Single bevel vs. Double bevel knife: Which one is the better style?

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Have you ever take a closer look at you kitchen knifes and wonder the purposes of their edge styles?  Depend on the type of food you are dealing with, the choice of a knife can greatly affect the final result. Single bevel vs. Double bevel knife, what is the style that you should go after? If you happen to be in need of an answer to that question as well, this article can be of use to you. You will learn about the differences between the two, how to use and maintain them effectively right down below.  Read through everything and you may figure out the most suitable knife for you.

In case that you don’t know, a bevel is the term that refers to the edge of a structure and in this case, your knife. There are several types of bevels that can be found on the kitchen knife market for a wide range of usage. Each one got its own pros and cons so if you are shopping for a knife, you should consider the bevel characteristic carefully. If you just rush out and buy whatever you like, you may end up wasting a lot of money for very little gains. So let’s exam the specification of the single bevel and the double bevel knife and see which is one can better fit your demands.

General information

Single bevel knife

Single bevel, or chisel edge, is usually employed on Japanese knifes which are used to cut extra thin slides. Only one side of the edge is grounded while the other is left completely flat. Couple with an angle around 15 – 25 degrees, single bevel knifes are sharp and suitable for delicate cutting tasks. From vegetable to meat and alike, you can cut rather long and continuous slides with a thickness comparable to paper. Since one side of the single bevel knife edge is flat, this type of knife is available in both left and right handed versions for people to choose from.

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Double bevel knife

In a double bevel knife, both sides of its edge are grounded which make the knife more resistant to rolling and cracking. From the outside, its design looks like a large V with a smaller V right on top.   The sharpness of double bevel knifes remains respectable though it can’t cut as good as single bevel ones. It’s quite popular for household uses, especially in the hand of peoples with average skill. For regular and simple cutting, double bevel knifes present themselves as the effective tool and offer respectable performance.


If you can master the use of the single bevel knife, you can do matchstick cuts in quick succession at high speed.  Without the back bevel, the amount of food that can stick into the knife after cutting is substantially reduced. Certain knifes in this category even have a backside that is slightly concave to decrease the food adherence to the knife further. When it comes to food with an outer shell such as crab, the honing portion on the knife back end can prove to be handy. It results in a lower amount of fragment and permits a cleaner cut into the meat.

For the average meat and fish, double bevel knife is an efficient and practical choice. The lack of friction enhances its ability to cut through the usual foods with little issue. For the general uses, a double bevel knife should be able to satisfy virtually all your needs.  It’s robust, sharp and easy to be used even by people that never pick up a knife before. The knife can be found in most household kitchens and mid-range restaurants. With practice, the knife can be used adequately for sophisticated cutting though not as good as single bevel knife

Maintenance and sharpening

  • If you have a single bevel knife

The sharpening of a single bevel knife is relatively simple and easy to execute. All you need is a coarse grit stone (220), a fine grit stone(8000) and several grits between them then you are ready. Put the stones into the water for several minutes then take them out and inspect them. Ensure that they are completely flat before you move on, if you spot any bugle then deal with it using a stone flattener. Now position the knife onto the coarse and medium grit stones then start sharpening its bevel. Hold the edge at a 30 degrees angle and rub it along the body of the stones.

Keep repeating until wire edge appears across the length of the knife edge. Switch to the next finest stone and remove all the scratches. When grit above 3000 is used, the bevel should have been properly sharpened. Finally, use the polish stone to get rid of the wire edge and ensure that both sides of the knife are well – polished. Give the bevel and the flat side seven or eight passes each to finish the process.


  • If you have a double bevel knife

The first thing to do is checking for nicks on the knife edge and removes them with a coarse grit stone (220). It’s also vital that you decide the correct angle before you attempt to sharpen the knife. If you intend to use it to cut through tough food, it must be sharpened to a stouter angle. For the most part, the sharpening angle for a double bevel knife would be between 11.25 degrees and 22.5 degrees. They will form an initial bevel on the edge with the included angle between 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees accordingly.

Go through a couple of medium grits stones and complete with finish stones. Soak the knife in warm water then dry it completely before use.


And that should be most of what you should know about these knifes, not too hard to absorb, right? It can be tough to decide on a type of knife edge without knowing a lot about it. But with a comparison of single bevel vs. double bevel knife, you can have a firm grasp on the knife characteristics. With that in mind, now you can make a logical and informed decision.

About the author

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade

Christopher Wade is a true outdoorsman. After spending most of his career as a firearms expert and instructor in Nebraska, he retreated to the great outdoors to enjoy retirement.

Christopher’s expertise in handling firearms and hunting gear are what propelled him to create the Shooting Mystery blog. He hopes for all readers to gain useful and practical knowledge for enjoying their time outdoors.