Honing and sharpening are two different processes that are often used interchangeably but they serve different purposes in maintaining the sharpness of a fillet knife.

Sharpening a fillet knife involves removing material to create a new edge, while honing involves realigning the existing edge to keep it sharp. If you’ve ever purchased a knife set it most likely came with a honing rod. When you hone a knife you are essentially straightening the edge of the blade. It is important to sharpen a fillet knife periodically, but honing can be done more frequently to maintain its sharpness.


So you’ve recently purchased a SORD fillet knife and it has gotten you through several piles of fish and you notice it’s not cutting quite like it did when you took it out of the box. After hitting bones, the cutting board, and whatever else it may have endured the blade has developed microscopic damage that will require you to sharpen it again. If you are cleaning fish on a weekly basis we would recommend sharpening your knife 2-3 times per season. If you are a recreational angler that cleans fish on a bi-weekly basis you may only need to sharpen your knife once in an entire season. Try honing the blade first to see if it’s an edge alignment issue before putting it to a stone, electric sharpener, or our favorite sharpener - The Warthog V-Sharp A4. Like we stated in the paragraph above, sharpening your blade too often will reduce its lifespan, but it is unavoidable.


When you aren’t using your knife, make sure you keep it in the kydex sheath that it came in. This is an extremely durable material that will protect it. After each use of your knife make sure you rinse it down with water and dry it with a towel. Moisture on the edge of the blade can lead to corrosion which will dull the blade. Lastly, we recommend dabbing a paper towel in vegetable oil and wiping a thin coat of this onto the blade. This can offer an additional layer of protection.


The team at SORD has gone through many fillet knives to determine what the best sharpening tool would be for restoring the edge back to how it performed when it made its first appearance at your fillet table. Below are some effective options that you can be confident will work for restoring your knife's edge. 

1 .    Warthog V Sharp A4 (Available through SORD)

The Warthog V-Sharp A4 uses two high-quality, 325 grit diamond rods that sharpen the blade on both sides simultaneously using spring tension. This model has a hand-crafted steel frame, solid rubber base, and a durable black powder coat finish. This is by far the easiest way to sharpen a fillet knife. We suggest sharpening your fillet knife at a 20° angle.

2. Electric Knife Sharpeners ($120+)

The chef’s choice has become one of our favorite ways to maintain our blades. This electric sharpener is a good avenue to go for the charter captain or commercial fisherman that is going to be sharpening their knives several times a year.

3. Whetstones ($80-$100)

These rank third for maintaining your SORD knife’s edge. We recommend 1000 grit to sharpen if the knife is very dull and a 5000 grit to fine-tune if the blade only needs a touch-up. We finish this off with a leather strop. Although this technique may be more difficult it can make a major difference in putting that razor-sharp edge back on a blade.