Sharpening and maintaining your knives is the single most important factor in determining how long they will last and how well they will operate on a regular basis. When it comes to the safe use of knives, a dull knife poses a greater threat than one that is sharp.
This is due to the fact that the workers in the kitchen had to make their way past people who are slicing meat and vegetables. Stones for sharpening knives make it simple to do the necessary daily maintenance on knives.
Discover the ins and outs of using a sharpening stone with the help of our in-depth guide and accompanying video instruction.
A Guide to Using Sharpening Stones
Watch the video that’s been provided below to get instruction on how to sharpen knives using a sharpening stone.
Knife Sharpening Angle
It is recommended by professionals that you sharpen your knives at an angle of 22.5 degrees. To calculate an angle of 22.5 degrees, just follow these few easy steps. In addition, we have included an illustration for you to refer to while you complete the steps.
- Place blade down: The knife should be held so that the blade is pointing down at an angle of ninety degrees.
- Half a turn of the blade involves moving the knife to a 45-degree angle, which cuts in half the space that separates the 90-degree angle and the table.
- Repeat the process of rotating the blade halfway: Once again, slide the knife to an angle that is half of what is left. You should now have a fairly accurate estimation of the correct angle for sharpening. You have the ability to raise or lower the angle, depending on what is required.
The Proper Way to Use a Stone to Sharpen a Knife
You are able to start sharpening your knife after you have determined the appropriate angle for it.
It doesn’t matter whether the sharpening stone you buy is composed of Novaculite, aluminum oxide, or silicon carbide (also known as Arkansas, India, and Crystolon stones), the process of sharpening will be relatively the same regardless of the material.
Make sure that you examine the instructions provided by the manufacturer for any peculiarities.
The actions that you need to do in order to sharpen your kitchen knives are listed below.
- Get ready to work by placing your sharpening stone on top of a damp towel that’s been placed on top of a level surface.
- Make sure the coarse side of the stone is facing up before you start sharpening your knives. Before you begin the process of sharpening your blades, make sure the coarse side of the stone is facing up. This is the fastest method for reshaping the knife blade into its original form after it has been damaged.
- Lubricate the stone: Before attempting to lubricate your sharpening stone, you should consult the manufacturer’s instructions to determine how to do it correctly. Check the stone’s instructions to see whether or if the choice you choose, such as diamond stones, do not need any kind of lubricant at all.
- To begin sharpening, hold your knife at an angle of 22.5 degrees and carefully drag it down and over the stone in a smooth motion, beginning at the heel and working your way up to the tip. This will bring your knife to a razor’s edge.
- Once you have started sharpening, you will need to do this operation five more times. It is possible that you may need to do this action a few more times, depending on how dull the knife is.
- Alternate sides while continuing: After sharpening one side of the knife, flip it over and sharpen the other side using the same action. For the sake of uniformity, you should sharpen this side the same number of times as you sharpen the other side.
- To sharpen the knife, flip it over so that the blade is facing away from you, and then drag it over your palm from the blade’s edge to its heel. Perform this action five times in a row.
- Alternate sides once more: turn the stone over to its other side and sharpen from the toe to the heel five times.
- Finishing the sharpening on the fine side requires you to flip the sharpening stone over to the fine side and then to repeat steps 1 through 5.
Consistency is essential to get the best results when sharpening knives using a sharpening stone. Therefore, make sure that you are always sharpening your knife at the same angle, and that you provide equal attention to both sides of the blade.
How to Make the Most of Your Sharpening Steel
Sharpening steels are perfect for honing the edges of chef knives, which also assist to maintain a straight edge. You may use them to smooth off the edge of your knives after you’ve already sharpened them using a sharpening stone, in addition to honing the edges of your blades with them.
How to Hone a Knife
It is important to understand how to use a sharpening steel to achieve the best quality sharpening.
- To position the steel, you should hold it vertically in your dominant hand, with the end of the steel resting on a cutting board or a work table.
- Position the knife by laying it down horizontally so that the cutting edge is in contact with the steel at the top.
- Angle knife: Using the sharpening steel, rotate the knife so that it is positioned at an angle of about 22.5 degrees.
- To begin honing, move the knife over the sharpening steel in a downward and backward motion, starting at the heel of the knife and working your way up to the tip.
- After you have started, you will need to repeat this action anywhere from five to 10 times.
- Alternate sides: Using the same movements as before, switch to the other side of the blade and steel and continue working.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Flattening a Sharpening Stone
Sharpening stones eventually become uneven in texture due to the fact that the center wears down more rapidly than the edges do. If your sharpening stone is not flattened, it will cause the edges of your kitchen knives to become rounded.
Follow these easy instructions to smooth up the surface of your sharpening stone.
- Placing the stone on a level surface is the first step in the process of leveling it. To ensure that you have a stable platform to work from, we suggest using a cutting board or another level surface.
- Make your choice of lubricant by consulting the instructions that came with your sharpening stone to see whether it should be used with water or oil.
- To lubricate the stone, draw a thin line of oil or water down the center of it. This will allow the stone to slide more easily. Applying little pressure while massaging the oil or water into the sharpening stone will help distribute it.
- Start by making the stone flat by rubbing it with a sand screen disc that has a 100 grit grit rating until it is smooth.
- (Optional) If your stone has coarse scratch marks, you will need to repeat the process you just completed using a sand screen disc that has 400 grit. Alternately, if your stone has not shown much wear, you may just wash it off with some paper that has a grit of 400 and skip the step before that.
It is imperative that you do not use any kind of edible oil, including olive or vegetable oil, on sharpening stones. Honing oils that have been authorized for use with stones should only be used.
How to Determine Whether or Not the Edge of Your Knife Is Sharp Enough
When the burr is no longer there, you will know that your knife is sharp enough. When you sharpen knives, particularly on stones with a coarser grit, you will notice that a burr forms on the side of the edge that is not being sharpened.
It could be hard to see, but it’s quite simple to sense. Run your finger down the spine of the knife all the way to the edge, and pay close attention to whether or not you feel a burr.
As you sharpen each edge, the burr will travel to the other side as you work, and after you’ve experienced this movement on both sides, you may go to the next finer stone in the sequence.
As you go through the grit levels, the burr will eventually become so minute that it will be impossible to detect. You will know that your knife is sharp enough when the burr is no longer there.
How to Keep a Sharpening Stone in Tip-Top Shape
After each usage, just use a wet towel to wipe away any metal shavings and excess oil from your sharpening stone. This will complete the cleaning process. After using your sharpening stone, there is no need to clean it by rinsing or washing it.
After giving your sharpening stone a quick wipe off, you should either put it back in the packaging it came in or put it away somewhere dry.