Hostel Kitchen Tips – Tip #3 – Sharp Knives

2 June, 2014

typography, vintage, insignia, kitchen, kitchen tips, octopus, tentacles, butter knife, how to sharpen a knife,

Tip #3

How to sharpen a knife without a sharpener.

Because you can’t cut through octopus with a butter knife.

Fear not! There’s a real easy fix to this one, and you’ll be the kitchen hero for the rest of your stay.

The answer?

A coffee mug.


Turn that mug around, what to you see? an unglazed ring or porcelain! What are some of the best knife sharpeners made out of, you got it!! Porcelain!

The trick to this one is mostly getting the angle right, although it isn’t rocket science either.

This kid can do it, so can you:

20 degrees, that’s the magic number.

That’s what 20 degrees looks like. Image cred:

Keep at it like that for a while, one side and then the other.  At first give it a good amount of pressure, once you see you’re getting somewhere you’ll want to ease off the pressure gradually and keep switching sides, to get rid of the burr.

Alternatively, you can use a glass plate for that last part.

This article does a good job of explaining it in greater detail for the more curious travelers.

Also, if for some reason there’s just nothing porcelain, find a car.

Crack the window open. That unpolished edge, yup, that’ll do too. ;)

Thank me later. Really. It’s nothing.

Do you have sharp knife horror stories? Or tips I’ve forgotten?

If you missed any, check them out right here:


  1. Comment by Corinne

    Corinne Reply 8 June, 2014 at 03:06

    Jade…Love.This.Post. You crack me up. First, I didn’t even need keep reading after just loving your octopus photo…creative! And, I have to agree, knives can be very dull and virtually worthless in most communal kitchens…so good tip on the sharpening.
    Corinne recently posted…Weekend Travel Inspiration – Like Wine!My Profile

  2. Comment by Eric

    Eric Reply 16 June, 2016 at 04:29

    Thank you Jade, don’t know about this tip before. I would practice this with my pocket knife.

    • Comment by Gabriel Harding

      Gabriel Harding Reply 7 March, 2017 at 08:48

      Nice, glad you could put it to use. Yea, sharpening knives, whatever method your using, is an art form =D

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