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How to Sharpen your Knife without using a Sharpener?

A sharpener isn’t always available. But worry not! Even if you have a few pieces of gear and you’re out or in a forest you can still learn how to sharpen your knife and save your life.

Wondering how to sharpen your knife without using a Sharpener? Well, we’ve got you covered here.

A little presence of mind and innovation will help you use these daily household items to your advantage anytime.

However, when we say ‘sharpen’ we don’t necessarily mean make your knife really sharp. Here the term refers to offer a keen edge to the knife or make it a little more precise. 

These hacks will let you shape the edge of your knife by extracting metal from the blade by rubbing it on another surface.

So, all these household items will not sharpen your knife in the way that experts recognize as ‘sharpening’. It will simply hone or stroke the edges of the blade of your knife. And such honing or stropping will actually make your knife sharper.

Let’s see what are these 11 simple hacks to get a sharp knife without even using a sharpener!

How to Sharpen your Knife without using a Sharpener?

How to Sharpen Your Knife Without Using a Sharpener (11 Various Hacks Revealed)

Honestly speaking, it’s not that tough to know how to sharpen your knife without using a sharpener. But if you don’t focus on the basic, you will find it difficult to perform. Here we present our own hacks of doing so efficiently.

Bottom of Coffee Mug

It’s a relatively common method of sharpening well-known in many households. While a coffee mug generally has a smooth and polished surface, the bottom part, which is placed on the table, is typically rough to make sure that the mug doesn’t slip. 

In this method, we use the bottom surface of our coffee mugs as a sharpening stone. While such a rough surface may not be present with every coffee mug, it is generally observed that a lot of these mugs have a circular surface on the rim at the bottom which is sharp enough.

Now this surface may be very rough or slightly smooth. But depending on its roughness you can use your mug as a sharpening stone with different grits to sharpen your knife.

Leather Belt

It may sound like a weird object to use for sharpening. But it is true! You can sharpen your knife even without using a hard and rough surface. Something like a leather harness is also useful. 

It helps in the stropping process. By using a leather belt or any other leather surface to remove the burr that usually gets formed on the edge of the knife. So this is more suited to maintaining the sharpness of your knife. 

So if you already have a sharp knife you can also use this method to keep it sharp for a long duration.

The rougher the belt, the better will be the results of your sharpening. You might want to avoid using a new or expensive belt as this process will cause some wear and tear to the belt. But using an old belt or leather strap can work wonders. It is one of the most commonly used methods on how to sharpen your knife.


Sandpaper may not be a very common household item but it is one of the most efficient ways to sharpen your knife. Since the surface of sandpaper is rough, you can rub your knife on its surface to sharpen it for a short-term.

One way in which this method can be made more effective is by placing your sandpaper on a flat surface like a wooden block or flat floor and then start with a sharpening process.

Nail File

This tool is probably the closest in structure and functioning to a real sharpener. A nail file is used for the purpose of sharpening your nails and in the same way it can be used for sharpening your knife as well! The texture of a nail file allows you to sharpen your blade. 

A Second Knife

What better than a second knife for sharpening the first one! This trick works even if both knives you have are blunt. A blunt knife can sharpen another one as it works as a honing rod allowing you to sharpen the blade of your first knife. 

But the only catch in this trick of how to sharpen your knife is to be careful in handling your knives. People tend to do it in an incorrect manner which damages their knives rather than sharpening it.

If you think you can use one blade for sharpening another blade you are completely mistaken! Since the back of a knife is usually made of a harder material you should use it for sharpening your knife. 

It can sustain more wear and tear than the blade itself. Further, since the back of your knife is not as useful, a little damage does no harm.

Rock with a Smooth Surface

It is common practice to use rocks as sharpening tools. These rocks are usually the ones with a rough surface. However, even a smooth rock can serve the purpose. The trick here is to take the flat rock you have, lubricate it with some water and then use it to sharpen your knife. 

You can rub your knife on this flat rock in the same way that you rub it on a normal sharpening rock. This will give you similar if not better results and you’ll get yourself a sharp knife!

Window of a Car

Before you jump to conclusions that this is a false claim, let us see how this trick works. Believe it or not, car windows actually work as a rather useful sharpening tool. 

A car window’s edge is usually rough and not polished like the flat surface of the window. So this edge serves as a sharpening rod to sharpen your knife.

Of course, a car is not a handy tool to carry around everywhere. But this trick is extremely useful when you don’t have any other tools with yourself and the only thing you have around you is a car. 

Piece of Slate

If you have even used a sharpening hammer then you can surely relate with a slate to being the closest in resemblance with it. You can use the flooring slate in the same way as you use a sharpening hammer. 

If you can find yourself a clean and slightly rough slate then it will be enough to sharpen your knife. Apply the same tricks and techniques as you use with a sharpening hammer and you’ll definitely get wonderful results!

Broken Pieces of Glass

Yes, this seems like a dangerous way to sharpen your knife. But that’s not true. The idea here is to use cleanly cut pieces of glass to sharpen your knife. 

You should preferably use a glass cutter to cut glass bottles or other pieces of glass quite conveniently. Once you obtain an unpolished piece of glass you can follow the same technique as with a car window to sharpen your knife. 


A brick is actually very similar to normal sharpening tools used to sharpen a knife. If you use a brick in the same manner as you use a sharpening hammer or mortar then you’ll get similar results. 

A brick is a common household thing that you can find laying around. However, be careful not to use a brick whose surface is too rough. 

An extremely rough surface can actually damage your knife. If you find a brick with fine-grit then it will be perfect for the job.


If you found the second knife-trick useful then using a shovel will also suit your needs. A shovel has a rough edge at its top which can be used as a sharpening rod. You can rub your blade against this top edge to sharpen your knife. The stronger your shovel, the better. 

The metal with which your shovel blade is made up of actually affects the results you will get. A stainless steel shovel is better than aluminum and a titanium shovel is better than aluminum. Since the blade of your knife is also made up of titanium it works the best as a sharpening tool.

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Hopefully now it’s clear to you that it’s easy to learn how to sharpen your knife without using a sharpener. If you have little bit of common sense, patience and will, you can easily perform this task without any trouble. 

If you still find it difficult, feel free to ask us in the comments below. 

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