How To Sharpen a Knife with Sandpaper

There’s an old saying that “a sharp knife is safer than a dull one.” Cooking Channel shows you a good and inexpensive way to sharpen your knives at home.

What You'll Need

It's simple in theory, but sharpening a knife is all about the technique. We'll show you how to master that technique, so you can chop and dice with ease. All you'll need is your knife, a piece of fine and super fine sandpaper, a chopping block, and your honing steel (which usually comes with a set of knifes).

Hold Knife at 22 degree angle against sandpaper

Place a sheet of fine sandpaper on a wood cutting board and tape the sandpaper down so it comes all the way to the edge. Hold the knife at a 22 degree angle to the cutting board. Don't worry, you dont need to grab your protractor! Here's a trick: when you hold it up at a 90 degree angle, tilted halfway down is 45 degrees. Split the difference one more time and it’s at 22.5 degrees. Close enough!

Holding knife flush with sandpaper, drag on a diagonal

Holding the knife handle with one hand and pressing lightly on the center of the knife to keep it flush with the sandpaper, drag the knife edge down, pulling it away and towards you at a diagonal. Do this 10 times.

Flip over to sharpen other side; Repeat process with super fine sandpaper

Flip knife over and repeat on the opposite side 10 times. Then, replace fine sandpaper with super fine sandpaper and repeat.

Use honing steel to finish

Finish by running edge of knife over a honing steel at a 22 degree angle several times on both sides, which straightens the metal.

Next Up

How to Cook Rice

Here are some of my tips to help you cook the perfect plain rice at home.

How to Cook With a Wok

Find out how to choose the wok that's right for you, then learn how to season it to create optimally flavored dishes.

How to Cook Like an Italian Grandpa

Watch how to make eggplant Parmigiana, meatballs, chicken cacciatore and more like an authentic Italian grandpa with skills from the old country.