the position of the honing rod also accordingly. 

Remove the Metal Shavings

After you have worked your way up the entire serrated blade, the opposite part will be full of burrs. Wipe away the blurs using fine-grit sandpaper.

5. Key Considerations When Using Serrated Knife Sharpener rod

Overall pay attention to the following points;

Get Rod Thickness Right

Get the sharpening rod of the right thickness, regarding the diameter of the groove (serrations.) When the rod is thick and hence doesn’t reach way down into the grooves, it will enlarge the serrations, thus tampering with its quality.

Material Used in Making the Rod

The sharpening rod should be of a higher density (tempered) than the knife. Otherwise, it won’t grind. At the core, all rods are of steel material. 

However, most have been coated with various materials giving rise to the following

  • Stainless steel
  • Diamond steel
  • Ceramic steel

So Which One is Better: Honing Rod or Electric Serrated Knife Sharpener?

In summary, the best advice on how to sharpening a serrated knife with an electric sharpener is; never to do it regularly. The process takes a substantial amount of metal shavings. However, it’s simple and quick. 

Using a honing rod although time taking does a thorough job. Thus it is vital to know both ways; how to sharpen your serrated knife with an electric sharpener and by a rod too. Therefore which method do you wish to try out first?

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