I have a Japanese Shun chef's knfve, and I've been bad about sharpening it. I haven't sharpened it since buying it in August and now it takes a bit of effort to slice through a potato or carrot.

I just bought a Japanese Water stone on recommendation from my butcher, it's dual sided with 1,000 grit on one side and 4,000 on the other. The advice I was given, was to sharpen it on the fine side (4,000) weekly and the coarse (1,000) ever few months. Given, that I've never sharpened it since buying it months ago, should I start on the 1,000 side and then give it a go on the 4,000 side ?

  • 3
    Also... if this is your first time sharpening a knife with a water stone (sounds like it), practice on something cheap. Getting it wrong (e.g., wrong angle) can do some serious damage to the knife.
    – derobert
    Dec 19, 2016 at 14:28
  • How do I find the right angle? Dec 19, 2016 at 15:16
  • 1
    Start with the courser (smaller number). Many guides and videos on the Internet. knifeplanet.net/how-to-sharpen-knife-on-japanese-water-stone You should practice with the finer stone.
    – paparazzo
    Dec 19, 2016 at 16:31
  • 1
    Also include stropping in your knife maintenance regime - a supply of clean whole newspapers is all you need, but flat leather with or without polishing paste will work too. .... Was the "fine side weekly" recommendation given for professional-duty use? Dec 19, 2016 at 16:55
  • 1
    Ask the manufacture for their recommendations. Dec 20, 2016 at 3:55

1 Answer 1


Yes. The coarser grit removes material faster, but leaves a rougher finish. The finer side then allows you to bring the edge to a fine polish. The most important thing to remember when sharpening is to keep the blade at a constant angle relative to the stone -- don't change the tilt of the blade as you move or you'll just make a mess of it.

  • 2
    Also look at how the knife's edge is currently bevelled - some knives only have a bevel on one side. If that's the case, don't sharpen both sides.
    – user51717
    Dec 19, 2016 at 14:32

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.