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April 10, 2023 2 min read

How to sharpen your knife the best way.

Did you know using a honing rod is not recommended for sharpening Japanese knives?

While honing rods can be effective for maintaining the edge of thicker Western-style knives, they can actually damage the thin, delicate edges of Japanese knives.

Sharpening a Japanese knife requires some patience and technique, but with practice, it can be done easily. Here's how:

  1. Choose the right sharpening stone: There are different types of sharpening stones available, but for Japanese knives, it is recommended to use a water stone. The grit of the stone will depend on the state of your knife's edge. For example, if your knife is very dull or has chips in the edge, start with a coarse grit stone (around 1000 grit). If your knife only needs a touch-up, a fine grit stone (around 6000 grit) will be sufficient.

  2. Wet the stone: Before you start sharpening, soak the stone in water for about 10-15 minutes. You can also splash water on the stone during sharpening to keep it wet.

  3. Hold the knife correctly: Hold the handle of the knife with your dominant hand and place the blade on the stone at a 15-20 degree angle. Hold the blade with your other hand by placing your index finger on the spine of the blade.

  4. Start sharpening: Move the blade back and forth on the stone, keeping the angle consistent. Start with the coarse grit stone if your knife is very dull. Use light pressure and make sure to sharpen the entire length of the blade. Repeat the process on the other side of the blade.

  5. Switch to a finer grit stone: After sharpening with the coarse grit stone, switch to a finer grit stone to refine the edge. Repeat the process as before, with light pressure and a consistent angle.

  6. Strop the blade: After sharpening on the finest grit stone, you can strop the blade to further refine the edge. Stropping involves running the blade along a leather strop, which helps to remove any burrs on the edge and polish the blade.

  7. Test the sharpness: Once you have finished sharpening, test the sharpness of your knife by slicing through a piece of paper or a tomato. If the knife cuts easily and cleanly, you have achieved a sharp edge.

Remember to take your time and be patient when sharpening your Japanese knife. With practice, you will become more comfortable and confident in your technique.


Check out our sharpening tools that will make your blades extra sharp.