Blade Sharpening Angles

Not many people take blade sharpening angles seriously. In fact, a lot of experienced sharpeners don’t even care to memorize them, as these guys can sense when they are sharpening a blade at the correct angle because it feels right. Recently, RigCast acquired a knife sharpening system that is completely dependent on setting an exact degree measurement as a sharpening angle, so a need arose to learn what the inclusive angles of our blades were so that we could sharpen them with greater precision. This guide is the result.

Although there will never be a one-chart-fits all reference for blade sharpening angles, knife and blade companies typically produce a majority of their knives with a specific inclusive blade angle. This means that if Buck Knives manufacturers most of their knives with a 26-32 degree inclusive angle, then we can use that as a reference point for a 13-16 degree sharpening (non-inclusive) angle.

This data was compiled from information received directly from the manufacturers, and represent factory edge angles on most of their blades. It is still recommended to mark your bevel with a Sharpie during sharpening to determine angle accuracy. Note: These are general guideline angles and do not necessarily represent the angle of every blade the manufacturer makes.

Brand Specific Recommendations

Blade ManufacturerSharpening Angle (Non-inclusive)Inclusive AngleNotes
Benchmade15 – 17°30 – 34°Hand sharpened, varies.
Buck13 – 16°26 – 32°
Cold Steel23 – 25°46 – 50°
Columbia River K&T17 – 22°34 – 42°
ESEE20°40°Hand sharpened, varies.
Ka-Bar20°40°Hand sharpened, varies.
Kershaw20 – 22°40 – 44°
SOG23 – 25°46 – 50°
Spyderco20°40°Hand sharpened, varies.

Generic Sharpening Recommendations

Blade TypeSharpening Angle (Non-inclusive)
Cleaver, Machete25 – 30°
Hunting, Survival, Pocket, Sport22 – 25°
Kitchen, Carving, Boning, Chef18 – 22°
Filet, Paring, Razors12 – 18°

2 thoughts on “Blade Sharpening Angles”

  1. Trevor Jestice

    You sure about benchmade angles? My newest 940-1 is 25 per, 50 inclusive. I was honestly shocked by how steep it was. Lifesharp folks told me they generally do 20-30 per, or 40-60 inclusice depending on knife. I think its a waste having such great steal profiled to such a thick angle.

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