How to Use a Whetstone to Sharpen Knives
A whetstone is used for sharpening knives. A good quality one will last longer than cheap ones. You can buy them at any hardware store or online from Amazon . They are available in different sizes, but they all have the same basic function: they sharpen your knife blade.
The best way to use a whetstone is to hold it against the edge of the knife blade while you sharpen it. You need to keep the whetstone close to your hand so that you don’t accidentally scratch yourself. If you do, just wipe off the excess blood with some tissue paper or cotton ball and continue sharpening. When using a whetstone, try not to move your arm too much when doing so since this could cause scratches on your skin.
You may want to sharpen your knife with a metal whetstone instead if you don’t have access to a whetstone. Metal whetstones are very hard and can easily cut through leather, but they aren’t as flexible as a fine steel whetstone. They’re also harder to clean since they won’t leave behind any residue like cotton wool or tissue paper. You’ll still need to wipe off the excess blood with some tissue paper after sharpening, though.
Soapstone is a rock-like type of stone and it’s mostly used for carving. You need to use a knife with this instead of a whetstone if you have one since the former can’t be used with one. To sharpen your knife, apply some water on the surface of the rock and then rub it with the blade of your knife. Gently move the blade from one end of the rock to the other until you reach the tip.
Try to use even strokes to sharpen the knife evenly. After you’re done, clean the rock with tissue paper or cotton wool and some water.
Quick Navigation Overview
The History of Whetstones 2 What is a Whetstone? 3 How Do You Use a Whetstone? 4 Why Do You Need Sharp Knives?
5 The Different Types of Whetstones
What is the Best Way to Sharpen a Knife? 7 How Do You Sharpen a Knife with a Whetstone? 8 How to Find the Right Whetstone 9 What is the Best Way to Store a Whetstone?
10 Other Important Tips for Using a Whetstone
History of Whetstones
Whetstones have been around since the early days of man. This is because they are very easy to make and they have always been cheap. You need to sharpen your tools so that they can cut properly otherwise you won’t really get the most out of them. That means that even before we had metal, man still needed a way to sharpen his knives and other cutting tools.
The earliest form of whetstones were simply stones that had a rough surface. You would rub your tool against the stone in order to sharpen it. This worked, but it took a very long time. Eventually, people discovered that if they started with a rough stone and then finished with a smooth polished one they got a much sharper edge than they did with just one rough stone.
Even today, modern whetstones are still being made using the same basic methods that people have been using for thousands of years. These days, though, people have access to much sharper and more durable stones than our early ancestors did.
The History of Knife Sharpeners
The first knife sharpeners that were widely available to the masses were made of a hard metal with one abrasive side. You would place your knife in between the metal plates so that they would squeeze together and simultaneously sharpen and smooth the blade of your knife.
Manual sharpeners like these ones were very popular for a very long time. Even today, some people still prefer using them over other types of sharpeners since they can give your knives a very sharp edge. The main drawback to these types of sharpeners is that you need to use a lot of muscle to get your knife as sharp as you want it. This can be a problem if you have a very dull knife or if you’re dealing with a brittle blade.
Manual sharpeners aren’t the only type that you really need to use muscle to operate, either. Some people like to use a whetstone by hand without any help from electricity or other power source. While this does allow you to have a lot of control over the sharpening process, it does take a very long time to do. It also takes a lot of energy so if you’re extremely weak or if you’re dealing with a very dull knife, then this isn’t really an ideal solution for you.
Why Use a Whetstone?
There are many reasons that people choose to use whetstones, here are just a few of the most common ones.
1. It’s Simple – Whetstones are one of the simplest types of sharpeners that you can use.
There is no electric motors or other types of batteries to mess with. You just need to draw your knife through the stone a few times and you’re good to go.
2. They’re Inexpensive – In addition to being very simple to use, whetstones are also very inexpensive which is good if you’re on a budget.
Even the most expensive whetstones are a lot cheaper than a lot of the other types of sharpeners that are out there.
3. They Get Your Knife Very Sharp – No matter what type of knife you have, whetstones will help you get it extremely sharp.
It’s true that you need to put in some work, but the results are definitely worth it.
4. They’re Durable – One good thing about a whetstone is that it will last virtually forever as long as you take care of it.
As long as you don’t drop it down the stairs or step on it you’ll be able to pass it on to future generations.
5. They’re Versatile – While some types of sharpeners are limited in what types of knives you can use them with, pretty much any knife will work with a whetstone.
The Best Whetstones to Use
If you’re going to be using a whetstone to sharpen your knives, then it only makes sense that you need to get the best whetstone that you can otherwise you probably won’t get the results that you’re looking for. Here are a few things that you should look for when getting a whetstone.
Grit – The first thing that you need to consider is the grit of the stone. Typically, whetstones come in either an extra fine, fine, or medium grit. It’s important that you choose a stone that has a grit that is appropriate for the knives that you’re planning on sharpening. For example, it wouldn’t make sense to use a fine grit whetstone for sharpening a large butcher knife.
Size – Another thing that you need to think about is the size of the stone. Typically, whetstones come in three different sizes.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Kitchen Knife Skills: Techniques For Carving Boning Slicing Chopping Dicing Mincing Filleting (M Lumb – 2018 – books.google.com)
- On Choosing the Right Whetstone (B Collins – 2014 – Storey Publishing)
- How to invent artifacts and ideas (T Box – Rangelands, 2006 – BioOne)