Bread knife sharpening

Discussion in 'The Mess Hall' started by Drybonz, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Hey guys... I was hoping someone would be kind enough to give me some tips on sharpening a serrated bread knife.

    Thanks for any help you can offer!
  2. Sharpen each serration individually with a round sharpening tool and then take off the burr with a stone, strop or even wet n dry.
  3. If the serrations are ground from one side only, and the other side is flat, you can sharpen by holding the flat side flat on the stone, then cleaning up any burr with a round hone from the other side.
  4. DaveMartell

    DaveMartell Vendor

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    I've been asked a lot about how to sharpen serrated knives so I thought I'd throw together a little information on how someone can easily do so at home with items easily found at their local Home Depot.

    The tools of choice are an assortment of wooden dowels and cloth backed sandpaper. Simple enough? I hope so. [​IMG]

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    I prefer cloth backed sandpaper because it's less likely to tear if caught slightly off angle. I like to use "medium" grit as it cuts fast, but if you want a finer finish, you could use "fine" grit instead.

    I purchased 36" lengths of all the dowels shown as well as a package of medium grit emery cloth for less than $10 at Home Depot. I think it was actually less than eight but I lost the reciept so there.

    The round dowels are used for round serrations and the square dowels are used for v-shaped serrations.

    You will want to start off by mounting the knife in a vise. If you don't have a vise don't worry as you can do this while holding the knife in one hand. It's just easier to do with the use of a vise.

    Then select the appropriate sized wooden dowel to use. The right size dowel will fit into the gulley of the serration, will touch the edge bevel, and will not rock or wobble side to side. The 1/2" dowel is the one that is most commonly used for sharpening the serrations on Wusthoff and similar level knives.

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    Wrap a strip of emery cloth around the pre-selected dowel so that it only wraps around 3/4 of the dowel's circumference.

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    The sandpaper will be held in place by finger pressure. It should look like this...

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    Then, I suggest to cover the edge bevels with magic marker. This will help to ensure that you are sharpening at the correct angle as the marker will be removed where the abrasive hits the bevel.

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    Make sure that you sharpen at the same bevel angle that was set by the factory. Why? Because it looks better. [​IMG]

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    Sharpen only enough to make 1/2 of the rounded tip pointed on both sides of the gulley. The point will become full when you sharpen the next gulley over. You want to only do just enough to raise the tiniest burr (on the reverse) and to just start to remove the rounded tips on both sides of the gulley you are sharpening.

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    When sharpening try to hold the angle of the dowel constant (the same) for each gulley you sharpen as you did for the others. It's not imperitive to do so but the result will be much more appealing to the eye. [​IMG]

    The only thing left at this point will be to remove the burr.

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    I usually run the knife across a buffing wheel to remove the burr but you can run the knife lightly through a peice of soft wood followed by using a wadded up peice of paper towel to wipe off any residual cling-ons that just won't let go.

    So that's it. A grand total of (less than) $10 and maybe 1/2 hr (tops) and your knife is better than new. Now you have no excuses for still having those dull serrated knives lying around do you?

    Happy Sharpening folks!! [​IMG]
  5. ouch

    ouch Moderator Contributor

    Fantastic. :thumbup1:

    A big thanks to Dave W. Martell.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  6. Wow ! That was an excellent tutorial, thanks Dave.....
  7. I mostly use the corners of a 1K stone & then strop on a somewhat coarser compound.

    Semi-circles on the corner & you are done in no time.
  8. The Spyderco Triangle sharpener does a great job on my bread knife.
  9. Lots of great information here... thanks, guys.
  10. Jim

    Jim Moderator

    Thanks for a great tutorial Dave!
  11. We need an "Unforgettable Posts of Brilliance and Excellence" sticky, and Dave's tutorial should be the inaugural post!
  12. I am continually amazed at how freely members give of their valued expertise to help us all. I have two dull bread knifes and will stop by Home Depot tomorrow. Thanks Dave and well done.
  13. Great explanation with pix. I responded just to have a something to refer to later. Thanks
  14. Awesome tutorial
  15. I called it, I knew that awesome post would get stickied!

    I'm on a roll, going to get a lottery ticket, BRB...
  16. See this here thingy..??.... $chefs choice.jpg You'll sharpen ALL your kitchen knives so you can do surgery with them....bread knives especially
  17. Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  18. Does this really work that well? Is it really as good as a good stone?
  19. Thank you Dave for this extraordinary clear tutorial

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