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How to Sharpen a Knife With a Whetstone

Sep 09,2022 | Fzkaly

Three meals, four seasons. Every home has at least one kitchen knife for cooking. If you are the one who cooks for the whole family, you'll know there is nothing more terrible in the kitchen than a dull knife that will ruin the mood and waste time or put yourself in danger. If you don't cook for your family, then you need to show your appreciation for cooks, because he/she may be going through some frustrating times in the kitchen.

The best solution is to sharpen the knives to keep it stay sharp again. Today we're going to tell you how to sharpen a knife with a whetstone. Though it requires some effort to learn sharpening skills, the payoff is huge.

How to Sharpen a Knife With a Whetstone?

Before we go, you have to know the types of whetstone.

Types of whetstone and its difference

 Here are two types of sharpening stones: water stones and oil stones. The difference between water whetstone and oil stone is that their lubricant is different, as the name suggests, one is use water, and the other uses oil. Most cooks prefer using water whetstone due to it is more convenient and facilitates faster knife sharpening.

So, this article mainly shares how to use a water whetstone to sharpen a knife.

How to sharpen a knife with a whetstone?

1. Make prep

Here's an item list that needs you to prepare:

  • A dull knife
  • Whetstones
  • A bowl of water and a bottle of water
  • A towel

2. Saturate the Whetstone

Submerge the whetstone into the water you prepared for about 45 minutes. Of course, the soaking time is not absolute, longer time is to ensure the stone is fully saturated to avoid scratching or nicking your blade when sharpening it. How to confirm the whetstone is fully saturated? Good question, it's saturated enough when you can see small bubbles on its surface.

3. Place the Whetstone on a flat surface

Find a flat surface, then put a towel, the place the whetstone on the towel to keep the stone from sliding around.

Keep remind: Sharpen knives always start from the coarse side, then change the blade to the fine side.

4. Lubricate the stone and start to sharpen

Spray the stone with water or pour a little directly onto the stone first(Begin with the coarse side). Hold the blade gently but firmly with both hands at a 15-20 degree angle, placing your fingers from the other hand near its tip, then move the blade in even swipes with even pressure, making sure the contact point moves toward the tip of the blade. Repeat this stroke ten times or more depending on your knife condition.

5. Flip the knife and repeat

Swap to the other side and repeat the above process until you get your desired sharpness.

Warm tips:

  1. The sharpening angle is slightly different depending on the type of blade you have. and keep the same angle during the sharpening process.
  2. Single-beveled knives just need to sharpen one side.
  3. Make sure both sides were sharpened with the same strokes.
  4. Continually pour water from time to time during sharpening on the whetstone.

6. Move to the Fine Whetstone (If needed)

Repeat this method with your finer grit stone after finishing the coarse grind.

7. Clean the knives and stone

Wash your knife and wipe it with a soft cloth until it is dry. Then clean your whetstone.

8. Test the sharpness of the knife

Use a tomato or other vegetables to test its sharpness.

After knowing how to sharpen a knife with a whetstone, you may have other questions on whetstone, let's see some common questions.

What's the number on the stone mean?

The number stands for the grit size of the whetstone. The lowers the number, the coarser the grit of the stone. As we mentioned before, sharpening knives should begin with the coarse side(Lower number) which can sharpen the blade quickly. If you want a sharper edge with more precision and polishing, you need fine grit stone to fine-tune your blade. Then, you may have another question, what kind of whetstone should I buy? Don't worry, we'll share it with you.

What kind of whetstone should I buy?

If you are an amateur cook, or just want to find a whetstone for home use, a double-sided whetstone with 400/1000 grit is enough. If you are a pro chef and have higher demand on the whetstone, you can select higher grit stone like 3000/8000.

How to Sharpen a Knife With a Whetstone?

Final Words

In a word, the learning curve of sharpening knives with a whetstone is a little steeper, but once you get it, you can let your knives always stay sharp and work well in the kitchen.

If you don't have a whetstone at home, you can get one here: https://www.fzkaly.com/collections/whetstones.