Lessons > Knife Sharpening w/ a Whetstone

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★★★★★ (169)

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Lesson Overview

The sign of a true professional chef is one that trusts solely their own hands to sharpen their most important kitchen tool – their chef’s knife. A sharp knife is essential in every kitchen, yet the vast majority of cooks have knives that cannot even cut through a tomato without difficulty.

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Lesson Objectives

At the end of this lesson you'll be able to:
  • understand the importance of a sharp knife
  • understand what happens to a knife during sharpening
  • know how to properly sharpen a chef’s knife using a whetstone
  • know how to properly polish a chef’s knife
  • know how to care for your whetstone

Course Syllabus

START: Watch Lesson Platform Tour
1. Knife Sharpening with a Whetstone 3 mins
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2. Complete Your Self Assessment 2 mins
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3. The Importance of a Sharp Knife 1 min
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4. Types of Whetstones 20 mins
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5. What Happens During Knife Sharpening 2 mins
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6. Sharpening & Polishing a Knife 30 mins
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7. Lesson Quiz 10 mins
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Finish Line 1 hr 8 mins Total Time

Prerequisites & Related Lessons

Please consider these additional lessons to support your learning and discovery. Some of these lessons are prerequisites that may help contextualize what you are learning and form a baseline of knowledge and skill. Other lessons are related and may help you explore next steps or dive deeper on a learning topic.
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What People Are Saying

Krisalyn S "For the first time in my life, I have a sharp knife!" Krisalyn S. ★★★★★
Debra B "This is the best explanation of knife sharpening, especially with the graphics, that I've ever seen - and I grew up in Alaska where my dad was very persnickety about sharp knives during fishing season!" Debra B. ★★★★★
Default profile "Even if you can sharpen your own knives, you will still need to watch all videos and read all material in order to pass the test. I found that my grandfather taught me pretty good on how to sharpen a knife. Thanks Rouxbe" ★★★★★
Default profile "For the first time in my life, I have a sharp knife!" ★★★★★
Default profile "wonderful" ★★★★★
Default profile "missing a note about different kinds of sharpeners and why they shouldn't be used" ★★★★
Default profile "I just bought a whetstone." ★★★★
Default profile "GREAT" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very nicee explained I learned some very nice hints to improve my kinfe caring" ★★★★★
Default profile "IT WAS MORE DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW THE THE VIDIO (UNDERSTAND) FOR ME..." ★★★★★
Default profile "Great! I had no idea before in doing that! Very detailed!" ★★★★
Default profile "Another excellent lesson. It took me a while to get the hang of the angle so I got a few scratches on the blade. Although I could feel the burr after only 30/40 strokes I wasn't sure if it was long enough, although I did start on the other side then and found that by following the instructions I did sharpen the knife sfficiently to cut the paper by the end which I had no hope of doing at the beginning!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I'm ordering a whet stone as soon as I can!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Excellent attention to the technique." ★★★★
Default profile "Easy to understand." ★★★★★
Default profile "I knew absolutely nothing about sharpening a knife, now i know how to….." ★★★★★
Default profile "Good lesson, just need to put it into practise. Would be nice if they told you what you need before you started the lesson so you could follow along." ★★★★
Default profile "Reveals the mysteries of what a sharp knife is and how to get and maintain one." ★★★★★
Default profile "could use some more info relating to sharpening with steels" ★★★★
Default profile "I thought I actually knew how to sharpen a knife. I'm very pleased with this lesson. Thanks Rouxbe!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Excellent." ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson should show how to hone a knife as well." ★★★
Default profile "This is the best explanation of knife sharpening, especially with the graphics, that I've ever seen - and I grew up in Alaska where my dad was very persnickety about sharp knives during fishing season!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Looking forward to buying and working with my new kitchen utensils." ★★★★★
Default profile "I wish more information was given about choosing grits. I bought a #1000 grit Japanese whetstone (King brand) based on Amazon reviews, and and sharpening took forever. It makes a nice smooth sound while sharpening, though :)" ★★★★
Default profile "This course was awesome!! Thank you!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very good lesson but could have done with a little more instruction on the sharpening technique." ★★★★
Default profile "that was outstanding instruction!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very instructional. Very helpful. Thank you" ★★★★★
Default profile "This was a great introduction, particularly the video that clearly demonstrates the stroke and hand position. Chad Ward's An Edge in the Kitchen makes a good follow-up for more detail and further instructions." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very good instruction on how to properly sharpen a knife on a whetstone." ★★★★★
Default profile "Knife sharpening always belonged to my grandfather and father...sooo when I live without them this lesson is incredibly helpful as I rate it :)" ★★★★★
Default profile "This is one of the most important lessons in my opinion. Sharpening your own knives will build a level of confidence you simply won't achieve by trusting others to tell you when it's sharp enough. You become much more in tune with your most important kitchen tool and the psychological boost is priceless" ★★★★★
Default profile "its awesome" ★★★★★
Default profile "Never tried a whetstone before, may have to buy one to try it now I know how to use it." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very helpful. Something I have been wanting to learn and do for quite some time. Now I will purchase the whetstones and take better care of my knives. G" ★★★★★
Default profile "Great lesson, well presented. Thank you." ★★★★★
Default profile "outstanding presentation of sharpening concepts!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I had no idea about sharpening knives. I have a nice set of Henckles that haven't ever been honed or sharpened. I have owned them for 16 years!! I have my stone now and will be busy for a while! Awesome lesson, thank you!!!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "A lot of helpful information, but I have yet to give it a try. I guess the first step would be to purchase a whetstone. I had a cheap-ish one and it didn't seem to do anything to my knives except make them even less sharp." ★★★★
Default profile "I need more of this. My husband has always been the knife sharpner." ★★★★★
Default profile "The lecture and the videos were well done, and I learned exactly what I've been wanting to know for years--how to sharpen my own knives. That's liberating! Was that a computer voice doing the voice-over throughout? It had a strange quality to it. In the quiz, I was baffled by some of the questions, and later I figured out that when there was a small green arrow to the right of each choice, it led to a short demonstration video. That may have been explained in the course overview, but I didn't pick up on it. I did rather poorly in my self-assessment for the same reason--I was unaware there were videos associated with some of the questions that helped explain them. Overall, I'm content with my new knowledge about sharpening knives at home." ★★★★
Default profile "Very straightforward and simple, just takes time. I use Shun Edo/Classic knives and I was surprised how long it took to get that first burr." ★★★★★
Default profile "Learned how to properly sharpen a knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "Excellent" ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson was short and easy and you need to really watch the videos to be able to really pass the test." ★★★★★
Default profile "I was totally ignorant about all of this lesson's information. I now believe I will be able to sharpen and hone my own knives." ★★★★★
Default profile "It is very helpful and learn how to hone a knife ." ★★★★★
Show More
6 Videos | 7 Tasks
Task 1: Knife Sharpening with a Whetstone
Task 2: Complete Your Self Assessment
Task 3: The Importance of a Sharp Knife
Task 4: Types of Whetstones
Task 5: What Happens During Knife Sharpening
Task 6: Sharpening & Polishing a Knife
Task 7: Lesson Quiz

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