What Can I Use Instead of a Sharpening Stone? – Ultimate Guide
We’ve all seen master chefs on television chopping away with ease and let’s admit it, we’ve tried to mimic them in real life quite often! Unfortunately, there’s no way you can pull off these feats with a dull kitchen knife. Dull knives frustrate you, they waste your time, and if this wasn’t bad enough, they’re extremely dangerous too!
The most convenient way to sharpen your knife is by using a sharpening stone. However, these are expensive tools such as knife sharpeners, which everyone can’t afford.
This article will enlighten you on how to sharpen your knives without investing in a stone.
What Can I Use Instead of a Sharpening Stone To Sharp A Knife – [6 Best Methods]
There are numerous objects that you can use to sharpen a knife instead of a sharpening stone. You can use a sharpening steel, sandpaper, slate, a flat rock, a brick, and even your car window!
How to Use Sharpening Steel to Sharpen Knives
Sharpening steel is a handy sharpening stone alternative. It will help you revive your knife’s dull blade. Here’s how you can do it:
- With one hand, firmly hold the sharpening steel vertically with its tip facing downwards. The tip should be resting on a cutting board. Use your non-dominant hand for this purpose. Furthermore, ensure that the tip of the steel is firmly pressed against the cutting board so that it doesn’t slide when you start working.
- Now hold your knife against the steel top. The knife’s base (closest portion to the handle) should be touching the steel top. Keep the knife tilted to an angle of 15° to 20°.
- Now slowly bring the knife down the steel. Simultaneously, pull it towards yourself.
- Repeat the process with the other side of the blade with 5 to 10 strokes on both sides.
- Check the sharpness of the blade by running it through a sheet of paper.
How to Use Sandpaper to Sharpen Knives
Another whetstone alternative for sharpening knives is sandpaper, which is an abrasive material. If your knife is very dull, begin the sharpening process with coarse grit sandpaper. For all others, I would recommend beginning with medium grit sandpaper.
Related: What Grit Sandpaper to Sharpen Knives? – Detailed Guide
After you have chosen the sandpaper grit that you want to work with, proceed as follows:
- Place the sandpaper on your kitchen countertop with its grit side up.
- Position your knife at an angle of about 20° and with a firm grip, slide it forwards onto the sandpaper.
- Apply three strokes on one side of the blade and then switch sides.
- Repeat the above-mentioned steps till you are satisfied with the sharpness of your knife.
How to Use a Slate to Sharpen Knives
When it comes to sharpening knives without stone, the closest alternative to a whetstone is a slate. It is undoubtedly one of the best sharpening tools. One similarity between a slate and a stone is how both these tools have a rough exterior, making them excellent knife sharpeners.
Keep on reading for a step-by-step guide about how you can use a slate as a knife sharpener:
- For best results use a clean and rough slate. Soak the slate in water.
- Hold your knife at an angle of 10° to the slate.
- While maintaining this angle, run the entire length of the knife blade across the surface of the slate.
- Continue rubbing till you are satisfied with the sharpness of the edge.
- Switch sides and repeat the same procedure on the other side of the knife blade. Your knife is now ready to chop away like never before!
How to Use a Flat Rock to Sharpen Knives
As long as you are in the comfort of your home, you will have all your fancy knife sharpeners and whetstones at your disposal. However, if you decide to wander into Australia’s wilderness for a fun camping trip, you won’t be able to carry all your kitchen gadgets with you.
This is where rock knife sharpeners step in. Sounds primitive? Learning how to use a rock for this purpose could prove to be a life-saving skill. However, attempting to do so without any prior knowledge could be dangerous too. Here’s what you need to keep in mind when sharpening a knife using a rock.
Selecting the Right Kind of Stone
Modern-day whetstones have evolved from rocks. Since they are produced commercially, they have uniform properties. On the contrary, most naturally occurring rocks are a mixture of different materials, therefore they possess non-uniform abrasive qualities.
If you randomly select a rock and begin rubbing your dull knife over it, there is a high chance that you might damage the blade permanently.
River stones and sandy stones are the two most suitable type of stones which can be used for knife sharpening.
Let’s discuss some easy knife sharpening tricks without stone, using just rocks.
Rubbing Rock on Knife
If you have a small rock, this is the technique to follow.
- Wet your stone with water, for a superior sharpening process.
- Place your knife on its side and rub the stone along the entire length of the blade from the spine to the edge.
Rubbing Your Knife on the Rock
Use this technique if you have a large-sized rock. This technique is exactly how you would use a commercial whetstone to sharpen your knives.
- Place the wet rock on a flat surface.
- Maintain an angle of 20°, and run the entire length of the knife blade along the surface of the stone.
- Make sure that you start from the heel and go all the way down to the knife’s tip
If you happen to have two similar rocks, you can arrange them in a v-shape. Wet the stones and then pull the knife through the “v”. This technique provides excellent sharpening and I’m sure this will give you sharper knives compared to your last camping trip!
How to Use a Brick to Sharpen Knives
This list just keeps getting more and more unusual, doesn’t it? Goes to show, how many knife-sharpening options you have! You’ll need a smooth brick for this trick because a very rough one will damage your knife.
Keeping the knife at an angle of 20° from the brick, run it over the surface of the brick. Start from the knife base and progress to the tip. Repeat the process till the desired sharpness is achieved.
How to Use a Car Window to Sharpen Knives
Undoubtedly, the most interesting DIY trick of sharpening a knife without stone! This hack will prove particularly useful for your outdoor trips. Here’s what you have to do:
- Roll down the window halfway and place your knife on the rounded top of the window.
- Tilt the knife till it is at a 10° to the window.
- Now rub the blade back and forth on the glass seven to eight times.
- Repeat the procedure on the other side of the blade and continue sharpening till the required sharpness is achieved.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In a nutshell, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t own a knife-sharpening stone. There are numerous other objects which you can use to recover its cutting edge. You might have any hardware store purchases lying around like sandpaper, sharpening steel, or slate. These items may be used for obtaining razor-sharp blades.
If you are outdoors and don’t have too many options to choose from, you can sharpen your dull knife using a brick or a stone. In all honesty, I have even sharpened a knife using my car window with amazing results.
Whichever object you choose for the sharpening process, just remember that it is essential to use the correct method and to exercise all safety precautions. Here’s to happy sharpening!