Lessons > Knife Sharpening w/ a Whetstone

★★★★★ (167)

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.

Dull knives make cooking less enjoyable because the initial task of prepping ingredients becomes a difficult chore – not to mention a safety hazard to your fingers. The quality of your knife’s edge will ultimately reveal your desire and commitment to get cooking.

In this lesson, you will learn about the importance of a sharp knife. You will learn about various whetstones and how to care for them and what happens to a knife during sharpening. You will learn how to sharpen, polish and maintain your knives.

With just a bit of patience and practice, you will be able to sharpen your own knife just like a professional cook – a true crafts person. The first time you successfully sharpen your knife on a whetstone with your own hands to the point that it will cut through tomato skin and especially through paper, it will give you a boost of confidence. This will make it easier for you to pick up your knife and get started and will confirm that you belong to this craft we call cooking.

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. ★★★★★


15,207 students from beginner to advanced have completed this lesson from 76 countries.