Kitchen Knives

Guidelines shown below are for Included Angles (α).


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 (Ceramic) 30°
This is based on Dr. Vadim Kraichuk's research.
General Knife (Metal) 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
1.5°
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 (β).
Chroma --
10° - 20°
Fischer-Bargoin --
15° - 20°
Global --
10° - 15°
Korin 24°
20° - 30°
Korin recommends 10° - 15° degrees per side (β).
MAC --
20° - 30°
MAC recommends 10° - 15° degrees per side (β).
Messermeister 30°
30° - 40°
Messermeister recommends 15° - 20° degrees per side (β).
Shun 32°
--
Shun recommends 16° degrees per side (β).
Victorinox
    - Slicing knives
    - Boning knives

30°
40°

--
--
Wüsthof
    - Standard knives
    - Asian-style knives

28°
20°

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

--
--
--
30°

9° - 12°
9° - 12°
9° - 12°
--

Notes & Comments

Information regarding Grindstones

Online Calculators that can be used for sharpening knives.

Jigs, Fixtures, & Modifications. 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.

The Knife Angle Setter jig is greatly useful if using the WM-45 Knife Jig to hold the blade.


Good Guidelines Regarding Edge Angles

This information was posted on the Tormek forum and has been copied here as it is a good reference.
β Comments
<10° Edges in this range are good for cutting softer materials.

For example, razor blades are sharpened at angles of five to nine degrees. This does result in a delicate edge which is easy to damage.

10° - 15°

Knife edges in this range of angles can be applicable in providing a smooth cutting action for knives which are used to slice meat or cut other soft items.

This is why fine Japanese knives are usually sharpened is in this range. It is also common for some woodcrafts knifes and fillet knives.

Do note: many Japanese and carving knives are only sharpened on one side. I that case, α=β.

Also note that a knife which is sharpened at such an angle has an edge angle which is too weak to handle any chopping motion type of work. And, if the steel is harder (such as with Japanese knives), such a sharp angle will easily fracture if used in chopping activities.

15° - 17°

With an α angle of 30° to 34°, these knives will cut quite easily.

Japanese knives and newer Chef's Knives are usually sharpened at this angle from the factory. Although less durable than those with higher angles, their cutting power makes it an appropriate tradeoff.

17° - 22° Knives in this angle are common in kitchens and outdoor activities. It is also a useful edge angle range for pocket knives.

This is a common sharpening angle when you are looking for a general-use blade, and is the typical sharpening angle for most standard kitchen knives. These knives are often built of tough material that can withstand a sharpening edge of this angle and still cut well without any issue.

22° - 30° Edges in this range are more durable, and are appropriate for forrest and hunting knives, pocket knives, and tougher applications. This is a typical edge angle for durable knives.
>30° Edges past 30° are very durable, although their cutting ability is significantly reduced. Most knives won't benefit from this sharpening angle.

These angles are common in tools and cutting blade such as cleavers, machetes, and axes, especially as these tools are made from softer steel.

 

More Information

Books & Papers

Videos & Presentations

Published Articles

Web Sites



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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 SharpeningHandbook@Gmail.com.