Blunt knives make meal prep a tedious task. Worn-out blades are not only bothersome- they may also cause accidents and waste your time and energy. If you want to extend the life of your knives and save some money- then sharpening your knives is the best option instead of buying a new set.
Knife sharpening is no less than a craft. You have to be careful while choosing the right tool. When it comes to the most popular knife sharpeners- you will find yourself choosing between manual knife sharpener vs whetstone.
In this article, I will walk you through a detailed comparison between whetstone and manual knife sharpeners. You will discover- which tool is the best, the types of knife sharpeners and whetstones, how to use them and much more. So let’s get started.
Manual Knife Sharpener VS Whetstone
Manual knife sharpeners use grinding wheels to sharpen the blade. Whetstones, on the other hand, use a diamond-coated surface to sharpen the blade.
Whetstone vs manual knife sharpener debate has been going on for quite some time. Both of these tools have their advantages and disadvantages. Manual knife sharpeners are great for convenience and speed, but they tend to be less effective than whetstones. Whetstones, on the other hand, require more time and effort but can produce a much sharper edge on a blade.
When deciding which one is best, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you. In my opinion, if you’re looking for something quick and easy- a manual knife sharpener may be your best bet. However, if you want a longer-lasting edge that will stay sharp for longer, then a whetstone is the way to go. Overall, it depends on how often you plan to sharpen your knives and how much time and effort you’re willing to put into the process.
Which Whetstone Should You Choose?
When it comes to choosing a whetstone, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. First, decide what type of stones you need. Whetstones come in different grains and materials, so choose the one that best suits your needs. You also want to take into account the size of your knife as well as its intended.
These are the three types of whetstones you need to choose from.
Water stones are generally the most popular type of whetstone. These synthetic stones are easy to use, require no oil or lubrication and produce a very nice, polished finish. They are available in aluminium oxide or silicon carbide. They have polished edges and the finest blades.
Diamond stones offer more precision and give you a sharper edge than water stones. However, they are more expensive, so they may not be the best choice for those on a budget. However, if you’re looking for an edge that will last longer- diamond stones are definitely worth the extra money.
Oil stones are also a great option and are known for their durability. They are softer than water and diamond stones, so they will not damage the blade as easily. They also require less maintenance and can produce a very sharp edge on knives.
How to Choose Whetstone Grit Levels?
Now that you’ve understood the types of whetstone, it’s time to explore different grit levels. Grit level of a whetstone refers to the size of the abrasive particles on the stone, with lower numbers indicating larger particles and higher numbers indicating smaller particles. The grit level you choose will depend on the type of knife you are sharpening and the desired edge.
Coarse Grit Whetstone
Coarse grit whetstones have abrasive particles of larger size. They are used for quickly removing material and establishing a new edge on a dull or damaged blade. Also, they are numbered around 100-200 on the grit scale.
Medium Grit Whetstone
Medium grit whetstones have abrasive particles of medium size. They are utilised for refining the edge of a blade that is in good condition but needs a touch-up. They are typically numbered around 400-800 on the grit scale. They are an intermediate step between coarse and fine grit stones.
Fine Grit Whetstone
Fine grit whetstones have abrasive particles of smaller size. They are used for final polishing to achieve a razor-sharp edge on a blade. They are typically numbered around 1000-3000 on the grit scale. Fine grit whetstones are the last step in the sharpening process and produce a smooth edge.
How To Sharpen a Knife with a Whetstone: Step-by-Step Process
Professional chefs and knife sharpeners prefer using whetstones as they produce a much sharper edge than manual knife sharpeners. Whetstones also require less maintenance and provide a durable edge that stays sharp for longer. Plus, using a whetstone is much more precise and can help you get the perfect angle on your blade for the best results.
Here is the step-by-process of knife sharpening with a whetstone.
1. Soak the whetstone in water for 10-15 minutes before use.
2. Place the whetstone on a flat surface and secure it in place.
3. Place the blade against the stone, with the edge facing away from you.
4. Push the blade down onto the stone, using light pressure.
5. Move the blade back and forth across the stone in a sawing motion.
6. Repeat this process until the desired sharpness is acquired.
7. Rinse off the blade and the stone with clean water.
8. Dry off the blade and the stone before storing them away.
Related: Best Way To Sharpen Knife With Stone
Pros and Cons of Sharpening with a Whetstone
How to Choose a Manual Knife Sharpener?
When choosing a manual knife sharpener or pull-through knife sharpener, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you want to look at the size and shape of the sharpener. Different sharpeners come in different sizes and shapes, so choose one that fits your knife and is comfortable to hold.
Next, you should consider the type of sharpening stone the sharpener uses. Most manual sharpeners use diamond or ceramic stones, which offer more accuracy and give you a sharper edge than water stones.
How to Sharpen a Knife with Manual Sharpener: Step-by-Step Process
Manual sharpeners are great for beginners. With a little bit of practice, they can get the hang of it. Although not as great as whetstone- pull-through sharpeners deliver just the right results for your daily cutting needs.
Let’s have a look at the step-by-step process of sharpening with a manual sharpener.
- Place the knife sharpener on a flat surface.
- Start by holding the knife with your dominant hand and the sharpener in the other.
- Keep your fingers behind the heel to avoid any injuries.
- Now start sharpening with a fine or medium slot. However, if your blades have significant damage, then it would be better to start with a coarse slot.
- Starting from the heel to the tip, draw the blade through the first slot. Start by making a sweeping motion with the blade, then sharply angle the blade downwards for a precision touch.
- Lift the knife up to follow the contour of the blade as you approach the tip.
- Repeat this motion 5 to 6 times until you get the desired sharpness.
- If needed, use a finishing stone to polish the blade and remove any burrs.
- Rinse off the blade and the sharpener with clean water.
- Dry off the blade and the sharpener before storing them away.
Pros And Cons of Sharpening with a Manual Knife Sharpener
Safety Measures to Follow while Sharpening Knives
Knife sharpening may cause injuries if not performed with caution. Make sure you keep these precautions in mind.
1. Be sure to use a suitable sharpening tool for the specific type of knife.
2. Always sharpen knives on a stable, flat surface and secure them in place.
3. Wear protective gloves when sharpening knives, to protect your hands from cuts and scrapes.
4. Avoid sharpening knives in an area with children or pets around.
5. Make sure that the blade of the knife is facing away from you when sharpening it.
6. Sharpen in slow, smooth motions for best results.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Sharpening the knives can be an intimidating task. However, with the right tools and precautions, it can be done effectively. There are pros and cons to both whetstones and sharpeners. Manual knife sharpeners are generally the easiest to use and most affordable option. While whetstone offers razor-sharp edges with high accuracy but demands more experience and skill to use.
In a nutshell, professionals prefer to use a whetstone, while beginners can do fine with manual sharpeners. Ultimately, the best type of knife sharpener depends on the individual user and their preferences.