How to Sharpen Damascus Steel Knives

Written by kristi roddey
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Damascus steel weapons originated before the sixth century A.D., so original Damascus steel knives are rare. Recent reproductions do not contain the same steel composition as the originals, but they still bear the name. The edge on your Damascus steel knife undergoes a rigorous sharpening procedure during production to create a sharply detailed cutting edge. With regular use, the saw-like teeth of the blade may become misaligned. With the proper sharpening rod, you can quickly restore your Damascus knife's razor-sharp edge.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Straight ceramic sharpening rod
  • Triangle cross-section ceramic sharpening rod

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    Smooth Blades

  1. 1

    Hold the ceramic sharpening rod in your left hand.

  2. 2

    Place the part of the blade nearest the handle on the rod at a 20-degree angle. This called the "heel" of the blade.

  3. 3

    Pull the blade slowly from heel to tip across the sharpening rod. Use light pressure so you do not remove any of the metal from the blade.

  4. 4

    Turn the knife over and pull the blade against the rod again to sharpen the other side. Next, repeat the process once more on each side.

    Serrated Blades

  1. 1

    Hold the knife blade vertically and draw it from heel to tip down a triangle cross-section set of ceramic rods.

  2. 2

    Alternate sides of the knife as you work to sharpen the serrated edge. You do not need to sharpen each individual serration.

  3. 3

    Repeat two to three times on each side of the blade.

Tips and warnings

  • Pull the blade across the sharpening rod slowly. Speed does not help sharpen a Damascus knife, and it increases the risk of injury if your hand slips with the knife held in it.

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