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                                  How To Sharpen

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In this page, I would like to introduce the Japanese Whet Stone and explain how to sharpen with a Whet stone.

I am sure sharpening with a Whet stone is the best way to sharpen a knife and have it stay sharp for long time.

 

There are three kinds of Whet Stone. (Picture above). Arato (Rough, Left on picture) Nakato (Medium Rough, Middle on picture) and Siageto (Small Rough,Right on picture). Each kind of Whetstone has different use for the sharpening process.

 

Arato has a rough surface. An Arato is useful for repairing chips, fixing a broken tip, and making an angle for a sharp blade.

 

Nakato (Medium Rough). Sharpening with Nakato makes blade more sharp and good shape (angle) for sharp blade.

 

Siageto is used for finishing the process. This work is necessary for keeping a sharp blade.

 

Step 1. Preparing for Sharpening.

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First put the whet stones in water to remove air from inside them. You will see many bubbles come out of the whet stones. 5 to 10 minutes later, after the bubbles stop coming out, the whet stones are ready for sharpening. Prepare your table it for a good height and good balance when you are sharpening. Also it is good to prepare a towel to keep the whet stones from slipping.

(Our High Grade Whetstones don't need to be soaked in water before sharpening. They can be used after watering the stone surface throughly.)

 

 

It is important to check the edge condition before sharpening the knives.

The knife I will sharpen today is very dull. It has not been sharpened for 6 months. I begin to sharpen with an Arato.

 

If you sharpen the knives frequently, you can begin to sharpen with Nakato. 

Step 2. Sharpening with Arato.

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Sharpening Angle 10' to 15'   (Two coins height between the blade and the whetstone)

 

Sharpening Face Side of Blade

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   As you see in the picture, it is always very important to keep same angle of about 10' to 15', which is about two coins height between the blade and the whetstone. Gently push the point you want to sharpen with your first, second and third fingers. While keeping the angle and pushing the point with your fingers, stroke the blade until it reaches the other edge of the whetstone. Then pull the blade back until it reaches the edge of the whetstone. This back and forth is counted as one stroke. Repeat it for about five strokes until you can see or feel some small burrs (edge curvatures).. Then move the position of your fingers to where you have not sharpened yet, and repeat this five strokes of sharpening processed from the tip to the base of the blade.

 

Sharpening Opposite Side of Blade

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Next we sharpen the opposite side of the blade. Just as you did before, sharpen the knife keeping an angle of 10' to 15'. Push the point you want to sharpen with your first, second and third fingers. While keeping the angle and pushing the point with your fingers, stroke the blade until it reaches the other edge of the whetstone. Then pull the blade back until it reaches the edge of the whetstone. This back and forth is counted as one stroke. Repeat it for about five strokes until you can see or feel some small burrs (edge curvatures).. Then move the position of your fingers to where you have not sharpened yet, and repeat this five strokes of sharpening processed from the tip to the base of the blade.When your whetstone becomes dry, occational watering during sharpening process will also help and improve smooth sharpening.

Step 3. Sharpening with Nakato.

Next we sharpen with a Nakato. Sharpening with a Nakato is exactly same as sharpening with as Arato. Please refer to the explanation and pictures above. Sharpening an Arato makes a good angle and sharpening with a Nakato makes the edge even sharper.

Step 4. Sharpening with Shiageto. ( Completion )

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To finish sharpening the knife, we use a Shiageto.  We start like the picture. Hold the knife to keep an angle of 10' to 15' this time as well. While keeping this angle, you move the blade across the whet stone to the other side. You need to keep the blade touching the whet stone from the tip to the base of the blade. Continue this five times.

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Next is the opposite side of the blade. Starting like the picture, you hold the knife to keep the angle and move the blade to the base of whetstone.You need to keep the blade touching the whet stone from the tip to the base of the blade. Do this five times. 

Finally you wash your knife.

 

Now your knife must as sharp as the time you first bought it!

 

To master this sharpening skill, it might take time. Practicing is the best way to be great sharpener.

PS: I learned this method of sharpening from custom and kitchen knife maker Murray Carter. Some people have their own way of sharpening.  This is our recommendation of sharpening.

 

 

If you have questions please feel free to contact us.                                                                                                                                     
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