How To Sharpen a Knife With Sandpaper and a Mousepad

Stropping is a sharp cutting technique. Most of the knives are flattened and polished on a smooth platen or slack belt, resulting in a completely straight edge.

The most durable and, in our perspective, the quickest way to sharpen is a straight edge that would not necessitate the use of special sharpening equipment. These are some of the easiest and most successful sharpening methods you can make at home are utilizing sandpaper and an old mousepad to sharpen knives.

Start with relatively coarse grit sandpaper, such as 600, and work your way up to a finer grit, such as 1000. Remember to use light pressure and follow the angle of the convex edge. You can see, hear, and feel when you have the proper angle. Once you’re finished sharpening, you can eliminate any burrs with a Chakma strop.

It’s underrated because outside of knife-related circles, you don’t hear much about it.

So there you have it: a rather comprehensive description of the magic sandpaper/mousepad combo, along with a few more sharpening suggestions.

The Following Are Some of the System’s Major Advantages

  • Inexpensive starting cost; most people have many old mousepads at home, so all you need to do is acquire a few sheets of sandpaper, and you’re ready to sharpen.
  • Another significant benefit of this system is its flexibility in terms of edge angle uniformity.
  • The main challenge for novices with freehand sharpening is repeatability, which is maintaining consistent contact between both the knife and the sharpening ground.
  • When opposed to sharpening stones, a mousepad provides for a higher margin of error.
  • The proved to be an extremely well-defined convex edge that outperforms typical V edges in several ways, including durability and cutting capability at the given angle.

What You’ll Require

  • We stress flat since there are some strange things with all the bumps and grooves on the mousepad. Forget about them; all you need is a plain flat pad that isn’t overly soft. Additionally, a heavy leather surface, such as the honing pad seen at the top of the image, might be used.
  • Various grits of sandpaper.
  • This can be a magic marker or any other type of marker. It’s not required, but it’s really helpful.
  • A few quarters to assist you in maintaining the same angle.


Getting the system up and running is a breeze; simply place the sandpaper on the mousepad, and you’re good to go. Ideally, you should trim the mousepad into a rectangle of appropriate size.

Presumably, you’ll need to employ some sort of mechanism to keep the sandpaper in place during sharpening.

Purchase sandpaper with a sticky backside. You may also use duct tape or something similar to secure the sandpaper to the mouse pad.


Sharpening is also a short method. You employ the following strokes, pulling the edge with the spine leading rather than pushing it into the sandpaper.

The remainder follows the standard sharpening procedure. If you’re sharpening a double bevel edge, you’ll need to increase the burr on both sides of the edge, then move to higher grit sandpaper or use leather strops if you’re finished.

Sandpaper for Sharpening the Knife

The alternative is to use sandpaper to sharpen the knife. Sharpening on a hard surface with a piece of sandpaper is the same as sharpening with sharpening stones.

Sandpaper, on the other hand, may be used to make your own soft surface. Consider a mouse pad, for example.

To ensure that the sandpaper follows the convex edge of the blade, softly push the blade and the sandpaper into the mouse pad.

As a result, sharpening a knife with a convex edge is simple.

What Should You Be Paying Attention To?

Sharpening the blade at a set angle is not recommended. Sharpen the whole blade at the same time if possible. To see which areas you sharpened and didn’t, use a marker to color the entire blade. Perfecting a knife’s blade, on the other hand, alters the blade’s polish. You’ll see scratches on the blade if you sharpen it on a coarse stone or belt.

You’ll see these scratches on the whole blade since you sharpened the entire convex edge. This does, however, imply that you can see if the entire blade has been sharpened.

These scratches can be removed by increasing the grain size. Only by polishing or stropping the blade will you be able to erase the scratches totally. Sharpening at the same position or angle is impossible if you move your wrist around the sharpening stone. As a result, you’ve created a convex edge.

Make sure you do not flip the knife too far and upwards towards the bottom of the mouse pad or sandpaper. As you sharpen the blade, eventually turn the edge towards the sandpaper. You’ve attained the correct cutting angle when the edge ‘cuts’ into the stone. Please don’t go any further! Because the technique is so crucial, it’s not a bad idea to practice using a cheap or old knife with a convex edge initially.

Here are some FAQs Related to Sharpening a Knife

Now that you know how to sharpen a knife with sandpaper and a mousepad, put your new skills to the test! Give it a try and see how well it works for you.

How often should I sharpen my knife?

It really depends on how often you use it and what you use it for. If you are a professional chef who uses their knife all day, every day, then you will likely need to sharpen your knife more often than someone who only uses their knife for occasional cooking tasks. A good rule of thumb is to sharpen your knife every few months, or when it starts to feel dull.

Can I use sandpaper to sharpen my knife?

Yes, you can use sandpaper to sharpen your knife. However, it is important to choose the right grit sandpaper for the job.

If you are using a very dull knife, you will need to start with a coarse grit sandpaper in order to remove the majority of the dullness.

Once you have removed the dullness, you can then move on to a finer grit sandpaper in order to really hone in the edge.

What is the best way to sharpen my knife?

There are a few different ways that you can sharpen your knife. You can use a sharpening stone, a honing rod, or even sandpaper.

Some people prefer one method over the others, while some people like to use a combination of methods. Experiment and see what works best for you.

What’s the best way to hold the blade when sharpening?

Some people like to use a vise or clamp, but I find it easiest to just hold the blade in my hand.

Can I use a mousepad to help sharpen my knife?

Yes, a mousepad can actually be quite helpful when sharpening a knife. The mousepad provides a little bit of cushioning, which can help to prevent your knife from slipping while you are working. Just be sure to use a light touch and not press too hard, or you could damage your knife.

How do I know when the blade is sharp enough?

You’ll know the blade is sharp enough when it can easily slice through paper or shave hair.

Can I use this method to sharpen other tools, like scissors or axes?

Absolutely! Any tool with a blade can be sharpened using this method. Just make sure to use the appropriate grit sandpaper for the job.


Sharpening a knife blade is smoother than sharpening at the same angle, albeit it takes some getting accustomed to. You sharpen the full curvature of the blade, not just the edge/cutting surface, using a convex grind.

It’s considerably easier to sharpen if the curvature continues the length of the blade all the way to the spine.

You don’t have to stop honing the blade halfway through. When using a sharpening machine, you will always get a convex edge. Because you never utilize the same angle while sharpening by hand, you end up with a slightly convex edge. On the other hand, a flat sharpening stone might easily sharpen a convex edge with the correct rocking movements.

You could always cover the blade with a marker. If there is still any color on the blade after sharpening, it means that areas of the blade need to be sharpened.

While sharpening the knife, keep an eye on the blade. Unlike with many other everything, the best way to learn is to do it. That is why you should strive to sharpen a convex edge as soon as possible! When you first start, use an old or inexpensive knife with a convex edge, just in case. You will discover that it is not as tough as you initially believed.