There are several way to sharpen knives, and even electric sharpeners that can put an edge on most anything. But, the key to any sharpening system is the angle. The sharper the angle the sharper the knife will be. You have to know what angle the blade has before you try to sharpen it, or else you could just make it duller. Typical angles are 35° and 40°. If you are using a whetstone, you will have to estimate the angle. If you are using crock sticks, the angle is set for you. An electric sharpener has the angle pre-set as well.
1 Place a drop of water on the stone. Stones come in coarse or fine grit, and use whichever one suits the dullness of your knife. That is, if the knife is really dull, use a coarse grit to start off with; if it is just slightly dull, start with the finer grit.
2 Slide your knife through the oil to distribute it evenly.
3 Holding the knife at the appropriate angle, slide it across the stone away from you. Do this a few times.
4 Then turn it to the other side, and slide it across the stone toward you. Keep the knife at the same angle as the first side. Slide it the same number of times as you did on the first side.
5 Then check it to see if it is sharp by sliding it through a piece of paper. If it is not as sharp as you would like, then repeat the process. The key to using a whetstone is the angle, keep the angle constant, on both sides. Also make sure you do the same number of passes on each side.
1 Start with the gray sticks, the coarsest “grit”. Place them in the holder; they only go in one way and are at the proper angle.
2 Place the hilt and the top of the stick; pull the knife toward you and down the stick.
3 Then do the same thing on the other side of the knife, with the other stick. Do this several times on each side, alternating sides.
4 Switch to the white sticks, a finer grit, and repeat the process.
5 Test the sharpness by sliding the knife across a piece of paper. If it is not sharp enough, using the white sticks, do it again.