Best knife sharpening tips?

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To sharpen a knife properly, keep the blade and sharpening stone wet with water, oil, or spit. Use a rough whetstone and work up to a smoother grit stone, and finish with a steel to straighten the edge. Natural stone is better than sandpaper or files, and lubrication is key to blade longevity.

Some of the best knife sharpening tips involve safety tactics and blade longevity. The best tip for any type of knife sharpening is to keep the blade and sharpening stone wet during the process. Lubrication can come in the form of water, oil, or spit. The best results are commonly achieved by following another tip: Start with a rough whetstone and work your way up to a smoother and smoother grit stone until you finish. Maybe tip no. 1 of ensuring a razor sharp knife when finished with a sharpening stone is to finish each knife sharpening session with the steel running over the freshly sharpened edge.

There is an art to proper knife sharpening, and following a few tips will help sharpen any blade successfully. Lubrication is key to not only sharpening your knife properly, but also to the survival and longevity of the blade itself. Drawing the blade across a sharp stone creates heat. Heat is the enemy of steel, so knife blades are damaged and eventually destroyed when subjected to prolonged and continuous heating sessions. By placing a drop or two of water or light oil on the surface of the whetstone, the liquid not only provides the required cooling effect, but also carries away small particles of steel or filings from the edge of the blade.

When there is no other option, a small amount of spit on the whetstone will suffice, however, the spit contains salt, which can damage the fine edge of the blade over time. Another tip that will help sharpen knives is to use natural stone to sharpen the blade. The stone is often much better on the steel knife blade than sandpaper or files, and usually doesn’t remove as much material from the blade in one pass. This results in a longer lasting blade.

A freshly sharpened knife should always be placed against a piece of quality steel to finalize the knife sharpening process. The fine edge of the knife blade will be curled slightly after the last session of sharpening the knife on a stone, regardless of the final grit used on the blade. Running the knife blade across a piece of steel, a few strokes on each side, will straighten the edge and result in a dangerously sharp blade that can be touched up a few times using just the steel. The actual sharpening of the knife is not done by steel, however, it refines the edge after proper sharpening.

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