How to Sharpen Your Bread Knife the Right Way

Bread knives will eventually lose their sharpness and it’s important to follow the right method to restore the sharp edge. To do so you will need a ceramic sharpening rod, time and following the steps below:

Step 1: Wash Your Knife

Wash the knife using a quality scrubbing pad, use soap if you like, and then rinse it under clean running water. This removes any crumbs, food remnants, oils, greases that may be stick on the knife. Additionally, it gives you a better view of the knife to note the changes. You should ensure the knife is completely dry before sharpening.

Step 2: Clean the Sharpening Rod

Next, you should clean the ceramic sharpening rod to remove particles. Small metal filings, dust, dirt, oils, and other debris will accumulate on the rod and this will affect its performance. All you need is to wash it with dish soap, run it under water and let it dry.

Step 3: Know the Side that Needs Sharpening

Bread knives are normally serrated but it’s only one side that requires sharpening. Sharpening the wrong side will yield no results but instead will damage the knife. Normally, the section to be sharpened is found on the right side.

(See more: top quality bread knives you should know about)

Step 4: Sharpen with the Ceramic Sharpening Rod

Place the knife flat on a horizontal surface such as table or counter-top with the right side facing up. Hold the sharpening rod firmly but gently at an angle/ slanted position and then gently pass it through each serration using its full length.

Step 5: Rinse the Knife

After sharpening and confirming its sharp to your taste, you then rinse it off to remove the metal filings and any other dirt that may have accumulated. It helps to use soap and dry with a clean cloth.

NB: the nature and size of serration on your knife will influence the choice of sharpening rod you use. It’s therefore important to make certain they match.

Following the right method is critical to not only achieving the desired sharpness but also minimizing excessive removal of material and also staying safe while doing it.

Last Updated on January 15, 2021 by Andy Wang

My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.