While there is a question about sharpening a knife in the wild, I have a different issue. We are in the midst of moving house, so my honing iron is packed away in a box god knows where.

I have a blunt knife, how can I sharpen it?

  • something something pyramids
    – Dragonrage
    Mar 3, 2016 at 20:32
  • 3.33cm from the 'ground' plane, under the point of the pyramid, but not when the moon is out, because moonlight will blunt it, or something? Mar 3, 2016 at 20:33
  • 1
    Pick up a cheap pocket sharpener at the hardware store. After the move, toss it in a drawer somewhere. Buying in a store, probably find for $5. I see them dirt cheap on-line.
    – JDługosz
    Mar 4, 2016 at 11:40
  • 1
    Should be noted that is a 'honing' steel not toning
    – Jared
    Mar 7, 2016 at 16:21

7 Answers 7


One way is using the bottom of a ceramic plate or cup.

On the bottom of some of these, you'll find unglazed ceramic where it's been cut, using this you can rub the blade of the knife along this unglazed edge, and because it's harder than the material of most knives (not hardened steel maybe) it will cause the edge of the knife to align, the same way a toning rod does.

  • 2
    Can't edit because it's too short: you left the 'l' out of 'unglazed' the first time. Mar 3, 2016 at 22:40
  • 1
    This is the correct answer. There are many sharpening systems out there using ceramic stones for this very reason.
    – Mr. Smythe
    Mar 3, 2016 at 22:51
  • 2
    You're mixing up "stropping" and "sharpening" here. "Sharpening" removes material, while "stropping" re-shapes it.
    – Mark
    Mar 4, 2016 at 3:03
  • @childofsoong Fixed for you.
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Mar 4, 2016 at 3:22

A honing rod works because it's harder than the material it's honing, causing the material's atoms to align and eventually getting rid of microscopic dents and edges which gives the knife the most perfect possible edge for cutting.

Due to this, you can actually use another knife to sharpen one, if you carefully use the back of your knife, and run the knife to be sharpened up and down it, pulling towards you at an angle of about 45 degrees.


If you have high grit sandpaper you can use that to sharpen your knife. Wrap it around something hard (tile/brick) and you can make a makeshift blade sharpener.


You can use a leather belt. Put some water on the belt and sharpen the knife on the "soft" side (the side facing towards your body when you wear it.)

  • Provide more detail.
    – k-l
    Mar 5, 2016 at 13:27

You may be able to sharpen the blade by using a brick or stone as a whetstone.

  • 1
    This is a good answer if OP is really packed up. Just go out to your front porch and sharpen against the brick or concrete stoop. did that many times as a kid.
    – ssaltman
    Mar 11, 2016 at 0:46

You can use a steel rod. My family always keeps one aout of a box when we are moving(aka every 2 years). How you do that is you take out a steel rod( should have a meatel, thick stick and a heavy duty plastic handle) take the dull knife and at a slight angle drag it aross the meatal part. Doing that miltiple times at a kind of fast speed will sharpen your knife.

  • Would you please explain how to use a steel rod to sharpen the knife? Mar 11, 2016 at 5:46

A piece of cardboard can be used to sharpen a knife, especially if the knife isn't extremely dull and just needs that final touch to give it a razor's edge.

Just sharpen the blade on the edge of the piece of cardboard as you would if you were using any other material. Run the entire edge against the edge of the cardboard on both sides.

It is difficult to verbalize exactly how to do this without showing an example, so I found a useful YouTube video HERE.

  • Can you elaborate, please?
    – Stephie
    Mar 11, 2016 at 14:03
  • ..........Done.
    – Adam Hayes
    Mar 11, 2016 at 15:15

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