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How to Sharpen a Knife with a Stone

How to Sharpen a Knife with a Stone

Having dull knives is a no in every kitchen. They make meal preparation tough and could make you cut your fingers.

Sharpening stones come in handy to ensure your blades are in good working condition. They are available in different materials and sizes to meet your needs. A sharpening stone is easy to utilize and saves you from paying a professional to sharpen your knives. As you purchase different knives, remember to pick high-quality sharpening stones as well. They are must-have tools for chefs, home cooking enthusiasts, and people who enjoy outdoor adventures like hunting, hiking, and camping.

Manufacturers provide sharpening stones in various materials, including silicon carbide, novaculite, and aluminum oxide. The market provides diamond, water, and Arkansas stones to consider. A diamond stone sharpens a blade faster than other stones. It is the hardest abrasive you can get, and it sharpens all steel types and ceramic knives. The stone is also very durable. Arkansas stones consist of quartz and come in different grits.

However, they work more slowly than water stones and diamond stones. On the other hand, water stones vary in price and quality and tend to wear quicker than Arkansas and diamond stones. Take your time to research a stone brand before purchase to ensure you spend money on high-quality water stones that will last you a while.

Sharpening stones also come in different grits ranging from 50-to 30,000. The higher the grit number, the finer the edge you get when sharpening knives. The lower the grit number, the more coarse the sharpening stone. While some stones have a coarse grit on one side and a fine one on the other, others have one type of grit, coarse or fine. Therefore, you have to buy two separate stones to ensure the proper sharpening of your blades.

best way to sharpen a knife

What Is the Best Way to Sharpen a Knife with a Stone?

The best way to sharpen a knife with a stone is to master how to use the stone correctly. For starters, place a cutting board on a flat surface and add a wet kitchen towel before placing your sharpening stone. Next, you need to prep the stone, where you lubricate it with water or oil, depending on the type of stone you use. Doing this prevents the stone from drying out as you sharpen your knife. Some sharpening stones, like diamond stones, do not need lubrication. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions before using a stone.

Place your knife on the stone and start sharpening from the further side of the stone as you slide the blade towards the top. Run the knife gently across the stone from heel to tip to ensure you sharpen the entire blade length. Make sure you use a consistent angle and apply even pressure as you pass the knife over the sharpening stone. Utilize a careful, sweeping motion to ensure proper sharpening of the whole blade.

Which Side of the Sharpening Stone Goes First?

The coarse side of a sharpening stone comes first. It is the quickest way to sharpen your knife. It gets rid of the chips and scuffs on your knife before you can refine it better. Ensure you stick to the same sharpening angle. You can use an angle guide if you like.

  • Place the blade on the stone and raise the back to a 15° angle. Slowly draw the blade across the stone smoothly, beginning from the heel to the tip, and repeat this motion five times.
  • Flip your knife to the other side and sharpen it from heel to tip five times.
  • After this, turn the knife to the side you started with, and this time, sharpen from the tip to heel in five strokes. Do the same for the second side.
  • The next step is refining the edge. Alternate the knife sides on every stroke. Shift from side to side while performing one stroke on every side until the edge has the sharpness you want.

Following these steps ensures that you sharpen both sides of your knife equally to prevent having a lopsided edge. If you have a very dull knife, you may need more strokes on each side to get superior sharpness. You can test how sharp your blade is by slicing a piece of paper or slicing vegetables. A razor-sharp knife slices tomatoes and other vegetables cleanly without smudging them.

How Do You Hold a Sharpening Stone?

How Do You Hold a Sharpening Stone?

Place the sharpening stone on a flat surface. If you are a beginner, you can have your sharpening stone slightly slanted to get you started easily. You do not have to worry about accidentally cutting yourself. With one hand holding the knife handle and fingers of the other hand lightly lying on the knife spine, slide the blade across the stone to sharpen in repeated motions.

If you are an expert at sharpening blades, you can have your stone parallel to the countertop and sharpen your blades as you like. The ideal sharpening angle is 15 degrees, but the angle can range from 15-25 degrees.

What Oil Do You Use on a Sharpening Stone?

Use the approved knife sharpening oil on your stone. Brands recommend applying mineral oil to the stones to prolong their life. Mineral oil is light, does not have an unpleasant smell, and does not solidify on the stone. Never use food oils such as olive or vegetable oil on sharpening stones since they clog up the stone, affecting the sharpening action.

Sharpening stone oil also prevents the accumulation of particles on stones to keep them in proper working condition.  It ensures the friction-reducing properties last longer to give you an easy time sharpening knives.

After sharpening knives for a while, your stone can become uneven. You need to even it out using the provided sand screen disc to ensure it is flat. To clean a sharpening stone, use a damp towel to wipe off metal shavings and excess oil. You can also have the stone under running water to wash off the particle, allow the water to drip, and store it in a dry place wrapped in towels or the box it came with.  Do not clean your sharpening stone with soap.

The Best Sharpening Stone: Our Favorites

The market provides a wide range of sharpening stones. High-quality stones provide efficient sharpening and last long. Here are some of the best sharpening stones to consider buying for your kitchen.

Musashi Sharpening Whetstone #400

The Musashi Sharpening Whetstone #400 is a premium quality stone with three inches of width. It provides sufficient room to sharpen longer knives accurately and faster, giving you an easy time. It is thick, sturdy, and made of high-grade materials to ensure longevity. Moreover, it has a stable wooden base that prevents slipping to ensure safe knife sharpening. The stone also has superior sharpening particles to help you achieve the finest edges on your knives. Enjoy preparing meals with extremely sharp knives, thanks to the Musashi #400 whetstone.

Zwilling Twin Pro Whetstone #250/1000

The Zwilling Twin Pro Whetstone is easy to use. You do not need to pre-soak or oil it before use. Simply add a few drops of water to the stone and start sharpening your knife. The blade will be ready to use in a few minutes. The stone has two sides with different grits, 250 and 1000-grit. The latter is great for refining knives, while the former is suitable for dull knives and reshaping blades. Besides, this stone has a non-slip rubber bottom for safe sharpening experiences. You do not have to buy another whetstone when you have the twin pro stone from Zwilling.

ZWILLING Twin Pro Whetstone #250/1000 Grit

Tojiro Pro Sharpening Stone Pro Whetstone #220

The Tojiro Pro Whetstone #220 is an elegant sharpening stone available in blue color. It looks stunning in every kitchen and is made from properly graded, sintered ceramic. If you have Tojiro knives, this stone would be a valuable purchase. The 220 grit provides a rough grain to help you repair your knives.

Restore your blades to excellent functioning shape and cut through foods easily. The whetstone fosters convenience in the kitchen. Do not buy a new knife when you can fix what you have using the Tojiro 220 whetstone.  

Tojiro Pro Sharpening Stone Pro Whetstone #220

Tojiro Pro Non-Slip Finishing Whetstone #4000

Tojiro also provides a finishing whetstone that adds extra sharpness to your knives. The #4000 stone is made from fine sintered ceramic. It is perfect for Tojiro knives and gives you expert-grade sharpening that ensures accuracy and precision for blades. It has a firm, non-slip plastic base that prevents accidents in the kitchen as it prevents sliding. You can use it daily to refine knife edges and enjoy the sharpness it provides. Tojiro also provides 8000, 400, and 1000-grit sharpening stones and a silicon carbide stone for flattening whetstones.

Tojiro Pro Non-Slip Finishing Whetstone #4000

Closing Thoughts

A knife gets dull with time, and you need a quality sharpening stone to keep it in proper working condition. Brands provide a variety of stones to use available in different sizes and materials. Ensure that you purchase a high-quality stone that is durable and gives your knives the sharpness you need for effortless cutting of ingredients. A sharpening stone is easy to use, does not rely on electricity, and saves you extra maintenance costs. You can buy a stone with fine and coarse grit and enjoy the convenience or get separate stones for sharpening and refining knife edges.  

Also Read: Knife Handle Materials: All You Need to Know

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