How to Use a Whetstone: The 10 Steps Guideline

Whetstones or sharpening stones are one of the most important things to have at home. Apart from being an excellent buy for the homeowners, the whetstones are also a great tool to have while your camping or spending nights in the wild. The Whetstones are easier to use and offer many other purposes that can help you survive in the wild. So, make sure that you have a good quality whetstone with you and know how you can use it flawlessly and get the best performance.

Along with choosing to most efficient whetstone for yourself, it is also extremely important that you know how to use them perfectly. By knowing this, you can be assured of getting the best-in-class performance and avoid buying new knives and survival tools every now and then.

Here, we will be talking about the best and simplest way to use the whetstone and get the most efficient results even if you are using a whetstone for the first time.  SO, if you are planning to buy a new whetstone soon, and want to know all about it, we will suggest you to spend a few minutes on the article.

Important things to know about while purchasing a new whetstone

Before talking about the step-by-step guide to use the whetstones in the best way, we are going to talk about some more important things like choosing the best-in-class whetstone. By choosing the right whetstone can help you a lot in getting the most reliable performance and efficient usability. So, make sure that you are choosing the best in class and in budget whetstone to be assured of getting the flawless performance. Be assured that you are choosing the right and highly efficient whetstone for the price. Know more about the different types of whetstones available in the market and buy the right grit to get the best-valued product for yourself.

A step-by-step guide to getting the best performance

Now, we are going to discuss the ten-step guideline that can help you get flawless performance with ease. This step-to-step guide will help you get the best performance with ease. Go through it and be assured of getting the most flawless performance.

Step 1: Getting things Ready

The first step that you need to follow is to get things ready. By the necessary things, we mean the knife, the whetstone, and the lubricating medium, along with the other necessary things like the cleaning cloth and others. BY having all the necessary things in one place, you won’t have to search for the things after starting the sharpening process. Even though this step may look too basic for some readers, but believe us, by following this, you can make the overall sharpening process easy and more reliable.

Step 2: Stone should be well lubricated

Once you have all the necessary things along with you, the next thing to be assured of is to lubricate the whetstone perfectly. For this, it is also essential that you know your whetstone well. You can either have oil whetstone or water whetstone. The oil whetstones do not require much lubrication as they are self lubricated. In case you have the water whetstone, you need to keep the whetstone in water for at least half an hour before using it. By doing this, you can be assured of getting the most reliable performance without damaging the grit and texture of the whetstone.

Step 3: Place the stone to the most comfortable place where you can easily get the best handling

The next big thing to get the best performance is to find the right and most comfortable place where you can comfortably use the whetstone with ease. This will also help you use the whetstone with perfection without worrying about the unbalanced surface and other issues caused due to imperfect work areas. So, be sure to choose the right work area before using the whetstone.

Step 4: Know which side you should start with

Another important thing that you should consider while sharpening a knife is to know about the side of the knife that needs to be sharpened. By doing this, you can precise your work and make things go perfect according to the needs. There may be a case where you won’t need to work on both sides of the blade. On the other hand, there may be a case when one side of the knife needs more work than another side. So, make sure to know the knife well and know which side needs more sharpening than others.

Step 5: Make sure to consider sharpening angle

Most users do not consider the sharpening angle as an important aspect. However, if you are looking forward to getting the best performance, it is essential to choose the right angle for sharpening the blades and knives. You can go through the guide that comes with most of the whetstones from the good brand, or look for the online guide for a perfect sharpening angle. On the other hand, you can use the general sharpening angle for the type of knife you have at home (17-25 for kitchen knives, 25-30 degrees for survival and multi-utility knives, and 7-12 degrees for the straight razors.) You can easily use this simple guide to get the best sharpening angle for your knife.

Step 6: Check sharpness after every few passes

Another important step to consider while sharpening a knife or razor by using the whetstone is to check the sharpness after every few passes depending on the material of the blade. BY doing this you can be assured that you haven’t overworked on one side of the blade. So, instead of using the sharpening stone for long, check the sharpness after a few passes. This will also help you get the best-sharpened edge as per the needs.

Step 7: Work on one side at one time

Most users work on both sides, one after another and try to get the perfect sharpness. However, this can ruin the overall shape of the knife. SO, we will suggest you to work on one side get a perfect cutting angle and sharp edges with ease. This is the simplest and easiest way to sharpen the kitchen or survival knife with complete perfection.

Step 8: If needed go for the larger side of the whetstone to get the flawless sharpness

Most of the whetstones have two workings surfaces that can be used as per the needs. We will suggest you to start with the coarse side of the whetstone and then go for the finer side for the best detailing and performance. In case you have only one surface to work, you may need to work a bit harder to get the desired performance and sharpness.

Step 9: Clean the knife with a  clean cloth and check the improvement

While sharpening, keep a damp clean cloth with you that can be used to clean the edges of the blade to see the improvement with every single pass. By doing this, you can be assured that you have the desired sharpness on both sides of the blade according to the needs.

Step 10:  Wash the whetstone and store it in a safe place

Lastly, it is also important to keep the whetstone clean and safe after using it. Make sure to clean with whetstone with water and place it in the prescribed box. Also, if the whetstone came in a carry pouch, make sure to keep it safe in it to provide longer life.


So, these were the easiest step-to-step guide that you can use to get the most efficient performance from the whetstone. So, choose the best-quality whetstone foryourself according to needs and budget. You can easily rely on the above-listed step-to-step guide to get the best in class performance, regardless of the type and brand of whetstone you are using for yourself.

FAQs about How to use a Whetstone: 

Q: How do I use a whetstone to get the perfect sharpening required for my knife/machete?

A: Ensure the stone is level so the blade remains at a consistent angle throughout the sharpening period. This will get you the desired sharpening you require on your blade.

Q: Which grit do I use to sharp, dull/old blades of my machete/blade, and how to proceed through the procedure?

A: Use a coarse grit for dull blades or chips and progress to finer grits. This will ensure the knife remains sharp and doesn’t get any chips or cuts.

Q: At what angle do I tilt my knife/blade while sharpening it through a whetstone?

A: Angle the blade at around 20 degrees or as the manufacturer recommends for consistency.

Q: How do I get the perfect sharpening session/ how do I take care of my whetstone while sharpening?

A: Keep the stone lubricated with water or oil, depending on the whetstone being used. This will ensure that you get the perfect sharpening on your blade.

Q: How do I use my whetstone to get a sharp and tidy knife blade efficiently?

A: Use the alternate sides after every stroke when sharpening your blade to achieve an even edge and continue until you get your desired sharpness. This will keep your blade sharp, and the whetstone you use will also be in pristine condition.

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