Damascus serrated knife
Father and son sharpen a Damascus serrated knife in a workshop.

Blades with a Damascus serrated wavy cutting edge have a narrow specialization, they are designed for easy and high-quality cutting of products with a dense surface and delicate pulp โ€“ bread, tomatoes, steaks. A Damascus serrated or serrated blade, like a mini-saw, cuts the product, does not tear or crumble, does not crush the pulp.ย 


Such knives require sharpening much less often than blades with a straight cutting edge. With moderate use and high-quality blade steel, a knife can remain sharp for several years. The thing is that the teeth, due to their shape, pierce the texture of the food, even if they have already lost their original sharpness.

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The knife will cut even when blunt. However, the quality of the cut can deteriorate significantly over time โ€“ you have to make more efforts, and the surface of the cut product will turn out to be โ€œtornโ€. Constant contact with the cutting board also leads to gradual blunting of the knife. And if it turns out to be too hard โ€“ glass or ceramic, the cutting edge will need help even faster. Friction on such a hard surface wears down the tops of the teeth rather quickly.


The easiest way to return to its former sharpness at home is with a straight knife blade. It is enough, following certain rules, to โ€œalignโ€ the cutting edge, giving it a certain convergence angle and polishing it. Since it will not be possible to sharpen a Damascus serrated knife in this way, you will have to stock up on the right tool, time, and patience. If there is such an opportunity, it is worth entrusting this difficult task to specialists in the workshop. But you can do it yourself if you know how to sharpen Damascus serrated knives.

The main thing that you cannot do without in this matter is a special abrasive rod of a suitable diameter and with a certain grain size. Most often, this tool is made with ceramic or diamond coating. Do not try to use a standard whetstone โ€“ this way you risk grinding off the teeth and significantly reducing the life of the blade.ย 

The rod can be rounded or multifaceted. It is convenient to sharpen knives with rounded teeth with large teeth, faceted โ€“ serrated blades (with small teeth). The width of the rod must match the pitch of the tooth (the size of the cavities). The bevel on most Damascus serrated blades is only on one side, which makes the process much easier.

Hereโ€™s how to sharpen Damascus serrated knives:

  • Hold the knife with the blade pointing up and the point away from you. The beveled side (chamfer) should be located on the side of your working hand in which the abrasive rod is located.
  • Place the pin in the first slot of the tooth at the same angle as the manufacturerโ€™s bevel.
  • Directing the rod away from you, push it forward along its entire length without changing the angle of inclination.
  • Check for a burr on the back of the cavity.
  • If necessary, repeat the sharpening motion along the groove.
  • Treat all the grooves on the blade in this way.
  • Flip the blade over and brush off any burrs that have formed with the rod โ€“ in one or two sweeping movements. This can be done with a standard abrasive whetstone for sharpening.
  • Use sandpaper to finish the blade.
  • Rinse the knife and check its sharpness.

The smaller the teeth of the knife, the more painstaking the sharpening process will be. For example, steak blades have small teeth. Which often become dull due to contact with porcelain plates, on which meat is cut. Since it is more convenient to sharpen a Damascus serrated knife with small cavities with a faceted rod. Select a sharpening tool with minimum width.

And for a knife with a Damascus serrated blade to serve as long as possible without additional sharpening, provide it with proper care. Wash by hand, dry immediately, use only as directed, store separately from other appliances. And, of course, try to cut on wooden and plastic cutting boards.

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