Clink, clank, clink, clank… Before giving that juicy piece of salami a slit, the chef sharpens their knives together with finesse. How oddly satisfying does it sound? I bet you have seen it in many cooking shows and felt the temptation to do it at least once. But is it possible to sharpen a blade with another in real life? The answer is Yes but at your own risk! Use this method only when you do not have a “Real” knife sharpener to do the job.
You sharpen your knives for effortless slicing so that you perform your best in the kitchen. But when you use a knife as a sharpening tool, you do an ordeal to your blades as it may damage the edge. However, if you do not have access to an alternative and want to proceed anyways, make sure you read this blog so that you can do it with the least possible risk.
In this blog, I will explain how to sharpen a knife with another knife and more sharpening tips that will come in handy in need. So let’s delve into details.
How To Sharpen A Knife With Another Knife: 3 Simple Steps
Hold the knife to be sharpened at a 20-degree angle and use the spine of the other knife to scrape along the edge of the first one in a sweeping motion. Repeat this process several times until you achieve the desired results.
Can you sharpen a knife without any tools like whetstones and pull-through sharpeners? Indeed, you can. Using a knife to sharpen another knife is a technique known as “knife on knife” sharpening. This method can be a bit trickier than honing, but it can help you realign the edge of the blade and can be a temporary solution for sharpening. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
Step 1: Choose the Right Knife as a Sharpening Tool
These are the few main points to consider while choosing the right tool as a sharpener
The ideal hardness for a sharpening knife is around 60-62 on the Rockwell hardness scale. Knives with a higher hardness rating can sharpen other knives, but they can be prone to chipping and breaking.
- Blade Material
The material of the blade is equally crucial. High-carbon stainless steel is preferred as it is sturdier than regular stainless steel and can hold an edge well.
- Blade Shape
A sharpening knife should have a straight edge, and be at least 8-10 inches long. A longer blade gives more control when sharpening other knives. It would be better to use the back of the knife.
Step 2: The Right Handling
It is important to hold both knives correctly for maximum control and safety. Here is how to do it.
- Hold The Main Knife in Dominant Hand
Hold the main knife in your dominant hand, with your index finger on the top of the handle and your thumb on the bottom. It gives maximum control over the knife and helps you maintain the correct angle while sharpening.
- Hold the Sharpener Knife in Other Hand
Hold the tool knife in your other hand, with your index finger on the top of the handle and your thumb on the bottom. Keep your fingers tucked in and away from the edge.
- Maintain a 20-Degree Angle
Keep your fingers curled around the handle of the sharpening knife for maximum control. Now grasp the knife that you want to sharpen at a 20-degree angle to the sharpening knife. Remember, this is the ideal angle for sharpening to achieve a decently-sharpened edge.
- Maintain a Steady Motion
Keep your other hand (the one holding the knife that you want to sharpen) away from the sharpening knife and maintain a steady and smooth motion.
Step 3: The Sharpening
- Start from the Tip
Beginning at the tip of the knife, swipe the blade down the edge of the sharpening knife, using light pressure. Make sure that the blade stays at the same 20-degree angle.
- Swipe Down the Edge
After you have swiped the blade down the edge of the sharpening knife, give the knife a quarter-turn and swipe it down the edge again. Do it over until you have sharpened the entire blade.
- Repeat the Process
Repeat the process on the other side, and then give the knife a final swipe on both sides of the sharpening knife to realign the edge.
Why Sharpening With Another Knife is Not the Best Method?
Although I have explained a full-blown guide on how to sharpen a knife with another knife, you still need to know why the method is not ideal. To understand why a knife is not the ultimate sharpening tool, you must know how sharpening works.
Sharpening is done with an abrasive to scrape a little bit of metal off the blade to get a sharp edge. When using a knife as a sharpening tool, consider it more as a honing steel than a sharpening device.
Be mindful a honing rod does not help you achieve keen-edged blades- it only hones them for better performance by realigning the burr. A knife as a sharpening tool certainly would not render razor-sharp knives. You will eventually have to get some real sharpening done- by using a legit sharpening tool such as a stone, pull-through or an electric knife sharpener.
It is also important to note that this method could damage or shorten the lifespan of the sharpening knife or even the knife you want to sharpen.
Sharpening Tips to Use Knife as a Knife Sharpener
Albeit, using a knife as a sharpener is not the best thing to do to your knives. You can still improvise if you pay attention to detail. Here are two easy knife-sharpening tricks.
- Use the Back or the Spine of the blade
The back of a blade is typically less sharp than the edge, but the thickest part of the blade, hence good enough to sharpen other knives. I suggest you use the back rather than the blade side to realign for a better cutting experience.
- Use a Serrated Knife
If you have a serrated knife, you can use the serrations to sharpen other knives. Hold the knife you want to sharpen at a 20-degree angle to the edge of the sharpening knife, and swipe it across the serrations gently. Repeat this process until you achieve the desired sharpness.
Alternative Ways to Sharpen a Knife
If you are skimping now- you may have to pay a great price later. So even if you are frugal- you can still find better ways of knife sharpening that would not cause an arm and a leg. Below I have mentioned a few tools.
Sharpening With a Stone
I am proud to admit that sharpening stones are my personal favourites. They are not only cost-effective- but also the most convenient and efficient tools to get that pro-quality blade. Oilstones, Waterstones and Diamond Stones are the three most common whetstones available in the market.
Read More: Best Way To Sharpen Knife With Stone
Sharpening with Knife Sharpeners
After whetstones, knife sharpeners are the second best option to renew your blade. Depending on your budget and sharpening needs- you can choose between manual or electric knife sharpeners.
Manual knife sharpeners give you control over the edge and are the best pick for beginners. To sharpen a knife, hold the sharpening tool in place. Then, with moderate pressure, draw the blade across the sharpening surface at the proper angle for the type of knife.
Electric knife sharpeners are also great for those who want a quick fix, but they are expensive and bulky compared to whetstones and pull-through sharpeners.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Someone accurately said that dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives. Keeping your knife razor-sharp and well-maintained is the secret to perfect cooking. Keeping the importance of sharpening in mind, you should not be rash while picking the tools.
Just because you can use something to sharpen your knives; does not imply it is the optimal way to do the task. Yes, you can fine-tune a knife with another knife- yet it is makeshift to all the better substitutes available.
When you do not have access to the best tool, there is nothing wrong with improvising and using a knife as a sharpening tool. Nonetheless, never underestimate the importance of a dedicated tool for your precious knives and invest in the best.