Kitchen Knives

Guidelines shown below are for Included Angles ().

The shape of the grind used is a call best made by the tool's use, based on your own experience. Additional notes are available for Grind Profiles.

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 2° 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. This one is web-based and does not require Excel.)

General Guidelines
Type Notes
Bread Knife (use these instructions : Serrated Edge Knives)
Butcher Knife 40°
Chopping Knife 30°
Clever 50°
Filleting Knife 15°
General Knife 24°
Could be anything up to 35°, however Dr. Vadim Kraichuk at KnifeGrinders recommends 24°. Given his vast experience and testing data, this is the recommended value.
Paring Knife 24°
Single Bevel 16°
This is for quality, high-carbon knives. For lesser quality knives, consider increasing to 20°. 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 -0.2°
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 µm
High Angle Stropping - for steels which are tough or ductile, have low hardness or low carbon, or are fine carbide.

Some manufacturers give guidelines for their knives. Those are noted below; however, the guidelines above should be considered.

Manufacturer's Guidelines
Type Notes
Advised Range
Cangshan 32°
Cangshan recommends 16° degrees per side ().
Chroma --
10° - 20°
Fischer-Bargoin --
15° - 20°
Global --
10° - 15°
Korin 24°
20° - 30°
Korin recommends 10° - 15° degrees per side ().
MAC --
20° - 30°
MAC recommends 10° - 15° degrees per side ().
Messermeister 30°
30° - 40°
Messermeister recommends 15° - 20° degrees per side ().
Shun 32°
Shun recommends 16° degrees per side ().
    - Slicing knives
    - Boning knives


    - Standard knives
    - Asian-style knives


    - Kramer knives
    - Miyabi knives
    - Santoku knives
    - Zwilling knives


9° - 12°
9° - 12°
9° - 12°

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

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

    • Jan Švancara 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:

Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 1. Knife sharpening

Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek talk about different techniques for knife sharpening.

Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 10. Advanced knife sharpening

Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek talk about advanced techniques for knife sharpening.

Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 15. Repair a damaged knife

Wolfgang and Sèbastian from Tormek show you how you can repair damaged knife on your Tormek sharpening system If your knife has a chipped edge, a broken tip, or if it has started rusting, you can often repair the knife and make it as good as new.

Jeff Farris - Knife Sharpening with Tormek< /td>
Demonstrating Tormek's Centering Knife Jigs KJ-45 & KJ-140
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 common Tormek mistakes in knife sharpening
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
Tormek Live Sharpening Class - Part 9 - Sharpen a flat bevel with Tormek MB-100 on a diamond wheel

In this episode we learn how to use the Tormek MB-100 Multi Base to sharpen a completely flat bevel ▼, on the side of Tormek's diamond wheels DC-250, DF-250 and DE-250. For some tools, such as 🎻 luthier knives,🔪 Kiridashi knives, v-tools, chip carving knives and Japanese plane irons, a completely flat surface on the bevel is preferred over a slightly concave, which you get when you sharpen on the rounded part of the grinding wheel. For some people this is more of a personal preference.

Regardless of what might be the reason to want a flat bevel, Sèbastian and Wolfgang show how to achieve it with your Tormek wet sharpening system, They will also touch upon the differences between the different types of bevels.

Why Felt for the Wire Edge

Dr. Vadim Kraichuk with KnifeGrinders has posted this video on why felt is best to remove the wire edge when honing a knife, and why they chose the hardness of felt that they sell.

Equipment Review: The Best Heavy Duty Cutting Boards
Equipment Review: Honing Rods
Tormek AngleMaster WM-200

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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