Sharpen bread knife with the sharpening rod

Bread knives have a serrated edge, which can make sharpening more difficult. To find out the best way to do this, read this article.

Sharpening bread knives with a sharpening rod

Unlike many other kitchen knives, bread knives have a so-called serrated edge, which provides the typical serration. This takes an impact on sharpening – so these knives must be sharpened with a sharpening rod that fits the diameter of the teeth. Therefore, mostly tapered models or even whetstones are used.

It is important that when sharpening bread knives, you process each shaft individually. This takes a little more time, but ensures the best result. With this type of knife, only one side is sharpened, but the back side must be counter-ground, however, the resulting burr. If you stick to this technique, you can easily sharpen bread knives yourself, even as a beginner.


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Sharpening rod

To be able to sharpen a bread knife, a suitable sharpening device is needed. For this purpose, either sharpening rods or sharpening stones come into question. The sharpening rods offer the advantage that each shaft can be processed individually, while sharpening stones are much easier to use even without experience. In each case, pay attention to the diameter and the grit.

This sharpening rod is equipped with a diamond blade, which can produce a razor-sharp grind. The plastic handles can be folded together. This makes the sharpening stick not only handy, but also easy to transport. The conical shape of the sharpening rod makes it ideal for bread knives, as different shaft sizes can be covered.

Bread knife

Speaking of bread knives – you should also pay attention to some criteria when buying such a tool. These include not only the length of the blade, but also the material and the spacing of the waves in the grind. Often, a longer version with at least 20 cm blade length is worthwhile to be able to process any type of bread. The material used is mostly stainless steel.

This bread knife has an overall length of 33 cm, 20 cm of which is allotted to the blade. There is a classic serrated edge, which is ideal for baked goods of all kinds. The blade is made of stainless steel and is both durable and resistant as well as sustainable. Manufacturer-wise, this knife comes with a 10-year warranty.

Instructions: sharpen bread knife in 3 steps with the sharpening rod.

1. preparation: clean the knife

In a first step, the bread knife should be thoroughly cleaned. Crumbs, encrustations and grease residues would ensure that the sharpening rod does not rest ideally on the metal of the blade, which means that an optimal sharpening cannot be achieved. Consequently, first clean the knife with water and washing-up liquid. Then dry it thoroughly.

2. sharpening with the sharpening rod

Then it’s time for the actual sharpening with the sharpening rod. There is no special secret trick for this – instead, patience is required. Since bread knives have a serrated edge, each serration must be worked on one by one with the sharpening rod. It is best to start with the rearmost or foremost flute, place the sharpening stick and run it over the flute between 6 and 8 times.

Adjust the diameter of the sharpening rod. It is important that the diameter of the sharpening rod matches the diameter of the shaft. Not every bread knife is the same in this regard. Ideally, use a sharpening rod that is tapered – that way the single tool covers multiple diameters at once by applying it further up or down.

Pay attention to the angle. When sharpening knives, the right angle is also critical. Hold the bread knife in your stronger hand (often on the right) while sharpening and tilt the blade at a 20° angle. Drag the shaft lengthwise across the sharpening rod at this angle.

Take the burr into account. On serrated bread knives, only one side is sharpened. This is easily visible because it already has a ground surface. Grinding on one side creates a burr. This means that the tip protrudes slightly in the unsharpened direction, so that the sharpest point is not perpendicular to the blade.

3. back side grinding

To straighten this unwanted burr, the back side must be machined afterwards. Carefully feel over the edge of the blade to see if there is a burr. Then turn the blade over and go over the entire surface (not the individual waves!) several times at a fairly shallow angle with your sharpening rod.

Possible problems & solutions

The burr is noticeable on the other side. When sharpening knives, it is quite normal for a burr to appear on the other side of the blade. However, since bread knives are only ground on one side, special consideration must be given to the burr. Resharpen the back side at a shallow angle along the entire length a few times to straighten the burr.

The knife is still not sharp enough. If the bread knife is still not sharp enough, it needs to be reworked. To do this, opt for a sharpening rod with a finer grit and repeat the previous steps of execution.

Tip: Having knives sharpened – is that an option?

In some cases, it may be worthwhile to have your bread knife professionally sharpened instead. Especially with very hard or expensive knives, this can ensure that the grinding quality is optimal and that there is no unnecessary material removal. It is also worth having the knife sharpened if several knives need to be reworked at the same time.

Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green

Elizabeth Green is a seasoned home chef and culinary expert who has a passion for all things kitchen-related. With her extensive knowledge of the latest kitchen products and appliances, Elizabeth provides insightful reviews and recommendations to help consumers make informed purchasing decisions. Whether you're looking for a new refrigerator, blender, or cookware set, Elizabeth is your guide to finding the best kitchen products available in the UK.

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