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Find Your Knife Sharpening Angle With Quarters (Chart Included)

You may have heard that you can stack quarters under your knife to find the correct sharpening angle. While true, the type of knife, or more specifically the width of the blade and the desired angle dictate how many quarters you should use. The charts below save you the agony of figuring out the geometry. Below we've created a chart that will give you the number of quarters required to estimate the height to hold the spine of your knife when you're sharpening.

Just measure the width of your blade from the spine to the edge. Then use the chart that most closely matches your knife width. If your knife width is 2" or larger, this techniques becomes somewhat impractical as the tower of quarters becomes too tall.

The angle you choose is a matter of personal preference. We've developed this chart as a starting point for your knives and other bladed tools. The video below will help you understand the technique.

 

1/2" Width

Desired Sharpening Angle Number of Quarters Actual Angle
10 Degrees 1 Quarter 7.9 Degrees
12 Degrees 2 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
15 Degrees 2 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
17 Degrees 2 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
20 Degrees 2 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
22.5 Degrees 3 Quarters 24.5 Degrees
25 Degrees 3 Quarters 24.5 Degrees
30 Degrees 4 Quarters 33.5 Degrees
35 Degrees 4 Quarters 33.5 Degrees

 

3/4" Width

Desired Sharpening Angle Number of Quarters Actual Angle
10 Degrees 2 Quarters 10.6 Degrees
12 Degrees 2 Quarters 10.6 Degrees
15 Degrees 3 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
17 Degrees 3 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
20 Degrees 4 Quarters 21.6 Degrees
22.5 Degrees 4 Quarters 21.6 Degrees
25 Degrees 5 Quarters 27.4 Degrees
30 Degrees 5 Quarters 27.4 Degrees
35 Degrees 6 Quarters 33.5 Degrees

 

1" Width

Desired Sharpening Angle Number of Quarters Actual Angle
10 Degrees 3 Quarters 11.9 Degrees
12 Degrees 3 Quarters 11.9 Degrees
16 Degrees 4 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
17 Degrees 4 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
20 Degrees 5 Quarters 20.2 Degrees
22.5 Degrees 6 Quarters 24.5 Degrees
25 Degrees 6 Quarters 24.5 Degrees
30 Degrees 7 Quarters 28.9 Degrees
35 Degrees 8 Quarters 33.5 Degrees

 

1 1/4" Width

Desired Sharpening Angle Number of Quarters Actual Angle
10 Degrees 3 Quarters 9.5 Degrees
12 Degrees 4 Quarters 12.8 Degrees
15 Degrees 5 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
17 Degrees 5 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
20 Degrees 6 Quarters 19.3 Degrees
22.5 Degrees 6 Quarters 24.5 Degrees
25 Degrees 8 Quarters 26.2 Degrees
30 Degrees 9 Quarters 29.8 Degrees
35 Degrees 10 Quarters 33.5 Degrees

 

1 1/2" Width

Desired Sharpening Angle Number of Quarters Actual Angle
10 Degrees 4 Quarters 10.6 Degrees
12 Degrees 5 Quarters 13.3 Degrees
15 Degrees 6 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
17 Degrees 6 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
20 Degrees 7 Quarters 18.8 Degrees
22.5 Degrees 8 Quarters 21.6 Degrees
25 Degrees 9 Quarters 24.5 Degrees
30 Degrees 11 Quarters 30.4 Degrees
35 Degrees 12 Quarters 33.5 Degrees

 

1 3/4" Width

Desired Sharpening Angle Number of Quarters Actual Angle
10 Degrees 4 Quarters 9.1 Degrees
12 Degrees 5 Quarters 11.4 Degrees
15 Degrees 7 Quarters 16.0 Degrees
17 Degrees 8 Quarters 18.4 Degrees
20 Degrees 9 Quarters 20.8 Degrees
22.5 Degrees 10 Quarters 23.2 Degrees
25 Degrees 11 Quarters 25.7 Degrees
30 Degrees 13 Quarters 30.8 Degrees
35 Degrees 15 Quarters 36.3 Degrees