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Japanese Kitchen Knife Sharpening Information

Sharpening Angle – Most Japanese kitchen knives are sharpened at a 15-to-16-degree bevel, I personally sharpen my knives at 14 degrees, and I find they hold their edge very well and are very sharp once they have been through the 1000 – 6000 – 10,000 grit stones.

Bevel Guides

Clam Shaped blade diagram

Bevel Guide for same angle both sides

When you start out sharpening you can use several aides to ensure you are sharpening at the correct angle for the knife.

A popular method is the Sharpie method where you use a sharpie pen to colour the bevel and just above and using a few passes on the stone check to see if you have the correct angle.

Sharpening Guide

This is one of the Illustrated methods found on the web.

Sharpie Pen method for finding the correct angle of you blade

If you struggle maintaining the correct angle you can either, make or buy an angle guide. Some sharpening guides suggest that you can stack coins as a guide to the knifes sharpening angle. I have personally not found this to work so I made some angle guides using some rigid plastic, the idea being that you get the feel of the angel before you start to sharpen your knife.

My personal recommendation is to use a cheap knife as a practice knife, this will ensure you have the right “feel” for the sharpening angle before you attempt to sharpen your more exp