A novel technique for the sharpening of noisy images is presented. The proposed enhancement system adopts a simple piecewise linear (PWL) function in order to sharpen the image edges and to reduce the noise. Such effects can easily be controlled by varying two parameters only. The noise sensitivity of the operator is further decreased by means of an additional filtering step, which resorts to a nonlinear model too. Results of computer simulations show that the proposed sharpening system is simple and effective. The application of the method to contrast enhancement of color images is also discussed.