How to Sharpen a Knife With a Whetstone – Step-by-Step Guide
Sharpening a knife with a whetstone can seem a little complicated if you’ve never done so before. However, keeping your knives nice and sharp is an important part of kitchen maintenance. Plus, with the right technique, you can sharpen your knives quickly and easily using this handy piece of equipment.
Whetstones are also known as sharpening stones, and you can get them in a range of different grades. Their main purpose is to sharpen the edges of knife blades, so you can enjoy cutting and chopping your ingredients with ease.
If you’ve recently purchased a whetstone and have no idea how to use it properly to sharpen your knives, here is a simple step-by-step guide to help you out.
Find the Right Type of Whetstone
Whetstones are available in various grades, so the first step is to select the right one for your needs. The different grades refer to how coarse the whetstone is, ranging from coarse to fine.
If your knives are all very blunt, you’re best using a very coarse whetstone at first. You can then move onto a finer whetstone to produce a sharp and sleek finish. If your knife is already fairly sharp, you a medium or fine stone should suffice.
Prepare the Whetstone
Before you begin sharpening, you need to prepare the whetstone. You’ll need to soak the stone in water for around 10-15 minutes if it is a water stone. If you’re using an oil stone, use a honing oil to soak it before use.
By soaking the whetstone, you can ensure that it is adequately lubricated to prevent it from getting damaged when you’re using it to sharpen your knives.
Position the Whetstone
After you have soaked the whetstone, you need to place it in the correct position. You’ll need to place the whetstone down on a flat, non-slip surface (with the coarse side facing upward) so that it doesn’t move when you apply pressure.
You also need to find the right angle to sharpen your knives. You’ll find the required angle in the manufacturer’s instructions, and it will vary depending on the type of knife you are sharpening. However, the general guideline for effective knife sharpening is to hold the knife at a 20-degree angle to the whetstone.
Sharpen Your Knives
Now it’s time to start sharpening. Hold the knife firmly with one hand and the whetstone with the other hand. Place the knife at the correct angle as per the manufacturer’s recommendation, and begin sliding the blade back and forth across the whetstone.
Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this could damage the knife blade. Try and keep the angle consistent throughout the sharpening process to get an even finish. Make sure to sharpen both sides of the knife blade too.
Switch to a Finer Whetstone if Necessary
Depending on the bluntness of the knife blade, you might need to switch to a more finely coarse whetstone after you’re completed the initial sharpening. Repeat the same steps as above until your knife is adequately sharpened.