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Hello I’m Chris from Knivesandtools. com and today I’d like to be talking to you about this: sharpening stones. Some people are scared away by the idea of sharpening. Thinking it may be too difficult. Some people think it’s just about rubbing a stone and a knife together because they saw it in a movie once. Today I’ll demystify it and then give you some tips and tricks in order to get all your knives sharp.

So let’s start off with the hardware this is an Eden Classic Damast chef’s knife. We’re starting with this because it’s easier for beginners to use a kitchen knife and most of us have a poor abused neglected knife stashed somewhere to be a willing test subject. You don’t want to start on that shiny new knife you just recently got. From there the possibilities are endless. Sharpen your favorite pocket knives, hunting knives, razors, spoon. Leave nothing unsharpened. These stones are double-sided so two grits on each stone. We have this coarse side over here that has the 180 to it. Now 180 is an excellent stone to use when the edge of the knives are really badly damaged. The 180 stone will reprofile the edge and prepare it for the finer stones to come. Once you’re positive that the edge of your knife is set up properly and you regularly sharpen it, you can start with a 600 stone from then on. The 600 stone will refine the edge from the 180 grit. It will sharpen knives so that they’re sharper than the average kitchen knife already. But this probably says more about the average kitchen knife, if you know what I mean. Then it’s on to the 1k stone. The thousand grit. This will sharpen your knives so that they are probably sharper than the average brand-new knife. The stone refines the cutting edge and makes a great start on polishing the edge. And to finish it off we use this 3000 side. This is a polishing stone that further refines the edge. It gets a knife to shaving sharp easily and it’ll do a paper cut test with absolutely no worries.

As these are water stones they will require water. Every stone is different and has different water requirements as well. These stones are thirsty and have to soak in water for a good 5 to 10 minutes. You’ll notice the bubbles on top of the water. This is all the air in the porous stone being replaced by the water. This is a cross-section of a knife. What we’re trying to do here is turn this dull knife into this sharp knife. We’re essentially reshaping this into a V. The sharper the V, the sharper a knife will be. Easy as that. To reshape the V we use the different grit stones. Look at it like sandpaper: you won’t do the light buffing before painting with a 40 grit and you will not try to radius a sharp corner with a thousand grit sandpaper. So starting with the right grit size is important. This is a brand new kitchen knife and for just the purpose of this video I’m going to be dulling it. Awww yes, listen to that. It’s almost painful doing it. As you can see we’ve marked the edge blue with a permanent marker. This gives us a visual reference of the material that still needs to be removed, as well as the sharpening angle.

There’s a few things to remember when sharpening. Always keep your stone wet. So you can see here I’ve left the stone out here for a moment or two so the surface has gone a little bit dry, you want to always make sure you bring a little bit of water onto that surface so you get that frictionless smooth action. Now we’re going to do a few passes over this stone to see where the marker gets removed to get the correct angle. Let’s see what happened. As you can see the marker has gone off right to the edge; well that’s what we’re looking for. You want to make sure all of that marker. See there’s a little bit left at the tip that’s no good I need to make sure that that marker gets removed right to the tip. Also to the heel, we can’t neglect these two bits and for the sharpness you want to make sure that the marker is removed right till the absolute edge or else that means that nothing has happened at the edge and nothing will get sharp. Now we’ll get on to giving this knife that 180 grit finish to create that first apex and then from there we’ll talk to you about the burr. Do you hear that? That’s a scraping sound of a pretty dry stone. You want to get a little bit of extra water on there just to make sure that there’s a little bit less friction.

Also another excellent point to remember is to not bear down on that knife while sharpening. You want to just put a bit of pressure on there but just enough to make sure the stone is getting contact with the knife and then some light passes. You don’t want to do any sort of pushing down on the stone whatsoever. Now what is a burr? Many people when sharpening talked about the burr. Well the burr is a thin piece of steel that has folded over at the edge of a knife, something like this. When you feel that rollover that means that you have sharpened right to the edge and then the edge has folded. That means that that side is done. By that side I mean this side underneath that has contacted the stone. You want to turn it around and make sure you achieve a burr with the same angle on the other side as well. This will give you finally an apex. A V-shape. I can feel the burr now so I’m gonna be doing some alternating strokes. This will reduce the amount of burr forming and then so we can get on to the next stone without this massive thing just flapped over the edge. Now that I’ve finished with the alternating strokes to re move the burr I’m gonna carry on with a 600 grit. You can already hear the differences in this stone. The first stone has this very gritty sound to it, that 180 grit. At 600 you already hear it becoming a lot quieter and this will also result in a lot finer edge. If you’re wondering what that gray slurry is well that is the residue from the stone as well as the steel coming off the knife.

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It is important to try to sharpen all the way to the tip. You can do this by trying to lift up the knife if your marker is not coming of all the way to the end. Now that we’ve finished the 600 grit, we want to test out to see how sharp it’s gone you definitely want it to be a little bit on the sharp side even after the 600 grit. Now that we’ve finished on the 600 grit I’m gonna move on to the 1000. The 1000 grit is gonna be quite a bit more of a polishing stone and some people can decide to finish at this stone already because it then gives a bit of a toothy finish to the edge and you can cut through things like tomato skins a lot easier. Smooth quiet thousand grit goodness. Now we’ve made it to the 3000 grit. This stone is going to be purely for polishing. You really have to watch out with how much pressure you put onto the stone at this moment. You don’t want to push down too much or else you’ll definitely dig into the stone and also remember that the edge is a very fine, very thin little thing. You don’t want to be pushing down on that with all of your force, let the stone do the work. So that was the 3000 grit and now let’s see how sharp it’s gotten. Very nice and quiet.

Oh man let me do that just one more time. One more time. . . There we go. This is a really nice finish on there for this sort of money you can really put a decent edge on the knife. Very shiny, very polished. This is more than enough for most people’s uses. You know you can always take this up further with different stones. Take it up 10. 000, 16. 000. Hell, use some strops that are at 0. 025 micron and you could like a very very sharp edge. I’m sure that this would be able to cut most of the kitchen tasks that it will need to cut. You know, everyone has their own way to approach knife sharpening the way that you saw me do it. I had the knife in my hand the whole time and then changed from right side to the left side of the knife with that one hand. If it is more comfortable for you to change hands, you know feel free knock yourself out. Everyone has their own way of doing it, just find out what works for you. Now that we finished sharpening, we’re gonna get onto this storage. Now take off the rubber mat from the stone. You want to place them onto their side but before you do that, remove some of this residue if you can, like this. There is a little bit of slurry, a little bit of metal dust on the surface. You want that gone. Let me give it a little rinse and then pop it on to it’s side like that. We’re popping it on the rubber mat there so a little bit of air can go underneath. You don’t want it to be in direct sunlight in a windy spot or on top of a heater as well. You want it to dry slowly and so it’ll be ready to go next time you use them. There you have it, I hope you learned something today. You know, if you have any questions in the future, just feel free to give us a call, drop us a line, send us a pigeon, do whatever you want. This is Chris from Knivesandtools. com, hope you have a knives day!

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