How Many Strokes To Sharpen a Knife?

Not every dull knife is the same, and some require more sharpening than others to bring them back to a useful state. This requires using enough strokes to get their edge sharp again. But how much is too much?

How many strokes does it take to sharpen a knife?

A knife that is only used for light tasks may only need 5-10 strokes on each side of the blade to be considered sharp. A knife that is dull from heavy use, or one that was never very sharp, to begin with, can require 20-30 strokes or more on each side.

In general, we suggest 5 strokes on each side, but if you perform 15-20 strokes on one side, then do 15-20 on the other. As this makes it more difficult to maintain your angle or locate a burr, don’t swap sides with each stroke.

Slide the blade forward and over the whetstone with moderate pressure, covering the full length of the blade and maintaining a consistent 22-degree angle against the stone. Once you’ve done this 10 times, turn the knife over and do the same thing on the other side

How many times should you run a knife through a sharpener?

Pull the knife through the sharpener’s coarse slot three to six times with steady pressure, starting at the heel and working your way to the tip (pull through more times for more dull or damaged knives).

When sharpening a knife do you push or pull?

When sharpening a knife on a whetstone, you must modify your technique to work on the opposite bevel of the edge. Pulling the knife toward you when the sharp edge is facing away from you is the greatest choice when using a knife on a whetstone with the sharp edge facing away from you.

Is 1000 grit enough to sharpen a knife?

Whetstones come in various grits, such as fine, medium, and coarse. Grits between 1000 and 3000 are used to fix knives with chipped edges, while grits between 4000 and 8000 are used to fine-tune your knife edge.

Related Questions and Answers

How long does it take to sharpen a really dull knife?

When your knife is still quite sharp, it’s best to sharpen it as soon as you have the chance. Sharpening the knife will only take a matter of minutes if you do this. To save time, don’t wait until the blade is completely dull before sharpening.

What is the best way to sharpen knives?

The quickest method to sharpen a knife is to use a knife sharpener.

Should I sharpen my knife every day?

You should not have to sharpen your knives every day. It is possible to keep a set of razor-sharp blades, but it is dependent on how often you use them. Getting your kitchen knives professionally sharpened twice a year is recommended by professionals in addition to having them honed after 2-4 usage at home.

How long does it take to sharpen a knife on a whetstone?

Sharpening a knife with a series of whetstones takes around 45 minutes. You shouldn’t have to do this very frequently, however. If your steel has a hardness of 60 or more, you can keep its edge for at least six months with only a little stropping once a week. Stropping is a time-consuming process.

Can I sharpen a serrated bread knife?

Sharpening your bread knife, serrated steak knife, or any other serrated blade takes very little time or effort if you use a serrated knife sharpener.

Is 2000 grit whetstone enough?

Median grit stones are those that range from 1000 to 3000 grit. You should, however, keep in mind that medium stones might wear out your knife with time. Nevertheless, if you often use whetstones, you should go for grits between 2000 and 3000.

Do I need a finishing stone?

We suggest an 8000 grit finishing stone for those with some sharpening expertise. If you’re unsure or just starting out, grits between 3000 and 6000 should work just fine. Sharpening requires at least three stones if you plan on doing a lot of work with your tool(s).

How many strokes are needed to sharpen a knife?

This video has the answer:

How much pressure is in a whetstone?

The general view on the ideal pressure for sharpening knives is that a lighter but firmer grip and moderate pressure on the knife, between 2 and 4 pounds of force or around 1 to 2 kilos, are necessary for effective sharpening.

Do you sharpen both sides of a knife?

When sharpening a knife, hold the knife at a constant angle against the stone to ensure that both sides are sharpened to the same degree. This is not to be confused with the included angle, which is the angle where the blade’s two sides meet.

How long should a knife stay sharp?

If you’ve been honing your knives, you should only need to sharpen them once every two to three years. There are ceramic blades that last up to 10 times longer than steel knives. Ceramic knives may endure a long time if cared for properly.

Do honing steels wear out?

Even while ceramic sharpening “steels” are indestructible, the removed metal particles on their surface may accumulate. With a scouring pad, they may be restored to their original condition.

Can a knife sharpener get dull?

Knife sharpeners do lose their sharpness with time, but because of the material they are built of, this takes a long time. The life of the abrasive is influenced by the quality of the sharpening tool. Invest in the greatest knife sharpener you can find.

How many passes are needed on a whetstone?

With gentle pressure, rake the blade over the stone at around 20 degrees, being careful to strike the full blade It’s recommended that you do roughly ten passes.

Can you use a whetstone dry?

Using natural sharpening stones moist is preferred over dry. 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.

How long should I soak my whetstone?

To begin, fill your whetstone with water and let it soak for a few minutes. Unlike coarse grit whetstones, fine grit stones require just a few minutes of soaking to avoid splitting. For coarse grit whetstones, soak for around 15 to 20 minutes. Place a coarse grit whetstone on top of a kitchen towel once the stone has been moistened.

Can you use a whetstone to sharpen a serrated knife?

Sharpening between the serrations of a serrated bread knife may be accomplished using a whetstone or other suitable sharpening tool. Because of its grinding, concave slats, serrated blades need a different method of sharpening than straight knives.

Which side of a whetstone is coarse?

Coarse and fine grit are often found on opposite sides of a whetstone. The coarse side is used to remove burrs and rough edges before sharpening. In order to get that dull blade to sharpen, the fine-grit side of the tool is used.


Sharpening a knife using a whetstone or coarse surface does not require many strokes. Just make sure to maintain control of the knife so as to prevent cutting your skin.

The “knife sharpening for beginners” is a question that has no right answer. The best way to sharpen a knife is by practicing and learning how to use the knife properly.

NEXT UP: Which Direction To Sharpen a Knife?

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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