I have some quality serrated knives but over time they get dull.

How do I sharpen them?

  • Check out Cutco cutlery: cutco.com/home.jsp. Two of my favorite knives are serrated, but the factory will sharpen them for me. I sold them during college, so I got a discount, but I still think they'd be worth every penny if bought at full price. Just send $5 and the knives to the factory, and they'll come back good as new. In fact, if they're very damaged, the factory will just send you new knives. Commented Jul 18, 2010 at 22:16
  • Thanks, but I'm in NZ. They only seem to service US and Canada.
    – rbrayb
    Commented Jul 19, 2010 at 19:51
  • 1
    Aww, darn. Sorry for not checking their availability before recommending. Commented Jul 24, 2010 at 1:38

7 Answers 7


Take them to a professional. Nothing you can affordably buy in your home will work well.

Personally, I don't buy quality serrated knives. I buy cheap and replace when dull. Only my normal blades are quality, and these I have sharpened yearly.

  • I second this -- I have a reasonably expensive home sharpener, and replaced my Wusthof bread knife with a white-handled $9 special a year ago. It's way better (right now). It will get replaced when I can't get it to do what I want.
    – Peter V
    Commented Jul 21, 2010 at 16:48
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    I'd like to add that the pro that I take my knives to charges about $3 a knife, so it's really not expensive to do.
    – yossarian
    Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 16:31
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    I've found that my Chef's Choice (120) does a decent job honing my serrated knives, and an excellent job of sharpening my other knives. It's more expensive than buying new cheap knives until you have more than a few to sharpen regularly. (amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-120-Professional-Sharpener/dp/…) Commented Jan 10, 2011 at 20:45

The Chefs Choice 130, which I absolutely love, can hone serrated knives on the third (polishing) stone only. This is enough to improve the cutting significantly, without having to take it out for a professional sharpening.

  • I don't know the 130 specifically, as I got the Trizor 15° rather than a 20° model, but you can actually work serrated knives in the middle fine grinder as well as the honer. It obviously doesn't get into the scallops/flutes perfectly, but it does a good job on the tips & the reverse edge. I got my 25-year-old bread knife back to 'pretty darn good' with it. They're really quite special machines, worth every penny.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 17:59

dmckee is right - that you can use a rod & file to fix - but that's a HUGE pain and very difficult to do. not preferred unless absolutely necessary.

michael has a point, that some electric sharpeners allow you to hone serrated edges. this is because those machines use a flexible rubber wheel on the honing stage. this doesn't correct misaligned teeth though. it will help.

you CAN use a stone to re-align the flat side, if your teeth are bent on that side, that can also help - but again, requires great care and skill.

the best solution is to NOT damage the teeth to begin with. don't cut on glass / stone. use a knife block or store the serrated blade in a sheath. don't EVER dump the blade in with other knives, the teeth are easily damaged.

if you take care of it, a serrated blade will last you a lifetime.


In my experience, serrated knives are sculpted from one side of the bevel only. The other is flat. I just hone mine on a fine oil-stone, using a stream of water at the sink faucet for lubrication. My stone's mounted on a wooden paddle so it's easy to use for sharpening kitchen knives. Yes, I'm probably just sharpening the tips of the serrated edge, not the gullets, but that's the part of the knife that does most of the work and needs it most. You just need a bit of practice with a honing stone to be quick and effective in restoring your knife edges to keenness.


This kit from Spyderco is not cheap but it does a great job. Only use the triangle corners.

Also mini steels designed for serrated.

  • Results will be very dependent on the exact serration pattern.... Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 8:19
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    @rackandboneman Works for me. Have you used the Spyderco?
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 8:22
  • Nope. But seen so many kinds of serrations that I find it hard to imagine that one solution will be safe to recommend for all of them... Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 8:26
  • @rackandboneman I am not imaging. I have used the product on many patterns.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 8:58

I have experimented with a rat-tail file for course work and a straighting rod for fine (basically following my old boy-scout instructions for knives and axes). Very labor intensive as you have to do each serration separately.

The results were better than nothing, but not particularly good.

It you are going to try it, you will need to find a file with a diameter that matches the serration.


I hone it with a steel. I was a little surprised the first time I saw someone do this but it really works.

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