How to Make a Knife Sharpening Steel

How To Make A Knife Sharpening Steel

How to Make a Knife Sharpening Steel

A whetstone is a type of sharpening stone used to hone a knife. They are made from natural materials, such as granite or stone, or synthetic materials, such as aluminum oxide. Whetstones work similarly to sandpaper in that they are made to grind down steel and remove tiny fragments, which is what produces the edge on a knife.

The first step in using a whetstone is to lubricate the stone with oil or water. If the blade is very dull, you may have to perform several sharpening sessions before you get a good edge. Once you’re satisfied with your results, you can wipe the knife down to remove any swarf.

To begin, set up the whetstone with the rough grit side of the stone facing you. Hold the handle of the knife against the point of the stone. You can also use a knife stabilizer to hold the handle of the knife in place and slide it over the whetstone. This is a more delicate method than using an electric sharpener.

Next, you’ll want to soak the blade of the knife in water for a few minutes. This helps reduce friction and helps to hone the blade. Some stones have an angle guide, which will keep your knife at a consistent angle when you’re grinding down the steel. However, you should always check with the manufacturer to ensure that your blade is in the right angle for use.

When you’re ready to start angling your knife, put the blade at a 12.5 degree angle. You’ll want to make sure that you don’t overdo it. If you do, you can cause damage to your whetstone.

Next, you’ll want to position the blade at a 22-degree angle. This is the general angle for most knives. As you move the knife around the stone, you should maintain a consistent 22-degree angle. In addition, you’ll want to continue to make consistent contact with the edge of the blade with the whetstone.

Once you’ve established an even angle, you’ll want to begin sweeping your blade over the stone. Sweep it back and forth, beginning at the tip and working your way to the heel of the blade. Repeat this process five times. During this step, you’ll want to be careful not to push your blade or your fingers against the stone, which can lead to injury.

After sweeping your blade across the stone, you’ll want to pull the knife back into the stone. This will create a burr, which will help you to achieve a more precise sharpening. Afterward, you’ll want to repeat the same process on the finer grit side of the stone.

While you’re still soaking the stone, you’ll want to be sure to smear it with a little oil, or a honing oil. The oil will reduce friction and make it easier to clean the stone after sharpening. It’s also important to keep in mind that water stones have a tendency to become uneven after they’ve been soaked, so be aware of this.

Ken Onion

Ken Onion is an innovative knifemaker whose work has revolutionized the industry. Born in 1963, he hails from Kaneohe, Hawaii, and invented the SpeedSafe assisted opening mechanism for Kershaw Knives - earning him a position as Premier Knife Designer with them.

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