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It's always important, when working in the kitchen, to make sure that you knives are sharp. There's nothing worse than a dull knife, and it can actually be dangerous! More kitchen accidents happen with knives that are dull than sharp. This instructable will show you how to really give your knives quite the edge!

Step 1: Materials

In order to sharpen you knives, here is what you will need:

  1. A sharpening stone (more on this later)
  2. Water
  3. A dull knife

A sharpening stone is used to grind your tools. When you sharpen your knife, you are actually grinding bits off of it!

A knife gets dull when the metal making up the blade is worn away (in this case by repetitive cutting) and the two sides of the blade no longer meet, and there is a flat or rounded spot where it should be sharp. By grinding the sides of your blade until the two edges meet, you can create a really sharp knife which will give you a great cut in the kitchen.

You'll notice that my sharpening stone is two different colors. This signifies different particle sizes (and therefore coarseness of that side). The darker color is coarser, and will grind your metal faster. The lighter color is finer, and will give you a better finish on your metal.

Step 2: How to Grind Your Blade

This is the critical part. WHEN YOU SHARPEN YOUR KNIFE BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL NOT TO CUT YOURSELF.

UPDATE: Thank you to user EmcySquare for this helpful comment!

A note on stones:
There are different types of stone. Most need some sort of lubricant to work properly: some are water-stones, other are oil stone. According to the type of stone you need to use water or oil. Never run your knife dry on either of the stones, never confuse the type of lubricant needed. An oil stone usually need a small amount of oil on the stone. Water stones need to be submerged in water for about 10 minutes before use and while using them you have to keep them wet by pouring water on them

You should submerge the stone so to "fill it" with water in all the little pores in between the stone.If you try, you'll see tiny air bubbles coming out of it for a few minutes. When the bubbling stops the stone is ready

Add some water to the coarse side of your sharpening stone, this helps to protect your stone while grinding the knife. (side note: check out this cool experiment done by Sharpening Supplies.com on how water/oil vs no water/oil sharpening went!

https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Should-I-Use-My...

Then, take your knife so that the blade is about 20 degrees from the stone. This is a standard bevel angle that most knife manufacturer's recommend sharpening your knives to. Gently press the knife to one side on the stone, and turning it just so that the entire blade makes equal contact with the stone. This is important, because if only one part (let's say the part next to the handle) gets ground more than the rest, your knife can become uneven.

Now flip your knife around, maintaining the 20 degree bevel angle (on the opposite side), and gently press it to the other side so that, once again, the entire blade makes contact with the stone.

Repeat these motions, making sure to sharpen both sides of the knife exactly the same!

You can tell when to move to the finer side of the stone when a burr begins to form on the blade of your knife. It's a little hard to see it, but you can feel it. Every 5 or so passes, run your fingers from the spine (top) of your knife to the blade DO NOT GO FROM THE BLADE TO THE SPINE YOU WILL CUT YOURSELF. Do you feel a burr? If not, then continue using the coarser grit. Once you feel that burr, flip your stone over, wet it, and start honing again.

Step 3: The Paper Test

Now that you've been sharpening your knife, there is a simple test you can conduct to see if you knife is sharp enough.

Grab a sheet of regular old paper, and hold it up. Using your sharpened knife, try slicing through it with as little effort as possible. This is a great way to tell if your knife is sharp or not. If you immediately meet resistance at the edge of the paper (or the knife catches, or tears the paper), then your knife is not very sharp. Head back to the stone and do a few more passes on both sides.

Keep testing and honing until the paper is no match for your knife!

Congratulations! You've now sharpened your knife! Now you can sharpen all of your kitchen (and pocket) knives, as well as scissors and other blades. This skill can really come in handy, and I can guarantee that you'll never want to deal with dull knives again!

<p>nicely demonstraited</p>
<p>i did</p>
<p>What does a burr feel like?</p>
<p>A burr is basically excess metal that hasn't been removed from the knife and is sort of...hanging around. It will just feel like there is a bump in the edge of the knife (once again be sure to feel AWAY from the sharp edge and not cut yourself please!). This bump will be the excess metal being pushed up and off of the knife.</p>
<p>A note on stones:</p><p>There are different types of stone. Most need some sort of lubricant to work properly: some are water-stones, other are oil stone. <br>According to the type of stone you need to use water or oil. Never run your knife dry on either of the stones, never confuse the type of lubricant needed.<br>An oil stone usually need a small amount of oil on the stone. <br>Water stones need to be submerged in water for about 10 minutes before use and while using them you have to keep them wet by pouring water on them</p>
<p>I don't understand the problem without lubricating the stone, or using the wrong one. What's the difference/problem?</p>
I'll try to explain at my best.<br>you can think of a stone as a granola bar with very fine &quot;seeds&quot; in it. This means that there are micro-valleys and micro-mountains in the stone surface (the micro-mountains are those that make the micro-scratch on the blade you are sharpening).<br>when the micro-mountain scratches the knife edge it removes some metal. Where does this metal go? That's the problematic part.<br>If you don't lubricate the stone the removed metal will clog into the micro-valleys up to the micro mountain top... so that the micro mountain can't scratch the metal anymore and the stone gets useless.<br>This can be seen in missused stones where light allows you to see rusty/metallic parts IN the stone.<br><br>In short: lubicant helps you get the removed metal away from the stone.
<p>Ok. Thanks :)</p><p>It just makes sharpneng quicker and easier...</p>
<p>thank you very much for your comment! I knew stones had to be wet, but didn't know they should be submerged. Would it be okay if I added your comment to the stone section of my instructable?</p>
Of course !<br>You should submerge the stone so to &quot;fill it&quot; with water in all the little pores in between the stone.<br>If you try, you'll see tiny air bubbles coming out of it for a few minutes. When the bubbling stops the stone is ready
<p>Yeah, using water or oil increases performance of stones. But don't forget stone in water for say storage, that'll ruin stones. Also, my two cents is what rookies moslty do is when sharpening, angle is not constsitent during sharpening, wrist can move bit so anlge differs and tip of blade feels sharp, looks sharp (there's saying; if you see something you got nothing) and cuts well with tip of blade. But the bulge that comes from inconsitent angle during sharpening, causes blade to be next to useless during say whittling, it escapes from wood, not that big issue in kithcen though. Concave was the word I was looking for, this is annoying in knives: </p><p><a href="http://kitchenknifeguru.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/knife-edge-styles3.png" rel="nofollow">http://kitchenknifeguru.com/wp-content/uploads/201...</a></p><p>There's no perfect way to really sharpen knife, whatever works, I have methods I have used for about 10 years and I polish my knives after each sharpening session. Dad taught me this art when he was still as meat cutter. Nowadays problem is that people are too lazy to learn or bother to sharpen, not to mention materials suck with cheap kitchen knives rendering sharpening next to impossible....</p>
I have found that oil works better. I use a high carbon oil like used motor oil or gun oil. I only use about 2 or 3 drops per knife and it smooths the edge more. I also recommend the finer side of the stone for a knife that you sharpen alot, like a kitchen knife. The coarse side is mainly for a knife that has lost its edge and you are trying to get that edge back. Great instructable and beautiful photos.
<p>Thanks for your comment, and the great advice! How often do you find that you re-sharpen your knives?</p>
On my kitchen knifes, twice while cooking. I do it on the sharpening rod. My more precise skinning knife about once or twice a week. It depends on the thumb test. If i draw the blade across my thumbnail and it does not stick I sharpen. (BTW great bio on profile. Added a chuckle to my day)

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Bio: Ashley hails from beautiful, sunny, Idaho--what am I saying? Ashley is actually a potato that has experienced intense genetic modificaiton. Idaho does not exist. I ... More »
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