How to Use a Whetstone

Before using a whetstone, you need to choose the right type. Some have coarse sides while others are more refined.

Putting the Whetstone to Work

Begin by lubricating the whetstone. You can use the one that comes with the whetstone. You can also apply other lubricating products like WD 40.

Hold the whetstone with your off hand (if you’re right handed, the left hand is your off hand). Hold the blade with the other hand. You can sharpen a pocket knife, razor or even scissors.

Set the knife on the whetstone and start pulling from hilt to tip. When using a whetstone, the angle should be 10 to 20 degrees. Repeat this.

Move your wrist so the blade’s other side faces the whetstone. Don’t turn the blade over. Pull the blade again in the manner described earlier.

In brief, what you’re doing is switching two strokes of each blade’s side at 10 or 20 degrees. Check the blade to see if it has attained the sharpness you want. Take care not to sharpen the point too much. This will make the blade edge brittle.

When you’re finished, rinse the whetstone with ordinary dishwashing liquid. Store it in a safe place until it’s ready to be used again.

Using a Whetstone on Non Serrated Knives

Get a medium / fine grit whetstone. If it’s new, wash it in lamp oil or water. Keep the whetstone damp when using it. If necessary, put small amounts of oil on it. If you don’t this, the surface will get clogged. Hold the stone with your non dominant hand. Grab the knife with the other hand.

Set the knife on the stone so the point you’re sharpening faces away. The blade should be flat against the stone. Raise the back and set it at 30 degrees. It should be equal to the angle of the knife’s edge.

When using a whetstone, push and move it along as if drawing an arc. Turn the blade over. Repeat the process but pull the knife instead. Keep repeating until the desired sharpness is attained. Put some more lubricant if needed.

After a few strokes, wipe the blade. Assess its sharpness. Keep sharpening if there are any shiny or dark spots on the edge. If it looks fine, stop sharpening and try it.

Tips and Warnings

There are other ways to sharpen a knife. Any coarse surface harder than the knife’s steel will sharpen the blade. Take care when sharpening knives and blades. Do not test its sharpness by gently running it over your fingers. Cut some fruits instead.

Don’t sharpen knives around small children. Don’t try it when you’re around animals. Even if you’ve done it before, focus on what you’re doing. Never take your eyes off the blade when sharpening it.

Learning and using a whetstone is one of those practical skills people should know. Since knives and blades are used in a variety of cases, being aware of how to sharpen them will be a good thing.

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