10 Week Chef Course - How to Sharpen a Knife

January 21
Chef Tyler    X   Chef Jason
Cook time: 90 minutes
Difficulty: Beginner
Watch On-Demand Video

Before you start

  1. Homework: 30 Minutes Before the Class
  2. Place the whetstone into the pyrex container and cover with cold water.
  3. Allow the whetstone to soak and absorb some of the water. This is super important to keep the stone lubricated during sharpening.

Shopping List


Honing Steel


2 Pennies

13x9” Pyrex container or similar sized container


  1. How to Find the Angle
  2. Wet your kitchen towel or a handful of paper towels and form into a rectangle large enough to hold the whetstone.
  3. Place the towel on your countertop and put the whetstone on top with the coarse side facing up.
  4. Place 2 pennies on the surface of the whetstone.
  5. Angle the knife with the spine on the pennies and note the angle. This is the angle that we are going to sharpen our knives.
  6. Once you find the angle for sharpening, we can move forward with sharpening itself.

How to cook

  1. Execution
  2. Spread a little water on top of the coarse side of the whetstone.
  3. Find the angle with the edge of the blade and hold the knife at a 45-degree angle to the whetstone itself.
  4. Starting at the base of the blade, lightly press down with your fingertips on the edge of the blade itself and slide the blade up the whetstone.
  5. When you bring the knife back towards you, release the pressure on the edge of the blade.
  6. Reposition your fingertips up the blade edge and repeat.
  7. The goal is to create a small burr on the back side of the blade that is even across the blade edge itself.
  8. Once the burr is accomplished, flip the knife over and repeat this process. The best cadence is: big burr, big burr, little burr, little burr.
  9. After the knife has been sharpened on the coarse side of the whetstone, it’s time to repeat this process on the smooth side of the whetstone. Sharpening your knife on the coarse grit first and moving into increasingly smoother grit levels ensures that the edge strength is maintained and your knife stays sharper, longer.
  10. After finishing the sharpening process on the smooth edge of the stone, now it is time to really hone the edge of the blade itself.
  11. Place the edge of your blade into the cork and slide the entire edge along the cork. This will really hone the edge of the blade and keep it incredibly sharp.
  12. Now the way to test your knife is to see if it can thinly slice this recipe card!! If so, you’ve got a super sharp knife over there. Congratulations, Chef!

From the chef

Chefs Jason and Tyler again! In our second class of the 10 Week Chef Course, we're moving from cutting to sharpening. Building on the foundation laid in our initial session on knife skills, in this class, we'll teach you the lowdown on keeping your knives super sharp. Say goodbye to dull blades as we dive into the basics of making your knives slicing pros. Get ready for a fun and useful session on sharpening – let's make those knives work like a charm!

Don't forget to bring your cheese and wine!!

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