Can you Sharpen a Knife with Another Knife? Experts’ Answer

In the world of knives, there are few things more important than keeping a keen edge on your blade. A sharp knife is a safe knife, and a safe knife is a productive knife. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that one of the most common questions we get asked is “Can you sharpen a knife with another knife?” 

The answer, unfortunately, isn’t as simple as a yes or no. While it is technically possible to sharpen a knife with another knife, it’s not something we would recommend for a number of reasons. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at those reasons and explore some of the better ways to keep your knives sharp.

Can you Sharpen a Knife with Another Knife?

While any sharp object can technically be used to sharpen another knife, it is not recommended. Without the proper angle and techniques, you are likely to do more harm than good. A honing rod is a much better option, as it is specifically designed for the task. Additionally, using another knife puts you at risk of cutting yourself. Therefore, it is best to leave knife sharpening to the professionals or invest in a honing rod for at-home touch-ups.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Sharpen Your Knife with Another Knife 

A knife that is sharpened with another usually produces pretty poor results
A knife that is sharpened with another usually produces pretty poor results

1. You’re likely to do more harm than good. 

If you’ve ever tried to sharpen a pencil with another pencil, you know that it doesn’t work very well. The same principle applies to knives. When you try to sharpen one knife with another, the results are usually pretty lackluster. More often than not, you’ll end up taking more material off of the blade than you needed to, which will make the blade weaker and more susceptible to chipping and breaking. 

2. It’s tough on your knives (and your hands). 

Sharpening a knife with another knife puts a lot of unnecessary wear and tear on both blades. Not to mention, it takes quite a bit of effort (and often produces little results). There’s an old saying that goes “A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one.” While that may be true in some cases, we would argue that trying to sharpen one knife with another is even more dangerous—especially if you don’t have much experience doing it. Every time you try to put a new edge on your blade, you’re risking slicing yourself open if things go wrong. 

3. You can damage your knives beyond repair. 

If you’re not careful, sharpening one knife with another can do irreparable damage to the blade (or worse). Once you’ve taken too much material off of the blade or chipped away at the edge, there’s no going back. That’s why we always recommend using proper sharpening tools and techniques instead of trying to wing it with whatever you have handy. Chances are good that you’ll end up regretting it if you don’t.

4. It’s Not as Effective

Sharper knives are not only more effective, but they’re also safer. With a duller blade, you’re more likely to slip and cut yourself. A sharp knife, on the other hand, will allow you to make cleaner cuts with less effort.

5. It Takes Longer

Sharpening your knife with another knife will take longer than using a proper sharpening stone. A sharpening stone is specifically designed to sharpen knives, and it will do so much more quickly and effectively than using another knife.

6. You Could Ruin the Blade

If you use another knife to sharpen your own, you run the risk of ruining the blade. When you sharpen a knife with a stone, you’re only removing a small amount of metal from the edge of the blade. However, if you use another knife to sharpen your own, you could end up taking off too much metal and ruining the blade entirely.

7. It’s Not Safe

Using another knife to sharpen your own is not safe. If you slip, you could end up cutting yourself on the sharp edge of the blade. Additionally, if you use a dull knife to sharpen your own, you could end up with an uneven edge that is more likely to cause accidents.

8. There Are Better Options

There are better options for sharpening your knives than using another knife. Sharpening stones are specifically designed for the purpose and will do a better job in less time. Additionally, there are electric sharpeners that can quickly and easily sharpen your knives without any risk of damage or injury.

Right Ways to Sharpen Knives

When sharpening knives, sharpening stones are the best choice
When sharpening knives, sharpening stones are the best choice

1. Use a Sharpening Stone 

One of the best ways to sharpen a knife is to use a sharpening stone. Sharpening stones are made of abrasive materials that will wear away at the blade, creating a new, sharp edge. There are two types of sharpening stones: water stones and oil stones. Water stones are softer than oil stones and can be used with water as a lubricant. Oil stones are harder than water stones and must be used with oil as a lubricant.

2. Use a Sharpening Steel 

Another option for sharpening a knife is to use a sharpening steel. Sharpening steels are made of hardened steel and have a grooved surface that will hone the blade as it is drawn across it. Sharpening steels should be used with care, as they can damage the blade if used improperly.

3. Use a Knife Sharpener 

An easy way to sharpen a knife is to use a knife sharpener. Knife sharpeners have two grinding wheels that will quickly sharpen the blade. Some knife sharpeners also have honing wheels that will further refine the edge. Knife sharpeners are simple to use and can be found at most home goods stores.

4. Use Sandpaper 

If you don’t have any other sharpening tools available, you can use sandpaper to sharpen your knife. Simply fold the sandpaper in half and hold it so that the abrasive side is facing up. Draw the blade across the sandpaper in a sweeping motion until it is sharpened to your desired level.

How Can You Sharpen a Knife Without a Sharpener?

An example of a sharpening stone is a whetstone
An example of a sharpening stone is a whetstone

Now that we’ve talked about some of the reasons why sharpening one knife with another is generally not a good idea, let’s talk about how you should be sharpening your knives instead. The best way to sharpen your knives—whether they’re carbon steel or stainless steel—is with whetstones or diamond stones.

Whetstones come in all shapes and sizes, so finding one that meets your needs shouldn’t be too difficult. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive, so even if you’re on a budget, whetstones are still an option worth considering. If money is no object (or if you’re really serious about getting the perfect edge on your blade), then diamond stones are definitely worth taking a closer look at. No matter which type of stone you choose, however, the process for using them is largely the same: 

  1. Place the stone on a stable surface. Make sure there’s enough water nearby so that you can wet the stone as needed. 
  2. Place the blade flat against the stone. Start at either end of the whetstone, holding the blade at approximately a 20-degree angle. Use even pressure as you move from one side of the stone to the other. Remember to wet the stone as needed; this will help keep metal shavings from building up on its surface.  
  3. Flip over the blade and repeat step 2 on another side. Again, be sure to use even pressure as move across the surface of the stone.  
  4. Test the edge of the blade on a piece of paper or cloth to check for Sharpness once you’ve finished both sides. If It still feels dull, repeat the process until satisfied with the results.


As long As you take care while handling blades, using a different knife to sharpen yours shouldn’t pose any serious risks.” However, we don’t recommend sharpening one knife with another due to numerous reasons like ineffective results, high chances of harming the blades beyond repair, tough knives & hands, etc. Therefore it’s always better to use the right tools for the right job.

We hope this article has helped clear any confusion on the matter: can you sharpen a knife with another knife? and that you will take our advice from now on. After all, your safety is always our number one priority!

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