For 15 years I shared my sharpening stones with my students. Now, my stones hide beneath my bench. Why?
Students tried to turn my sharpening stones into tacos.
Sharpeners who are beginners (or indifferent) tend to work only the middle of a sharpening stone. This activity quickly turns a flat stone into a soup bowl. After a few sharpenings, the stone becomes 100 percent unreliable. And when you go to flatten this stone, you are in for a workout.
So I made a video.
If you have been sharpening for many years you will roll your eyes when you watch this. Don’t. I know you did this, too. If you are a beginning sharpener, watch it with care. It’s only 14 seconds long, but it shows something important. You need to spread out the wear on your sharpening stones with every stroke.
Sharpening stones, especially waterstones, dish quickly. A few ill-placed strokes will set you on a path to wondering what the heck is going on with your edges.
Flat sharpening stones are reliable. Yes, you can deal with a wonky stone if you are experienced. But I always prefer dead flat stones to dead anything-else stones.
So spread out the wear with every stroke. And flatten your stones after every sharpening.
Or don’t. Just don’t use my stones. They are still in hiding. Poor stones.
— Christopher Schwarz