Whetstones are a gentle and an effective way to sharpen knives. WÜSTHOF whetstones consist of a combination of high-quality abrasive grits. Much like other sharpening techniques, whetstones offer a fine grit (honing) and a coarse grit (sharpening). The coarse grit is used to grind away material from the knife, allowing it to reset the edge. The fine grit can be used for regular maintenance or after sharpening in order to realign the microscopic teeth on the blade.
To sharpen a knife using a whetstone, submerge the stone in water for approximately ten minutes. When the stone absorbs the proper amount of water you will no longer see air bubbles floating to the top of the water. Place the whetstone on a flat, stable, slip-resistant surface coarse side facing up. Move the blade back and forth across the stone several times, tip to heel, at the correct angle for your knife. While sharpening, it is important to continuously pour water on the whetstone. Small particles release from the whetstone and form an abrasive substance when in contact with water. Repeat on the other side of the blade. Once this is complete, flip the stone over to the fine side and repeat the process. The fine side will take off any leftover steel. Finally, rinse the knives off in hot water.