How To Sharpen A Pizza Cutter: Easy Step by Step Guide

  • By: Mike
  • Date: July 13, 2022
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Almost everybody knows the perfect way to sharpen a knife because it’s something we use so often.

We have to learn how to sharpen it, or else we’ll always be replacing our knives because they get dull quickly when they’re in frequent use.

For us pizza lovers, we probably don’t need to sharpen our knives quite as much as most.

It’s because we’re always just one store trip away from having homemade pizza for dinner every night! 

But did you know that a pizza cutter wheel can get just as dull as knives can?

And since we’re serving homemade pizza as regularly as we are, our pizza wheels will become dull much faster. 

Many people don’t realize you can actually sharpen your pizza cutter instead of throwing it out and replacing it with a new one.

It doesn’t look like a typical blade, but that’s exactly what a pizza cutter wheel is: a blade.

And every once in a while, it can be sharpened to make it better at its job.

Don’t know how? Well, don’t worry, because I do, and I’m going to share my helpful step-by-step guide with you today! 

Why Do Pizza Wheels Need Sharpening? 

Before we jump in, let’s talk a little more about why pizza wheels need sharpening.

Just like blades, a pizza cutter will get duller the more it’s used.

Eventually, the sharp edges of the blade will lose their sharp peaks and start to smooth out, creating a dull, rounded blade instead.

When you try cutting using this type of cutter, it’ll rely more on your ability to force it through the base of the pizza crust rather than doing any cutting of its own. 

If you notice that your pizza cutter is no longer cutting as effectively as it used to, then the chances are, that you’ve been using it a while.

It’s now much duller than it was when you first bought it. 

All sharp things will eventually dull with continued use, of course, but there are some things you can do to slow down the process and protect its sharp edges for longer.

I’ll talk more about that in the last section.

For now, though, all you need to know is that the pizza cutter is no longer performing because it’s gone dull and needs sharpening again so it can cut effectively.

Remember, if your pizza cutter isn’t slicing your pizza as easily as a knife through cheese, then the cutter needs sharpening because it’s not as sharp as it should be. 

So, how do you do it? 

Safety Tips 

Before we get started, I have a few safety tips that apply to all the fixes I’ll suggest below: 

  • Don’t let children anywhere near you whilst sharpening – no matter which method you’re using.
  • If you’re using a machine or tool, always wear protective gear such as eye goggles. 
  • Remember, sharp blades are dangerous – take your time and use caution. 
  • If you ever feel unsafe, stop trying to fix the issue and just buy a new pizza cutter – these methods aren’t worth risking your health if you don’t feel confident in the method.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s dive in! 

How To Sharpen Your Pizza Wheel – The Cheat’s Way 

If you’re in a pinch and you need to sharpen your pizza cutter right away (and you’re just looking for a quick, short-lasting solution) then there are two options for you.

I call these the cheat’s way because it’s only intended as a quick fix to your problem.

Imagine your hosting pizza night and realizing your cutter isn’t doing what it should be.

You can use either of the two options below to fix the issue, but it’s only ever going to be a short-term fix.

Once your guests have gone, you’ll want to move to section two.

Using A Nail File 

All you need for this method is a nail file and your pizza cutter, and, most important of all, the right technique.

If you rush the nail file technique, then you’ll end up with a blade that’s actually duller and more rounded than before. 

For this technique, you’ll need to take a nail file with an abrasive surface (around 220 grit) and rub it along the surface of the cutter.

You’ll notice an obvious ridge where the pizza cutter is sharper than the rest of the wheel.

Follow these ridges the whole way around, moving the nail file up and down along the ridges.

Make sure to stick to the same angle as the ridge so you don’t make the problem worse.

Follow it around the cutter on the outside first, then flip the cutter over and repeat the process.

The key here is following the ridges on both sides, so it eventually is as sharp as it used to be.

Initially, after you’ve done the first side, the pizza cutter will appear duller: stick with it.

After both sides have been treated the same, the blade will be much sharper.

Then simply wipe the cutter clean with a damp cloth to remove any debris and try your pizza cutter.

It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be much better than it was before.

If you’ve taken your time to ensure you stick to the pre-existing ridges, then this process should only take around 5 minutes or so.

It’ll work for now, but eventually, you’ll need to improve the cutter using one of the more long-lasting methods below. 

Using Sandpaper

Alternatively, you can use sandpaper in place of a nail file.

You’ll use it in exactly the same way as the nail file though, by following the ridge that’s already present with an up and down motion on each side of the cutter.

But the only difference is the sandpaper you use will need to be wet. 

The reason sandpaper needs to be wet when working with a pizza cutter is that sandpaper can actually scratch the surface easily.

If that’s allowed to happen, the pizza cutter can begin to corrode.

If that happens, there’s really nothing you can do and you’ll have to replace the pizza cutter anyway, so all your efforts so far will have been in vain.

So, before you begin using the sandpaper along the ridges of the pizza cutter, just soak the sandpaper in water for 10 seconds or so.

Then you can continue the method as above.

Once done, wipe down the cutter and it’ll be sharper than before.

This method will last slightly longer than a nail file, but you’ll eventually need to move on to the section below for a better fix. 

How To Sharpen Your Pizza Wheel For Long-Lasting Results 

OK, now you’ve tried the short-term fixes, but after some time, your pizza wheel is back where it was when we first started this.

If that’s the case, it’s time to try one of the two methods below to get a longer-lasting result! 

Using A Whetstone 

The first method that’s accessible to everybody is using a whetstone.

No, I’m not suggesting everybody has a whetstone at home waiting to sharpen their knives and pizza cutters.

But they’re very easy to use and are usually pretty cheap to pick up if you don’t already have one.

For pizza cutters, I’d advise picking up a ceramic whetstone because they’re great at not scratching the surface and causing corrosion. 

So, once you’ve got a ceramic whetstone and a dull pizza cutter, here’s what to do next:

  • The first step is finding the correct angle. You’ll be able to see the natural ridge of the blade again here.

    But as a guide, you should be holding the pizza cutter at around a 30-degree angle where the pizza cutter is in contact with the whetstone.
  • Wet the coarse grit side of the whetstone and then apply pressure to the blade at the 30-degree angle, moving it towards you in one smooth motion.
  • You’ll need to do this a few times until you have done the entire pizza wheel, so after every motion, turn it slightly so you can repeat the process. 
  • Flip the pizza cutter over and repeat the process on the other side to sharpen the blade here, too.

Once it’s done, wipe down your cutter and try it out.

If it still isn’t sharp enough, repeat the method from the start.

Using a whetstone to sharpen knives is difficult enough, but using it with a pizza cutter is another skill you’ll need to master.

Once you’ve mastered it, though, a whetstone can be a real money saver because it’ll extend the life of your knives and pizza cutters considerably. 

Using An Electric Sharpener

I won’t claim to be an expert on this one because every type of professional electric sharpener has its own set of rules for use that will tell you how to get the perfect finish.

So I can’t possibly give you detailed guidance here.

But what I can tell you is that electric sharpeners for knives exist and they work brilliantly for pizza cutters too.

You basically set the machine up to react to the blade diameter and then it’ll take care of the rest for you.

So if you decide to invest in an electric sharpener, make sure you read the instructions carefully and then practice using the machine in a safe way to sharpen your blades.

They essentially work as whetstones do, but you don’t have to sharpen them manually.

This can be a really big pro for this method in the eyes of people who may feel nervous about handling pizza cutters themselves. 

Once sharpened, simply wipe it clean and it’ll be as good as new! 

Keeping It Sharp 

Before I leave you, I just wanted to give you a few tips on keeping the blade sharp so you don’t have to keep revisiting my guide every week!

So, to keep your blades sharp here’s my best advice:

  • Let the blade do the work – these cutters are designed to cut.

    You shouldn’t have to put too much pressure on it to cut your pizza slices, and if you do, it’ll only dull the blade faster.

    So now that it’s sharp, let the pizza cutter do most of the work for you. 
  • Keep your cutter clean – if you don’t look after your cutter by keeping it clean and free of debris, then it can start to corrode and you’ll have to throw it out, anyway. 
  • Get a cutter cover – these cutter covers simply slot over the blade and protect it when it’s not in use. This will extend the life of the sharp cutter considerably. 

So, if you follow my advice today, get your cutter back to being as sharp as it was when it was new.

Then look after it moving forwards, your cutter should be happily slicing up your homemade pizzas for years to come! 

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