How To Sharpen Knife With File

Home / Beginners Guides / How To Sharpen Knife With File

As a knife sharpening expert, I have come across numerous methods of sharpening knives. However, the technique that stands out for its simplicity and effectiveness is using a file to sharpen knives. This method not only helps in achieving razor-sharp edges but also ensures that you do not damage your blade by over-grinding or overheating it.

Sharpening knives with a file might seem like an outdated method, but it still holds its ground as one of the best techniques for maintaining sharpness on any type of blade. Whether you are working with kitchen knives, hunting blades, or even machetes, this method can help bring your dull edge back to life. In this article, we will explore the steps involved in sharpening a knife with a file and provide tips on how to achieve optimal results every time. By mastering this age-old technique, you will be able to keep your blades sharp and ready for any task at hand.

Choosing The Right Type Of File

When it comes to sharpening a knife with a file, choosing the right type of file is essential. Different types of files have varying levels of abrasiveness and durability that can affect how well they work on different types of knives.

One common type of file used for sharpening knives is a single-cut mill bastard file. This type of file has a coarse grit and is best suited for removing large amounts of metal from dull or damaged blades. It’s important to note, however, that this type of file may be too abrasive for delicate or thin-bladed knives.

On the other hand, double-cut files are less aggressive than their single-cut counterparts and have a finer grit. They’re often preferred by those who want to maintain an already sharp edge without having to remove as much material from the blade. Additionally, diamond-coated files offer superior abrasiveness and durability compared to traditional steel files but come at a higher price point.

Preparing The Blade For Sharpening

Before sharpening a knife with a file, it is important to ensure that the blade is properly prepared. This involves inspecting and cleaning the blade to remove any dirt, rust or debris that may have accumulated on it. Proper blade maintenance not only makes sharpening easier but also increases the lifespan of your knife.

The first step in preparing the blade for sharpening is to clean it using soap and warm water. Use a scrub brush to gently remove any dirt or grime from the surface of the blade. Dry off the knife completely using a towel or cloth before proceeding with honing techniques.

Next, examine the edge of the blade carefully under bright light to identify any nicks or chips that need repair before sharpening. You can use a magnifying glass if necessary. If there are any damaged areas along the edge, use an appropriate tool such as a metal file or honing stone to smooth out those imperfections before starting with filing.

Preparing Your Knife For Sharpening – A Checklist:

  • Clean your knife thoroughly using soap and warm water.
  • Check your blade for damage; look for nicks or chips.
  • Repair any damages by smoothing them out using an appropriate tool like a metal file or honing stone.
  • Ensure you have all necessary equipment ready including gloves, goggles and apron.

In summary, proper preparation of your knife’s blade will make sharpening more effective and efficient while extending its lifespan. It is essential to perform regular blade maintenance which includes inspecting its condition regularly and repairing any damages found beforehand. With these steps completed correctly, you can proceed confidently into honing techniques without worrying about damaging your precious tool further.

The Technique For Sharpening With A File

After preparing the blade for sharpening, it’s time to move on to the next step: filing angles. The angle at which you file your knife will determine how sharp it becomes. Generally, a 20-degree angle is optimal for most knives, but this can vary depending on the type of knife.

When filing with a file, it’s essential to take safety precautions seriously. Wear gloves and eye protection to prevent injury from flying metal fragments or accidental slips. Additionally, make sure that your work surface is secure and that you have a firm grip on both the knife and file.

To start filing, hold the file at a consistent angle against the blade and apply pressure as you pull it across the edge in one direction. Repeat this process until you achieve your desired level of sharpness. It’s crucial to maintain the same angle throughout each stroke so that you don’t end up with an uneven edge. With some practice and patience, sharpening your knife with a file can be an effective way to bring new life into an old blade while saving money compared to using other methods.

Finishing And Maintaining The Edge

To maintain the sharpness of your knife, it is crucial to finish and maintain the edge. After sharpening with a file, you can use honing compound to give your knife an extra polish. This compound contains fine abrasive particles that help refine the edge even further.

To apply the honing compound, place a small amount on a leather strop or piece of cardboard. Hold the blade at the same angle used for sharpening and run it across the surface of the strop or cardboard several times in each direction. Be careful not to press too hard, as this can damage the edge.

Angle adjustment is also essential when maintaining the edge of your knife. As you use your knife over time, its cutting angle may change slightly due to wear and tear. To restore its original angle, adjust by using a finer grit abrasive material or starting from scratch with coarser abrasives if necessary. With proper maintenance and attention to detail, your knife will remain razor-sharp for years to come.

  • A well-maintained edge ensures safe operation
  • Properly maintained edges reduce stress on materials being cut
  • A sharp blade requires less effort and produces cleaner cuts
  • Honing compounds are easy to use and provide noticeable results
  • Regular maintenance saves money in replacement costs

By following these steps, you’ll be able to keep your knives sharper than ever before! Remember to always take care when working with sharp tools – accidents can happen quickly without proper precautions. Keep practicing and refining your technique until you achieve optimal results every time.


When it comes to sharpening a knife with a file, there are several steps that must be followed. The first step is choosing the right type of file depending on the blade’s material and size. Next, preparing the blade for sharpening involves cleaning off any dirt or debris and securing it in place using clamps.

The actual technique for sharpening with a file requires consistent pressure and motion along the entire length of the blade while maintaining an angle between 20-25 degrees. After achieving the desired sharpness, finishing touches can be made by honing the edge on a whetstone or strop. It is essential to maintain this sharpness by regularly honing and oiling your blade when not in use.

As a seasoned expert in knife sharpening, mastering techniques such as using files to sharpen blades takes patience, practice, and skill. A well-sharpened knife will make meal preparation more manageable and safer since dull knives cause accidents due to excessive force being applied during cutting tasks. By following these steps carefully, you’ll have no trouble keeping your knives razor-sharp for years to come – just like slicing through butter!