How To Sharpen A Knife With Household Items (9 Easy Items)

Do you need to sharpen your knife? but you can’t find a sharpener nearby. Either you’ve misplaced it or you don’t have one, and you are worried about how to sharpen a knife with household items.

Do you know there are many objects around you that you can use as improvised sharpeners?

In this guide, we will show you the right household items you can use to sharpen your knife and how to use them. These items include things that you can find in your home and some that are less common. You should know that some of them won’t do perfect a job as a sharpener.


How to Sharpen a Knife With Household Items

Before we start, you will need to understand the difference between actual sharpening and honing. Some household items won’t do a good job as an actual sharpener, some just hone the edge. both terms look similar but they have different meanings.

Sharpening a knife simply means repairing the edge by making it sharp or sharper while Honing is maintaining an edge that’s already sharp(making it smooth). When you hone a knife, you straighten these dulled or bent edges after sharpening.

Below are 9 household items you can use to sharpen your knife:

Read: Top 10 Names of Kitchen Knives (+ Their Uses)

1. A coffee mug

Flip over the plate or mug upside down, you will see the ring that contacts the table which is the rougher part of the bottom, and run the edge of the knife along the unglazed rim until your edge is sharp enough.

When you see some discoloration on the mug, it shows the ceramic is removing steel and sharpening the blade.
I recommend you sharpen each side and see where this leads you. If it feels sharp, you’re done.

2. Car window

Car windows are the perfect devices for honing a knife. The rounded edge does the trick.
Slide your blade along toward the window several times on both sides, until you feel your knife becoming even sharper.

Be careful when doing this, you can damage the top if you’re too fast.

3. Sandpaper

Spill water on the sandpaper and tape it on a surface for better traction. Slowly run the edge over it. Getting the best grit will depend on the kind of knife you want to sharpen and how much you want to sharpen.

Take your time, this might take a while to get the maximum sharpness you need.

4. Nail File

Nail file

Just like sandpaper, the nail file is another household item to use when the sandpaper isn’t available. Also, what woman doesn’t have one? It is basically used the same way as sandpaper. Run the edge of the blade against the board.

5. Rock

Look around you and grab the flattest rock. You can do this with dry rock, but getting the best result submerges it whole in water for a few minutes.
place the knife on the ground or flat surface and run the rocks across the edge.

6. Scissors

The good thing about a pair of regular scissors is that they are readily available in most houses. Yes, It can be used as a sharpener. Focus on the angle and press hard while moving the knife back and forth several times until you get your desired edge.

7. The Nylon Strap of a Backpack

Just like a belt, the nylon strap of a backpack will also do the trick. Simply hold the strap firmly so it’s tight and run the edge across it a few times. Be careful while using this method as you can easily cut the strap.

8. Leather Belt

You might not get the best result with this method because it’s the perfect method for honing and polishing knives.

However for leather to be able to sharpen knives. Its surface must be covered with polishing or buffing compounds (wax bar). This is one of the best ways to maintain a very sharp edge on the straight blade.

9. Cardboard

The cardboard is not as effective as the other methods but it gets the job done. It’s one of the easiest to use. Cut out the piece you’ll want to use and place it on a flat surface and start by running the blade across the cardboard away from the edge.

Household Items you should avoid using

These methods can damage the edge of the blade.

1. Brick

Using brick to sharpen a knife will only make the knife a bit sharper but not the blade razor-sharp. You only end up damaging the edge with every stroke you make.
The problem is you’re shaving the brick and dulling the blade while sharpening. If you must use a brick, spill some water on it before placing your knife.

2. Concrete

When you take close look at the concrete floor, you will notice that it’s rough. Use it only in an urgent situation but before you use it, spill some water to minimize damage on the edge of the blade.

3. Bolt and Two Nuts

This is the worse method. This trick will only do you more harm than good. It doesn’t sharpen the blade at all, the results of the blade remain the same every time.

4. Another knife.

Sharpening a knife with another knife

This method doesn’t really sharpen a knife instead, it is used to hone the knife. By using it, you will end up damaging the other knife.

Read: When Must a Knife be Cleaned and Sanitized?


In short, There are various methods used in sharpening knives, Some are perfect while the others are not, they only damage the blade. If you read this article to this point, you will know the right household item to use in honing and sharpening your blade.

I hope this article was useful and educative for you. These methods are great if you need to sharpen your knife in a pinch.