By January 25, 20134 Comments

How I Use a Japanese Water Stone to Sharpen Knives

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I started buying nicer knives since 2004. Every year or two I’d buy another nice knife in the $75 – $150 range. Then I moved to Minnesota, and one of the world’s only Wusthof factory outlets is here. Now I’m up to ten kitchen knives, seven of which are plain-edged. That’s not counting my utility or defense knives. I got tired of spending $3 – $5 per knife to have them professionally sharpened, and it was a hassle for me to drop my knives off, pick them up again, and deal with not having them in the house until the shop was finished.

I began my research into sharpening my knives at home. I remember my father using oil and stone when I was younger. I wasn’t opposed to sharpening by hand. I figured it allowed me more control, and I had read quite a few stories of people who wrecked the edge of their blades using electric systems. What I wanted to avoid, for whatever reason, was using an oil. I wanted to keep my tool kit as small as possible, and also avoid having to research what type of oil to use, which oil was best, etc. I was learning everything from scratch, and I wanted to minimize what I was taking on.

After watching a lot of videos on YouTube and trying various techniques, I put together a video on what works for me.

It’s important to stress that a lot of effective knife sharpening comes from experience. I am total novice, so what works for me may not work for you. I encourage you to watch others and buy a practice knife.

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4 Comments on "How I Use a Japanese Water Stone to Sharpen Knives"

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  1. Brice says:

    After watching, I think you’re going to have a serious issue with edge geometry at the tip. The knife butt must be raised as the tip is approached or the angle on the tip will be much shallower than the rest of the blade, resulting in an easily damaged edge near the tip.

  2. Leo says:

    Great video and I applaud your efforts. I do prefer to use oil, but that is an altogether different technique. However, I do notice that your stones do have some left over steel, or basically iron. I have tried using mild mixture of hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid) to eliminate the small iron filings. They will eventually clog up a stone, and I find that wiping the material down does only a 95% job. However, recently I have had some success using a rare earth magnet, and that seems to pickup those pesky and accumulating particles.

  3. DrFaulken says:

    Thanks for the comment! I have some strong magnets at the house, I will run them over the stone after I have sharpened a few more knives.

    I welcome any advice, since I am a knife sharpening novice.

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