How to Use Whetstone: Easy Steps

A detailed guide on what a whetstone is, how to choose and properly use a whetstone to sharpen kitchen knives.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 09, 2023
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You have to keep your knife sharp and ready at all times. Once you have a collection of knives in your kitchen, you must understand the right sharpening methods.

There are several ways to do this. First, you must know how sharp your knives are and use the most appropriate method to sharpen them.

Sharpening knives is not as easy as you might think. You have to be extremely careful to avoid cutting yourself; thus, handling your knives is fundamental to the practice.

Whetstones are perhaps the best ways of sharpening knives while indoors. These methods are cost-saving and offer long-term usability. Ultimately, learning how to use whetstones will present the convenience of cutting your products – blunt knives will never get in the way of your cooking.

So, take time and learn how to use whetstones to sharpen knives to have easy cooking time.

What is a Whetstone?

Also called sharpening stones or water stones (different places have different names for the tool), are surfaces that release particles that sharpen steel.

These stones create a somewhat slurry liquid, which enables excellent sharpening.

Whetstones can be created from natural stones or manufactured. Artificial whetstones combine outstanding qualities from physical design and the most suitable natural elements in stones. These tools are also useful in sharpening steel, different from knives. They can sharpen machetes, scissors, and scythes.

Learning how to use a whetstone to sharpen a knife doesn’t disappoint. Experts recommend the Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone as the best whetstone available on Amazon. The item has a multipurpose use, is safe and easy to use, and is developed in premium quality.

How to Choose a Whetstone

How to Use Whetstone: Easy StepsWhetstones offer different grits. The first thing that you should inspect when choosing whetstones is their coarseness.

Sharpening dull knives is best with whetstones that have #1000 grit or less. You should use whetstones with #4,000 grit or more.

Pebbles can be sharpened with sharp pebble whetstones with 3000/8000 grit. According to most reviews, the best type of pebble whetstones is the Sharp Pebble 3000/8000 Grit Whetstone. It produces razor-sharp knives and has a superior bundle.

Understanding how to use a two-sided whetstone is vital to exploiting the potential of this tool.

How to Properly Use a Whetstone: Step by Step

How to Use Whetstone: Easy StepsSince most knives are used in the kitchen, equipping yourself with knowledge on how to use a whetstone to sharpen a kitchen knife. These are the essential steps to it.

    • Dip the whetstone in water. You should soak the whetstone for approximately ten minutes. Remove it once the bubbles stop coming out. The type of your whetstone determines how long you soak it. It is vital to note that manufactured Whetstones are faster at absorbing water than normal stones. Natural stone can take up to one and half hours to soak, which is quite a long time.
    • Place your whetstone on its base. You can also lay it on a cloth or clamp. It is essential to place your tool at a convenient place to prevent it from unnecessarily tipping off. Whetstones can be damaged too, so take care of it. Furthermore, placing at the wrong position will make it difficult for you to sharpen your knives.
    • Find the best angle to sharpen your knife. This should be about 16-18 degrees. It will be best to hold the knife using one hand and use your fingers to apply pressure to it. You will realize that 10-15 degrees is the best angle once you know how to sharpen a Japanese whetstone. This is according to the traditional Asian push method.
    • Carefully pull the knife towards you. You should slide it diagonally across the whetstone and maintain the pressure all through. You should also not use different angles from the ones mentioned when sharpening your kitchen knives. It is preferable to use three fingers to pressure your knife as you brush it on the stone. After that, make your knife stable by firmly gripping the handle and using the thumb to hold it down. Push your knife on the edge of the stone and slowly push it away from you. Do this process repeatedly. For Asian style sharpening, it is recommended that you use a little pressure while sharpening the blade. The process also prefers sharpening the blade in a sequence, that is, a little at a time. You should check the blade regularly while you sharpen to fit the right level of sharpness you desire. You can stop sharpening one side of the blade when you feel a burr; repeat the same process for the other side of your knife.


These are the most frequently asked questions that you might also be asking yourself.

Enhance your understanding of how to sharpen your knife and do it as regularly as possible.

Can you use a dry whetstone?

Whetstones work well when wet. Oil Trusted Source Honing oil - Wikipedia Honing oil is a liquid, solution or emulsion used to aid in the cutting or grinding of metal, typically by abrasive tools or stones, and may or may not contain oil. It can also be called machining oil, tool oilcutting fluid, and cutting oil. is preferable for sharpening chisels and planes. You can use it to smoothen your stone before you use it. Oil removes the particles that could damage blades. You should always use water to polish your kitchen knives.

How do I polish my kitchen knife?

It would be best if you first soaked your whetstone. Here, it will be best if you know how long to soak whetstone. After that, repeat sharpening your knife with your preferred method. Sharpen it for about two minutes at the proper angle. Use little pressure in this method.

How do I know it’s time to sharpen my knife?

How to Use Whetstone: Easy StepsSharpen your blade at least once a month to maintain its sharpness. Should you experience difficulty cutting the skin of your tomatoes, then it’s the right time to sharpen your knife. Dull blades cannot cut through tomatoes or other soft foods easily.

They create a mess of food, which will not look for your kitchen. You should have an easy time cutting your food when your blade is sharp enough.

What are other ways to sharpen my kitchen knife?

Knives are not sharpened by whetstones only. Electric sharpeners are reliable in the process.

They reduce versatility, which may damage knives. Honing steel is also used by professionals. These tools are durable if well maintained.

However, honing is not best for sharpening knives. The process is used with other methods to have sharp knives.

Sharpening stones are also suitable alternatives to whetstones. Chefs, sculptors, and woodworkers mostly use these stones. The rectangle ones are elegant and used worldwide; they are continuously improved to fit the needs of multiple users. Maintaining these tools also makes them last longer.

How do I maintain my kitchen knives?

Maintaining kitchen knives is a must in the kitchen.

Few things compare to always having sharp knives in your kitchen. The peace of mind that comes with it is priceless.

Dull knives are not convenient, especially if you frequently use them. Knives are fundamental parts of the kitchen and must be maintained just as other valuable appliances.

You should wash and dry them after use. Do not leave them in the dishwasher. Never procrastinate washing your knife. You should also store your knives well. We don’t recommend leaving them loose or lying around. Cover them with plastic knife guards if you don’t have a safe place to store them.

Another step of maintaining kitchen knives is to use a cutting board while cutting. Do not cut food on granite or hard surfaces – a wood cutting board will serve the purpose. You should also hone your knife regularly to maintain its state.

Final Thoughts

Whetstones are still one of the safest and effective methods of sharpening kitchen knives.

You must know how to use a whetstone before trying it out. The methods involved can be at times challenging, especially the best angle for sharpening.

Doing it severally will enhance your sharpening skills. You must also understand that whetstones work best when wet and should be maintained regularly.

Overall, sharp knives will make your cooking better. Furthermore, using whetstones is the cheapest way of sharpening knives in the kitchen.


Honing oil - Wikipedia
Honing oil is a liquid, solution or emulsion used to aid in the cutting or grinding of metal, typically by abrasive tools or stones, and may or may not contain oil. It can also be called machining oil, tool oilcutting fluid, and cutting oil.

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