Sharpening for Edge Restoration

With regular use, your knife blade (non-serrated) will eventually dull and honing will no longer restore the edge. At this time, an abrasive material, which is harder that the metal, is needed to restore the edge. Knife honing and knife sharpening are not the same thing. Read the difference between knife sharpening and knife honing.

  • Sharpening grinds away major imperfections and folds on the edge of the blade and reestablishes the v-shaped bevel.
  • Since sharpening takes metal off the blade itself, doing so too often will shorten the life of your knife.
  • When sharpening is needed, we recommend using a combination 1000/6000 grit whetstone at the angle corresponding to your knife series.
  • If you are not confident using a whetstone, seek a professional knife sharpening service to sharpen your knife.
  • It is important to note that electric sharpeners and manual pull-through sharpeners are set at different edge angles and use different abrasive materials to remove metal. Be aware that the factory edge geometry of your Zelite Infinity knife may be altered and scratching of the blade may occur (in some cases, this may void the warranty).

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Using a whetstone is a tried and true method to restore and sharpen the edge, it does take some practice, but it is defi- nitely a skill worth learning. There are many different whetstones available, we recommend the King Combination 1000/6000 grit Whetstone (or whetstones of similar quality). With the many videos available online, it may be helpful to watch some “Sharpening on a Whetstone” videos beforehand to visualize different methods and find a suitable technique. Practicing on an old knife to get comfortable with your technique may also prove to be helpful. We have provided written instructions, however your whetstone may come with its own instructions, so this is simply a guideline and many other techniques will work as well.

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  1. To prepare your whetstone, submerge it completely in water for about 10-15 minutes or until you no longer see small air bubbles rising.
  2. Place the stone on a non-slip surface and start with the coarse side facing upward (note that a lower number corresponds to coarser grit, i.e.1000 grit is rougher than 6000 grit).
  3. Hold the knife handle with your dominant hand with the blade facing away from you. Place your thumb on the spine and your index finger on the heel of the blade. Start by placing the knife at the top of the whetstone. Establish the correct edge angle (see Table 1) and remember to keep this angle throughout the entire motion.
  4. With your nondominant hand, apply a light pressure on the blade and swipe the blade down using a pulling motion. Remember to maintain the angle as you pull the knife down the whetstone. Apply light pressure on the downstroke only.
  5. Keep track of the number of swipes while you repeat this several times going across the blade. Check intermittently for the formation of a raised edge, or burr, on the opposite side of the blade with your thumb. The burr should run along the entire length of the blade and should feel like a thin wire.
  6. When the burr is raised along the entire blade edge, then it is time to sharpen the opposite side of the blade.
  7. Flip the knife over to the other side, this time the edge will face down. Your index finger should be on the spine and your thumb on the heel of the blade. Establish the angle and repeat the process. This time, start at the base of the whetstone and swipe up while applying slight pressure with your non-dominant fingers, ending at the top of the whetstone. Move across the entire length of the blade.
  8. Repeat for the same number of swipes as it took to generate the burr on the first side. Flip the whetstone to the fine 6000 grit side.
  9. Remember to rinse the knife thoroughly before you begin so that coarse matter is not carried over to the fine stone.
  10. Once again, establish the correct bevel angle and sharpen in an arc motion over the stone, applying light pressure and keeping the angle consistent. Repeat several times keeping track of the number of swipes.
  11. Flip the knife over and repeat on the other side.
  12. Carefully inspect the edge. There should not be any burrs at this point.
  13. Clean the knife with mild dish soap, rinse with clear water and dry. Your knife should be sharp and ready for the tasks at hand.
  14. You can test the knife sharpness by cutting effortlessly through paper without catching or try slicing a tomato without any puckering of the skin.
  15. Always allow the whetstone to air dry thoroughly before storing it.

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