best way to sharpen serrated knife? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-07-2014   #1
 
Enfield, New Hampshire
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best way to sharpen serrated knife?

My Gerber has Serrations along the main cutting edge and seems to have blunted over time. How do I get it sharp again without complicating things too much?
Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-07-2014   #2
 
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You can't really sharpen serrated knives.
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Old 04-07-2014   #3
 
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they make a serrated knife sharpener..lookes kinda like an ice pick. It's a lot like sharpening a chainsaw...
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Old 04-07-2014   #4
 
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Have you been using it as a saw to cut firewood? I'd probably replace it.
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Old 04-07-2014   #5
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You might check out the EZE-LAP...DIAMOND "M", or MODEL M. There are several other brands available. They would be at your better sporting goods store.
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Old 04-07-2014   #6
 
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My Gerber has Serrations along the main cutting edge and seems to have blunted over time
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Originally Posted by Dave Frank View Post
Have you been using it as a saw to cut firewood? I'd probably replace it.
I'm still disappointed but just no longer amazed when I see folks who should damn well know better slicing bagels or salami with their rescue knives. Mine stays in it's sheath unless I have cut a rope or a raft with it - I hope I'll never have to pull it out.

To JIMM - how much effort and expense are you going to go through to sharpen an old knife that may be ready to retire anyway? If you're like me, will you just blow if off until you can get around to ordering one of the sharpeners listed above or (finally) get to a knife shop? Isn't this something that's worth dropping $50 on now and getting a new one before the season gets underway?

Which reminds me - how long have those zip ties you use to secure your knife been out in the sun degrading? Don't forget to replace them before the season too...

Be safe out there,

-AH
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Old 04-08-2014   #7
 
Wondervu, CO, Colorado
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Of course you can sharpen a serrated blade, otherwise you couldn't make them in the first place. It is harder than sharpening a non-serrated blade but the process is similar. It does require additional tools.

You will need a set of stones or files that exactly match the profile of the blade. Usually this is a pattern made up two sizes of circular indentations, so two sets of grits plus the regular bench stones. Special cermaic stones shaped for wood carving gouges can be purchased. These are triangular in cross section and have a fine tapered edge with a rounded profile. Small rat tail round files can be used, but it can be hard to match the diameter. Sometimes you can find cheap diamond dust needle files($25 for a set of 10), the tapered round ones are ideal.

An inexpensive method is to use sheets of wet/dry sand paper folded over a stiff wire of the right diameter. Sand paper also works well as a stone for flat blades. For a 'bench stone' you can mount the sand paper to a piece of flat glass or floor tile using spray adhesive. You need to use a lubricant such as light oil or WD-40 or the paper clogs quickly. Use an assortment of grits from 600 to 2000 (finer grits are available from auto paint supply houses) See Scary sharp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for a detailed how to on using sand paper.

Most serrated blades are flat on one side. The flat side can be sharpened in the normal fashion. The serrated side needs to be sharpened one indentation at a time. Run the abrasive tool through each scallop, cut in one direction, not back and forth (clogs up quickly if you do) Take special care to match the existing bevel angle. It helps to mount the blade in a vise of some kind.

Start on the serrated side, working from course grit to fine. From time to time flip the blade over and run the flat of the blade over a stone to take of the 'feather'. Similar to sharpening a chisel. Use only fine grits on the flat side, it takes for ever to restore a smooth finish if you use course.

Note: pay special attention to the bevel, if any on the flat side. Often the flat side of the blade has no edge bevel, in this case the blade is only sharpened on the serrated side and only flattened on the back side. For an aggresive cutting edge (like rope) take one final pass though each of the scallops a coarse grit stone. This leaves tiny scratches that act as micro serrations in the edge.
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Old 04-08-2014   #8
 
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Flagstaff, Arizona
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Mine stays in it's sheath unless I have cut a rope or a raft with it - I hope I'll never have to pull it out.
Words to live by Andy. Rescue knives are for just that. Rescue.
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Old 04-08-2014   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kengore View Post
Of course you can sharpen a serrated blade, otherwise you couldn't make them in the first place. It is harder than sharpening a non-serrated blade but the process is similar. It does require additional tools.

You will need a set of stones or files that exactly match the profile of the blade. Usually this is a pattern made up two sizes of circular indentations, so two sets of grits plus the regular bench stones. Special cermaic stones shaped for wood carving gouges can be purchased. These are triangular in cross section and have a fine tapered edge with a rounded profile. Small rat tail round files can be used, but it can be hard to match the diameter. Sometimes you can find cheap diamond dust needle files($25 for a set of 10), the tapered round ones are ideal.



An inexpensive method is to use sheets of wet/dry sand paper folded over a stiff wire of the right diameter. Sand paper also works well as a stone for flat blades. For a 'bench stone' you can mount the sand paper to a piece of flat glass or floor tile using spray adhesive. You need to use a lubricant such as light oil or WD-40 or the paper clogs quickly. Use an assortment of grits from 600 to 2000 (finer grits are available from auto paint supply houses) See Scary sharp - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for a detailed how to on using sand paper.

Most serrated blades are flat on one side. The flat side can be sharpened in the normal fashion. The serrated side needs to be sharpened one indentation at a time. Run the abrasive tool through each scallop, cut in one direction, not back and forth (clogs up quickly if you do) Take special care to match the existing bevel angle. It helps to mount the blade in a vise of some kind.

Start on the serrated side, working from course grit to fine. From time to time flip the blade over and run the flat of the blade over a stone to take of the 'feather'. Similar to sharpening a chisel. Use only fine grits on the flat side, it takes for ever to restore a smooth finish if you use course.

Note: pay special attention to the bevel, if any on the flat side. Often the flat side of the blade has no edge bevel, in this case the blade is only sharpened on the serrated side and only flattened on the back side. For an aggresive cutting edge (like rope) take one final pass though each of the scallops a coarse grit stone. This leaves tiny scratches that act as micro serrations in the edge.
How much time and effort are you going to expend to save a $50 knife. Serrated knives are sharpened with machines that can do it quickly and CONSISTENTLY. Effectively sharpening knives requires developing a Constantino touch through experience. Serrated knives are not designed to be sharpened after manufacturing.
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Old 04-08-2014   #10
 
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Originally Posted by jspoon14 View Post
How much time and effort are you going to expend to save a $50 knife. Serrated knives are sharpened with machines that can do it quickly and CONSISTENTLY. Effectively sharpening knives requires developing a Constantino touch through experience. Serrated knives are not designed to be sharpened after manufacturing.

Really? $50 is 8 Chipotles. Plenty of value there. Just saying...

- Jon
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