Sharpening with a whetstone

How to Use a Whetstone

One way of keeping your knives in good condition is to know how to use a whetstone. With proper sharpening techniques plus a bit of practice, you can extend the quality of your knives, save money, and work more efficiently in the kitchen.

A whetstone typically has two sides. The coarse grit removes blade roughness while the fine grit lets you maintain a polished knife edge. Follow these simple steps to bring your knives back to peak sharpness.

Step 1: Soak your whetstone in water

Submerge your whetstone in water for 5 to 10 minutes and continue to apply water while sharpening. The water combines with the small particles released from the stone to form an abrasive substance, allowing sharpening to take place.

Step 2: Pre-sharpen the knife

With the coarse side up, move the knife blade back and forth against the stone at an angle of 10 to 15 degrees. You may use a guide rail so you can sharpen at the same angle every time. This is a handy tool to have while you are still learning how to use a whetstone. Apply light or moderate pressure as you slide the knife away from you. This step is the pre-sharpening stage and removes roughness. Repeat this step on the knife’s opposite side.

Step 3: Polish the knife edges

Switch to the fine grit of the whetstone to sharpen and polish the edges of your knife. Repeat several times, making sure that you maintain the same sharpening angle.

Step 4: Wash the knife after sharpening

Rinse off the stone and your knife to remove any debris. Dry and put away your sharpened knife in a safe place until you are ready to do some prep work. You may also want to read this article to learn more tips on how to care for your knives and keep them in tip-top shape.

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