How to Use a Grinding Stone to Sharpen Knives


Keeping knives sharp has a variety of advantages. Sharp blades cut easier, reducing the effort and time needed to finish a task. A well-honed edge makes a cleaner cut, allowing for precise shaping and carving. For these reasons, knives with a well-sharpened edge are safer than dull knives. Achieving a fine cutting edge is a simple matter of technique and the right type of grinding stone.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel or dishcloth
  • Two-sided grinding stone (medium and fine grit)
  • Oil or water
  • Place the towel or dishcloth on a flat table with the grinding stone on top and the coarse side facing up.

  • Apply enough oil or water to coat the upper surface of the stone with a thin film.

  • Hold the knife lengthwise against the stone at an angle of around 20 degrees.

  • Maintain the angle and grind the knife lengthwise across the stone away from your body. Use a smooth motion with long, unidirectional passes.

  • Repeat this process for approximately 20 strokes on both sides of the blade.

  • Turn the grinding stone over to the coarse side, reapply the oil or water and repeat the entire process for another 20 strokes.

  • Test the sharpness of the blade on a tomato or similar fruit or vegetable. A sharp blade will easily slice the fruit, whereas a dull blade will smash and tear the tomato.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a sharpening steel to keep the blade honed after each use. Use a grinding stone only for extremely dull blades.

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  • Photo Credit grindstone image by Alex White from
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