Kitchen Knives

Guidelines shown below are for Included Angles ().


I've not found value in adding micro/secondary bevels to kitchen knives, so that is not recommended here. If the sharpener wants to add one, an additional 2º should be sufficient. (Additional notes are also available on a different web page for Micro / Secondary Bevels.)


CB's USB Projection Calculator is recommended for calculating setup for Tormek knife jigs. (The simpler Projection Calculator is also still available.)

General Guidelines
Type Notes
Bread Knife (use these instructions : Serrated Edge Knives)
Butcher Knife 40º
Chopping Knife 30º
Clever 50º
Filleting Knife 15º
General Knife 24º
Could be anything up to 35º, however Dr. Vadim Kraichuk at KnifeGrinders recommends 24º. Given his vast experience and testing data, this is the recommended value.
Paring Knife 24º
Single Bevel 16º
This is for quality, high-carbon knivees. For lesser quality knives, consider increasing to 20º.

KnifeGrinders have documented the procedure they use, and also created a YouTube video.

Deburring Guidelines
Type 1st Deburring 2d Deburring Notes
Angle Grit size Angle Grit size
Harder steels -0.2º
3 - 6 µm

0.25 - 0.5 µm
Edge Angle Stropping - for steels which are brittle, have high hardness, are high carbon or carbide steels.
Softer steels
3 - 6 µm
1.5º
1 µm
High Angle Stropping - for steels which are tough or ductile, have low hardness or low carbon, or are fine carbide.

Grit size measured in µm (aka, microns)


Notes & Comments
  • Online Calculators that can be used for sharpening knives.

  • Jigs, Fixtures, & Modifications. One key one for this topic is below.

    • Jan Svancara posted a design for using a knife sharpening platform in 2015 on the Tormek Forum. This is certainly worth reading, and there are also pictures of this in the jigs section.

  • Research Articles, Other Information, and some Final Thoughts. Some key ones for this topic are below.

    • If you want to get truly sharp, Dr. Vadim Kraichuk with KnifeGrinders has a really good method and has adapted the Tormek system to these wheels. The KnifeGrinder method is one that is proven, and has great tools to assist with making it easy.

    • Dr. Vadim Kraichuk posted a great analysis titled, "Edge Stability in Butcher’s and Kitchen Knives as a Function of Edge Angle and Initial Sharpness" on the BESS EXchange.

    • Effect of the Chopping Board Material on Edge Longevity


    • Click on either image for bigger size.
      Images courtesy Todd Simpson
      via Dr. Vadim Kraichuk of KnifeGrinders
    • Polished or "toothy" bevel? An article by Larrin, "How Chipping of Edges Happens at a Microscopic Level" (on Knife Steel Nerds), debunks the idea of coarse edges due to the increased propensity for chipping and faster dulling of the blade. As noted by Dr. Kraichuk, "Meat plants are well aware that knives with coarse edges worsen product presentation and increase operators’ fatigue and repetitive strain injuries. On the contrary, polished edges improve product quality through higher value cuts and increase throughput."

    • It is a common, but quite bad, practice of drawing the newly sharpened knife edge through a piece of wood or some other media to “rip off” the remnants of the burr. When this is done, the ripped off metal builds up on the front of the slice, and you then drag the rest of the edge through this crud. This crud, together with breaking off of ledges of material along the edge, will roughen the edge and worsen sharpness.

      The scanning electron microscope (SEM) images to the right show the burr on a knife in the 1st image, that was then “ripped off” by cutting cross-grain into a piece of redwood in the 2nd image – loss of the sharp edge is obvious.

      Key take-away from these photos : don't skip the honing step.

  • Dr. Vadim Kraichuk with KnifeGrinders has posted an article about sharpening ceramic blades.

    Andrew Murphy ("smurfs" on the Tormek Forum) followed that procedure to sharpen (and re-profile) a ceramic knife. He posted his results after following Dr. Kraichuk's procedure, showing the before and after pictures (pictures courtesy Andrew Murphy).

    The knife before, with a broken tip and nicks in the cutting edge.
    The plan for re-profiling the blade.
    Once finished.

    Notes on other styles of blade materials and shapes are available from links on the KnifeGrinders page.

  • Two good YouTube videos from America's Test Kitchen are below. One is on heavy-duty wooden cutting boards, and the other on the use of steels to keep your knives sharp.


Good videos showing the use of the Tormek Knife Jigs : SVM-45, SVM-100 (no longer sold), SVM-140, and SVM-00:

Jeff Farris - Knife Sharpening with Tormek
Steve Bottorff - Using Tormek Knife Jigs
Tormek Knife Jig SVM-45
Tormek Long Knife Jig SVM-140
Tormek Small Knife Holder SVM-00
Herman Trivilino showing the use of a platform jig
Knife Grinders showing sharpening of knives with convex curves
Knife Grinders showing sharpening of knives with concave curves
Knife Grinders showing how to mount the pin pivot collar on your knife jig


Pin Pivot Jig
How We Sharpen Japanese Knives on Tormek
Equipment Review: The Best Heavy Duty Cutting Boards
Equipment Review: Honing Rods
Tormek AngleMaster WM-200


Tormek is a copyrighted logo of Tormek AB. Its presentation on this site is used to help the user quickly understand when specific Tormek tools, jigs, or setting are being used. For specific information regarding Tormek AB, or its products, please refer to the www.Tormek.com.


About this site
Remember : The goal of sharpening is to produce sharp tools, and these tools can injure you if mishandled. Safety measures should be followed to protect yourself and those in your shop. Be sure to read and follow all instructions from the manufacturer, and and utilize proper safety equipment. Never consume alcohol or anything that could impair your judgement before sharpening tools, or using sharp tools. Comments can be sent via eMail to me at SharpeningHandbook@Gmail.com.