Cookware 18

Whetstone sharpening - estimating angle?

Jme | Jan 9, 200806:47 PM

Hi everyone,

I took a knife skills class at Sur La Table recently, which included a brief demo of knife sharpening tools and technique (proper angles for German and Japanese knives, etc). I have Wusthof knives at home, and now I'm motivated to learn to keep them sharp myself.

After the class, I bought a whetstone and a set of guides that slip onto the top of the knife to help you maintain the proper angle. Unfortunately, the only guides the store had are for a 15 degree angle, which is for Japanese knives - not the 22.5 degrees I need for my German knives. But I figured the guides would help me eyeball the angle, rather than having nothing at all.

I picked the whetstone over a manual Wusthof pull-through sharpener, because I'd love to learn the technique. I'm kind of anti-gadget, anyway.

But now I'm worried that I'm nuts - is it going to be impossible to eyeball the 22.5 degree angle using a 15 degree guide? Am I going to wreck my knives? Ideally, I'd have bought a 22.5 degree guide, but the store didn't have them and I can't find them anywhere online. And doing it freehand without a guide seems even more risky.

I'm debating returning the whetstone and guides and just buying the pull-through sharpener, so at least I'll know the angle is right.

Any thoughts/advice? I read several other threads, but didn't see this specific question addressed. Thanks!

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