Question Of The Day: How Do I Use A Japanese Water Stone?


Image: Chris Dumm

It’s time for me to move up in the world of sharpening, and I’ve decided to start with a medium-grit Japanese water stone. A fine 6000-grit stone is on its way, but I don’t know sweet F-A about using either of them. And I’m betting that some of you can help me with that . . .

Water Stone Instructions I know some wiseacre will tell me to RTFM, and I tried but the damned thing is in Japanese. The illustrations, while helpful, only get me so far.Before I trash these stones or mangle a good blade, I wanted to play ‘ask the audience’ and do some crowd-sourcing.

Do you have water stones, and if so, what’s your technique?


14 responses to ‘Question Of The Day: How Do I Use A Japanese Water Stone?

    • I am guessing no difference and you use water vs oil. I use a lansky artificial stone designed for sharpening yard tools ect for all my bush gear, machete, bowie, hatchet ect. For a finer blade, I use a ceramic or diamond V shaped sharpener.

    • They are different. The whet stones use oil to float the swarf that comes off the knife so it doesn’t clog the stone’s biting surface. The Japanese stones create a slurry from the stone itself that speeds up the sharpening process.

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