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How to Sharpen a Knife with a Stone 12:00

Bryon Freeze

“It’s a very basic function in the kitchen, and it’s something people overlook on a regular basis, especially when you’re at home in a rush.”

How to Sharpen a Knife with a Stone 12:00

Bryon Freeze

“It’s a very basic function in the kitchen, and it’s something people overlook on a regular basis, especially when you’re at home in a rush.”

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. A sharp knife will give you a clean cut without tearing or bruising the ingredient. A dull knife will saw away at items, creating rips or jagged edges and bruised ingredients. A knife should cut through produce, like a tomato, easily without applying much pressure. A dull knife will push against the ingredient and may cut but less effectively. 00:08

  2. 2. The basic equipment needed for sharpening a knife is the knife that needs to be touched up and a wet stone. Identify the differently textured sides of of the wet stone. When sharpening a knife, start with the coarsest side and work up to the finer side. 01:21

  3. 3. Fill a small pan with water and submerge the wet stone. Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes. This process helps remove deposits fro the blade that may be left from the last use of the wet stone. Do not rub the stone with a towel as it will collect pieces of the towel fibers. 02:34

  4. 4. To sharpen a knife, remove the wet stone from the water, and place it on top of a kitchen towel so it does not slide around. The coarse side of the stone should be facing upward. Lay the blade nearly flat on the stone, with the top of the blade angled slightly upwards and the heel of the knife angled toward a top corner. Stabilize the knife by placing your fingertips on the top of the blade, and guide it back to the bottom right corner with one smooth motion. Alternately, start with the tip of the knife at the bottom of the stone and press it outwards, using the same motion as before. Continue using whichever method you are most comfortable with and do not change the direction of the stroke. Chef Bryon recommends pushing the knife away from your body to reduce the likelihood of injury. 03:46

  5. 5. Position fingertips away from the edge of the blade. As the motion becomes more familiar, you can bring your fingertips closer to the edge of the blade. Sharpening can be done in fluid swoops that address the entire blade, or segments that focus on smaller parts. Angle the blade as if trying to shave a layer off the top of the stone. Slide the blade in a single direction 10 to 15 times, then flip the blade and repeat on the other side. 05:20

  6. 6. Check the blade to see how sharp it is, then continue sharpening as needed. If some parts are duller than others, focus on sharpening those areas. Flip the stone so the finer grain is facing upward. Place the stone back into the water, allowing it to soak for two to five minutes. Return the stone to the towel. Continue sharpening the blade on the fine-grained side, using the same method and same sharpening direction as before. 06:52

  7. 7. Most knives with straight blades can be sharpened using a wet stone. A serrated knife should not be sharpened on a wet stone. Professional knife sharpeners best maintain unusually shaped knives. 08:56

  8. 8. Because handling sharp knives can be dangerous, be sure to pay close attention throughout the sharpening process. Do not sharpen knives while distracted. 09:51

  9. 9. To test the sharpness of the knife test the knife on any available ingredient. It should pass through easily, without having to apply much pressure. 10:35

What You'll Need


- Wet stone
- Knife of choice
- Pan filled with water
- Kitchen towel


-Tomato (1, whole)

Chef Notes

It is very important to maintain a knife's sharpness. A sharp knife requires less pressure to be applied for it to cut whereas dull knives require more pressure. A dull knife is more likely to slip and cause injury. A sharp knife will also enable you to create more uniform cuts, which will contribute to even and consistent cooking.

Wet stones can be purchased from any kitchen supply store. They have different sized grains that determine the amount of coarseness.

Sharpening knives removes material from the blade to shape a sharp edge. Honing touches up the blade by straitening it.

To learn more about knives and how to use them properly, visit Chef Jonathan Benno’s “Fundamental Knife Skills” tutorial, located on the bottom of the page.


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Taught by

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Chef Bryon Freeze

Los Angeles

Bryon Freeze burst into the culinary spotlight when he won "Chef Wanted," a chef competition show on the Food Network. Aft... read more