How to Use a Grinding Stone to Sharpen Knives

Keeping knives sharp has a variety of advantages.

A good grinding stone and proper technique make knife sharpening simple and efficient.A good grinding stone and proper technique make knife sharpening simple and efficient.
Sharp blades cut easier, reducing the effort and time needed to finish a task. A well-honed edge makes a cleaner cut, allowing for precise shaping and carving. For these reasons, knives with a well-sharpened edge are safer than dull knives. Achieving a fine cutting edge is a simple matter of technique and the right type of grinding stone.

Place the towel or dishcloth on a flat table with the grinding stone on top and the coarse side facing up.

Apply enough oil or water to coat the upper surface of the stone with a thin film.

Hold the knife lengthwise against the stone at an angle of around 20 degrees.

Maintain the angle and grind the knife lengthwise across the stone away from your body. Use a smooth motion with long, unidirectional passes.

Repeat this process for approximately 20 strokes on both sides of the blade.

Turn the grinding stone over to the coarse side, reapply the oil or water and repeat the entire process for another 20 strokes.

Test the sharpness of the blade on a tomato or similar fruit or vegetable. A sharp blade will easily slice the fruit, whereas a dull blade will smash and tear the tomato.

Things You Will Need

  • Towel or dishcloth
  • Two-sided grinding stone (medium and fine grit)
  • Oil or water


  • Use a sharpening steel to keep the blade honed after each use. Use a grinding stone only for extremely dull blades.

About the Author

Kenrick Callwood has been involved in Internet marketing since 2007 and his work has appeared in numerous online publications. His main areas of expertise are psychology, travel and Internet marketing. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from California Polytechnic University.