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Best Japanese Knives Sharpening Angle And How To Sharpen Like a Pro

Best Japanese Knives Sharpening Angle And How To Sharpen Like a Pro

In the art of cooking, owning a set of extremely sharp knives is not only a vital condition but also the ultimate secret to creating great meals. If you feel confused about choosing the Japanese knives sharpening angle for your Japanese knife and the technique of using a whetstone, not only will this article help you discover how to sharpen your knife to perfect sharpness, but it will also guide you through this. Consistently, without the expertise of a professional sharpener! Cooking is not just work, but also a creative and relaxing journey, and a sharp knife is the ideal companion on this path.

1. Why is it important to keep "Japanese knives sharpening angle" sharp?

In professional kitchens, owning a sharp knife is undeniable. Whether you're a professional chef or just a home cook, making sure all your tools are top quality will make or break your cooking experience.

Keeping the blade sharp is important to make cooking easier 

Keeping the blade sharp is important to make cooking easier

Enjoying the cooking process is no less important than enjoying the food you create - and using a dull knife can take away from the enjoyment of the experience. An unsharp blade can increase frustration and reduce enjoyment when performing tasks such as cutting, slicing, and chopping food. At Kiichin, we believe that cooking is not just a chore, but also an art. This creates space for creativity, experimentation, and relaxation after life's busy times. Using a sharp knife makes it easier for you to create unique and interesting meals.

Not only about the cooking experience, health and safety are also reasons why you should keep your "Japanese knives sharpening angle" sharp. When using a dull knife, you may feel the need to apply more force, especially when dealing with large, hard foods. To avoid unexpected problems, we recommend that you keep your knives as sharp as possible. This makes it easy for you to perform food preparation tasks smoothly and safely.

2. The correct Japanese knives sharpening angle

In general, the standard Japanese chef's knife usually has a correct knife sharpening angle of 30 to 40 degrees. However, this is the sum of both sides of the blade, formed from grinding both sides with bevels. For most popular knives, their edge is formed as a symmetrical V, with a 15-degree sharpening angle on each side, creating a total angle of 30 degrees.

However, single bevel knives are different. With this type of knife, one side of the blade is flat, and with a 15-degree sharpening angle on one side, the total sharpening angle is 15 degrees. This creates an extremely sharp edge.

The single bevel of Japanese knives, especially in Japanese cuisine, is not only a design element, but also reflects the thinking and philosophy behind the art of cooking. The knife is optimized to perform cutting tasks accurately and efficiently, especially in preparing sushi and sashimi. This specialization in design not only enhances cutting performance but also demonstrates respect for the art of cooking and ingredients.

The blade is created so that one side has a sharp edge, helping to create thin and even cuts. This specialization not only provides greater control when cutting, but also demonstrates the chef's seriousness and dedication to the art of cooking. In this context, knives are not just tools, but also a symbol of passion and creativity for creating great meals.

Why are Japanese knives sharpened on one side? This action is not only a technique, but also a part of philosophy, creating uniqueness and depth in the culinary art of the Land of the Rising Sun.

 Double bevel is a type of blade with two cutting sides, while a single bevel has only one cutting side

Double bevel is a type of blade with two cutting sides, while a single bevel has only one cutting side

For most Japanese knives, without specific instructions from the manufacturer, choosing a Japanese knives sharpening angle between 15 and 20 degrees and using it to create a 30 - 40 degree edge is a safe choice. Note that the bevel on one side is not an edge, so to get a 30 degree edge you will need to grind each side at a 15 degree angle.

This approach helps recreate the knife's original edge, and for most Japanese knives, a sharpening angle of 15 to 20 degrees is common. However, if you are not sure, start with a 15-degree angle and gradually increase until you find the angle that best suits your needs.

If you need to determine the Japanese knife sharpening angle for your knife without specific instructions from the manufacturer, you can use a laser protractor or a regular protractor to try and determine the angle. However, this can be more complicated because the edge of the knife can be dull, making angle measurements difficult and inaccurate.

A safe choice for most Japanese knives is to choose a Japanese knives sharpening angle of 15 to 20 degrees for each side of the blade. This will create a total sharpening angle of 30 to 40 degrees, which is a common standard for Japanese knives. This helps ensure the sharpness of the blade and also helps maintain its durability.

Remember, the angle of sharpening one side is not the edge, so to get a total edge of 30 degrees, you will need to sharpen both sides of the blade at a bevel, each side at 15 degrees. This helps you maintain knife sharpness and optimize cutting performance.

Below is a guide to the average knife sharpening angle that some leading knife manufacturers recommend:

  • Chef knife blade angle on each side = 15 degrees
  • Paring knife blade angle on each side = 14 degrees
  • Utility knife blade angle on each side = 15 Degrees
  • Fillet blade angle on each side = 16 Degree

3. Is there any difference between 15 degree and 20 degree knife edge?

The main difference between the 15-degree and 20-degree grind is that the 15-degree blade is sharper and sharpens faster, providing a smoother cut. However, at the same time, it also requires more regular maintenance to maintain its sharpness. On the contrary, the 20-degree sharpening angle has stronger durability, but does not achieve as high sharpness as the 15-degree angle.

 The main difference between 15 degree and 20 degree sharpening is the sharpening angle of the blade

The main difference between 15 degree and 20 degree sharpening is the sharpening angle of the blade

Deciding between the two Japanese knives sharpening angle depends not only on personal preference but also on your intended use of the knife. If you are looking for a multi-purpose knife, the 20-degree sharpening angle may be the right choice. However, if you want a versatile knife capable of handling complex tasks like cutting fruits and vegetables, the 15-degree sharpening angle may be a better choice.

There is no right or wrong answer when choosing between these Japanese knives angle, but it depends on the specific factors you are looking for in a knife and your personal preferences.

4. How to sharpen the correct Japanese knives sharpening angle?

What angle to sharpen japanese knives? Whenever you want to sharpen a Japanese knife to a precise angle, using your hands can be a challenge. For those without advanced skills, having a simple and intuitive guide is helpful.

The most popular way that many people choose to answer the question: "How to get the correct angle for knife sharpening?" is to use coins. When the blade is pointing down at a 90 degree angle, and when you tilt the knife creating a 45 degree angle, many people can measure by eye. However, with the 15-degree angle commonly used for Japanese knives, measuring by eye becomes difficult. Using a pair of coins stacked on top of each other, you can create a 15-degree angle, helping you maintain the sharpening angle easily and reliably.

 Use coins to determine sharpening angle easily

Use coins to determine sharpening angle easily

However, this is just a simple way and for high accuracy, you should measure the distance between the blade and the grinding stone, then use coins to adjust the angle in the appropriate way.

Japanese knives sharpening angle instructions are also an important document in every sharpening stone set, helping you sharpen your knives effectively and evenly without having to be an expert.

5. What is the best way to sharpen a knife?

There are many different types of knife sharpeners, from manual sharpeners, steel sharpeners to electric knife sharpeners. However, the most traditional and enjoyable method of sharpening Japanese knives is using whetstone.

Grinding stones come in all types, distinguished by their coarseness. From #200 grit stones for refinishing and sharpening dull blades to #8000 grit ultra-fine stones, used for precise fine-tuning and polishing of blades.

the most traditional and enjoyable method of sharpening Japanese knives is using whetstone.

The most traditional and fascinating method of sharpening knives in Japan is using a sharpening stone

For most Japanese knives, you usually need to use a coarseness of between #200 and #3000 when starting sharpening. However, this can vary depending on how dull the knife is currently.

If you are looking for the best Japanese knife sharpener, sharpening stone is always the top choice. A popular choice is the 1000/6000 Whetstone Sharpening St, the overall size of which will be suitable and effective for sharpening your knives.

6. Suggest 3 different ways to use sharpening stones?

Once you have determined the type of grinding wheel, the next important step is to choose the method of using it. There are three main ways to sharpen knives with whetstones, each of which offers its own advantages and disadvantages.

Below are 3 ways to use sharpening stones effectively 

Below are 3 ways to use sharpening stones effectively

6.1. Dry Grinding Stone:

This method is a traditional Japanese grinding method that does not require assistance from other lubricants. Its special thing is that it is simple and does not require any other equipment. However, it is important to note that using dry sharpening stones can harden the blade, especially when using low-cut sharpening stones. To reduce this risk, you should choose grinding wheels with higher roughness (from 3000 or higher).

6.2. Water Grinding Stone:

The most common method in Japanese knife sharpening, using water helps protect the blade and makes the sharpening process smooth and effective. To start, you need to soak the sharpening stone in water for about 10 minutes before using. Remember to add more water when the ice begins to dry to maintain the best performance. Although it requires maintaining moisture, this method is often appreciated for its ability to keep blades sharp and precise.

6.3. Oil Grinding Stone:

This method is not common but offers the advantage of not drying the grinding wheel as quickly. Before use, you need to soak the grinding stone in oil for about 10 minutes. Then, wet the blade and begin the sharpening process. When the wheel begins to dry, add oil to keep it lubricated. Although more complicated than other grinding methods, oil grinding wheels are still a unique, high-performance choice.

Finally, having read through the article, we can demonstrate a better understanding of the art of Japanese knives sharpening angle and the importance of maintaining a sharp knife. Choosing the right sharpening angle and using the sharpening stone skillfully is not just a technique, but a way to create unique and enjoyable meals.

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