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How to Sharpen a Knife With a Stone

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Learn how to sharpen a knife with a stone!

Learn how to sharpen a knife with a stone!

Maintaining the Essential Kitchen Tool

The knife is one of the most important kitchen tools, but it is important that it be kept sharp in order to do its job effectively. The best way to keep your knife sharp is to use a specialized sharpening stone.

Chefs have different opinions, however, about the best methods for using a stone. There are different schools of thought about whether the knife blade should be run over a stone from heel to tip or vice versa. There are also different opinions about whether to use any lubricant or water during the process. However, most people agree that the stroke direction must be consistent to achieve a well-honed blade.

Towel, knife, and sharpening stone

Towel, knife, and sharpening stone

What You Need

  • Knife: A knife is considered to be one of the most important tools in the kitchen, and it is important to keep it sharp. Many chefs believe that dull knives lead to more accidents than sharpened knives.
  • Sharpening Stone: This is a tool used to sharpen the blade of a knife. A sharpening stone has two sides: the rough or coarse side for the initial procedure and the smoother or fine side for the finishing touches.
  • Towel: It is important to lay a piece of cloth underneath the stone to prevent it from slipping during the procedure.


  1. Lay down the towel on a flat surface.
  2. Place the sharpening stone vertically on top of the towel, rough side facing up.
  3. Position the heel of the knife at a 20-degree angle on the top left of the sharpening stone.
  4. Hold the knife across the tip.
  5. Drag the knife all the way down until the tip reaches the right bottom part of the stone.
  6. Turn the knife over to sharpen the other side of the blade.
  7. This time, start from the tip. Then run the entire edge going back to its original position: at the left top part of the stone.
  8. Repeat this procedure a couple of times to achieve a sharp blade.
  9. After making a couple of strokes, turn over the stone. Follow the same procedure, this time using the more finely-grained side of the stone.

Knife Sharpening Techniques

  • Use a damp cloth or rubber mat to prevent the sharpening stone from slipping.
  • Lubricate the stone with oil or water if needed.
  • Apply enough pressure onto the knife while letting it run over the surface of the stone.
  • Move the knife blade away from you at all times.
  • Make equal numbers of strokes on each side of the blade.
  • Start sharpening the blade using the coarse side. Then finish with the fine side.
  • Wash the knife before using it to remove all debris.

Other Sharpening Tools

  • Steels: Steel rods are used to realign the blade edge during normal use. Steels are not intended to replace sharpening stones; their function is to maintain the quality of the knife blade.
  • Electric Knife Sharpeners: These gadgets are made with an abrasive surface, such as belts or wheels. They typically operate at a high speed that will grind away too much of the blade, which may result in serious damage. These sharpeners will shorten the useful life of a knife.

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