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4 Best Kitchen Knife Sharpening Angles|Steps & Guidance 2023

The kitchen knife sharpening angle are quite unique depending on the knife material and versatility. However, for most knives, 17–20 degrees is considered the perfect sharpening angle to create a pointed end.

Many western knives can easily be sharpened at a certain angle ranging in between 20–22 degrees. But, for Asian knives, the compositional materials play a keen role and allow their sharpness easy on 15 degrees angle.

Here in this specific article, we will review these angles and their ability to maintain the perfect functionality of such knives. So, it would be best for you to read this amazing informative article till the end.

All Kitchen Knife Sharpening Angles:

As we all know that the best knife sharpening angles start from 20 degrees. However, we will discuss all these angles for their lower to higher points for getting the easy and best output results.

Make sure to read more related articles on What is a paring knife used for?

1. 0–10 Angles

Sharpening a knife at a 0-10 degree angle is not commonly done, as a very low angle like this is typically too acute to provide a durable edge for most cutting tasks. 

Knives with such a low angle are more prone to chipping and damage. If you need to sharpen a knife at a low angle, it is best to use a specialized sharpening tool, such as a honing rod or a leather strop, and a very fine abrasive, such as a honing compound or a polishing paste. 

These tools and materials are specifically designed to provide a precise and controlled sharpening experience that can produce an extremely sharp edge at a low angle.

2. 10–20 Degree Angles

Sharpening a knife at a 10-20 degree angle is a common technique used to sharpen many types of knives, including paring knives, boning knives, and fillet knives. Knives with this level of sharpness angle are suitable for tasks that require precise cuts, such as peeling, coring, and filleting.

When sharpening a knife at a 10-20 degree angle, it’s important to use a sharpening tool that is suitable for your level of skill and experience. For example, if you are a beginner, you might prefer to use a simple honing rod or a manual sharpening stone. 

If you are more experienced, you might prefer to use an electric sharpening system, which provides a more consistent and precise angle control. It also includes diamond abrasives, ceramic abrasives, or water stones, depending on your preferences and needs.

3. 20–30 Degree Angles

Sharpening a knife at a 20-30 degree angle is a technique that is commonly used to sharpen knives that are intended for heavy-duty tasks, such as chopping, slicing, and dicing. Knives with a sharpness angle in this range are often stronger and more durable than knives with a lower angle, making them ideal for tougher cutting tasks.

When sharpening a knife at a 20-30 degree angle, it’s important to use a sharpening tool and abrasive that is well-suited to your knife and the level of sharpness you are trying to achieve. For example, if you are sharpening a chef’s knife, you might prefer to use a honing rod or a manual sharpening stone, along with a diamond abrasive or a ceramic abrasive. 

If you are sharpening a hunting knife, you might prefer to use a specialized hunting knife sharpener, which is designed to provide the precise angle control and aggressive abrasive action needed for this type of knife.

4. 30-90 Degree Angles

Sharpening a knife at an angle of 30–90 degrees is not a common technique, as a sharpness angle this high is typically too steep to provide a durable edge for most cutting tasks. Knives with a sharpness angle in this range are more likely to chip and break, especially when used for tough cutting tasks.

If you need to sharpen a knife at an angle of 30–90 degrees, it is best to use a specialized sharpening tool, such as a honing rod or a leather strop, along with a very fine abrasive, such as a honing compound or a polishing paste.

These tools and materials are designed to provide a precise and controlled sharpening experience that can produce an extremely sharp edge at a steep angle.

Why 17–20 Degrees is the best Angle to sharpen a Kitchen Knife?

A Kitchen knife sharpening angle of 17–22 degrees is often considered the best angle for sharpening a kitchen knife because it strikes a balance between sharpness and durability.

At this angle, the blade is sharp enough to make clean, precise cuts, yet not so sharp that it is prone to chipping or breaking. The moderate angle also provides a strong, durable edge that can handle the varied cutting tasks found in a kitchen environment, from slicing vegetables to chopping meat.

Additionally, a sharpness angle of 17–22 degrees is relatively easy to maintain, as it does not require frequent sharpening or touch-ups. This makes it a popular choice for many home cooks and professional chefs who want a knife that is both versatile and long-lasting.

Sharpening Angles of the Famous Knives:

We were not able to provide a chart regarding this information, therefore, we have explained all of them one by one in form of headings.

1. Chef’s knife (17–22 degrees) 

This moderate angle provides a strong, durable edge that can handle a variety of cutting tasks, from slicing vegetables to chopping meat. It’s relatively easy to maintain and does not require frequent sharpening or touch-ups. These knives have the same angle as fillet, Butcher, and Japanese knives.

2. Paring knife (15–20 degrees) 

A slightly sharper angle than a chef’s knife, this provides a more precise edge for tasks that require more finesse, such as peeling and trimming. However, it still offers enough durability to handle more heavy-duty tasks.

3. Boning knife (15–20 degrees) 

Similar to a paring knife, this angle provides a sharp, precise edge that can handle delicate tasks, such as removing meat from bones.

4. Serrated knife (10–15 degrees) 

Serrated knives have a different cutting action than straight-edge knives. Therefore, it requires a shallower angle to produce a sharp, functional edge. A lower angle also helps maintain the serrated edge, which is more difficult to sharpen than a straight edge.

5. Hunting knife (20–30 degrees)

Hunting knives are typically used for tougher cutting tasks. Such as a skinning game, and therefore require a stronger, more durable edge. This steeper angle provides the strength needed for these tasks.

6. Pocket knife (20–30 degrees) 

Similar to a hunting knife, a pocket knife is often used for tougher tasks and therefore needs a stronger edge.

7. Machete (25–30 degrees) 

Machetes are often used for chopping and clearing vegetation, and therefore require a strong, durable edge that can handle heavy-duty tasks. This steeper angle provides the strength needed for these tasks.

How to make a Knife Sharpening Angle Guide:

Here are some of the major items that you require in making the best angle to sharpen your knives. Also, make sure to follow the guidance steps that we have provided below in these materials.

  • Plastic or Meta Piece
  • Ruler or Measuring Tape,
  • Pencil
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • A Drill

Steps:

  1. Cut a strip of plastic or metal to the desired length using a saw.
  2. Mark angles with a pencil using a ruler or measuring tape.
  3. Drill holes at marked angles.
  4. Sand edges smooth.
  5. Attach the guide to your sharpening stone using clamps or double-sided tape.

15 vs 20-Degree Knife Edge:

A 15-degree knife edge is sharper and more delicate than a 20-degree edge, but it is also more fragile and prone to chips or rolls. 

A 20-degree edge is more durable and can handle tougher tasks but is not as sharp. The choice between 15 and 20 degrees depends on the intended use of the knife and personal preference.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1: How do I know if my knife is 15 or 20 degrees?

The Kitchen Knife Sharpening Angles vary greatly. However, A 15-degree edge is sharper and more delicate than a 20-degree edge for kitchen knives, but it is also more fragile and prone to chips or rolls. 

A 20-degree edge is more durable for kitchen knives and can handle tougher tasks but is not as sharp. 

2: Why should you only sharpen a 20-degree angle?

A 20-degree angle is ideal for pocket or outdoor knives for balance between sharpness and durability. Many powered sharpeners, stones, or guided systems can sharpen to this angle.

3: Can I sharpen a 20-degree knife to 15 degrees?

Narrowing the angle to 15 degrees requires more frequent sharpening & removes more metal over time, especially for Japanese knives made of harder, more brittle steel.

Final Verdict:

The final verdict for kitchen knife sharpening angle is a matter of personal preference and intended use. A 20-degree angle is a good balance between sharpness and durability. Meanwhile, a 15-degree angle provides a sharper edge but requires more frequent sharpening. 

Ultimately, the right angle for you depends on your needs and how you use your kitchen knives. So, feel free to contact us any time in choosing the best sharpening angle depending on your knives.

Author

Abdullah is a highly experienced knife expert, and he loves to explore different types of knives. With years of hands-on experience and a deep understanding of knives, now he transforms his knowledge to other people who loves to read about knives.

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