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The Best Knife Sharpener is a Whetstone

Updated on April 23, 2013

Sharpening a Shun chefs knife with a whetstone and slurry stone

Using a sharpening stone

Probably the best way to sharpen a Shun Chefs knife [or any other knife for that matter] is to use a whetstone. The whetstone and slurry stone in this video are made from Welsh stone, which I picked up on a trip there years ago, but an Arkansas sharpening stone is a good substitute if you are in the United States of America. There are also multiple "fake stones," from which to choose.


It really is quite a simple procedure: all you need is a whetstone, a slurry stone, some water, and a stable base on which to rest the stone. As you can see from the video, it doesn't take much work and it is probably fairly pointless for me to describe the process as is easier to watch the video.


There are many standards to choose from, and there is a link to a few in this box below from Amazon. I actually prefer to buy these things through Amazon, because of the fantastic returns policy, and if you discover that you want to start is too small to big or too heavy or unsuitable in some way, you can just send it back for a refund.

Of course – once you bought your whetstone, you'll be able to sharpen not only kitchen knives, but pen knives, scissors, chisels and any other implement the needs sharpening occasionally. One thing I find really interesting is how many people spell whetstone without the "h" :) - it is not a wetstone.......

A sharp knife is a happy knife....

The Shun chefs knife is one of the best available.
The Shun chefs knife is one of the best available.

Shun chefs knives are worth the extra cost

I don't know why, but you rarely see anybody talking about slurry stones, so I guess they've just gone out of fashion for some reason, but this is a really nice way of sharpening a knife. And as for the Shun chef's knife in the video, it is probably [no - definitely] one of the best knives on the market. To my mind, using a honing stone is the cheapest and most reliable way of sharpening a knife, but a lot of people nowadays tend to buy electric knife sharpeners, which is fine for some – but I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist.

As you can see from the video, which is only about a minute and a half long, it does not take very long to sharpen a kitchen knife, and if you do a proper job of it, the edge will last a long time, and all you need to do is keep it sharp with a steel from time to time. Unless you're using the knife a vast amount, this will probably only need to be done once a month or so.

I know I keep going on about the Shun chef's knife, but it really is worth spending the extra money to buy a good quality knife in the first place, and one of these will last your lifetime, and possibly even longer than that. I've known these knives to be passed down from generation to generation.

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