Can You Sharpen a Knife With Aluminum Foil?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 05/05/21 •  5 min read

DIY tricks come in handy in the kitchen during food preparation.

Aluminum foil has multiple uses in the kitchen as you can use it for more than covering food after preparation.

When you notice that your blade is becoming dull, you should grind it to restore the sharpness.

Did you know that you can use it to restore the edge of your blade?

So, can you really sharpen a blade with it?

Yes, you can. Cutting sheets of aluminum foil with your blade will restore its edge.  For the best sharpening results, it is advisable to fold the foil severally. Cut the foil at an angle so that the edge grinds against the foil to straighten the edge.

What you should know

While using aluminum foil for grinding your blade seems like a simple and straightforward task, it can potentially damage your blades if done wrong.

For starters, you should hold the blade firmly and securely in your hands.

This is because, in the event that the blade slips, it can inflict severe injuries.

Secondly, fold the foil severally to form a nice and thick stack to cut through.

You can fold the foil into 10” by 10” stacks. Cut thin aluminum foil strips with the blade.

Ensure that you run the entire length of the cutting edge through the foil.

This provides for even sharpness.

Depending on the degree of dullness in the blades, you may need to cut through it several times.

However, you should not use this method for sharpening extremely dull blades.

It is hardly efficient for sharpening excessively dull blades.

Can you sharpen scissors using this same technique?

It is effortlessly easy to sharpen scissors as well.

This is because all you need to do is stack several pieces of the foil together.

Then, use the scissors to slice through the foil, thereby sharpening the cutting edge.

Do sharpeners damage knives?

The concept of sharpening blades revolves around grinding the metal on the cutting edge.

With time, these sharpeners eat away too much metal from the cutting edge.

However, occasional sharpening such as once or twice every few months will not ruin the blade.

For sharpeners such as pull through grinders, the damage on your knives may be extreme, compared to other sharpeners.

Which are the top knife care tips to follow?

While you can use a wide range of objects including cardboards, coffee mugs, and aluminum foil to sharpen the edge of your blades, it is paramount to take care of your knives.

Caring for your blades helps them last longer, and hold the edge for longer.

Some of these tips are such as:

Sharpen the blades regularly

A dull blade is more dangerous compared to a sharp one.

In line with this, you should sharpen your knives regularly, before waiting until the blades are extremely dull.

There are tons of sharpeners that you can use for restoring your blades.

You can settle for a sharpening steel, pull through sharpener, whetstone or an electric sharpener.

Alternatively, you can opt for DIY sharpening tricks like a car window, coffee mug, or cardboard.

Cut only through the recommended food items

One of the most common ways that most chefs ruin their blades is by cutting through food items other than those specified by the manufacturer.

For instance, you should not use a chef knife for boning or slicing frozen food.

Only use a blade for cutting tasks that it is designed to handle.

Always clean blades immediately after use

Leaving food stuck on your knife not only makes cleaning hard but can also lead to rusting and corrosion.

Hand wash your blades after food preparation to prevent food from getting stuck.

Also, there are some ingredients that are acidic and hence may react with the blade.

Don’t use your knife as a screwdriver or lever

Using your knife for hardy tasks such as a lever or screwdriver can easily damage the blade.

The tip of the blade bends easily and gets broken when used to open cans or remove screws.

Due to this, it is only right that you invest in other tools such as levers and screwdrivers to handle hardy tasks around the house.

A bonus tip

Always use a cutting board when slicing or cutting food items with your blade.

Avoid cutting onto hard surfaces such as ceramic countertops.

These surfaces can dent or even break the knife easily.

Additionally, do not clean your knife in a dishwasher.


Maintaining your knife in a pristine condition does not necessarily need to be a hard task.

This is because there are lots of ways and options that you can use.

For instance, if you do not have a blade sharpener, you can resort to using aluminum foil to sharpen your blade.

Ideally, all you need to do is be creative and resourceful.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.