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How to sharpen a knife

using a stone

I sharpen a knife using a sharpening stone.  They are very inexpensive and last a lifetime.
And I'm talking about sharpening a knife that has a dull blade, cutting the edge, not honing an already sharpened blade.
  • Begin by wetting the stone with a few drops of water or if you are a dude, some spit.
  • Place the stone on a towel on a flat surface so everything is steady.
  • Hold the knife at a 20 degree angle to the stone with one hand on the handle and one of the top of the blade.
  • Begin at the heel of the knife and cut into the stone in small circles.  Work your way up the blade slowly.  Patience grasshopper.  Take your time and get into the rhythm of this process.
  • Turn the knife over and repeat on the other side of the edge.  This "cuts" a pointed edge.
  • Test the edge by cutting a piece of paper or by looking along the edge of the knife with the light.  If the blade is sharp you will see no reflections.  
  • Wipe the blade clean.

34 Comments:

Judy Coloma
Great how to video! I have some older knives Chicago Cutlery knives that could use sharpening so I will use your technique
April 17, 2012, 11:51 am

Alexander Wagner
My wife sent me your video because I keep our knives sharp and usually take the stone when we go to visit friends (to give sharp knives as a sort of guest present). When I learned to sharpen knives I was instructed to always cut into the stone, i.e. always move the blade forward, not backward. I was wondering if you had experimented with different techniques and had a strong opinion one way or the other.
April 17, 2012, 12:44 pm

Cynthia Lair
Hi Alexander, You are exactly right. I am pushing into the stone in small circles, NOT pushing backward. What a nice present you give friends!
April 19, 2012, 10:09 am

Deb Str
Thank you for your video I was just about to pay for someone to sharpen my knife but I would much rather know how and be able to have a sharp knife always. Will give this a try. Again Thank You...
January 18, 2014, 12:18 pm

Goli Tennyson
Thanks for all the awesome videos. I was just wondering, what sharpening stone do you recommend? There are so many different kinds on Amazon and I am now at a loss.
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