When knives become dull, they lose their efficiency, and it becomes necessary to sharpen them if you don’t want to buy them again. If you know how to sharpen a serrated knife, it will save your time and frustration while working. But it’s good to sharpen your serrated knives only when they become less effective. On the other side, if you wait until your knives are completely dull, then the sharpening process may take more time and effort. You should use your knives carefully to increase their lifetime.
First of all, you should know about serrated knives. It is a cutting instrument with scalloped, sharp blades secured to a handle. It is different from a regular knife due to its scalloped appearance. A serrated knife is good to tackle the tasks that other kitchen knives can’t do properly.
The serrated knife’s edge is good for cutting food with a hard exterior and soft interior, such as bread; it is also suitable for squishy fruit, such as tomatoes. The parts of the blade between serrations are known as gullets and allow the blade to slide through the food evenly. Serrated blades come in several sizes for different tasks. Bread knives and steak knives are often serrated.
Why do serrated knives get dull?
Simple knives and serrated knives get dull through contact with the cutting surface, Mostly. Knife blades hit the cutting board repeatedly; that is why they begin to wear down. Cutting food can also make the knife dull, but less than the surface.
How can you sharpen a serrated knife?
By using a sharpening rod, you can sharpen your serrated knife. You can purchase a serrated knife sharpening tool. Mostly, they are rod-like, usually with a taper to use for different sizes.
Start sharpening the serrated knife
These knives generally do not look similar on both sides; on one side, the face of the blade has the same angle until the blade’s edge. On the other side, the face of the blade has an angle down just before the edge; this is known as a bevel. So you have to use a sharpening tool for the beveled edge.
Place the rod in one of the serrated scallops.
Choose the angle that is easy for a serrated blade because you can use the angle of the bevel, usually between 13 and 17 degrees, compared to the edge of the blade, which is shallower than used for sharpening knives.
- The bevels are mostly ground to the same angle, about 20 to 25 degrees, if the knife has a straight edge portion.
- For a better guide, draw on the gullets with a marker.
Move the sharpening rod to match the diameter of the gullet.
If the rod is tapered, then locate the rod in the gullet at a point where the diameter of the rod is the same size as the gullet or a little bit smaller.
Sharpen the gullet
Run the rod along the first groove in different short strokes. Push in a direction away from the edge of the blade toward the spine. Rotate the sharpening rod as you push it for a more even grind. Push the point of the rod to the same diameter as the gullet to avoid enlarging it.
Check the burr
Examine the burr or metal shaving. You should run your fingers along the backside of the groove. As soon as you feel a burr, you can sharpen the groove better, and this takes a few strokes.
Adjust the position of the tapered rod to fill the groove if the knife’s serrations have different sizes.
File burrs away
burrs with metal shavings that you filed away while sharpening. Rub the back of the knife against a sheet of fine-grit sandpaper to remove them.
Sharpen the straight-edge portion
If a knife is serrated along a single part of the blade, then sharpen the remaining length with another sharpening tool. Do not use a serrated sharpening tool on straight areas.
Tips you consider for serrated knives
Take care of knives
Taking care of your knives will decrease the need to sharpen them.
Take professional help
A serrated knife may be difficult to return to its former appearance, so to get better results, you can get the help of a professional. Luckily, sharpening services are cheap.
You need to use a vice grip to hold the knife.
It can be a little difficult to get the proper grip on the knife and sharpen it. The knife slipping out of place is one common complaint. Here, a slight annoyance might develop into a costly mistake. Secure your knife in a vice grip on a sharpening tool to prevent accidents. Have a steady workplace where you can anchor your equipment if you want to sharpen it manually.
Never put a knife in your dishwasher.
Don’t allow all of your effort and your precious time to go to waste. Putting manually sharpened knives in the dishwasher is an error. As Your knife won’t be destroyed completely right away. However, over time, it will destroy your serrations and produce a dull and useless edge. Moreover, any organic components on your knife, such as a wood handle may shatter due to the moisture and intense heat in the dishwasher. So you should not put your knives in the dishwasher; you should always rinse them.
Check your sharpening progress often to avoid removing more metal.
There is no turning back once you have filed away so much. If you use a diamond file, it will remove material much faster than you expect. So you take frequent breaks to run your fingers along the blade’s non-beveled side. The burrs that appear after each pass serve as an indicator of how much metal is being taken out. Moreover, test your knife frequently so you are aware of when to stop filing. You will remove those burrs once you’ve found the ideal balance. Even if your knife can endure repeated sharpening, you can reduce its life.