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How do I sharpen a knife?

If you buy a nice high-quality pocket knife , kitchen knife , sword or katana , you naturally want this knife to retain its quality. After a while of using your knife, it will become blunt. To solve this problem, at The Old Man Knives & Tools we have a strong range of sharpening stones , sharpening steels , knife sharpeners and polishing care products from top brands such as Victorinox and Spyderco to solve this problem. If you have any questions about how to sharpen your knife correctly, our experienced and knowledgeable team can help you. When you visit our store with questions about sharpening a knife, we will immediately explain and show you the tips & tricks, so that you always start cooking, camping or other activities with a razor-sharp knife.

How do you sharpen a knife with a sharpening stone?

Sharpening a knife is an art in itself. Make sure you know what you are doing when sharpening a knife. We give advice on how to sharpen your knife yourself. Use water or sharpening fluid to moisten your sharpening stone. Place four or five fingers on the blade of the knife. The easiest method is to move the knife diagonally across the sharpening stone. Keep sharpening one side until you see a clear edge emerge. We call this edge the burr. Sharpen until there is a visible and tangible burr over the entire edge of the blade. Then do the same with the other side of the blade. Sharpen both sides about the same length. Tip: first practice with an old knife to gain experience in sharpening. In short, this is just one of many sharpening techniques in a nutshell. How you actually sharpen your knife depends very much on your knife, its geometry, the radius of the edge, the type of steel, its hardness and wear resistance, the desired end result, the sharpening medium you want to use and the level of experience you have. So many variables. So come to our specialist shop in Damstraat for a unique practical demonstration with your own knife and tailor-made advice!

Types of sharpening stones

If you are looking for a sharpening stone, you will soon find out that not every sharpening stone is the same. This can feel like a maze but don't worry, we'll help you through it. Old-fashioned sharpening stones for knives are also called whetstones. Whetstones have abrasive grains that are responsible for sharpening your knife. Which whetstone you need depends on the condition of your knife and the end result you are aiming for. The blunter the knife, the larger the grit can be. This grain size is usually indicated on the side of the stone in the form of a number. The lower the number, the coarser the grain and therefore the sharpening result. The higher the number, the finer the grain. Please bear in mind that there is no uniform international unit to indicate the grain size of the various brands of sharpening stones. A 1000 grit stone from manufacturer A can therefore give a completely different result than a 1000 grit stone from manufacturer B. Of course, this does not make making a choice any easier. So if you are new to sharpening, we advise you to get good advice from our store. If you already know exactly what you need, take a look at our extensive range of sharpening stones.

Using a sharpening steel

A sharpening steel does not sharpen a knife, but it ensures that the burrs on the cutting edge are back in the direction of the cutting edge, keeping the knife sharp and allowing you to postpone a sharpening session. By running the knife a number of times with the entire blade along the sharpening steel, it becomes sharp again. It is important to always keep the knife at the same angle. This is done for both sides of the blade. There are also two types of sharpening steel, namely the ceramic sharpening steel and the diamond sharpening steel. They both work the same but can produce a different result. The harder the knife is, the harder the material of the sharpening steel must be. Diamond is the hardest sharpening steel and is therefore suitable for all types of knives.

How do you sharpen a knife? A complete roadmap

Whether it's a kitchen knife, a pocket knife, or something with an edge, after a while your knife will no longer cut like it did during the first few weeks after purchasing the knife. But fear not, your perfectly sharpened knife is not a thing of the past. With time, attention, patience and the help of a sharpening steel and a sharpening stone, your favorite cutting tool will be back in top shape. But how do you proceed? In the step-by-step plan below, we explain how you can return your kitchen knife, pocket knife, or hunting knife to the desired sharpness step by step.

Why does a knife become dull?

If you look at an edge under a microscope, you will discover that the edge consists of thousands of micro teeth. After heavy use, these teeth will slide and bend, so that they are no longer in a straight line. Sharpening your knife puts these teeth back in the right position. Sharpen your knife so that you don't work hard but smart.

Turn on your knife

To best sharpen your knife, it is important to first sharpen your knife with a knife sharpener or a sharpening steel. Knife sharpeners are easy to use. Slowly run your blade through the machine, repeat this a few times. In this easy and efficient way your knife is switched on and ready to be sharpened by the sharpening stone.

A sharpening steel is trickier to use, but correctly assigned it is a sustainable process for long-lasting sharpness. Important to remember when using a sharpening steel; the sharpening steel must have a higher hardness than the knife you want to sharpen. We do not recommend sharpening a serrated knife with a sharpening steel. If you still want to sharpen a serrated knife, take the knife to a professional.

The trick to sharpening your knife with a sharpening steel is finding the perfect angle. The angle at which you should hold your knife is different for every knife. After finding the best angle, place the sharpening steel with the point on a cutting board and aim straight up. An angle of 9-12 degrees is perfect for our Miyabi Knives. An angle of 15 degrees is perfect for Zwilling kitchen knives .

Now, place the heel of the blade at the end of the sharpening steel and then pull the blade from the heel to the tip as you pull the blade down against the sharpening steel. Do this on both sides. Put more force on the first stroke, use less force with each stroke. On average, 5 to 10 strokes on each side are enough to turn the blade on. Buy a sharpening steel? Then take a look at The Old Man Knives & Tools.

Sharpen your knife with a sharpening stone?

Sharpening steels correct the miniscule teeth on the knife by pushing them back into the correct position, but you are not actually sharpening your knife, but 'refreshing' it. If you feel less results after turning on your knife, then it's time to renew the edge using a sharpening stone.

Preparing the grindstone?

Before you can start sharpening a kitchen knife or pocket knife, you must first immerse the sharpening stone (also called a wetstone) in the water for 5 to ten minutes. Then put the sharpening stone back in its holder so that the sharpening stone does not slip from its position. You will get the best results if you always keep the sharpening stone moist during the sharpening process, so pay attention. When you start sharpening on the stone, a gray liquid is released. Don't be alarmed by this, it helps with the sharpening process.

Sharpening with the sharpening stone?

Now that the stone is prepared you can start sharpening. Hold the knife firmly by the handle with one hand, place the blade on the sharpening stone at an angle of 10 to 20 degrees. put your free hand on the blade but avoid the edge. If you put your hand near the edge while sharpening, you can injure yourself. ATTENTION, be careful.

Then run the knife up and down over the whetstone, maintaining the angle of 10 to 20 degrees while sharpening. Repeat this several times. If you are sharpening a long knife, it is best to start at the tip and slowly move the knife to the heel. Turn the blade around and repeat the same movement. Sharpen each side with 5 to 10 strokes per side.

Eliminate the burrs

After this movement you will see burrs appear on the blade, to get rid of these you pull the knife in an arc from the top left to the bottom right. Now that you are done with the sharpening process, wash the knife under running water and dry the knife

Follow these steps to restore the performance of your favorite kitchen tools or everyday pocket knife to ultimate sharpness,