BASIC SHARPENING COURSE
50/50 BEVEL KNIFE
- coarse whetstone #400
- medium whetstone #800 or #1000
- finishing whestone #3000~#8000
- whetstone flattener
- whetstone holder or mat
- dry towel
After several uses make sure the whetstone surface is flat. Presoak your whetstone flattener then rub back and forth until the surface is completely flat.
NOTE: A whetstone flattener should be harder than the whetstone it will sharpen. This means the # will be a lower number grit.
SHARPEN IN SECTIONS
Visually divide the blade into sections. When you sharpen count the # of strokes per sections - they should be equal. Uneven sharpening will change your blade profile over time. Keep them the same.
CORRECT BLADE ANGLE
Keeping a consistent blade angle results in better sharpening. Take your time to set up the proper blade angle, then maintain it as you move across the whetstone. First side - position knife at 90° to the whetstone. Raise the back of the knife until there is a 12-15 ° angle to the whetstone. Second side - position knife at 45° to the whetstone. Raise the back of the knife until there is a 12-15 ° angle to the whetstone.
Note: Japanese knives are usually 12-15 °. Western knives 18-20 °. Remember - the sharper the angle the thinner the blade edge.
LIGHT PRESSURE + PRECISE
Use one hand to hold the angles firm. Place the finger tips at the edge of the blade where you want to sharpen. Use light downward pressure to keep it stable as the blade slides across the whetstone surface.