Which Direction To Sharpen a Knife?

Sharpening a knife properly requires a certain skill level and direction in which the knife is moved along a surface. So which way do you sharpen a knife? Keep reading to find out.

Does it matter which direction you sharpen a knife?

There are two ways to sharpen a knife, with the blade pointing away from you or towards you. If you’re new to knife sharpening, it’s best to start with the blade pointing away from you. Once you get a feel for the proper angle and pressure, you can try sharpening it in the other direction.

In order to avoid damaging the gut hook, the sharpener’s thin, pointed end should be angled inwards toward the blade’s thickness. Make sure the sharpener’s angle matches the original edge’s. This will ensure that you don’t get stabbed by the blade’s point when sharpening.

Why do you sharpen a knife in one direction?

When sharpening a blade, if you are more at ease doing it in one way, do so. Go backward and forward if necessary. The grind patterns on the bevel will be more uniform if you just grind in one direction.

When sharpening a knife do you sharpen both sides?

Yes. Maintain a constant angle while sharpening a knife to ensure that all sides are sharpened to the same degree. Avoid confusion between this angle and what is termed the included angle, which is the angle at which the blades meet.

Which side of a sharpening stone is coarse?

There are two types of grit on a typical whetstone: coarse and fine. Using the coarse side, the pre-sharpening is done by removing any burrs and rough edges. In order to get that dull blade to sharpen, the fine-grit side of the tool is used.

What are the proper steps to safely clean a knife?

Dish soap and hot water are all you need to clean your knife after each usage. Clear water should be used to wash away dirt and debris. Clean paper towels may be used to blot or air-dry. Handle kitchen knives with care by the handles; don’t pile them in the sink or dishpan; instead, wash each one individually and store them with the handles up.

Related Questions and Answers

What is the last thing you must do after sharpening a knife?

Finish the procedure by honing your knife on a leather strop, which will help you get the best possible edge. Frequently strop and polish your knives. Between sharpenings, you’ll be able to keep your edge better using this.

How can you tell if a sharpening stone is oil or water?

The binding agent is what makes the difference between the two. Unlike oil stones, water stones include sharpening particles that are held in place by softer material. For example, magnesium reacts significantly to water yet remains very strong.

How long do you soak a sharpening stone?

Soak your whetstone in water before you start sanding it. In order to avoid cracking, some cooks do not wet their fine grit whetstones, even if the manufacturer recommends doing so. Whetstones with coarse grit should be soaked for 15 to 20 minutes before use. Place a coarse grit whetstone on top of a kitchen towel once the stone has been moistened.

Do you use oil or water on a sharpening stone?

Using natural sharpening stones dry is OK, but wet is preferred. Cleaning the pores of the stone with water, water-based honing oil, or petroleum-based honing oil promotes a smooth sharpening action while reducing frictional heat.

Which direction should you cut when cutting with a knife?

You should always keep the blade at a little angle away from your leading hand while cutting rocks in order to ensure a correct and safe rock chopping action. Serious damage may be caused if the blade is pointed towards the leading hand.

Can you over-sharpen a blade?

You can oversharpen a blade, especially if you use a V-sharpener or an electric sharpener. Sharpening your knives more than twice a year is unnecessary if you take proper care of them.

How do I sharpen a dull knife?

This video should provide an answer:

What angle do you use for honing?

A 20-degree angle is best for honing a knife.

How long should I sharpen my knife?

When sharpening a knife, it is best to do it when it is still a little bit sharp. If you follow these instructions, sharpening the knife against a stone will only take five to ten minutes. Waiting until the knife is really dull before sharpening will need additional time.

How often should I sharpen my knives?

Experts suggest getting your knives professionally sharpened at least once or twice a year in addition to honing them at home every 2-4 usage. A dull knife is more hazardous than a razor-sharp one, so this helps keep them sharp.

Can you use WD-40 on sharpening stones?

In addition to cleaning sharpening stones, the multipurpose oil spray WD-40 is an excellent choice for this task. Spray the stone with the oil and be careful to cover the whole surface.

How do you refresh a sharpening stone?

Afterward, dry the stone completely by running it under running water and doing so again. Remove any residual metal filings or dirt from your sharpening stone by washing it. Wash the stone for 1-2 minutes in warm water to guarantee cleanliness. A clean, dry cloth or paper towel may be used to dry the stone.

Can I leave a whetstone in water?

Keeping whetstones in water is not an issue for some, but this may be a problem for professionally produced stones, which can soften and break down. If you want to store your whetstone in water, make sure you get a high-quality stone and always adhere to the storage instructions provided by the manufacturer.

What is the best oil to use on a sharpening stone?

For sharpening, mineral oil is a good choice since it is light and does not harden or go rancid like other oils. Because a thick or viscous oil may impede the stone’s honing operation, light oil is preferable.

Should I use water on my whetstone?

No oil or water is required to utilize this stone, despite the name’s connotation as “whet.” Other sharpening stones typically have two sides: one coarse side and one fine side.

Why are Buck knives so hard to sharpen?

The blade grind is the primary source of the issue. The steel isn’t very tough. 420 stainless steel may have been used in the older models. The edges may also be sanded so thickly that they leave a “hump” at the end.

Can I use olive oil on a sharpening stone?

It is not recommended, but you may use olive oil because like the other vegetable oils it’s light and won’t leave a rancid or bad smell on your honing stone.


It does not matter which direction you sharpen a knife as long as you are able to keep control of the knife. The two worst things you can do is to sharpen it at the wrong angle or slip and cut yourself during the process.

The “knife sharpening techniques” is a question that has been asked for years. The answer to this question is up for debate. Some people say you should sharpen your knife in the same direction as the blade, while others say you should sharpen it in the opposite direction of the blade.

NEXT UP: Is a Jig Required to Sharpen a Knife Safely?

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Jack Harrison
About Jack Harrison

JT Harrison is an expert Survival Instructor, focused on wilderness and urban survival techniques. He focuses on survival, prepping, food, water, shelter and other essential steps individuals and families can take to live for long periods outdoors, or in crisis situations. JT has been trekking and climbing for 20+ years in some of the harshest environments in the world. Learn more about JT here or connect with him on Twitter