Using Whetstone Knife Sharpeners for Your Knife Care

When you invest in upscale cutlery, whetstone knife sharpeners become essential tools in your kitchen. These low-profile sharpeners are quick and easy to use, once you know the right techniques and help you keep your favorite knives in great condition between regular maintenance. Think of the whetstone as another tool in your home-keeping suite. It's not the only thing you need to care for fine knives, but it's an important component and a piece to use regularly. Learn how to select yours based on your knife sets, plus when and how to use it. Whetstone knife sharpeners ensure you can enjoy your best cutlery for years and, in many cases, with appropriate care, even a lifetime.

What Are Whetstone Knife Sharpeners?

These stones are designed to keep knives sharp in between daily uses. Whetstone knife sharpeners refer specifically to whetting or sharpening the knife blade, although they are also used wet after being submerged in water.

  • Whetstones are made of natural, finely-ground stone. The material can sharpen stainless steel and alloy or layered blades close to the sharpness you experienced when you first received your knife.
  • Stones are approximately palm-sized because they are a manual tool. The stone stays on a stable surface when in use so it may be longer than your hand. This gives you room to whet the entire blade.
  • Some stones come paired with a honing steel, a wand-like tool that you can use in the air to flick back and forth with your knife, gliding the blade along the steel. The honing steel is also meant for regular maintenance.

How To Use Sharpening Stones

Using whetstone knife sharpeners is very easy. Almost anyone can do it, especially if you practice a few times to get the feel for the motion. These sharpening stones are an early method of knife sharpening and the technique requires nothing but you and your stone for a pure experience with your cutlery.

  • Submerge your whetstone for five to ten minutes so water permeates the texture of the stone. This keeps your blade from getting damaged once you begin creating friction.
  • Keep the stone wet while in use. Simply run it under water while sharpening or splash it after a minute or so of use.
  • Place your whetstone on a solid surface where it won't slip. You can use a mat if you feel the need, but a countertop works for most people.
  • On the coarse side of the stone, whisk the knife across the stone until sharp. Then, repeat on the other side and clean the blade before using it again.

Enjoy the hands-on aspect of knife care that's integral to whetstone knife sharpeners. Remember, you're using it in between sessions with an electric sharpener for top results. With attentive care, you'll soon find the use second nature and notice your knives performing at their best.

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