The sharpening stone or whetstone is a great choice for the maintenance of your kitchen knives' blades. It is indeed the most complete solution for sharpening your knives as it provides results that combine the advantages of a sharpening steel and a millstone. As the sharpening steel, the whetstone can straighten out the edge of the blade by removing just the necessary amount of material (unlike the millstone, which tends to sand too much the steel of the blade). Furthermore, the whetstone enables you to get excellent results without having to damage the surface of the blade.
Wusaki offers a range of 4 complementary whetstones so that you can be able to sharpen or hone your blades regardless of whether they are just a bit dull or completely blunt.
Grit 240/800 : the grains of this stone are rather coarse (thick), thus they are recommended for the knives that have completely lost all their sharpness. The abrasiveness level of both sides of the stone allows you to "clean" the blade's edge by removing the micro-chips that appear on it as a result of the accumulated usage. For example, if the edge of your blade has a small dent, the grit 240 might be able to restore and fix it. However, this stone does not allow you to obtain a sharp edge, because to do so you need to use a stone with finer grains. In some way, this stone can be considered to be a pre-sharpening tool that prepares your blunt blades before they are honed withless abrasive grains.
Grit 600/1000 : this stone serves as the perfect transition between the previous stones and other stones of higher level grains. The grit 600 is still rather abrasive, so you can use it to restore blades that are starting to become blunt. It must be noted that the grit 1000 is the most used grit for the maintenance of kitchen knives. If you could have nothing but only one type of whetstone in your kitchen, that would have to be a stone with grit 1000. That is because this grit is the perfect medium between being abrasive enough to restore a blade that starts to lose sharpness and at the same time being fine enough to be used regularly to maintain the sharp edge of your knives.
Grit 1000/3000 : same story, the grit 1000 is highly recommended for the maintenance of your blades. Combined with the grit 3000, you can get a nice, sharp edge on the great majority of types of steel. The edge is polished, thus the blade can penetrate the foods almost effortlessly.
Grit 3000/8000 : this stone is mostly recommended to obtain a truly razor sharp edge on your knives. The ultra fine grains finish and polish the blade's edge, thus allowing for a highly improved cutting capacity in your knives. The harder the steel, the best it will take advantage of these grains.
All combined, these sharpening stones allow you make a complete sharpening of your knives using smooth and progressive method going from the coarsest grains to the finest ones.
At least 15 minutes before usage, you must soak your Wusaki whetstone in water. Doing this is important because it allows to slightly soften the grains and thus create the "mud" that appears on the stone's surface during the sharpening process, which helps to obtain faster results.
If you are a novice, we advise you to start by practicing the technique using low-value knives, just in case you find it more difficult than expected. It is better to get used to the movement of your hands before you start sharpening your blades of better quality.
1. Take the stone out of the water after 15 minutes, and place on its non-slip stand/base for more stability. Small, useful advice: you can try to raise the side of the stone that is closer to you so that it can evacuate the water and the fillings that will come out during the sharpening process.
2. It is important to keep a bowl filled with water next to you during the sharpening process as you will need to be frquently rewetting the stone's surface when it becomes too dry.
3. Place your knife and your fingers in the same way as shown in the picture to the left ( the thumb and the forefinger hold the knife for stability, and the 3 fingers of the other hand homogenously apply pressure on the blade).
4. To do so, use an angle of around 15 degrees (to help you, that is the equivalent of the thickness of a coin in between the blade and the stone. The knife must be at about 45° in relation to the stone's edges).
5. Having the blade's edge pointing at you, you can apply light pressure when you push the knife ahead as well as when you pull it back towards you. Repeat the movement several times, and do not hesitate to wipe the edge with a soft cloth to remove the fillings that accumulate during the process.
6. When you want to sharpen the tip of the blade, you simply need to pull the knife's handle towards you to increase the angle, and you can repeat the same movements as before.
7. To check if the 1st side of edge is done, you simply need to pass the finger on the other side of the edge to feel if the steel filllings of the first side have been well "pushed down." If it feels rough, that means that the first side is done, thus you can start doing the second side, which will enable you to get rid of the rest of fillings (do not test the results by passing your finger along the side that was just sharpened as you can get cut).
8. Clean your knife and test it by cutting the edge of a sheet of paper: the cut must be smooth and effortless.
When you use a whetstone, you must always pay attention and make sure that it remains flat. Therefore, it is important to use the entire surface to avoid creating deformations.
You can then brush the stone to get rid of the dirt and let it dry at room temperature avoiding direct contact with the sunlight.
You are now ready to use correctly your Wusaki sharpening stones!