The Fastest Way to Sharpen a Knife

(Here is an old article I wrote way back when. If you are like 90% of the households out there, your knives are dull. Here is a quick-fix for that issue. )

In my post reviewing the Mora Companion knife, I mentioned the Smith Abrasives 2-Step Knife Sharpener.

From the Manufacturer

Smith’s 2-Step Knife Sharpener features two tungsten carbide blades with pre-set angles to ensure the perfect edge every time. Three or four strokes through the carbide sharpening slots will restore the edge on a very dull knife. The two crossed ceramic rods also have pre-set angles and provide a smooth finished edge to already sharp knives. Excellent for use on all types of knives, especially filet knives.

Personally, I own about 8 of them. I keep in in each vehicle bag (you never know…), my carry bag, a couple in the kitchen, one in my kayak, and one in each of my tackle boxes. I USE these puppies! Fast, easy, effective. (This somehow breaks the rules I mentioned here.)

Keep in mind, this won’t work very well with a serrated edge “knife”. Don’t even try it. In fact, if you get a Smith Abrasives 2-Step Knife Sharpener, just throw away any serrated knives you have – they aren’t knives, they are low-grade saws for folks that cannot sharpen knives. By buying a Smith Abrasives 2-Step Knife Sharpener and using it, you are no longer part of that group of sad, pathetic saw-your-steak people. Be proud!

Here is how I use it.


  1. Get a knife, dull is OK
  2. To test the edge’s sharpness, I set the blade on a fingernail using the weight of the knife only, and pull it across your nail. If it drags (resists), its is sharp.* You may jump to steps 7,8, & 9 to touch up your edge.
  3. Get a Smith Abrasives 2-Step Knife Sharpener
  4. Find a stable platform to work on, kitchen table, counter top, etc
  5. On the Smith Abrasives 2-Step Knife Sharpener, locate the side marked “Coarse Carbide” and drag the entire length of the knife edge to be sharpened across the carbide “V”, Using smooth strokes, do this 10+ times
  6. Inspect the edge to see if there is now a uniform “new & shiny” surface to the blade at the very bottom, if not, repeat step 4 checking every couple strokes until you have cut a uniform edge across the entire length.
  7. Flip the Smith Abrasives 2-Step Knife Sharpener over, and now repeat step 4 at least 10 times on the side marked “Fine Ceramic”, more is ok, but don’t do less.
  8. To test the edge’s sharpness, I set the blade on a fingernail using the weight of the knife only, and pull it across your nail. If it drags (resists), its is sharp.* If it slides, repeat step 6.
  9. Options: Take a pair of old jeans, a leather belt (REAL leather!), or piece of heavy canvas and drag the knife away from the edge, alternating each side.

*- Ladies, this WILL leave a mark on your fancy nails, have your man test it, use a toenail, or a tomato (the weight of the knife alone should be enough to slice the `mater)


Is this the BEST way to sharpen a knife? No way! Is this even close? Probably not…but if you are reading this, and learning something, odds are this is the best you’ll ever want to manage yourself. If nothing else, this will be a great starting point in your search for the perfect knife sharpening method.

And you have knives that will actually CUT!



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  1. Get this, It rocks. I can’t really “sharpen a knife” but this make knives awesome.
    I’m a bit concerned about how fast the carbide will “chew” through a knife, but I’d rather have a knife less time that was sharp than one that lasted forever that was always dull.

    1. Once you have the angles established from a couple sharpenings, you need to use the carbide side far less…extending the life of your blade.

  2. I bought one, based on your recommendation. I used it, and then bought a few more! I never was a fan of serrated knives anyway. it works on my hunting knife, Mora knives, Swiss Army knives, Leatherman, and kitchen knives…..I suppose a belated “Thank you” is due to you, so thank you!

      1. I used it last weekend when I butchered the last of the 4. We’ve got 2 breeders atm, a Yorkshire & a hampshire. Hoping for a harvest in late winter early spring.

        Btw my 3rd trial at bacon (just finished today) was Amazing UDS for the win

        — Tk

          1. You can’t drive to my place fast enough when it’s done :)
            1st & 2nd batches were ok
            3rd batch was awesome
            4th will be started this week

            btw I butchered 3 ducks and 9 buff orphingtons, yesterday. The smith’s rocks, and as you stated, the carbide side does not take anywhere near as much off as it does when the knife is dull.

            Probably gonna end up building a “true” smoke house. Already outgrew the UDS.

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