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Damascus Chef Knife
Damascus Chef Knife

How To Sharpen a Damascus Chef Knife

A well-maintained Damascus Chef knife not only looks beautiful in your kitchen but also greatly affects the taste of food and safety in use. The Damascus Chef knife, like the inhabitants of the country of its origin, is truly efficient, meticulous in detail, and performs its task with the highest quality. Therefore, it requires careful attention.

To maintain the sharpness of your Damascus Chef knife and its cutting ability, you need to properly care for it, be able to determine the level of sharpness of the blade in time, and, of course, sharpen it regularly.

Knife Care

There are several things you can do to keep your knife long-lasting.

  • Wipe your knives well after washing – if you don’t want rust on the blade.
  • Do not wash the knife in the dishwasher. Hot water and harsh chemicals from dishwashing detergent can damage the knife.
  • Use the right cutting surface – a cutting board can also affect the life of a knife. Choose wooden, plastic, or bamboo boards.

Most importantly, sharpen your knives with high quality and correctly.

If everything is clear with the first three points, the last one requires a more detailed and professional approach.

So, how do sharpen Damascus Chef knives?

For starters, periodically check the sharpness of the Damascus Chef knife.

The easiest way is to do a paper test. Grasp the corner of a sheet of paper and lightly run a knife along with it. If the cut is even, with no drag, your knife is sharp. Or you can try slicing a tomato: if you can cut through the skin and flesh without crushing the fruit, your knife is ready to go.

Knife sharpening methods

1. Take it to a reputable knife sharpening service, 

such as Tojiro (on the website tojiro.ru, you can select a service in the Knife Sharpening section and immediately use the calculator to find out all the details). If you want to save yourself from additional trouble and be sure of the quality of work, then this is the most reliable way.

2. Sharpen your knife regularly

Sharpen your knife regularly with a sharpener such as Hatamoto Damascus Ceramic (HD-1230C).

To use musat, lay a folded cloth on a cutting board and stand the rod vertically, with the tip on the towel. This will help hold it in place while you press a sharp knife against it. Set the knife at an angle and gently slide the blade along the musat from the handle to the tip, as if cutting it down. Repeat on both sides of the knife. 10-20 times, alternating sides, will be enough. This sharpening once or twice a week ensures that your knife stays sharp for months or even years.

3. Use an electric knife sharpener – the easiest way for laymen.

Although the method is simple, before you get started, take the time and read the instructions. The standard knife sharpener has a two-step process with corresponding marked grooves such as Hatamoto Damascus (EDS-H198). Also, most models, like this one, have a built-in angle guide or sharpening guide, so you don’t have to worry about the correct sharpening angle. Usually, it is 15 degrees.

The first stage is the installation of coarse grain/slot. This sharpening slot uses harder abrasives such as diamond abrasives to remove old bits of steel leaving a clean and sharp edge. The second step is the process of sharpening and polishing with finer abrasives, resulting in a sharp knife.

The usage is extremely simple:

  • Insert the knife into the first slot. Push down on the handle as far as possible so that the knife connects to the whetstone. Then slowly and carefully pull towards you (don’t forget to turn on your electric sharpener, of course).
  • Wash the blade and wipe dry.

4. Do-it-yourself professional sharpening. 

This method requires not only time and knowledge but also preliminary preparation. Tip: If you’ve never done this before, practice on a cheaper knife rather than your favorite.

So you will need:

  • Knife
  • Whetstones: There are three types of whetstone: coarse (#400-#1000), medium (#1000-#3000), and fine (#3000-#8000).
  • Container for immersing whetstones
  • Towel or cloth


Fill a container with water and immerse the whetstone in it. If after 5-10 minutes no more bubbles come out of the stone, then it is ready to work. You will also need to spread a damp cloth under the whetstone to keep it from slipping off while sharpening the knife.


The first step you need to get started is using a medium sharpening whetstone and then a fine grinding whetstone.

But, if you are doing it at home, then a medium-sharpened whetstone, such as the TOJIRO water whetstone (F-473), #3000, will suit you.

When sharpening, start running the knife over the stone first with one side of the knife, then with the other alternately – repeat the process until the blade is formed.

Read More: Very Important Headlines about Damascus Pocket Knife

The hand holding the knife handle is called the gripping hand, and the hand guiding the knife is called the sharpening hand. Grasp the handle firmly with one hand, holding the knife at a point as close as possible to the part of the blade you want to sharpen. This rule is because the most significant force is applied by the fingers for sharpening.

After a few sharpening strokes, run the pad of your finger along the edge of the blade. If you feel that it is sticking, this is called a “burr” and means that an edge has formed. Sharpen the back of the knife several times to remove the burr. Once the burr has been eliminated, wash off the residue and clean the entire blade with a whetstone.

A good sharpening life hack is to sharpen your knife slowly without cutting corners.

Finally, lift a little, then put the tip of the knife to the whetstone and sharpen the beveled edge several times. This process is called “Kobadome” – your knife will thank you for it. Rinse the sharpened knife thoroughly in hot water and wipe it dry.

Use the flattening tool to make the surface of the grindstone flat again. When sharpening at home, it is easiest to rub the whetstone against the back of another whetstone or a flat concrete surface.

Important points when sharpening a Damascus Chef knife:

  1. When touching the blade directly, be careful not to cut yourself.
  2. If you sharpen the blade too thin, it will become serrated and the cutting edge will lose its sharpness.
  3. When you start using the knife, use it carefully as the blade will be thin. If the knife is sharpened several times during use, it will become thick.


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