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07/11/2018 / By Frances Bloomfield
Japanese whestones are tried-and-tested tools for keeping your knives sharp. These humble stone slabs are a must-have tool for any knife enthusiast. If you’re a novice at knives or have simply never used a whetstone before, then you’re in luck. Below is a guide on how to use a whetstone to keep your favorite knives — whether they be hunting knives or kitchen knives — from getting dull and chipped. (h/t to GearJunkie.com.)
Before sharpening your knife, make it a point to soak your whetstone for at least 24 hours. This is a must, according to master sushi chef Hiroyuki Terada, who stated that the moisture will “keep the knife from scratching against a harsh surface and damaging the blade.” If you’re pressed for time, then you can simply submerge the whetstone in water for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it stops bubbling.
As for your workstation, you’ll want to place your whetstone in an area with plenty of space and good lighting. You’ll need a stone holder as well, so that your whetstone remains steady while you use it. A good option is your kitchen sink: secure a board or scrap of wood over your sink and position your stone on top of it. This is so that you’ll have a constant source of water to moisten your stone, a must if you were only able to soak it for a few minutes. But if you’re not comfortable with the kitchen sink, then any well-lit place with a sturdy table will do. Just be sure to have water nearby.
There you have it. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right the first time around. Mastering a whetstone requires a lot of practice and a lot of patience. But it’ll all be worth it in the end. After all, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as transforming a dull knife into a sharp one.
Visit Gear.news to learn other important home skills.