Sharpening Kitchen Knives With a Whetstone

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Can you use a whetstone to sharpen kitchen knives?

One of the ways to sharpen a knife is with a whetstone. Using a whetstone may take a bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to keep knives razor-sharp while saving time and money. One important note: “Whet” doesn’t mean “wet” — it means sharpen, although some whetstones require soaking.

What is the best way to sharpen a knife with a whetstone?

Start sharpening the right side of the blade. With the tip of the knife at the bottom of the whetstone, push the knife to the top away from you. While doing so, apply pressure with two fingers on the blade. Those two fingers should be placed as close to the edge of the knife as possible without touching the stone.

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How long does it take to sharpen knife with whetstone?

Ideally, you should sharpen your knife while it is still relatively sharp. If you do this, the knife will only need five or ten minutes against the stone to sharpen. If you put off sharpening until the knife is truly dull, then you will need to spend significantly more time.

Should you push or pull on a whetstone?

Push the point you want to sharpen with your fingers. While keeping the angle and pushing the point with your fingers, stroke the blade until it reaches the other edge of the whetstone, then pull the blade back until it reaches the edge of the whetstone.

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How can you tell if a sharpening stone is oil or water?

Feel the surface: Gently run your fingers along the stone’s surface. While a water stone is porous, it has a smooth feel, while an oil stone will feel rough. Look at the color: A water stone is usually gray or black, but some may be brown.

Is a whetstone better than a sharpener?

A lot of tools can bring dull blades back to life, but professional chefs and experts agree that the best knife sharpener is a whetstone. That’s because every time you sharpen a knife, you remove metal from its edge, wearing away at your precious blade.

Do you sharpen a knife in one direction?

If you’re using a small portable sharpener, stroke the blade in nearly a straight direction. Remember to always cut into the stone and never pull or drag your edge backwards. The blade edge should face in the same direction as your stroke. So, you’re essentially moving the metal away from the edge.

Do you sharpen both sides of a knife?

When you sharpen a knife, sharpen each side to the same degree by holding the knife at a consistent angle against the stone. Don’t confuse this angle with the angle at which the two sides of the blade meet, which is called the included angle.

How do you sharpen a knife with a whetstone for beginners?

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How many times should you sharpen a knife on a whetstone?

Hone each time you use your knives, sharpen 1-2 times a year. Apply pressure with the trailing stroke, remove it with the leading stroke. Achieving the right angle takes practice, so don’t worry if it’s a bit tricky the first time.

Do you put water on a whetstone?

First, you will soak your whetstone in water. Fine grit whetstones only need a few minutes of soaking; some chefs do not soak their fine grit stones to prevent any risk of cracking. Coarse grit whetstones should soak for 15 to 20 minutes. Once soaked, place a coarse grit whetstone on top of a kitchen towel.

How many swipes do you need to sharpen a knife?

You want to get that angle right, whether it’s around 15 degrees for a Japanese knife or 20 degrees on a German or French blade. Then swipe slowly down, away from you, making sure the whole blade is honed – around five swipes on each side should do.

How many passes on a whetstone?

Hold the blade at about 20-degrees and with light pressure rake the blade across the stone, being sure to hit the whole blade. You’ll want to make about 10 passes.

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Does stropping sharpen a knife?

Stropping is a vital process in knife sharpening that does the following: realigns a knife’s cutting edge, removes any excess metal, and last but not least polishes and smoothens the blade.

What angle do you sharpen kitchen knives at?

Sharpening your knives at a 15 to 20 degree angle will provide the best results when preparing food. This angle makes the blade edge sharp enough to provide a clean cut through foods whilst retaining durability through constant use.

What do professionals use to sharpen knives?

A honing steel is a tool used by many professional cooks to realign knife blades.

How do chefs keep their knives sharp?

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Can you use WD-40 to sharpen a knife?

Unfortunately, you shouldn’t be using WD-40 as a honing oil alternative. The reason why WD-40 doesn’t work well for honing stones is the very fact that this is a water displacement solution that will quickly dry up.

Can I use olive oil on a sharpening stone?

Never apply food oils such as vegetable or olive oil to sharpening stones. Only use honing oils approved for sharpening stones.

How do you refresh a sharpening stone?

Use WD-40 to coat your stone. The specially formulated oil spray known as WD-40 is great for cleaning sharpening stone, as well as serve different purposes. Spray the oil on the surface of the stone and ensure you coat the entire surface with the oil.

Can you ruin a knife with a whetstone?

That said, the technique can be hard to master (as more in-depth explanations of whetstones make very clear). “It requires a lot of training and one can easily ruin their expensive knife if they improperly sharpen it. It also requires a lot of time.”

How to Sharpen a Knife on a Whetstone

What whetstones do chefs use?

For chefs who desire an extremely sharp knife, we suggest using a 10000 grit stone. A 10000 grit stone can be used for an extremely fine edges and mirror polishing but is recommended for individuals who are highly skilled with whetstone sharpening.

Is it better to push or pull when sharpening a knife?

Apply forces when pushing the knife away while the cutting edge is facing yourself (edge trailing stroke) is recommended. Pulling the knife towards yourself while the cutting edge is facing your side (edge leading stroke) is not recommended because it is generally harder to handle and more dangerous.

Why are Japanese knives sharpened on one side?

This is due to the fact they only need to be honed on one side so it is easier to create a much smaller, thus sharper, angle. This allows precision slicing, dicing and cutting which is essential in Japanese cuisine, particularly when crafting sushi.

Do you sharpen both sides of a serrated knife?

You’ll also notice that one side of the blade is beveled (meaning it has indentations in it) whereas the other side is flat. So when sharpening a serrated knife, you need to sharpen each one of these beveled serrations separately, one at a time.

What is the last thing you must do after sharpening a knife?

You’ll know to stop sharpening your knife when you feel the burr on both sides of the blade. The last step in sharpening is to remove the burr. This is done by simply repeating the same steps, only this time with less pressure.

How To Sharpen a Knife with a Whetstone - Kitchen Knife Sharpening

Should you wash a knife after sharpening?

Yes, you should clean after sharpening, which is not the same as honing. No, after honing, it’s not necessary. By sharpening, you take some metal off the edge of the knife to create an edge. By honing, you realign the edge of the knife.

Can a knife be too sharp?

The easy answer to this is no. Kitchen knives are meant to be sharp and the sharper they are, the better they work. Of course, if you are brand new in the kitchen, an incredibly sharp knife could lead to serious injury.

Which side of whetstone is coarse?

Whetstones generally have two sides: coarse and fine grit. The coarse side works to pre-sharpen by grinding off the rough edge and any burrs. The fine grit side finishes off the work by working that dull blade into a super sharp edge.

How long should a whetstone soak?

Soak your sharpening stone in water before you use it – five minutes is usually enough, ten minutes is acceptable for coarse stones. For sharpening, rest the stone on a non-slip base or wedge it firmly between two pieces of wood.

What happens if you use a whetstone dry?

In all but one of the cases, the dry stones quickly slowed and some even became useless. In addition, the majority of the stones used dry required more time and effort to clean or resurface afterwards than the stones used wet, most of which could simply be wiped off and put away.

What kind of oil do you use on a whetstone?

Mineral oil is an ideal candidate for sharpening because it is light and does not harden or go rancid. A light oil is desirable because a heavy or viscous oil will interfere with the sharpening action of the stone.

Is it possible to sharpen cheap knives?

While most cheap serrated knives can be sharpened and made to be as sharp as more expensive serrated knives, micro serrated knives cannot be sharpened. These are recognised by the sharp jagged cutting edge.

Can you sharpen serrated knives with a whetstone?

Whetstone sharpening is the best way to sharpen knives with straight edges, but this method won’t work for serrated edges. Using a whetstone on a serrated knife will only grind down its serrations, making it more like a regular chef’s knife – obviously defeating the purpose.

Are Japanese knives 15 or 20 degrees?

The correct sharpening angle for a Japanese knife is 10 – 15 degrees on one single side. Most Japanese knives are now double bevel meaning the blade needs to be sharpened to 10 – 15 degrees on the other side as well. For double bevel knives, the sharpening angle needs to be 20 – 30 degrees in total.

What angle are Japanese knives sharpened at?

Some knives (typically Japanese manufacturers) will sharpen their knives to roughly 17 degrees. Most western knives are roughly 20 degrees. In fact, a 20 degrees angle is often considered the best sharing point for most knives.

How are Japanese knives so sharp?

Most quality Japanese knives can be sharpened to a much finer angle at the cutting edge because of the harder steel. This contributes to a sharper knife that slices and cuts through food with ease and with the additional benefit of less pressure on the muscles and joints in the hand.

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