Daniry Guide

How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener

Last Updated on March 4, 2022 by Sarah

A sharp knife is a necessity in any kitchen. However, sometimes you may need to sharpen your knife but don’t have the sharpening tool, and you may blunt the knife, making cutting much more difficult. Well, if you don’t have a knife sharpening stone or tools, no need to worry. 

This knife sharpening hacks article will help you learn how to sharpen a knife without a stone. The guide includes everything from what stones to use with different types of knives – ceramic or steel – to performing basic techniques like stropping and polishing. Getting dull knives is a thing of the past! So let’s start with how to sharpen a knife without a sharpener method.

How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener

Below we have shared simple and easy ways to sharpen a knife without a sharper, so let’s get started.

1) Using Your Coffee Mug

How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener

It’s probably one that you’re already familiar with. In this easy knife sharpening trick, a coffee mug is used to sharpen knives. While the majority of the surface of the mug/cup is polished, the bottom is often quite rough since it touches the table when you place it on one. Some mugs may not have this sharp circular surface on the bottom, but most older mugs tend to have it.

Depending on how rough your surface is, you may need a coarse, medium, or fine grit sharpening stone. You can also use it to sharpen knives.

Read About : Best Chef Knife Under 50

How To Sharpen Blade

  • The first step is to find an old mug with a rough bottom. If the mug’s surface is polished completely, then this trick will not work. The blade will only sharpen if the surface is rough.
  • The next step is to turn the mug upside down and place it on a hard surface (a table will usually do fine). Avoid using a surface that is too slippery. To prevent slippery surfaces, you could put a cloth under the cup, or you could use a cutting board. 
  • Place the knife at a 10° angle against the rough surface of the mug.
  • Ensure that the knife and mug are kept at the same angle throughout the stroke.
  • Turn the knife over, and do the same on the other side.
  • Make sure to keep the same angle and evenly work both sides until you feel that the edge is sharp.

It’s very useful when you don’t have anything other than a mug. You’d be surprised at how many things you can do with everyday items.

2) Using A Nail File

 Sharpen A Knife Without A Stone?

This one allows you to sharpen your blade by using a nail file as a sharpening stone. Nail files are quite rough, like sharpening stones used to sharpen knives in the right way. This DIY knife sharpening will be a lifesaver if you have nothing else with you.

Follow these steps:
  • You can use any hard surface, such as a table or a large rock, as a support for your nail file (the rough side should be facing up).
  • Your knife should be angled at 10° perpendicular to the file, with the blade pointed away from you.
  • As you hold the file in place, use your other hand to move away from you and ‘into’ the file.
  • Keep the same sharpening angle throughout while moving your stroke over the entire blade.
  • Sharpen the other side of the knife with the same technique, after lifting the knife and turning it over.
  • Make sure you sharpen your knife evenly on both sides until you feel it is sharp enough.

3) Using A Car Window

how to sharpen knives without a sharpener

If you don’t have any sharpening equipment, you can use the window of your car to sharpen. With this method, you will sharpen the edge of the knife using a car window. It is important to note that the edge of the car window is not polished and is a bit rough, unlike the rest of the window.

  • Check the edge of your car window, and if it feels slightly rough, roll the window up.
  • Make sure your knife’s blade faces away from you at a 10° angle.
  • Stroke smoothly away from you, ‘into’ the window. 
  • Make sure you cover the entire blade with your stroke.
  • Using the opposite side of the knife, drag the knife back toward your body to sharpen the opposite side.
  • Make sure you sharpen both sides of the blade equally, keeping the angle constant throughout.

4) Using SandPaper

How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener

In this method, you can sharpen your knife by rubbing it against a rough surface like sandpaper. Although the roughness of sandpaper is similar to that of sharpening stones, sandpaper knife sharpening is a great alternative.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • You can place your sandpaper or sandpaper block on any hard surface (a table or large rock are good supports). 
  • The blade of your knife should be pointing away from you when you place it at a 10° angle to the sandpaper surface.
  • Use one hand to hold the folded sandpaper or sandpaper block in place, while the other hand strokes away from you, into the sandpaper.
  • If you have enough sandpaper, make your strokes cover the entire blade while maintaining the same sharpening angle.
  • Sharpen the other side of the blade by flipping the knife over and turning it back toward you.
  • Continually sharpen your knife, making sure to work both sides equally.

5) Using A Slate

sharpen a knife without a sharpener

The slate is probably one of the similar items to a sharpening stone. To use this method, you have to use the slate flooring as a sharpening stone to share the knife.

So let’s start with how to sharpen a knife at home without tools

  • Thoroughly wet the slate you have found.
  • On the slate, set the knife at a 10° angle to the surface, so that the blade faces away from you.
  • Slide the knife edge away from you, parallel to the slate, maintaining the same angle of sharpening throughout.
  • If the slate is small, move the stroke to cover the entire blade.
  • To sharpen the other side of the blade, lift the knife, turn it over, and repeat the same motion.
  • Sharpen the blade until it feels sharp, keeping the same angle of sharpening and working each side equally.


It is possible to sharpen your knife by using these five effective ways, and they can be very useful when you do not have any other options. When you are in these dire situations, out in the field, or in your home, it will keep your blades sharp.

Keep in mind that these methods should only be used in extreme cases. If you frequently sharpen knife without sharpener, you can damage its blade.

Feel free to comment in the section below if you have any questions about how to sharpen a knife without a sharpener, if you want to add easy knife sharpening tricks that we missed, or if you simply just want to some help about how to sharpen a blade at home feel free to write in the comment section.

FAQ (How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener)

What can you use to sharpen a knife?

To Sharpen a knife you can use your coffee mug, a nail file, flat rock, car window, a Slate, or a sand paper.