There are multiple stones you can buy for doing so, depending on the type of knife you have and the sharpness you want picking the right stone for you is critical, It also depends on how damaged your knife is and how much you need to work out of it.
==What stone is right for you?==
There are multiple types of sharpening stones.
- Japanese waterstones
- Diamond plate
Whetstones are either a natural or a artificial type of stone that does not need a lubricant to carry the metal shavings away from the blade while sharpening it. Although water or oil is still typically used on these stones.
Oilstones are either natural or artificial stones that you need to use honing oil or water with to carry the metal shavings away from the blade while you are sharpening. Some examples of oilstones are:
- Charnley Forest
Japanese Waterstones are lubricated with water only and tend to be of a softer material and can have a finer grit than most sharpening stones found or made in any other place in the world.
Much like any other type of sharpening stone you can find it in different "grit" or roughness. The Japanese Waterstones grit as to roughness is as follows:
- "ara" or Rough: 500-1000 grit
- "naka" or Medium: 3000-5000 grit
- "shiage" or Fine: 7000-10000 grit
Diamond Plate is commonly used to get an edge on the roughest tools. It is not meant to get a fine sharp edge but rather grind faster than any other stone can, generally made out of a material that is supposedly "hard as diamonds" that will grind an edge onto just about anything. The industrial forms of Diamond Plates can have actual diamonds on them but these are much more expensive.
==Sharpening your Knife==
When you have chosen the correct stone for your use, generally determined by how much work the blade needs (the more work the rougher the stone to start with) it is time to start sharpening. Using honing oil on these stones will help the process out quite a bit, the oil will carry the metal shavings away from the blade and keep them from interfering with the sharpness of your blade.
If you have a knife that is chipped along the blade a small amount you would start with a course stone working out the problem in the blade by doing even numbers of runs along the stone at approximately 23 degree angle (if you have a problem estimating this angle you can buy a little yellow wedge that is that angle). This angle is the way to get the sharpest and best cutting edge on your blade.
Once your major defect is out of your blade you start working on a medium stone, this will start to get you a finer sharpness to your blade, remember to do the same number of strokes on each side of the blade to make sure its even and to achieve the correct sharpness. Once you have done a decent amount of work on the medium coarseness stone you can move to the fine stone to get that really fine edge that is the best to have on a blade. Remember that a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife.
Repeat the process that you did for both the course and medium stones with the fine stone, using the same angle. The way to test the sharpness of your knife is to take a sheet of paper (regular printer paper) and hold it so that its vertical in front of you. Take the knife and place it at the top and just run it down into the edge of the paper, if it cuts the paper without crinkling it its sharp... course this also dulls the knife slightly so that one molecule edge you just finished putting on your knife is now gone and you can repeat your fine stone for another couple mins getting the perfect edge back...
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