How To Sharpen A Knife With A File – A Complete Guide
Imagine you have guests coming over for dinner, and you are all set to cook, but suddenly your favourite knife is giving you a hard time cutting. In this situation, what would you do without a knife sharpener? There is no need to panic- a file may help you tackle the task.
Although using a file is not the ultimate solution, you can still make it work in time of need. I recommend a whetstone or a pull-through sharpener for better results- but if you are in a tight spot- a nail file would be a decent alternative.
Files are easily accessible- look around- some may be lying in your garage or drawer- so you may pick the best one in reach. So, without further ado, let’s explore how to sharpen a knife with a file.
How To Sharpen A Knife With A File: Step-By-Step Process
To sharpen a knife with a file, hold the knife at a consistent angle, usually 20 degrees, and use a sweeping motion to run the blade along the file. Repeat this process on both sides of the blade until you achieve a sharp edge.
Sharpening a knife with a file is a simple process that may help you temporarily restore the edge. Below I have explained the step-by-step guide for both beginners and pros.
- Gather The Materials
Start with the essentials you need to do the task. These are the materials you will need.
- A file
- A cloth or towel
- A stable surface
- Knives to be sharpened
- Set up the Equipment
Put the knife on the surface with the edge facing up. Hold the knife handle firmly in one and the file in another hand.
- Remove the Burr
Now use the file in a sweeping motion to remove any nicks and burrs off the edge. Make sure you grasp the file at a slight angle to the blade and work in a back-and-forth motion to file along the metal.
- Sharpen the Edge
Once you have removed the burrs, move forward with the procedure- make backward and forward motions while keeping the file at a slightly steeper angle to the knife.
- Work Your Way From Base To Tip
Continue with the to-and-fro motion while working your way from the base of the blade to the tip- apply gentle pressure by keeping the file at a consistent incline to the edge.
- Use A Honing Steel
Use honing steel if you have a final touch-up- it is an optional step but will render the best results.
- Wipe the Knife
Now that you have completed the process- wipe the knife thoroughly before using it. Don’t forget to test the sharpness- if it is not cutting the way it should- repeat the process until you achieve the desired results.
Types Of Files And How To Use Them For Sharpening
When you are a creative person, constraints bother you the least. I agree- nothing could render the flawless sharp edges you get using dedicated tools- you can still make the most of other objects, such as files, to achieve a passable edge.
Files come in various shapes, sizes and materials. Depending on your requirement- you may pick the best one in your access.
A bastard file is a type of hand file that is intermediate in coarseness between a rough and a smooth file. It is typically used for general-purpose filing and removing material from metal, wood or plastic.
How To Sharpen A Knife With A Bastard File?
A bastard file is by far the best option among all the others. It’s an abrasive metal which scrapes the metal off the edge. It is also used along a whetstone.
To sharpen a knife with a bastard file:
- Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle against the file.
- Drag the knife towards you, starting at the base of the blade and moving towards the tip.
- Keep the angle consistent as you sharpen.
- Continue the sweeping motion until you are happy with the sharpness.
Be mindful that using a bastard file is not suitable for extremely blunt and damaged knives. However, you can use this method when you can’t get your hands on other substitutes.
A hand file is a tool to smooth and shape metal or wood surfaces. It is typically made of metal and has a rough surface with ridges or teeth, which you can use to remove small amounts of material. Keeping all these specifications in mind- a hand file may come in handy as a substitute for knife sharpeners.
How To Sharpen A Knife With A Hand File?
Be a little nifty- and you can easily sharpen a knife with a hand file. The rough surface of the hand file acts as an abrasive to scrape off the metal and gives you a decently sharpened edge.
- Grasp the knife at a steep and steady angle and move it along the file in a back-and-forth motion.
- Make sure you focus on the edge while sweeping it across the file.
- Do it over a few times until you get the keen-edged blade.
A nail file, as the name suggests, is a tool to shape and smooth the tip of the nails. It is made of various materials such as steel, plastic, and glass and has a rough surface.
How To Sharpen A Knife With A Nail File?
Among all the types of files, a nail file is the most accessible. Nevertheless, it should be the last resort to sharpen your knife. A nail file can never be as hard as a knife, so they tend to wear off in just a few strokes. Although it will get you through the task- it may get ruined in the process and cause damage to your blade.
Now you are aware of everything that could go wrong. Still, want to know how can you sharpen a knife with a nail file? Here’s how.
- Hold the file at a 20-degree angle to the blade.
- Make long strokes along the edge- working your way from the base to the tip.
- Be sure to file both sides of the blade evenly.
And that’s it! Your knife should now be sharp enough to do a fair job with cutting or slicing.
A round file is a type of file that is cylindrical, typically with a tapered tip. It can be made of plastic, steel or wood. It is used to enlarge round holes or smooth out curves and contours in metal or woodwork.
How To Sharpen A Knife With A Round File?
To sharpen a knife with a round file:
- Place the knife blade against the file at a 20-degree angle.
- Now stroke it away from you while maintaining the slant.
- Be sure to make short and quick strokes to achieve a sharp edge.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There you are! How to sharpen a knife with a file? The method is painless and almost similar to other sharpening tools. You just need to be careful with the pressure and strokes as some files can be coarser than usual sharpening equipment. Bearing these few points in mind, you can smooth sail with the sharpening process.
Wrapping up with a disclaimer that if you prefer longevity or own an expensive knife set- prolonged use of files may ruin your blades. It’s always better to invest in the whetstones. If you are hesitant to use stones, you can grab a three-slot pull-through sharpener. Remember, the proper tool ensures durability and a better edge for a fine slicing experience.