Home Articles How To Choose And Use A Sharpening Stone For Your Kitchen Knives

How To Choose And Use A Sharpening Stone For Your Kitchen Knives

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Kitchen knives are the most used knives in the world. So, they get dull faster than any other knife. No matter how high quality your knife is, it will lose its sharpness over time if used regularly. The only solution is sharpening it at least once a month. From sharpening stone to honing steel, there are many ways you can keep your knife sharp.

How to choose the best sharpening stone for your knife?

You should keep in mind the sharpening skill is easy to learn but hard to master. Choosing the right sharpening stone is very important. It depends on the condition and quality of your knife. You will need rough stones if the knife is too dull or rusty. Normally, a smooth stone is used after using the rough stone.

Try to cut a piece of paper using your knife. If it smoothly cuts, then the knife is sharp enough but if it gets stuck or if the cut is not smooth you can use around 2500 grain size stones for optimal results.

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Stones of grain size 5000 and over are mainly used for polishing purposes. They will also sharpen your knife slightly, but they were mainly made for polishing purposes. If you expect to see a mirror-like shine from your knife, use a sharpening stone of 700 or above.

The lower the stone grain size the rougher it is. Rough stones are used for restoring a blunt knife. Medium and high grain sizes are used for day to day sharpening. You can also find stones with multi grits.

Now that the grain size has been explained here are some types of stone you will find to be most common:

Water Stone: these types of stones are very strong. They cut deep into the steel blade. As the name suggests, water is used to these stones before using for sharpening purposes. They are sometimes submerged in water for hours. You can sharpen your knife very fast using these stones but keep in mind that the blade won’t be as fine as oil stones.

Oil Stone: The most common sharpening stones are oil stones. You will need to apply sharpening oil or mineral oil on the stone before you start sharpening your knife. We suggest not to use vegetable oils. They cut through the blade slowly thus take longer to sharpen but gives the finest result in terms of blade smoothness.

Ceramic Stones: Ceramic sharpening stones are very common and cheap, but they tend to be of low quality. There are high-quality ceramic stones available in the market but its hard to determine for a layman which one is the best. So, we suggest not to use ceramic stone unless you have no other way. Water is used in ceramic stones for sharpening purposes instead of oil.

Diamond stone: As the name suggests they are the strongest type of sharpening stones. If you don’t know what you are doing, these stones can cause irreparable damage to your knife. They cut through knife steel smoothly but leave scratches on the blade. So you will need to smoothen the blade after using a diamond stone.

There are some expensive Japanese natural sharpening stones and their synthetic versions. But those are for pros. If you are not an expert knife sharpener, you don’t need to waste your money on those stones.

How to sharpen the knife using sharpening stone?

https://www.pexels.com/photo/cooking-cutting-cutting-board-hands-244395/Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle, with respect to the stone surface, and draw it across the stone at a constant speed. The motion would be in the opposite direction of the blade. Keep doing it for 5 minutes then do the same thing on the other side of your blade. After that, do the same thing again but this time the motion would be in the direction of the knife.

You have to keep in mind that every time you use a sharpening stone, it is reducing the steel content of your knife. So, we suggest you sharpen your knife once a week and use a honing rod every day. Honing steel doesn’t eat away the steel content and yet makes your knife sharp.

Knife sharpening is a skill that takes minutes to learn but years to master. With practice, your ability to sharpen a knife using sharpening stones will get better with time. With regular use of honing steel and sharpening stone, your knife will always remain razor-sharp.