How to Sharpen Knives With A Whetstone
You've got a great knife, now you need to know how to keep its blade sharp? How to sharpen knives with a whetstone is a key skill in the kitchen!
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Take your sharpening stone and saturate it by submerging it under water for about 5 minutes. Once it is out of the water, place the non-slip side, which should be facing down, into the wooden base. Make sure that the stone is wet throughout the sharpening process. This will guarantee the best results.
Special note: Do not wash off the grey fluid that is produced while sharpening. It improves the process.
While firmly holding the handle, place the knife on the sharpening stone with the blade facing towards you. You want the angle to be about 10 to 20 degrees from the stone. This is hard to eyeball the first couple of times but there should be a gap between the back of the blade and the stone around 5mm. Without pulling out your protractor, just place 3 U.S. quarters underneath to help you start out.
Your free hand should be placed on the blade close to the sharp part of the blade. This will allow you to apply pressure as you sharpen.
By applying a little pressure, move the blade up and down on the sharpening stone. Be sure that you are keeping a consistent angle between the blade and the stone.
After 5 or so repetitions, you will notice a burr becoming visible. A burr is simply the outer layer of metal that you are scraping while you grind. It lets you know that your knife is, in fact, being sharpened. So if you don’t see the burr then your knife is not sharp on that side.
If you have a large blade then you will have to divide the knife, in your head, into 3 sections. If you do this then be sure to always begin from the tip and then work your way back to the bolster.
"The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools."
Once you see a good amount of burr then turn the knife over where the blade is now facing away from you. Of course, keep the same angle of 10 to 20 degrees as you move the knife up and down the stone. Alternate sharpening both sides about 5 to 10 times.
Removing the Burr
For this step, just run the knife flat against the edges of the stone from the bolster to the tip and then rinse off under running water. Please dry it very carefully, it is sharp!
Testing the Sharpness
To test the sharpness of your knife take a sheet of paper and let the knife drop through with its own weight. If the sharpness is not to your liking then repeat the process again until the desired sharpness is achieved. After you are finished then clear away all the leftover residue of the sharpening stone, dry it, and keep in a cool dry place, out of direct sunlight, until the next use.
Remember your knife is now super sharp, I know that seems obvious, bit when you've been used to your knives, then all of a sudden they are much sharper, well - I've been cut before! Be careful - remember you are using the best knives there are!
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