How to Sharpen a Sushi Knife – With Best Practices [ Update 2021 ]

Everyone loves and admires the precision and beauty cut in sushi pieces. You will definitely notice evenly, smooth, and endearing vegetable cuts inside all sushi dishes. A perfect blade specifically designed to cut is a sushi knife. It also cuts all the ingredients used to make it, such as fishes and vegetables. There are two types of this dagger, namely single beveled and multifaceted. Keep in mind that keeping a sushi blade sharp is paramount for everyone who wants to make sushi. This is not only an essential task for the chefs but for everyone who wants to prepare this delicious dish. Most chefs who specialize in making this dish prefer sushi blade because it is effective and safe. Nonetheless, keep in mind that the sharper the dagger, the safer it becomes and vice versa. Let us dive on how to sharpen a sushi knife:

How to sharpen a sushi knife using a Whetstone

Whetstone seemed to be the best method to sharpen any blade. You can refer to whetstone as a water stone or a sharpening stone. Keep in mind that water stones are available in different grit sizes.

Remember that the higher the number, the better the grit and the best outcome to expect. Note as well that there are double and single-sided whetstones in the market. Single-sides sharpen knives while double grind as well as polish a blade from the other side.

The stones are the oldest techniques in sharpening and popular in Japan amongst the ancient blade makers. To use it well, it is advisable that you consider this procedure properly:

Prepare the Whetstone

  • Submerge the water stone in water or at least 20-25 minutes.
  • This soaks the stone, allowing it to absorb water leaving its outer surface smooth and ready to sharpen.
  • Once you notice that there are no bubbles in water, remove the stone from the water.
  • Use a flattening stone or a lapping plate to flatten the whetstone.
  • Draw grid lines using a pencil and move the water stone against the flattening stone back and forth.
  • Rub until the pencil marks disappear as this leaves the stone flat and ready to use.

Sharpen the sushi knife

Now it is time to sharpen your sushi knife. Place the blade on the non-slippery surface then move your blade back and forth throughout the stone. Apply light pressure at an angle of 15 degrees. Start on a low grit of the whetstone then move to a higher one.

  • Begin with the tip of the blade
  • Hold the blade from the handle
  • Run the dagger back and forth on both sides of the sushi knife.
  • Run it for about 10 minutes each side

It is worth mentioning that you can sharpen some of these knives at one side. Make sure that you check the blade before you start sharpening.

Polishing the blade

There are whetstones with single and double sides. If you are using the one with double sides, you can use the other side to polish the blade. If it is a single-sided stone, move the blade on the higher grit.

Polish the blade for about 10 minutes. Make sure that the blade is as sharp as you desire. Keep in mind that sushi knives are specifically for precision cutting; hence the dagger should be sharp.  Test the blade on a piece of paper, other vegetables, and a wet sponge.

Note that even though whetstone is perfect for sharpening sushi knife, you need to look into the following aspects:

  • Keep the whetstone moist as well as wet in use
  • Rinse the stone thoroughly after use
  • Rinse it in water after use
  • Use a Honing tool
  • Maintain the angle of your work as you make the forward and backward movements.

There are other ways of sharpening a sushi knife other than using a whetstone. We can use a honing tool to sharpen the knives as well. Honing tool is common amongst professional chefs as they save time and are accurate.

  • Place the honing tool perpendicular on the board then move the dagger from top to bottom.
  • Commence from the heel of the blade going downwards
  • Pull the dagger towards your direction gradually.
  • Once you reach the bottom of the tool, you will notice that your dagger is in contact with the blade.
  • Do this procedure for up to 10 minutes, leaving your blade sharp and new.

If it is a double-sided blade, follow the same procedure for the other side as well. This will leave both sides of the knife sharp and perfect.

If it only requires a one-side service, sharpen it and ensure that you have achieved the desired results. Ensure that the blade is moving at an angled position of 15 minutes. This will sharpen the dagger perfectly. A broader angle makes the clade dull.

If you want learn more see this video.

Sharpening a sushi knife using a manual sharpening tool or electrical sharpener

If you are not interested in the above-discussed techniques, then you can consider this procedure. Make sure that you get a manual-sharpening tool. You must look into this procedure:

  • Move the knife forwards and backward
  • Make sure that the blade is properly in contact with the sharpening tool
  • Undertake this procedure for around 10-15 minutes.

You can as well use an electrical knife sharpener. It is easy to use and consumes less energy and time. Note that quite a several sharpening tools can as well polish the blades.


1. Can I use sushi knife to cut vegetables?

We can use this dagger to cut sushi as well as its ingredients, such as vegetables and meat.

2. Is it necessary to sharpen sushi knives?

It is very important to sharpen these knives to achieve even and beautiful slices.

Final verdict

As discussed beforehand, sushi knives are perfect or precision cutting for both the ingredients and sushi itself. That is why sushi chefs should learn how to sharpen sushi knife through the above-discussed techniques.

Nonetheless, the best method will always remain whetstone. Even though the process might consume time and energy, it is worth all the efforts as the results are endearing. Moreover, you can use any technique of your choice to sharpen your sushi blades and facilitate its functionality.

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