A Comprehensive Guide to Sharpening Knives with a Sharpening Stone

Sharpening knives is an essential culinary skill that enhances the performance and safety of your knives. Among the various sharpening methods, using a sharpening stone, also known as a whetstone, is preferred by professionals for its ability to remove minimal steel while creating a long-lasting edge. This guide will provide a step-by-step approach to using a sharpening stone effectively, ensuring your knives remain sharp and ready for precise cutting.

Understanding Sharpening Stones

Sharpening stones are rectangular blocks made of a gritty material that effectively sharpens knives. They come in various grits, with lower grits being coarser and higher grits being finer. For general sharpening purposes, a medium-grit stone (around 1000 grit) is a good starting point.

Step-by-Step Sharpening Instructions

1. Prepare Your Workspace:

  • Place the sharpening stone on a moist towel on a flat surface to prevent it from slipping.
  • Ensure the coarse side of the stone is facing up for initial sharpening.

2. Lubricate the Stone:

  • Check the manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate lubricant. Some stones require water, while others may use oil or honing solution.

3. Establish the Correct Angle:

  • Hold the knife at a 22.5-degree angle to the stone. This angle can be estimated by placing the blade down at a 90-degree angle and then rotating it halfway.

4. Sharpen the Blade:

  • Slowly draw the knife down and across the stone in a smooth motion, starting from the heel and ending at the tip.
  • Repeat this motion 5-10 times on each side of the blade.

5. Refine the Edge:

  • Flip the stone to the fine side and repeat steps 4 and 5. This step helps refine the edge and remove any burrs created during sharpening.

6. Hone the Blade (Optional):

  • Use a honing steel to align the blade edge and further enhance sharpness. Hold the steel vertically and draw the knife down the rod 5-10 times on each side.

Maintaining Your Sharpening Stone

  • Flatten the stone regularly using sandpaper to maintain an even surface.
  • Clean the stone after use with a damp cloth to remove metal shavings and oil.

Safety Precautions

  • Always wear cut-resistant gloves when handling sharp knives.
  • Keep the sharpening stone stable and secure during use.
  • Store the sharpening stone in a dry place when not in use.

Sharpening knives with a sharpening stone is a valuable skill that can significantly improve your culinary experience. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively sharpen your knives, ensuring they remain sharp, precise, and safe to use. Remember to practice regularly to master the technique and keep your knives in optimal condition.


  • {“smallUrl”:”https://www. wikihow. com/s/thumb/8/8b/Sharpen-a-Knife-With-a-Stone-Step-4-Version-5. jpg/v4-460px-Sharpen-a-Knife-With-a-Stone-Step-4-Version-5. jpg”,”bigUrl”:”/s/thumb/8/8b/Sharpen-a-Knife-With-a-Stone-Step-4-Version-5. jpg/aid2723480-v4-728px-Sharpen-a-Knife-With-a-Stone-Step-4-Version-5. jpg”,”smallWidth”:460,”smallHeight”:259,”bigWidth”:728,”bigHeight”:410,”licensing”:”u00a9 2024 wikiHow, Inc. All rights reserved. wikiHow, Inc. is the copyright holder of this under U. S. and international copyright laws. The Creative Commons license that applies to text content and certain other materials uploaded to the wikiHow website does not apply to this. This cannot be utilized by another organization without wikiHow, Inc.’s explicit written permission. <p><p><p></div>”} 1 Adhere to the directions that came with your stone. Since sharpening stones vary so much, it’s crucial to follow the instructions included with your stone. The instructions will specify whether the stone needs to be lubricated with oil or should be soaked in water while being sharpened. Generally speaking, diamond stones can be used dry or lubricated with water.
  • 2 Practice holding the knife at a 20 degree angle. The majority of straight blades require a 20 degree angle when sharpened. Hold the directly in front of you so that it is straight up and down to determine the angle. This is 90 degrees. Halfway toward the table, tilt the knife to a 45-degree angle. Once more, tilt the knife halfway, to about an inch (2 5 cm) above the table. This should be a 20 degree angle. [4] If the blade on your knife is particularly thick or large, you may need to sharpen it at a larger angle. You might want to use an even shallower (lower) angle if you’re using a very coarse stone to avoid sharpening off too much of the blade.
  • 3 Soak the water stone for 45 minutes. If you’re using a water stone, set it on a tray and cover the entire surface with water. Before you start sharpening your knives, let the stone soak for at least forty-five minutes. [5] Your knife blades may get scratched or nicked by an overly dry stone. An oil stone can be damaged if it is submerged in water, so avoid doing that.
  • 4 Place the stone on a damp cloth. Run water over a wash cloth and wring it out. Place the stone on the damp cloth that has been laid out on your work surface. When sharpening your knives, the cloth will hold the stone in place. Place any kind of stone—diamond, oil, or wet—on the fabric. Place the coarser side of the stone—if it has different grits on both sides—facing up. This allows you to quickly sharpen your knives before polishing them by turning the stone over. Since you won’t be able to wash the grit out of it, you might want to use an old cloth for this.
  • 5 Lubricate an oil stone. If the stone you’re using needs to be oiled, you can either pour some oil directly onto it or spray it on. Use your fingers to massage the oil into the stone. Ensure that the stone is completely coated in the oil. [6] Oil that is designated as sharpening or honing oil can be used. Typically, mineral oils or non-petroleum products are used to make these. They contain additives that protect the metal of your blades. Avoid lubricating the stone with cooking oils (like canola or vegetable oil).
  • Advertisement Part

You Might Also Like

Before using a whetstone, also called a sharpening stone, soak it in water or honing oil for forty-five minutes. The stone should then be placed on top of a cloth-covered cutting board so that it is facing you long way. Place the knife’s heel on the edge that is farthest away from you, then angle the blade upward to a 15-degree angle. Maintain your nondominant hand on top of the blade close to the tip and your dominant hand on the handle with your index finger pressing down on top of the blade. Firmly and evenly press the knife against the stone, dragging it over its edge as you move it in your direction so that the stone is rubbed by the full edge of the blade. Depending on how dull your knife is, do this 20–30 times. Then, flip the blade over and sharpen the other side. Lastly, to get rid of any dirt and residue, wash your knife and pat it dry with a towel. Scroll down to find out how to sharpen a knife using an oil stone!

How to Use a Sharpening Stone | Knives

Leave a Comment