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Whetstone

A particular gentle and effective way of sharpening knives is to maintain their edge using a whetstone. WÜSTHOF whetstones consist of a high-quality combination of various abrasive grits. The stones have two different sides: One with a fine grit and the other with a coarse grit.

Use the coarse side of the whetstone to grind away any roughness.
This is the pre-sharpening stage. Use the fine side to give the knife its sharpness - this is the fine sharpening stage - and to polish the edge.
The finer the grit of the stone, the finer the edge.

How to use the whetstone

Important: Take care when sharpening your knives using a whetstone.

  • Submerge the whetstone in water for about five to ten minutes to soak. When there are no more little air bubbles appearing, the stone has absorbed the optimum amount of water.
  • Continue to apply water whilst sharpening. The water combines with small particles released from the stone to form an abrasive substance, which allows the sharpening to take place.
  • Place the stone on a slip-resistant base, e.g. our whetstone collect pan .
  • Start by using the coarse grit of the stone.
  • Move the blade back and forth (away from and towards the body) at an angle of 10 - 15° across the entire stone.
  • Use light pressure.
  • Start at the tip of the blade. Pull the blade over the stone through to the middle and down to the base of the blade. After a short time, a fine edge will have developed.
  • Turn the knife around and work on the other side of the blade.
  • Repeat this process several times as necessary.
  • Important: Always maintain the same angle.
  • To finish, pull the blade twice at an angle to the cutting edge to remove the last burrs. Your knife should now be really sharp.
  • Rinse off the whetstone and clean off the grinding residue.
  • Rinse the knives carefully in hot water.

Grit

There are fixed standards for grit sizes - a European standard and a Japanese standard.
These are abbreviated to (F) or (J). The smaller the grit value, the coarser the stone.

European standard (F):
FEPA F (Fédération Européenne des Fabricants de Produit Abrasifs)
Japanese standard (J):
JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard)

The WÜSTHOF 4451 whetstone, for example, has
a coarse side with a F 400 / J 1000 grit and
a fine side with a F1000 / J 3000 grit:

Whetstone 4451
Whetstone 4451