How to sharpen kitchen knives with a water stone

1) Soak the stone in water for 2-3 minutes.

The figure of a waterstone inside of a bowl fullfilled with water
The figure of a waterstone on a towel

2) Put the stone on a firm place on top of a wet cloth or, alternatively, a base to hold the stone. (You can make one with a stopper with a wooden board.)

3) Start sharpening after applying some water onto the stone. For best results, hold the knife at a 1Sdegree angle on the 1000 grit stone and finish the edge with a 3000-6000 grit stone.

For both side beveled blade: keep on sharpening until you feel the curled metal and then flip the blade and sharpen the other side.

For one side beveled blade: sharpen the beveled side and simply remove the metal on the flat side by placing the blade flat against the stone.

The figure of showing how to sharpen a knife with a waterstone
The figure of cutting a carrot with a kitchen knife

4) To test the sharpness of the blade, try cutting a piece of paper; or simply try cooking something using the sharpened blade.

Don't try it out on anything hard like cardboard because it will ruin the fine edge you created. (Then you have to start all over again).Kitchen knives are not utility knives. It is for cutting food.

cautionary points

・Carbon steel knives should be wiped dry after sharpening, and after each use.

・Do not use steel poles or butcher's steel to sharpen a Japanese kitchen knife. It will damage the blade and the poles are not really for sharpening but to straighten the blade edge.

・Do not clean it in dishwasher. It will not only cause rust but also ruin the blade edge.

・Do not try to cut bones or frozen foods or coconuts. No matter how sharp a knife is, if it is not designed to specifically cut a hard thing, it will only damage the blade.

want to know more?

  • shirogami vs. aogami white steel vs. blue steel
  • secret techniques of carving chisels
  • sharpening japanese chisels
  • knowledge about waterstones
go back to top