How to Sharpen Knives with Sandpaper: Easy Method Discussed

Knives are an important part of the kitchen. Whether you are a chef or a cook, you need to sharpen knives regularly. They allow us to chop, slice and dice our ingredients with precision and ease. But what happens when your knives get dull?

There are many ways that sharpen a knife, but one way is by using sandpaper as a sharpening tool. Sandpapers are abrasive materials that can be used as a knife sharpening tool. They also come in many different grits. Higher the number of grit particles on the paper, finer it is.

Sanding helps you remove small scratches in the metal surface or removes corrosion from metal objects. The best type of sandpaper for a knife would be between 220-400 grit depending on how dull the blade is.

Knives can be sharpened with coarse sandpaper by rubbing the blunt edges. Knives need sharpening tool like sandpaper, electric knife sharpener, diamond sharpener, whetstone etc.

Common Steps to Sharpen Knives with Sandpaper

Common Steps to Sharpen Knives with Sandpaper

Here we will discuss common ways to sharpen knives with sandpaper:

Choose Sandpaper for Sharpening Knives:

There are 3 types of sandpaper for sharpening any knives. They are:

  • Use coarse grit sandpaper - Coarse grit can sharpen blunt blades and remove corrosion from metal surfaces. This type of sandpaper should not be used on delicate blades because it may damage them.
  • Use medium grit sandpaper - Medium grits are better for polishing edges than roughing up surfaces like coarse paper does. It also removes more metal particles.
  • Use Fine grit sandpaper - Finer grades create smoother surfaces but take less time from start to finish.

Place the Sandpaper on a Solid Surface:

Place the Sandpaper on a Solid Surface

Place the sandpaper on a solid surface. You can also use the sandpaper on your kitchen counter for more convenience. Place the dull knife flatly on top of the sandpaper.

Hold Knife Blade Angle:

Hold the knife blade at a 20 to 40 degree angle and sharpen it with circular, back-and-forth motions. Keep the blade flat against the sandpaper and sharpen it in one direction.

Apply Moderate Pressure:

Next, apply moderate pressure with both of your hands onto the sharpen knife in order to sharpen it.

Press down smoothly and firmly, making sure that you are applying enough pressure but not too much either.

Check Roughness of Sandpaper:

Run your fingers along the sandpaper after knife sharpening to feel for any roughness. Or feel for ridges of sandpaper that are still stuck to your blade.

Switch to a New Section of Sandpaper:

Switch to a New Section of Sandpaper

Once you reach the end of any particular section of sandpaper, make sure that you switch over to a new section.

Scrape off any remaining bits of sandpaper with your fingers before moving on to the next section in knife sharpening.

That way, you'll sharpen knives with sandpaper for a longer period of time before the sandpaper becomes useless.

Repeat Steps 1-3 for All Blades:

Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you are satisfied with the quality of your knife's edge. Increase or decrease the number of sharpening based on how often you use your knife.

Wipe Away Excess Metal Shavings:

Now you are the last step. You must check the knife and wipe away excess metal shavings or burrs from the blade.

What to Consider Before Removing Sanding Particles for Your Dull Knife's Edge?

If you have been using sandpaper, it is important to remove all of the sanding particles your knife's edge. Have to do it before proceeding onto one of the following sharpeners.

Mirror Polish:

If you are looking for a razor sharp finish that will last an extended period of time, then this is what you should sharpen your knives with.

You will need to sharpen these tools on a regular basis in order to reduce the chances of them becoming dull and ineffective.

Diamond Plates:

Diamond Plates

This is another sharpening tool that you should use if you are looking for a really precise cut or edge on your knife's blade.

These sharpeners can be found at most hardware stores, so they won't take up any space within your home.

Sharpening Stone:

This would be an appropriate step after removing all excess particles from the blades' surface. It may also work as a good substitute between sharpening when diamond plates aren't available. Although it does not produce quite as much precision cuts.

Electric Sharpener:

This is a sharpening tool that produces the most precise edge on your knives. These sharpeners are an excellent substitute when you don't have the time or energy to sharpen your blades with sandpaper.

But this is not a good choice due to their price point and potential for becoming dull over time.

  • Pros: These sharpeners can produce really precise cuts on knives that need them, so they may be better than diamond plates if you want to prepare very specific foods like fillets or fish.
  • Cons: They do not last as long as other sharpeners in comparison because it costs more money upfront (and over time).

How do I Sharpen my Kitchen Knives with Coarse Sandpaper?

How do I Sharpen my Kitchen Knives with Coarse Sandpaper

There are a couple of ways to sharpen knives with sandpaper. One is to rub coarse sandpaper over the blunt edges of the knife, where it needs sharpening.

You might find that this method works better than using an actual sharpener for your kitchen knives.

Make sure you use the appropriate grade of sandpaper and follow the instructions on how to sharpen a knife with sandpaper that is found in the video below.

Use flat surface:

To sharpen your knives, use a flat surface and lay one piece of coarse sand paper face down. A cutting board is ideal for this purpose.

Be sure to place another thin piece of wood or plastic under the sheet of sandpaper so that the sandpaper doesn't tear or fold.

Place knife blade flat on sandpaper:

Place your knife blade flat on top of the coarse sandpaper with the edge you want sharpened facing down towards the cutting board.

Use a rocking motion, working from one side to another until only fine grit remains on the back of the sharpener's finer grade sandpaper is at work and the blade is sharp.

Repeat Step 2:

Repeat this process on the other side of the knife for both sides, sharpening each side of the sharpener's fine grit sandpaper to sharpen your knives and maintain a keen edge.

How do I Sharpen Serrated Knives with Sandpaper?

Use sandpaper to sharpen the knife's serrations. Place a few sheets of sandpaper on top of each other and attach them securely with tape.

Place your knife blade against one edge and sharpen until you feel resistance. Make sure that you sharpen both sides evenly.

Otherwise it will be impossible for the blades to cut properly. This method is not recommended for Japanese knives as they are too delicate.

How to Use Sandpaper and Belt Sander to Sharpen Knives?

Sandpaper is a common sharpening tool. Belt sanders are also sharpeners, so they can be used to sharpen knives.

The blade needs to be clamped firmly in place and then run against the belt of the sander with an even hand motion.

This will give you a nice polished edge as long as your knife angle stays constant while making contact with the belt of the sanding disk.

You can use either rough or fine grade paper on a belt grinder to finish the work.

How to Use a Sandpaper and Bench Grinder to sharpen knives?

Bench grinders are designed with either wet or dry sandpaper and can be used by hand or fixed on top of an electric drill.

You will need to make sure that your knife is secure in order to sharpen it effectively. Attach it to a piece of wood, metal bar, etc., before using the wheel.

How to Sharpen a Stainless Steel Knife with Sandpaper?

Sharpening a stainless steel knife might seem like a daunting task, but it can actually be done. Sharpen knives by hand using either wet or dry sandpaper.

Wet sanding is best for hard steel such as stainless steel, while dry sanding works well for blades made from softer metals such as carbon steel.

Apply pressure and use at least 100 grits to sharpen any type of metal cutting edge (even serrated edges). The higher the grit number is 400+.

The finer and smoother that surface becomes when finished. If you want to sharpen serrated edges, use the same grit number as you do for a sharpening straight edge.


1. When to use Honing steel?

The honing steel is a tool that is made out of metal or ceramic, and it has a long handle. This sharpeners' job is to sharpen the edges of the blade.

Honing steels are generally used after using sandpaper on your knives that have a dull edge or need to be sharpened more frequently than once per year.

They are also used before cooking in order to sharpen the blade so that food does not stick as much to it.

2. What types of knives can be sharpened with sandpaper?

There are different types of knives in the market, and they sharpen differently.

For example, serrated knives can be sharpened with sandpaper. But it's not recommended to sharpen the blade of a kitchen knife because you might dull it permanently.

3. Can I sharpen a pocket knife with sandpaper?

Some pocket knives come with blades that sharpen on both sides, and some sharpen only one side.

If your knife is not a double-sided sharpener then you can sharpen it with sandpapers. But make sure to do so two or three times in order to achieve the same effect.

4. Can I use whetstone to sharpen a dull knife?

Whetstones are good for sharpening knives but not as effective with heavy damage.

5. What is the Difference between Grit and Coarse?

The difference in grit sizes relates to how rough or fine an abrasive surface feels when you rub it against something.

A higher number means that particular sandpaper will give off finger scratches, which will sharpen the knife more quickly.

6. Can I sharpen serrated knives?

Can I Sharpen Serrated Knives

Serrated knives are notoriously difficult to sharpen. There is only one way and it requires a lot of time, patience and skill.

You can sharpen serrated knives using sandpaper on concrete or tile flooring in order to remove the fine edge from each tooth.


After reading this article, readers will know how to use different sharpen tools properly in order to get maximum efficiency out of them while also maintaining safety precautions during usage. It may even save them from the high price of purchasing a new sharpener.