How to sharpen a fillet knife

How to sharpen a fillet knife.

In this article, we will explore the steps needed to sharpen a fillet knife. We’ll talk about how to do it and why doing so is a good idea. It’s a simple process that could be good for both experienced chefs and beginners who are looking to learn more about using knives in the kitchen.

You should sharpen your fillet knife regularly so that it remains as effective as possible at all times. You can sharpen knives with either a whetstone or by using a sharpening steel. Choose the method that is best for your skill level and budget. When done properly, this process can improve the length of time between sharpenings and make it easier to slice through fish without applying oil or any other coating first.

A common misconception is that sharpeners sharpen knives – they don’t! The purpose of sharpeners is actually to hone your knife blade by removing tiny metal particles from its surface; once these bits have been ground away, you can’t put them back (so it’s important not to overdo). When done correctly, honing doesn’t cut into the sharp edge of your blade like grinding does; instead, honing takes away small bits of metal near the edge itself.

This is an important distinction because sharpeners are cheaper, easier to use, and safer than grinders. For these reasons, sharpeners are better for beginners who aren’t fully confident about what they’re doing with their knives. But you need to hone your blade more often than sharpen it, so keeping a sharpener around won’t necessarily eliminate the need for a grinder.

The main difference between sharpeners and grinders is that sharpeners can only be used on blades made of softer materials like carbon steel or stainless steel. On the other hand, grinders can also be used on harder blades like ceramic or titanium.

Types of knife sharpeners

  • Freehand stone sharpener – this means that sharpeners don’t have guides or borders, so more experienced users may find them difficult to work with. But they do offer a more natural feeling than some other types of sharpeners and can handle any blade angle without risk of damage.
  • Manual sharpeners – these sharpeners usually cost less than electric sharpeners because they’re simpler devices; on the downside, manual sharpeners tend to take longer than their electrical counterparts due to the lack of precision control.
  • Electric sharpeners – these are pretty much self-explanatory; electric sharpeners use the same grinding wheels that grinders use but are operated by electricity, so they can sharpen more quickly than sharpeners or manual sharpeners.

Sharpen a fillet knife on a stone

How to sharpen a fillet knife on a stone.

The steel or sharpening rods are pivotal when it comes to keeping your knives in shape. They are designed with small grooves that sharpen the blade of the knife, keeping them sharp and ready for use at all times. The more you sharpen your knives, the less frequently you are likely to need to sharpen them in the future. It is important that you evenly space out your sharpenings so they don’t become too frequent which can lead to excessive metal removal. This may result in having to sharpen the blade more frequently than every six months.

Sharpening Process

This process can vary slightly depending upon who is sharpening the blades, but the basic steps remain the same.

  1. Hold the steel at a low angle with one hand, and sharpen from heel to tip, be sure to sharpen equally on both sides of the blade.
  2. Lightly hold the knife with two hands, one below and one above. Gently drawdown along the length of the steel while applying light pressure with your fingers.
  3. Sharpen from heel to tip in an evenly spaced motion, being sure to sharpen equally on both sides of the blade.
  4. Repeat this process about six times before you sharpen the other side of the blade.

If done correctly, you should end up with a nice edge that will be able to easily slice through whatever you are cutting. If done incorrectly, your blade will be duller than when you started and will need to sharpen longer before it becomes an effective tool again.

Sharpen a fillet knife with honing steel

Sharpen a fillet knife with honing steel.
  1. Introduction to the pointy stick

    The first step is simple, but it’s an important one. We need our pointy stick. Some people call this a “sharpening steel”, others the more ominous-sounding “knife sharpener”. We’ll go with a pointy stick. You can buy them at almost any store that sells kitchen knives.

  2. Sharper than new

    The next step is to hold the knife at approximately 20° to 30° angle from vertical. Then, lightly drag the pointy stick down the blade from hilt to tip. Do this on both sides of the knife 20-30 times or until you start to feel a burr on the backside of the knife (see below).

    to hold the knife at approximately 20° to 30°.
  3. Sharper than sharp

    Now we sharpen the other side of the knife. This is a good time to mention that you should sharpen both sides of the blade equally, even if one side appears to be duller than the other (see below). Again, hold it at a 20-30° angle from vertical and then lightly drag it down on both sides of the knife 20-30 times or until you start to feel a burr.

  4. Repeat steps 2 & 3

    You’ll probably need about 60 seconds per step to sharpen your knife enough for it to be useful. Go slow and make sure you are doing everything correctly before proceeding with cutting anything! If you feel like you need sharpening, do it again.


What angle do you sharpen a fillet knife?

to sharpen a fillet knife to an angle of between 20 to 30 degrees to the blade.

How often do you sharpen fillet knives?

It depends on how often they are getting used. If they are to be used regularly, you should sharpen them every 6 months to keep them sharp. Fillet knives need to maintain their edge and if we push too far we may ruin our knives and have to sharpen them more frequently than we had originally intended.

How can you tell if a fillet knife is sharp?

To effortlessly slice through the flesh of tomato with one, fluid motion. If your knife does not do this then you will need to sharpen it more often.

Do knife sharpeners ruin knives?

No, knife sharpeners do not ruin knives to the extent that they cannot be sharpened to a proper cutting edge.


When talking about the difficulty of sharpening a sirloin knife, the main factor is its flexibility. It is extremely difficult to maintain the angle with a thin approach and great flexibility of the blade. It is especially difficult to do this with a long blade. While manual sharpening solves this problem by precise, extremely light approach movements on the stone, on twist-off sharpening machines, light movements alone will not be enough. It is necessary to fix the knife securely without bending the blade at the tip of the knife or the handle and without any slack in the central part.