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FAQ - How to sharpen Knives

FAQ - How to Sharpen Japanese Knives

Frequently Asked Questions - How to Sharpen Japanese Knives

What is the best type of stone to use for sharpening Japanese knives?

Japanese knives are typically sharpened on water stones, which come in different grits. Coarse grit stones are used for repairing chips or damaged blades, while medium and fine grit stones are used for routine maintenance. Choose a stone based on the current state of your knife's edge.

How long should I soak my sharpening stone before using it?

It is recommended to soak your sharpening stone in water for at least 10-15 minutes before using it. This will help keep the stone from drying out and provide a better surface for sharpening.

What angle should I use to sharpen my Japanese knife?

Japanese knives are typically sharpened at a 15 to 20-degree angle. Use a guide or mark the angle on the blade to ensure consistency.




Gyuto, Sujihiki, Petty   8° - 10°
Santoku, Sword type , Nakiri 15°
Over Size 12° - 15°


How much pressure should I apply when sharpening my Japanese knife?

Apply light pressure to the blade when sharpening. Let the weight of the knife do most of the work. Too much pressure can damage the blade and lead to uneven sharpening.

How do I ensure an even edge when sharpening my Japanese knife?

To ensure an even edge, alternate sides with each stroke when sharpening. This helps to distribute the sharpening evenly across the blade and prevent over-sharpening one side.

What is a honing rod and how do I use it?

A honing rod is a long, thin steel rod that is used to realign the blade's edge. After sharpening, hold the rod vertically and swipe the blade along the rod, starting at the base and working towards the tip.

How often should I sharpen my Japanese knife?

It depends on the frequency of use, but it is recommended to sharpen your Japanese knife once every few months for routine maintenance. If the blade is chipped or damaged, it will need to be sharpened more frequently.

Can I sharpen my Japanese knife with an electric sharpener?

It is not recommended to sharpen Japanese knives with an electric sharpener, as the high-speed grinding can damage the blade and alter the shape of the edge. Stick to sharpening with a water stone for best results.

Can I use oil instead of water to soak my sharpening stone?

No, it is not recommended to use oil to soak your sharpening stone. Water is the preferred medium, as it allows for a better surface for sharpening and helps to prevent the stone from clogging up with debris.

What should I do if I'm not confident in my ability to sharpen my Japanese knife?

If you're not confident in your ability to sharpen your Japanese knife, it is best to seek the help of a professional. Look for a reputable knife sharpening service in your area or ask for recommendations from other chefs or home cooks.