Can you name the most common tool to hone a knife? The answer mostly would be a sharpening stone. It is easy to use but slightly tricky to maintain. Thus, it is crucial to know how to clean a sharpening stone.
This tool is also known as a whetstone. There are many exciting myths concerning this thing. The Norse God Odin had such a whetstone. With the sharpener, he could hone any weapon. Using the honing stone, Odin conquered many of his missions.
The sharpening stone is still very essential, especially for knife users. A sharp knife saves your time and effort. This sharpness comes from a well-maintained whetstone.
Are you wondering how hard this maintenance could be? This content is here to give you a perfect idea about that.
Why a Sharpening stone?
For knives and other chopping tools, sharp edges mean efficiency. A quick chopper makes the job quite relaxing. You need to apply less pressure, and the perfect shapes are ready for you.
Fortunately, this sharpness is not very hard to get. There are many electric and manual tools to brush-up your cutter.
Electronic tools are, however, complicated and expensive. They could even damage your favorite cutter if not appropriately handled. Thus, it is better to use a traditional whetstone.
Additionally, these sharpening stones can offer you the following benefits:
- Easy to Use: Anybody can use it to sharpen the tool.
- Less costly: This simple stone is less expensive than modern sharpeners.
- Easy to avail: You can pick this up from any convenient superstore quite easily.
- Lightweight: They are not as bulky as is the new sharpener.
- Easy to maintain: Cleaning the stone after each usage makes it suitable to go.
- Good result: This tool makes your knife sharp enough to chop materials finely.
Types of Sharpening Stone
Primarily this stone has the following three categories:
This stone uses one of the three common elements. The materials are Novaculite, Aluminum Oxide, and Silicon carbide. They are mixed with oil to remove the metal filling. These materials come with specific feature such as:
- Novaculite: Washita and Arkansas are the most common kinds. This natural stone provides a polished edge. However, it slows up the chopping speed.
- Aluminum Oxide: India stone is the most popular one from this material. These stones are coarser than Arkansas. Moreover, they manage to cut faster while polishing the edge.
- Silicon Carbide: This oil stone has the fastest cutting rate. They form the Crystolon Stones. They are useful for initial coarse sharpening.
Oil stone is cheaper and doesn’t require much flattening. However, its cutting speed is relatively slow. The metal filling process also gets clumsy with oil.
This stone, to some extent, is similar to oil stone. Nonetheless, water stone tends to be softer. Thus its cutting rate is comparatively faster. Also, this stone needs water to clean the filling. Therefore, the procedure gets less messy.
On the other hand, this fast-cutting speed causes frequent wear out. Thus, this stone needs more flattening to work well.
This kind uses industrial diamonds on a metal plate. Diamond stone has two types; mono-crystalline and poly-crystalline. They are very fast in sharpening. Also, the diamond stones can hold the flatness for a longer time. However, they are costly, as well.
In terms of Grit Size:
These stones are available in various grits. The standards range from fifty to thirty thousand. A higher range ensures a more refined edge. Lower ranges work best to sharpen knives.
However, the most common ranges include,
- Less than 1000: They are suitable for a chipped edge.
- 1000 to 3000: This range works excellent with the dull edge
- 4000 to 8000: If you want to refine the border, go for it.
How to use a sharpening stone
This great tool indeed ensures a well-performing knife for you. To get the best result, one may follow some steps while using. The steps are:
- Soak and wait: Soak the stone for five to ten minutes in water or oil. It will be ready to use when the bubbles go away.
- Place the Stone: Now, the user needs to place it on a flat surface. The stone should stand horizontally on the non-slippery stand.
- Position the knife: Place the knife at a 15-20 degree angle on the stone. For sharpening, the blade should stay on the coarse side.
- Move the knife: After placing the blade at the proper angle, the user needs to move it on the stone. The knife should always get even pressure while moving back and forth. 15-20 simultaneous movements would make each side sharp enough.
These steps would make the knife suitable to use.
How to clean a sharpening Stone
It is essential to clean the tool after every use. Without proper cleaning, it might lose efficacy. Thus, a sharpening stone should be carefully cleaned.
Before cleaning, make sure to arrange the following items:
- Dry Towel: For wrapping the dirty stone.
- The Honing oil: It is available in Water-base and Petroleum-base. Warm soapy water is also essential.
- Alternate to Honing oil: WD-10, Mineral Oil, Brake cleaner, Water, or automatic transmission fluid.
- Steel wool/Toothbrush: For rubbing the dirt.
- Towel or rag: For wiping the wet stone.
There are specific rules to clean the tool. They are as follow:
Prepare the Stone
Firstly; one needs to wrap the rusty stone in a towel
Choose and apply a cleaner or solution
Now a proper solution should be determined. These cleaners have a different purpose for serving. For Example
– WD-40 is an excellent kerosene-based solution. It works well on all kinds of dust. But it has a foul odor.
– Water is readily available. But it won’t clean the stone properly.
– Mineral Oil is useful for its lightweight. It can also remove rust immediately. Additionally, It doesn’t have a bad smell.
– Brake cleaners work well, but they are expensive.
Based on budget, requirement, and priority, it is vital to select a suitable solution. Then stone should be rinsed well with the solution. The cleaner should cover all the dirty areas.
After applying a proper solution, it is time to scrub the stone. A toothbrush or steel wool will do good. One should rub the stone in a circular motion for the best result.
- The sharpening process is done after scrubbing. However, many rinse it once again to clean the remaining rust. It prevents the risk of getting the knife contaminated or stained.
- Wipe with a dry towel
Lastly, the stone should be carefully wiped with a dry towel or rag.
For better performance, a flattening stone can further be used. This stone flattens the sharpener’s surface.
Nowadays, many types of honing tools are getting famous. Among all these, the traditional whetstone has more acceptances. It is famous as it’s easy to use.
Sharpening stone helps improve your skills with a knife. People working with a knife for a long time know the value of this tool.
Fortunately, it is not that hard to use the stone. The maintenance is also relatively easy. Knowing how to clean a sharpening stone should be enough to use it. Simply choosing the best alternates would do.