Asian knives come with delicate angles, requiring special attention when sharpening. These knives are used for tailing, filing fish or meat, and chopping hard vegetables. As a result, your Asian knives will have a harder time yielding precise dice and perfectly thin slices. So, how to sharpen Asian knives.

Sharpening Asian knives and other knives have little differences. All you need to ensure is maintaining the correct bevel angle while sharpening. Asian knives have a bit lower bevel angle of 17-degree (approximately). 

Here is a detailed guideline on what you need to do for sharpening Asian knives.

How to Sharpen Asian Knives – Step by Step

Cutting with a dull knife is frustrating. It will do more harm than good. More dangerously, dull knives are unsafe, causing serious injury. Keep your knives like new and razor-sharp by following the sharpening method described below.

Method 01: Using Whetstone

A whetstone is a traditional way to sharpen Asian knives. You can control the sharpening method precisely with these stones. They are an ideal option for those who use their Asian knives frequently. Here are the steps to follow.

Step 01: Gather Required Items

In order to complete the sharpening process successfully, you will need the below items.

  • A whetstone
  • A deep bowl to soak the whetstone
  • Your Asian knife
  • A soft or clean cloth to dry them off
  • A spoon

Step 02: Wet the Stone

Submerge the stone completely underwater. In the beginning, you will see a bubble coming from the stone. Take it off when bubbles disappear. It means the whetstone is ready to use. Usually, it happens after 15-20 minutes.

Step 03: Secure the Whetstone

It would always be best to secure the whetstone on a flat and stable surface. In this case, wrap a towel around the base of the whetstone. Thus, scratches on the tabletop can be prevented. At the same time, the whetstone will not slide off accidentally.

Step 04: Start Sharpening on the Coarse Side

So, how to use a whetstone to sharpen Asian knives? Don’t assume that sharpening with a whetstone is like giving a few strokes to the knife edge; you are done.

Whetstone comes with 2 different sides. One side is coarser, and the other side is finer. You have to begin the sharpening process with the coarser side.

Grab your Asian knife to an angle of 12-17 degrees. Then pass back and forth 10-15 times on both sides of the blade. By sharpening on the coarser side, most of the burrs and nicks of the edges will be removed. If the wetness of the whetstone reduces, pour a few drops of water to rewet the spot.

Step 05: Sharpen the Knife on the Finer Side

Now, turn the whetstone over and sharpen the knife edge on the finer side. This way, the edge will be polished and get a razor-sharp quality.

Remember to stroke the blade at an angle of 12-17 degrees 10-15 times. Check the sharpness of the blade before finishing.

How do I check the blade’s sharpness? Try to cut a thin piece of paper. If your Asian knife glides through the paper easily, sharpening is done.

Method 02: Asian-style Sharpener

Look for an Asian-style sharpener in your nearest shop. You can also buy one by browsing online. The benefits of these sharpeners are that they are set at specific bevel angles relevant to Asian knives. So, you don’t have to worry about finding a site for pointing the knife.

Step 01: Place the Sharpener on a Stable Surface

Always place your sharpener on a stable surface. Avoid holding it in your hand. A flat surface prevents the wobbling of the sharpener. Thankfully, most modern Asian knife sharpeners have rubberized feet to prevent accidental sliding.

Step 02: Read the User Manual

It is crucial to use the sharpener correctly to get a razor-sharp edge. The blade can damage if you pull the knife through the sharpener following the wrong process. So, read the user manual before proceeding. Choose a model that has 2 slots.

Step 03: Start Sharpening

Carefully place the knife in a slot. Lay the knife straight up and down in the coarser grits slot. Then pull it through 3-4 times, which will take any good pilings of the knife. This will keep the knife sharp for many days.

Then, continue the same process to the finer grit slot. Thus, you will get a well-polished edge. Once completed, your knife should be like new.

How to Sharpen Asian Knives: FAQs

What angle do Asian knives sharpen?

Asian knives have lower angles, and you must sharpen them, maintaining 12-17 degrees. Choosing the correct angle ensures the durability and sharpness of the blade.

What is the difference between standard and Asian knife sharpening?

The biggest difference is the bevel angle. While standard knives have a bevel angle of 20-25 degrees, Asian knives have roughly 12-17 degrees of bevel angle. Other than this, the sharpening materials and methods are the same.

Conclusion: How to Sharpen Asian Knives

Everyone wants to keep their Asian knives sharp for many days. It is only possible when you follow the correct procedure about how to sharpen Asian knives.

Don’t bring your knives into contact with other metals. Use the knife for the purposes that it is made for. Also, avoid putting your knife in a dishwasher. This is a one-way ticket to a damaged knife.


Oliver aka Arannyk Monon is a versatile content writer, editor, and content strategist. He has been writing for the last 10 years to help people get the actual information that they are searching for on Search Engines. He has proven expertise in Kitchen, automotive, camera, hosting, and other technical topics.

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