What Grit To Sharpen Knives: A Comprehensive Guide

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Keeping your knives sharp is essential for efficient and safe cooking. However, choosing the right grit to sharpen your knives can be a daunting task. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on what grit to use for sharpening your knives in 2023.

Understanding Grit

Grit refers to the coarseness of the sharpening stone or abrasive material used to sharpen knives. The higher the grit number, the finer the particles on the stone, resulting in a smoother and more polished edge.

Low Grit Options

If your knife is extremely dull or has nicks and chips, starting with a low grit stone is recommended. Grits ranging from 100 to 400 are considered low and are ideal for shaping the blade and removing material quickly.

Maintaining the Angle

When using a low grit stone, it’s crucial to maintain a consistent angle throughout the sharpening process. This ensures that you remove material evenly from both sides of the blade, resulting in a symmetrical edge.

Medium Grit Options

Medium grit stones, typically ranging from 800 to 2000, are suitable for regular maintenance and sharpening of moderately dull knives. These stones refine the edge further, providing a good balance between sharpness and durability.

Consistency is Key

When using a medium grit stone, focus on maintaining a consistent angle and applying even pressure while sharpening. This will help you achieve a uniform and sharp edge.

High Grit Options

High grit stones, usually ranging from 3000 to 8000, are used for final polishing and refining the edge. These stones remove any remaining scratches left by the lower grit stones, resulting in a razor-sharp edge.

Finishing Touch

When using a high grit stone, it’s important to use light pressure and make gentle strokes. This final step will give your knife a mirror-like finish and enhance its cutting performance.

Stropping for a Polished Edge

In addition to using sharpening stones, stropping is another effective method for achieving a polished edge. Strops are typically made of leather or a similar material and are used in conjunction with a polishing compound to refine the edge further.

Regular Maintenance

Stropping should be done regularly to maintain the sharpness of your knives. It helps remove any burrs and micro-irregularities, resulting in a smooth and highly refined cutting edge.


Choosing the right grit to sharpen your knives is crucial for achieving optimal cutting performance. By understanding the different grit options and their purposes, you can ensure that your knives are always sharp and ready for any culinary challenge. Remember to practice proper technique and invest in quality sharpening tools for the best results.