How to Sharpen Shun Knives – With Best Technique [ Update 2021 ]

Kai Corporation specifically designed the shun knives for both skilled chefs as well as home cooks.  The artistry, style, and quality of this knife symbolize the legendary sword-smiths of Japan. It is worth mentioning that life, as well as the performance of the blade, all depends on proper maintenance. Sharpening the blade is very crucial in terms of maintenance. As a result, we put our focus on how to sharpen shun knives as discussed below:

How to care for shun knives

These knives are made of steel; thus, they are highly rust and corrosion-resistant. They are lifetime investments; hence it is crucial to maintain them accordingly. Make sure that you clean the dagger after using it. You should consider washing them by hand. This helps in protecting their blades.

Do not leave behind your knives submerged in water for long as this causes micro-corrosion. Dry them immediately after washing.

Use the right cutting boards that will not destroy the edges of the blade. Do not use marble, ceramic, granite, synthetic, or tile for a chopping board. Wooden chopping boards are the best as they are not hard on your blades.

How to sharpen shun knives

Clean the knife

Before sharpening your dagger, it is crucial that you clean and washes it first. This procedure is mandatory, especially if you are grinding the blades for the first time.

Clean the knife using warm water to get rid of the debris and other dirt. The dirt can interfere with the outcome of sharpening. Get rid of the moisture using a dry piece of cloth. Now it is time to sharpen your knife:

Sharpening shun knives using a Honing tool

Honing is a procedure used to realign the edges of a blade to maintain its sharpness. This is a perfect sharpening technique for your shun knife. Frequent honing helps in increasing the life and performance of your blades. You can repeat this process every weak to ensure the high performance of edges.

  • Use a honing steel tool
  • Hold it vertically on the cutting board
  • Place a wet cloth underneath to prevent unnecessary movement.
  • Commence honing from the top of the honing steel tool, particularly where it encounters the heel of the blade.
  • Slowly pull the knife downwards as you pull it towards your direction.
  • You will notice that the knife has reached the end of honing steel when the tip gets into contact with it.
  • Repeat the procedure for about 5-10 minutes on each side at an angle of 16 degrees.
  • Clean the blade using warm water when you are done
  • It is now ready to use.
  • Be careful when using because it is very sharp and can cause accidents

How to sharpen shun knives using a whetstone

Whetstone or water stone, as many people refer to it is a common method of sharpening blades. It is also the oldest and the most populous technique for sharpening premium knives. This stone is available in a range of grits; hence you can always choose one that meets your requirements.

Beginners should start sharpening using a 300-grit whetstone. This grit is ideal for repairing chips as well as small problems. Note that whetstone of 1000-1500 grit can sharpen any blade out there. A 4000 to 6000 grit whetstone is mainly ideal or finishing as well as polishing a blade-like mirror.

Let us dive on how to use a whetstone to sharpen a blade:

  • Soak the whetstone in water for at least 20 minutes to prepare it for sharpening.
  • Wrap the water stone in a wet piece of cloth to achieve a good hold.
  • Start grinding the knife on the whetstone at an angle of 15 degrees.
  • Maintain the blade side down then consider a forward, backward movement to sharpen the blade on the whetstone.
  • Keep in mind that some of the water stones are double-sided while others are single-sided.
  • If you are using a double-sided stone, know that you can use one side for grinding while you use the other for polishing.

Sharpen a single beveled blade at an angle of 45 degrees to the stone. This procedure should take at least 10-15 minutes of each side.

After sharpening the blade, clean it using warm water and leave it to dry.

How to sharpen shun knives using sharpening machine

Some people would not like the techniques mentioned above. Well, they can opt for a knife-sharpening machine, which is readily available in most online and local shops.  These machines are efficient and user friendly. Moreover, you do not need to apply more energy and force to make it work.

One big difference if you compare whetstone and honing is how you can control them. In the above-discussed techniques, you use the hands to grind your blades as per your expectations. When it comes to a sharpening machine, the process is automatic.

The machines come will pre-installed grinding stone set at an angle of 16 degrees. It also has both fine and coarse grits. Pull your knife severally through the machine, and within no time, you will achieve a sharp blade.

A point to note: Make sure that the grindstone is wet before placing it in the machine.

Safety measures

You should put on appropriate gloves suitable or this task. This prevents accidents such as cuts and bruises in the course of work.


1. What is the importance of submerging a whetstone in water before using it?

It prepares it for sharpening.

2. Can I soak my shun knife to loosen dirt?

No, it is not advisable to leave your knives soaked in water for long as this causes corrosion.

3. What is the best technique for sharpening shun knives

It all depends on your requirements. I prefer using a whetstone because they are readily available. They are also easy to use.

Final verdict

There is no doubt that indeed there are many tips on how to sharpen shun knives as discussed above. These techniques are simple, especially the systematic explanation; hence they are worth your efforts. Sharpening shun knives not only make them sharp but also it gives the blades a new look.

Sharp blades make work easier, thus saving time, unlike the blunt ones. Sharpening also increase the life and performance of your blades. As a way of maintaining your blades, make sure that you keep them sharp. Choose the best technique that meets your requirements.

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