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For those in favor of ultimate control over their knife edges, a sharpening stone is in order. While it’s easy enough to find a cheap whetstone at the hardware store, they are usually too small and coarse for precision kitchen knives. We’re pleased to partner with industry experts DMT and offer their American-made Duosharp Bench Stone with Base, a dual-sided stone with an engineered diamond-impregnated cutting surface for effective, lifetime service. At 8 inches by 2.6 inches, the stone is larger than any other whetstone we’ve used and provides for the full length of a large chef’s knife to be sharpened at once, making it much easier to maintain a consistent angle than on smaller stones. Moreover, they only require water for lubrication, making them far tidier than oil stones. Like driving a manual transmission or tying a Windsor knot, stone knife sharpening takes practice to master but is a valuable lifetime skill. For starters, it’s imperative to maintain a consistent angle on each side of the blade: 20 degrees for Western-style knives and roughly 17 degrees for Asian knives. If you have trouble sorting out the angle, hold the blade at 90 degrees, then tip sideways halfway to 45 degrees, then halfway again to 22.5 degrees, then a hair more beyond that. To maintain the angle while sharpening, it helps to anchor your thumb in the middle of the top of the blade and sharpen by pivoting with your body, not through your arms. Starting with the grittier side, gently swipe the full length of the blade 5 to 8 times on each side. Flip the stone over and repeat with the finer grit surface to hone and polish. Make sure to wipe the blade clean before cooking to remove any metal dust.
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