We've mentioned that sharpening your knives with a whetstone (or water stone) is the best way to keep them sharp and safe, but this video will walk you through picking the right stones, learning the right angles and getting the perfect edge -- all in one sitting. The video, from our friends at KnifePlanet -- who also taught us the "sharpie trick" to sharpening knives -- put this video (and the associated walkthrough linked below) together to help address the common questions for whetstone beginners. The whole thing covers topics including which stones you should start with and what "grit" means in the context of a whetstone.
Your first big lesson here is to not be afraid of damaging your knife with a whetstone -- if you use any measure of care with one, you'll be fine. The video also walks you through creating the "burr", or the overlaid edge on one side that comes from sharpening the other. It's important to make, because it means you've removed the fatigued metal on one side of the knife, and a good indicator that you're applying the right amount of pressure at the right angle. Then you'll be ready to flip it over and do the same with the other side of your knife.
The video is a bit long, close to 20 minutes, but you won't find a better, more complete guide to the topic that covers as much detail without skimping on the specifics. Peter Nowlan (who you'll remember from the last video) even touches on whether you should just use one whetstone, or use several with progressively higher grit for a sharper edge -- but that's an advanced technique for folks who are comfortable with one, so press play and see how far along your knife sharpening skills are.
From Dull to Sharp: A Video Guide to Sharpen Your Knives [KnifePlanet]