Whetstone Sharpening

What We Do

We specialize in Japanese whetstone sharpening, a traditional hand sharpening technique. At its core, this means we sharpen each blade by hand on a series of natural and/or synthetic stones using water as a lubricant. We start the blade on a coarse stone and progressively sharpen it by moving it along stones of finer and finer grits. Until finally, we finish the process by deburring or honing the blade on a fine grit stone or a high quality leather strop. For major repairs and thinning, bolster reduction, and reprofilling, we use a custom fabricated specialized professional belt sander first, and always follow up and finish on stones and strops after this initial work.

While we think a whole lot about razor sharp edges, sharpening by hand on waterstones means we get to look beyond just the edge and think holistically about the entire tool. Because every knife is different, we don't use just one sharpening formula every time. Instead, we use unique combinations of our natural and synthetic whetstones for each blade to achieve a tailored finish, always taking into account your tool’s steel type, purpose, geometry and any of your specific preferences or requirements.

Why Whetstones

The process of whetstone sharpening celebrates centuries-old techniques! The process is both time-honored and still favored by professionals worldwide because sharpening by hand with whetstones (vs using machinery) has very practical benefits.


Gentle Nature

Due to the cooling nature of water, sharpening with whetstones will never produce too much heat to affect the temper of the steel. Furthermore, the process of sharpening manually requires a sharpener to be mentally engaged and invested in each sharpening motion. This allows for unmatched attention to detail to each millimeter of an edge! This awareness helps to prevent the removal of excessive or unnecessary amounts of metal from your blade, prolonging its lifespan and preserving its geometry.

Flexibility + Precision

Whetstone sharpening allows us to use a plethora of nuanced stones in endless combinations. Combine this diversity with the ability to adjust angles and pressure on sharpening strokes, and whetstone sharpening makes for virtually an innumerable amount of possible finishes for your steel - from an aggressive toothy edge, to the keenest of laser-like finishes just microns thick, and everything in between.

Overall Results

The combination of thoughtful and dynamic treatment results in a sharper, more precise, longer lasting edge for every type of blade, from softer stainless steels, to extremely fine grained high carbon blades. Best of all, continued intentional maintenance can give your knife a longer life, enhance your experience using it, and ultimately allow you to get the most out of the tools you cherish. 

Beyond Practical Benefits

We think using, learning, and exploring the exciting world of whetstone sharpening is a fun and inspiring experience! There are stones to be explored in nearly every corner of the world, each with their own unique geological and ancient history, and each amazingly beautiful (see 'about our tools'). By utilizing a whetstone sharpening process we hope to preserve and celebrate techniques and histories that have endured for centuries. In a world increasingly filled with disposable cheap machinery and products, we offer a crafts-service for products of craftsmanship that can last a lifetime.