How To Sharpen Japanese Kitchen Knives

Have you been wondering how you should sharpen Japanese kitchen knives? It is important to keep the knives sharp especially if you are a professional or a weekender foodie who loves preparing food very fast. An extra sharp knife will enable you to cut food with less slippage. There are numerous reasons to keep your Japanese knives sharp. Appearance, safety and efficiency are some of the reasons you are advised to keep your Japanese knives sharp.

In this article, we will show you how to sharpen kitchen knives. After reading this article, you will start treating the sharpening of your knives as a pleasure and not a chore. You will end up improving your cooking while at the same time shortening the preparation time.

Firstly, you should fill a food storage container with water. It is advisable to submerge the whetstone. Kindly allow the whetstone to soak. How will you know that the preparation is complete? There should be no bubbles coming out of the stone. Remember to spread a cloth just under where you will be sharpening your knife. This ensures that you don’t experience any kind of slipping.


How To Sharpen Japanese Kitchen Knives

1. Place the reverse side of the blade flatly

This should be done when your knife does not cut as well during daily use. In that case, you can consider using a medium whetstone or finishing whetstone. Start by forming a rough shape more so if the blade has become very blunt and has developed nicks. From there, you can start sharpening using a medium whetstone. It is advisable to do this by finishing a whetstone.

Most people prefer to start sharpening from the reverse side and repeating the process of reverse side and face side. The best way to go about it is sharpening the face side not less than seven times. You might be wondering the reason why this is done. It is mainly done to prevent a phenomenon where both blades are brittle from the reverse side overcharging.

Kindly don’t forget to finish the reverse side regardless of the whetstone type you are using. After you have done this, you can return to the normal blade position. Keep in mind that small amounts of water should be added occasionally during sharpening. Additionally, you should flip the blade over to the face side when you are sharpening the sludge forms.

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2. Flip the blade over the whetstone. 

In other words, hand holding the handle of the knife is regarded to as a gripping hand. On the other hand, sharpening hand is a term that is used to describe hand guiding the knife. It is at this point where you are required to grab the handle firmly with one hand. You should also hold the knife at a point as close as possible. This is done simply because the greatest amount of force is applied under the fingers.

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3. Run the ball of your finger along the side of the blade

Have you ever felt a catch when running the ball of your finger? Usually, this is referred to as burr. Typically, it shows that the edge has formed. The trick to sharpening the knife well is to take time to sharpen the knife slowly. You should sharpen your knives without cutting corners.

Kindly don’t rush until you are experienced with the process of sharpening the knife. Finally, always remember to check your progress numerous times.

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4. Sharpen the reverse side multiple times

It is at this point where you are required to sharpen the reverse side of the knife several times. As you sharpen your knife several times, remember to remove the burr.

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5. Wash away the sharpening sludge 

You should consider washing the sharpening sludge after the burr has completely be removed. After doing that, you are advised to smooth the whole blade.

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6. Place the tip of the knife to the whetstone 

This is the last step where you should lift up a little bit. Additionally, you should sharpen the beveled edge several times. This process is popularly known as KOBADOME. The main essence of this process is to finish with a strong edge.

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7.  Wipe the sharpened knife with a dry cloth

Wiping should only be done after washing the knife with hot water. After you have wiped it with a dry cloth, you should apply an oil coating. The last thing should be wrapping the knife in plastic or any other similar material. The sharpened knife should be stored in a place with minimal moisture.

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8. Use a tool for plane correcting

This will make the surface of the whetstone flat again. In case you are sharpening your knife at home, it would be better to rub the whetstone. It would be ideal if you rub it with another whetstone surface.

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Important points to remember when sharpening a Japanese knife

Remember to take care so that you don’t end up cutting yourself. You should take a lot of care especially if you are touching the blade directly. Your blade will end up developing nicks if you sharpen the blade too thinly. After you have sharpened the knife, you should keep it away from kids because it must be very sharp.

Final Thoughts

To some people, sharpening the highly regarded Japanese kitchen knife can be a mystery. On the other hand, it can be an obsession for others. Nowadays, most people are somewhere in between. Fortunately, the above guide will help you sharpen the Japanese kitchen knife easily. You should not skip any step in the above article. And now that you have gone through the detailed article on how to sharpen Japanese kitchen knives, you can go ahead and sharpen for other people. We hope that this detailed guide will help you in the future. Do you have any questions regarding how to sharpen a Japanese kitchen knife? We look forward to hearing from you. Till next time. Thanks!

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