How to Sharpen a Knife on a Grinding Wheel

Written by kigerani po
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How to Sharpen a Knife on a Grinding Wheel
A knife can be sharpened using a grinding wheel. (old grinding wheel image by Jim Mills from

An investment in a quality knife for personal or professional use requires consistent maintenance to ensure its longevity and usefulness. Maintaining sharpness and smooth edges are principal needs in knife care and require the most attention by the knife's user. One of the most effective methods for sharpening knives is to use a grinding wheel.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Safety Goggles

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  1. 1

    Put on safety goggles, cut resistant gloves, and a chest and body protector suit to reduce the risk of an accident.

    How to Sharpen a Knife on a Grinding Wheel
    A knife can be sharpened using a grinding wheel. (old grinding wheel image by Jim Mills from
  2. 2

    Turn on the grinding wheel and ensure that it is operating according to the manufacturer's instructions.

    How to Sharpen a Knife on a Grinding Wheel
    Any type of knife can be sharpened with a sharpening wheel. (sharp steel knife image by Warren Millar from
  3. 3

    Set the knife to the proper angle so that the sharp edge is pointed towards the grinding wheel. A 45-degree angle is optimal for sharpening most knives.

  4. 4

    Work with the natural movements of the grinding wheel and move the blade in accordance with the pull of the grinder in the direction of its spin. This can be circular motions or up and down motions.

  5. 5

    Move the blade in a very orderly fashion with consistent strokes and a set speed to allow for even sharpening.

  6. 6

    Refrain from using any unnecessary force while sharpening the blade to ensure that there is no chipping and control is maintained throughout the process.

  7. 7

    Test the blade frequently so that the process is as short as possible, as extended sharpening can damage the blade and reduce its useful life.

Tips and warnings

  • Grinding wheels are extremely varied across many factors, the most important being grit type, size of the grit and hardness of the wheel. The grit type is defined by its material and typically consists of aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, ceramic or a combination the three materials. It is important to find out what material the knife is made of and match it with the associated grit type. Once a grit type has been chosen, the size and hardness of the grit must also be considered. Larger grits will remove more of the blade in the smoothing process and can make it more susceptible to breaking. Smaller grits will provide more of polishing function, but may leave the blade dull or not even. Hardness follows the same rules as grit size whereby harder surfaces can lead to bending but sharper edges while softer surfaces offer more safety but less action on the blade edge.

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