Japanese Knife

How to Choose Sharpening Stones

In order to keep your knives sharp, you need to maintain them.
The knife sharpeners (like the following item) are useful, but it is the whetstone that keeps them sharper.

In this article, I will show you how to choose a whetstone.

In Japan, there are many craftsmen called “togi-shi” (blade sharpener), who take care of knives and other cutlery for sharpening.
These blade sharpeners use several types of whetstones with different roughness.

Rough grit of around #220 is used to correct chips and other problems.
Medium grit of around #1000 create a well-cut blade.
Fine grit of around #8000-#30000 is used to make razor-sharp edges and mirror-like surfaces.

However, when used for home cooking, medium grit whetstone alone is sufficient.

What many Japanese blade sharpeners recommend for general use is the Shapton’s Ha No Kuromaku #1000.

Conventional whetstones are soaked in water for a while before use, and they wear out and become deformed with each use.

However, the Shapton’s whetstone can be used immediately and does not wear out easily.

It is recommended because it sharpens well and lasts a long time.

For more information on how to use the whetstone, please refer to the following:

  • How to Sharpen a Knife (TOJIRO Web site)
  • See also:
    Ultimate Guide to Buying Authentic Japanese Knives