The first tool that we (human beings) used was a cutting tool made out of hard rock. We have made tremendous progress in terms of tool building and sharpening them, since we first made and used a tool to achieve our goal, back then which was to feed us. This cutting tool later took shape of a knife and various sharp-edged tools that accelerated the process of cutting foods and other items for us. And as grew the uses of knives, so grew the demand for various kinds of knife sharpening tools.

The demand for the sharpening tools COLD STEEL grew so big that a complete knife sharpening business sprung up. These knife sharpening businesses started to take care of all the sharpening needs by developing new and improved knife sharpening systems.

Many sharpening systems came and went, and with it went many sharpening businesses. But what remained was a handful of fundamental tools that everyone needs to sharpen their knives and other cutting tools.

3 basic knife sharpening tools

Grinding Wheels

Grinding wheel is a solid, circular shaped, abrasive stones used to sharpen the knife’s edge. A grinding wheel chips away some portion from the blunted edge of the metal blade to make the edge sharper. In the yesteryears, a grinding wheel was powered using a water wheel, but as the time progressed, the water wheel got replaced by electricity, which made the process of sharpening more efficient.

Types of oxide used in grinding wheel


  • Aluminum oxide is the most common material used in the grinding wheel. Aluminum is preferred over other substances to sharpen steel, bronze, wrought iron, and iron.
  • Zirconia alumina is the second best substance used in a grinding wheel. Zirconia alumina is a mixture of aluminum and zirconium oxide. It works best with certain kinds of metal alloys, and steel.
  • Ceramic aluminum oxide is the new kid on the block. It is a strong material used when more precision in sharpening is sought. Generally Ceramic aluminum oxide is used only after blending it with other oxide.

Bench Grinder


This is the most inexpensive (and in some cases, the most reliable too) tool used to sharpen knives. For ease of use, a bench grinder is used after mounting it on the workbench. Normally, the size of the bench grinder’s wheel ranges between 6 inches and 10 inches. A bench grinder uses up to 1 horsepower motor to power itself up.

Chain Saw sharpener

Chain saw sharpener, as the name suggests, is used to sharpen the blade of a chain saw. This is one of the many specialized sharpeners used to sharpen the edge of a professional tool. There are automatic as well as manual variants of chain saw sharpener available around. To sharpen the chain saw using the automatic sharpener, which is more widely used then its manual cousin, you will need to lock the chain in place, and hold it against the abrasive stone attached to a rotating drill. This will give a uniformly sharpened edge to the chain saw.


3 Knife Sharpening Tools Everyone Needs