Bob Vila Radio: What’s Whetstone?

Sharpening kitchen knives is a must if you want them to effectively chop, dice, and slice. Find out how a whetstone can help you improve your blades.

Keeping kitchen knives sharp makes food prep faster, easier, and practically painless—it actually lessens the chance you’ll cut yourself by eliminating the struggle to slice with a dull blade. Stay tuned to learn about whetstones, also known as sharpening stones, which the pros use for keeping their cutlery keen.

Sharpening Kitchen Knives



Listen to BOB VILA ON WHETSTONES or read below:

Whetstones are long, rectangular blocks made from composite stone. Generally, one of the flat surfaces of the stone has a coarse grit, while the reverse side is a bit finer to use for different rounds of sanding.

Before using the stone, soak it in water for 15 minutes, then lay it coarse-side-up on a towel. Holding the handle of your knife at a 20-degree angle to the whetstone with the edge facing away, pull the knife toward you, sliding the blade across the stone. Each time make sure the entire blade—from the tip, back to the handle—makes contact with the stone. Repeat that motion a dozen times on each side of the blade. Then flip the stone over to the fine-grit side and repeat the process.

You’ll probably need a little time to perfect the technique. But, once you have it mastered, your knives will only need sharpening a few times a year!

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!