Lessons > Knife Sharpening w/ a Whetstone

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★★★★★ (174)

30,726 Students
All Levels

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
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2. Complete Your Self Assessment
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3. The Importance of a Sharp Knife
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4. Types of Whetstones
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5. What Happens During Knife Sharpening
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6. Sharpening & Polishing a Knife
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7. Lesson Quiz
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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. ★★★★★
"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" ★★★★★
"For the first time in my life, I have a sharp knife!" ★★★★★
"wonderful" ★★★★★
"missing a note about different kinds of sharpeners and why they shouldn't be used" ★★★★
"I just bought a whetstone." ★★★★
"GREAT" ★★★★★
"Very nicee explained I learned some very nice hints to improve my kinfe caring" ★★★★★
"Great! I had no idea before in doing that! Very detailed!" ★★★★
"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!" ★★★★★
"I'm ordering a whet stone as soon as I can!" ★★★★★
"Excellent attention to the technique." ★★★★
"Easy to understand." ★★★★★
"I knew absolutely nothing about sharpening a knife, now i know how to….." ★★★★★
"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." ★★★★
"Reveals the mysteries of what a sharp knife is and how to get and maintain one." ★★★★★
"could use some more info relating to sharpening with steels" ★★★★
"I thought I actually knew how to sharpen a knife. I'm very pleased with this lesson. Thanks Rouxbe!" ★★★★★
"Excellent." ★★★★★
"This lesson should show how to hone a knife as well." ★★★
"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!" ★★★★★
"Looking forward to buying and working with my new kitchen utensils." ★★★★★
"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 :)" ★★★★
"This course was awesome!! Thank you!!" ★★★★★
"Very good lesson but could have done with a little more instruction on the sharpening technique." ★★★★
"that was outstanding instruction!" ★★★★★
"Very instructional. Very helpful. Thank you" ★★★★★
"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." ★★★★★
"Very good instruction on how to properly sharpen a knife on a whetstone." ★★★★★
"Knife sharpening always belonged to my grandfather and father...sooo when I live without them this lesson is incredibly helpful as I rate it :)" ★★★★★
"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" ★★★★★
"its awesome" ★★★★★
"Never tried a whetstone before, may have to buy one to try it now I know how to use it." ★★★★★
"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" ★★★★★
"Great lesson, well presented. Thank you." ★★★★★
"outstanding presentation of sharpening concepts!" ★★★★★
"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!!!!" ★★★★★
"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." ★★★★
"I need more of this. My husband has always been the knife sharpner." ★★★★★
"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." ★★★★
"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." ★★★★★
"Learned how to properly sharpen a knife." ★★★★★
"Excellent" ★★★★★
"This lesson was short and easy and you need to really watch the videos to be able to really pass the test." ★★★★★
"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." ★★★★★
"It is very helpful and learn how to hone a knife ." ★★★★★
"Mid" ★★★★★
"There was a lot in this lesson that I knew nothing about. Very informative." ★★★★★
"yes" ★★
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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