When sharpening a knife, you're actually grinding away the existing blade to create a new edge. This is evidenced by the fact that upon completion, you can find tiny metal filings, called swarf, when wiping down the stone. Because the metal blade is actually being ground away, a high importance is placed on the technique and consistency of drawing a knife over the stone.
Silicone Carbide whetstones on the other hand, are the fastest cutting of the three types of oil stones and the stones made by Norton are called Crystolon Stones. Also they too are graded as either fine, medium, or coarse stones depending on their grit. But, although these stones will not produce an edge as fine as Arkansas Oil Stones or India Oil Stones, their fast cutting ability makes them ideal for sharpening tools as well as for cutting the initial edge bevel on extremely dull knives or repairing the edge on damaged blades. Last, because they sharpen so quickly, it a common practice to start with a coarse Crystolon Oil Stone and then progress to either a medium or fine India Oil Stone and then to finish with an Arkansas Oil Stone.
This is an important but often confusing aspect of the sharpening process. When you sharpen knives, especially on coarser stones, you'll notice a burr form on the opposite side of the edge. It can be difficult to see, but easy to feel. Carefully feel for the burr by running your finger from the spine of the knife to the edge. The burr will jump from side to side as you sharpen each edge, and once you've felt the burr move to both sides, you can move to the next finer stone. Once you get to the finest grit, the burr will become smaller and smaller!
The size of the sharpening stone is a factor to consider before purchasing. The size of your tools determines the size of the stone. If you need a stone for kitchen knives, then a 6-inch stone is good but will not be as effective on larger blades. An 8-12 inch stone is safe to use on hand tools and larger blades. There are pocket size stones that you can carry around. It is crucial for the sharpening stone to be wider than the blade.
Choosing the right sharpening stone for your knife was just the first step. Now, it is also important that you know how to properly use your whetstone, because using it in a wrong way can end up damaging both your knife and the whetstone. However, with only a little bit of practice, learning to use a sharpening stone can be super easy, even for cooks without any professional experience.
We begin our whetstone sharpening process with a 400 grit stone to shape the edge of the blade and develop a burr along the edge of the knife. Once the shape is set and we have a burr along the full length of the knife we move on to the 1000 grit stone to refine the edge and begin removing the burr, followed by the 5000 grit fine stone stone to give a beautiful sharp edge on the blade. We finish off each knife on a leather stropping block which removes the final remnants of the burr and gives a strong and lasting edge.
If you are serious about cooking, or even if you are a professional chef, then chances are you have used Knife sharpening stones, in the past or maybe even very regularly. Knife sharpening stones can take the form of a sharpening stone, a steel rod, sometimes even diamond coated to make it more effective, or an electric sharpener, which can do several knives at once and give great results in a matter of seconds. However, there are also professional knife sharpening services, which a number of professional chefs favor. So how do they line up against sharpening yourself? Read on to find out.
Thanks to the legacy at Kamikoto, I'm the proud owner of the last cooking knives I will ever need. Strong, perfectly balanced, comfortable and beautifully designed. Kamikoto has truly exceeded all expectations. Along with a superior product comes excellent customer service. Every inquiry was answered quickly and diligently. The moment these blades are removed from their casing you can feel the craftsmanship. But it's when you put them to the counter they truly sing. I will enjoy my Kamikoto blades for the rest of my life. Thank you from Hawaii !! Isaac S.
Stone is awesome, stand and rubber holder are awesome. Sharpened my Benchmade griptilian with a 154CM (58-61HRC) stainless steel blade to easily shaving hair in about 10 minutes or less, on the 4000 side. Can probably get it sharper, too. Completely worth the money, and very easy to use after a few minutes of reading - don't waste any money on pre-built sharpeners - they suck.
So you are going to start at the heel and you are going to time it so that it goes all the way across. You go from one side to the other. You also want to make sure that your stone, I am not going to use as much pressure as I normally would because I cannot mount it on this showcase, you want to alternate from side to side to keep your bevel centered. Some people will take and do three times on one side and then three times on the other, the problem is that your backhand is never as good as your forehand and you end up cheating and you are going to end up with a blade that is offset. That is going to take it and thin down, you are going to get a thin bevel right on the edge. Once you get that V established, you can go from the coarser side to the finer side.
Any stone with a flat surface was a perfect candidate for sharpening blades. A sword, however, was sharpened on a circular stone that was rotated by a handle. As you can see, knife sharpening has not undergone a huge technological shift in history. The method of sharpening has stayed consistent, while the materials improved; from flint rock to stainless steel.
In recent years, some whetstone manufacturers have started producing ceramic whetstones made from hard, ceramic, powders that are mixed with Aluminum Oxide and then sintered to form a solid. But, rather than using oil or water to lubricate the whetstone, ceramic whetstones are meant to be used without lubrication and thus, they provide a significant advantage for chefs who need to keep their knives sharp but, who do not have either the room or time for using a bench water stone. Thus, they are commonly available as either bench stones, pocket stones, round rods, or triangular rods.
The answer to the question of how to choose a single whetstone from among the many is actually one of both purpose and expense. Indeed, as the old adage says: “You get what you pay for” – This is certainly the case with sharpening stones. In fact, as a general rule, a high quality, natural, whetstone is significantly more expensive than a man-made whetstone but, they also tend to produce a noticeably finer edge than man-made stones do. On the other hand, man-made whetstones (with the exception of diamond hones) are very affordable and, just like natural whetstones, they too are available in different grits for different stages in the sharpening process from cutting the initial edge bevel to polishing a finely honed edge.
Now you may wonder, if a finer stone produces a better cutting edge why do I need a coarse stone at all? The answer is that finer stones work much more slowly than coarse ones. The amount of metal a fine stone removes with each pass is much less than what a coarse stone removes. If you have an edge with a good shape to it from a coarse stone, this is not a problem because the fine stone doesn’t have to remove much metal to improve the edge. If the edge is dull, it will take many times longer to reshape it with a fine stone than it would with a coarse one.

Their lifespan has no competition, they last so long and do not reduce their effectiveness during that time. The only secret with ceramic stones is that you should take maintenance seriously else they will wear before they are due. The other beauty of these stones is that they need no lubrication you can use them dry. They will give you a very sharp and fine blade after which you need to scrub them to remove the metal particles. Ceramic stones are very hard which means that they can remain flat for decades. The downside to ceramic stones is that they only provide you with fine grit and if it falls, it breaks easily into pieces.
Their lifespan has no competition, they last so long and do not reduce their effectiveness during that time. The only secret with ceramic stones is that you should take maintenance seriously else they will wear before they are due. The other beauty of these stones is that they need no lubrication you can use them dry. They will give you a very sharp and fine blade after which you need to scrub them to remove the metal particles. Ceramic stones are very hard which means that they can remain flat for decades. The downside to ceramic stones is that they only provide you with fine grit and if it falls, it breaks easily into pieces.
Selecting the proper coarseness for your sharpening stone is an important first step in sharpening your knife. Not every knife needs to start at the coarsest stone you have, on the other hand a very dull knife can not be sharpened on only your finest stone. Starting with the proper coarseness will ensure that you achieve the edge you need quickly. If your knife is very dull or has a nicked blade, start with your coarsest stone. The coarse stone removes material quickly so a poor edge can be refined quickly. However, the coarse stone must be followed up with your finer stone to refine the edge. If your knife is only slightly dull and just needs a quick touch up, starting at a medium or fine stone can save you time. Starting on a fine stone requires fewer steps but must only be used on an edge requiring little work.
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Beginning on the right side of the knife, move from tip to heel and heel to tip, then flip the knife and repeat. For the left side, it’s opposite—start at the top of the stone to reach the heel area completely. So, you will move from heel to tip and then tip to heel. Remember to apply and release pressure as you did earlier, exactly the same as in Step 2, but with light, refining pressure.
The grit range is important only in regards to the type of knives you will sharpen. It is entirely up to the consumer and how they utilize their knives. Obviously you want a stone that is capable of sharpening all your blades to the appropriate sharpness. As a rule of thumb, the higher the grit, the more you will be able to get the finest razor's edge. However, this might mean several more swipes back and forth along the stone, which can be quite time consuming.
These stones require oil application on them before using them. It helps with ensuring that the particles chipping from the blades do not remain on the stone. Stones that use natural oils are known as Arkansas stones. Lubrication is essential because it contributes to preserve the life of the stone and also ensure that it works efficiently. There are many different grits on oil stones that each function uniquely. Using the coarse and the medium grits removes the metal around the edges of the blade very fast. Oil stones are very lasting because they are from silicon or aluminum oxide. The sharpening surfaces remain flat for a long time due to the strength of these rocks. The only downside to oil stones is that you get oily when sharpening and that you have to buy oil.
To be honest, sharpening blades is more of an art form than anything. There is a reason why there are so many online tutorials and guides that explain how to do it. The most important thing to remember is this; you can incorrectly sharpen a blade. Doing so can damage the blade and leave you in a worse spot than what you were initially. Unless you have experience doing this and really have a knack for it, you will most certainly want to look for models that include instructions or access to online guides (or an eBook).
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