Do It Yourself

Breakthrough: How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener

Is there anything worse than a dull knife? Before you invest in an expensive sharpener, check out this list to learn how to sharpen a knife using common household objects.



Featured | Two hunting knives inserted in wood | Breakthrough: How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener

Know how to sharpen a knife without a sharpener? Here are five innovative ways to keep your blades razor-sharp using objects you likely already have in your home or nearby!

RELATED: 5 Tricks For Better Knife Sharpening

5 Ways How To Sharpen a Knife with Common Household Items

Knife Sharpening Tips

You might not have one in a survival situation, so finding other ways to sharpen knives is an essential survival skill. If you have an old coffee mug or a broken glass lying around, chances are you won't even need an expensive sharpener.

We found a few easy tips on how to sharpen knives at home to make your knives as good as new, and best of all, each trick only takes a few seconds.

1. Bottom of a Mug

No knife sharpener? No problem.

Find a ceramic coffee mug with a rough surface on the bottom. Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle, and rub the blade against the bottom of the mug.

Your dull blade will be sharpened in no time.

2. Broken Glass Bottle

Any glass edge will work for this one! Hold your knife at a slight angle against the edge of your broken glass, then swipe it in the same direction a few times.


It's surprisingly easy and a great way to sharpen a knife quickly.

3. Slate or Cement

Did you forget to bring your knife sharpening stone kit? This is a great option if you're outdoors and have access to slate or concrete.


Find a flat surface and wipe your blade back and forth a few times. Try this survival skill the next time you're camping!

RELATED: How To Sharpen A Knife At Camp [Video]

4. Another Knife

Where can I get my kitchen knives sharpened? A pretty obvious idea, but a great one nonetheless!

It turns out that you can use another knife as a sharpener for a dull knife. Well, we've seen this one too many times in some cooking shows and butcher shops, so you probably get the idea.


Learn how to sharpen a kitchen knife with another knife safely, though.

5. Car Window

If you are out car camping, you can head straight to your can window if you can't find any of the household items listed here within your reach.


The idea is to use the uncoated part of your car window like you would on a broken glass bottle.

Watch this video from Sierra for detailed tips and tricks to sharpening your knife using everyday household items:

There's nothing worse than a dull knife. In fact, a dull knife is actually MORE dangerous than a sharp knife.

If you've ever tried to cut an onion with a blunt blade, you know how risky it is: the build-up of force can lead to a deadly slip. It's important to take care of our survival tools, but you don't always have the right tools nearby.

Eventually, you'll need to know how to sharpen a knife when you don't have your trusty sharpener within reach. Any of these ways to sharpen a knife using ordinary objects will do the trick!

Do you have tricks of your own up your sleeves to sharpen knives? You can share it in the comments section below!


For more awesome SHTF survival items you can’t make at home, check out the Survival Life Store!

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Breakthrough: How To Sharpen A Knife Without A Sharpener |

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 8, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Doug R

    November 6, 2016 at 2:31 PM

    True faith in God, being born again, cleansed of your sin, knowing the Savior is the greatest knowledge one can know. Cause at the end of the journey, where will you go? If you’ve been prepared for a great crisis, but your soul is not prepared to die, then you will perish. And what will you do if you get sick or are crippled and not a strong young man as you once were? The Lord can help you in the time of crisis if you call upon him. He can give wisdom and grace, healing and strength.

    • Jay Greenfield

      September 19, 2018 at 5:30 AM

      Amen brother! Nothing in this world can surpass the blood atonement! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for saving me on that cross on Calvary! I got on here to learn about knife sharpening as I’m a line inspector and am stuck with a dull knife most of the time.

  2. Gouchybear

    March 23, 2017 at 8:15 AM

    Some great advice here…THANK YOU for making and sharing this video! I have actually used one of your suggestions: using my leather belt as a strop, and it worked very well.
    Keep up the good work keeping us informed…

  3. charles17121

    March 27, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    Outstanding advice and video ! THANK YOU for sharing ! Keep the faith , Make America Great Again ! Keep Hunting !

  4. Kabe2611

    March 27, 2017 at 10:04 AM

    Great info. Keep it coming please. I too have used my belt in a pinch. I had not ever thought of the straps on my pack. Good stuff.

  5. gorrilla

    March 27, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    I’ve carried a small(4″) diamond sharpener in my billfold for years. Lost one, worn another one out. But it’s the handiest thing in the world for this.
    However, IF your blade is just needing bit of honing(no humongous nicks in it), you can strop it on a boot, your belt, a pack strap, just about any piece of leather.

    You can do the same on a piece of lumber quite well. A nice clean piece of 2×4 works surprisingly well. Remember, this is stropping, like with a razor strap. You turn the edge away from the direction you are pushing or pulling the edge. You are in effect, polishing the edge. Most knives get dull from the edge being rolled over, on a microscopic scale. So honing or stroping them polishes and “un-rolls” that edge. Like a butcher or a chef does to a good butcher knife.

    If you have to work out a real ding or chip in the blade, you start with something abrasive, like a stone, or diamond sharpener, or even a file, then finish with a strap or hone.

    • Bill

      May 4, 2018 at 8:27 PM

      Nice trick! I remember the barber used to strop the razor for my Dad.


  6. David Moberg

    March 27, 2017 at 4:06 PM

    Buddy of mine and I make our own leather knife sheaths. I always make mine with the smooth side out on the back of the sheath. He makes his with the flesh (rough) side out.

    I learned this when he was getting ready to dress a deer he had just bagged. He pulled his knife, flipped the sheath up, and ran the knife down the back of the sheath to put that nice polish on it. He quickly had that deer dressed and ready to drag!

    He also rubs Jeweler’s rouge into the leather before each outting.

    Knowing how anal I am about the sharpness of my knives, he looked up at me and said,
    “bet you never thought of that”, and snickered.

    He’s 2nd generation Marine Recon, so I simply bowed, and reminded him that he was my hero and insane.

  7. Deana

    March 29, 2017 at 11:33 AM

    When I began building a SHTF bugout bag, one of my first thoughts was a knife sharpener. I’ve got a honing stone in my bag.
    I’m often on the lookout for more and better ways to add to my essentials without adding large amounts of weight to what I’ll need to carry. These tips are good to know 🙂
    I’ve heard about the bottom of a mug and using another knife, but the glass was a new one to me.

  8. Various Grit

    April 3, 2017 at 1:05 PM

    Hello All,

    Roll the window on your vehicle half way down and use a slicing motion on the top raw edge to sharpen. I have used this method for decades.

    All the Best.

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    September 14, 2018 at 1:49 AM

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  15. Anonymous

    July 4, 2019 at 12:49 AM

    If you have a toolbox anything made of toolsteel will work as hone, just use it like a honesteel out of your kitchen drawer.

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