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Before using the abrasive stone, it should be soaked in water for 5-10 minutes. Make sure that there is always a thin film of water on the surface during the process. For more stability place a wet cloth under the stone during sharpening.
With one-sided cutting edge, first, place the sharpened side of the knife on the stone at angle of 45˚. Start with movements forth and back by pressing the blade and reduce the pressure at the end of the stone. Perform this movement several times until the desired sharpness is achieved. Speed in the movements is not leading to a perfect result, but the angle of 45˚, keep it throughout the process. Note each part of the blade by dividing the sharpening into three steps - tip, centre and heel. After you have sharpened the knife on the sharpened side, turn it over and repeat the same process on the other side, but with 1/10 of the movements with which you sharpened the first (sharpened) side.
For double-cutting edged knives, perform the sharpening process, same as with one-sided cutting edge knives, but at angle of 15˚. The important thing here is to sharpen both sides evenly to get a symmetrically sharpened blade again.
Sharpening stones are available in different grits and are ideal for sharpening blunt knives or maintaining sharp knives. The finer the grit, the better the folds of the blade are polished and thus the sharper the knife.
The grit size of the sharpening stones is indicated by means of numbers. A high number indicates a fine grit, for a fine polish of the blade.
A major benefit of sharpening your knives on a sharpening stone is that you can thin out your knife. When thinning out a knife, you grind away extra material on the sides of the blade, making the blade thinner. Thinning of a knife is useful for knives that are often sharpened, as the cutting edge gets fatter when the blade is sharpened more often. Thinning is of great importance for the preservation of good cutting properties.
Sharpening knives on a sharpening stone takes some practice.
Sharpening / Thinning edges
Japanese water stones with a coarse grit (approx. 100 to 400) are perfectly suitable for sharpening knives that are extremely dull. The coarse grit helps you to get the knives back to their correct shape (V-shape). However, we do recommend that you use a finer stone to polish it afterwards thus you will have a better cutting performance for a much longer period of time. Coarse grits are also ideal for thinning new blades.
Retaining sharpness / Fine sharpening
Finer Japanese water stones (grain 600 to 1,000) are ideal for retaining the sharpness of your knives and for providing a finer finish to edges that have first been sharpened with a coarser grit water stone. The sharpness achieved is more than satisfactory for many users and is often better than new knives straight from the factory and also much better and more durable than the sharpness attained from simple pull-through sharpening machines.
Extremely fine grit water stones (grain 3,000 to 10,000) are perfect for polishing knives. These stones produce a razor-sharp edge and what's more, they retain their sharpness for a longer period of time. We recommend that you first sharpen your knives using a coarser grit stone (see Retaining sharpness) since the finer grit stone removes very little material.