A ceramic flattening stone rubbing a waterstone over a bowl of water. How To'sHow To's section icon
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Making sure your Waterstone is flat is essential before any sharpening takes place. Waterstones are softer than their diamond equivalents and will hollow which will be reflected on your blade. However, with just a few minutes work, this problem will be solved and your blades will soon be back to their best.

If you are unsure which sharpening stones you should be using, take a look at our buying guide.

What you'll need

Tools & equipment

Step 1

Place a rule along your waterstone to show any hollowing.

Steel rule across a waterstone showing a hollow in the centre
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Step 2

Using a pencil scribble on the face of the stone. This will give you a clear visual guide of how flat your stone is becoming.

A scribbled pencil line along the waterstone

Step 3

Using a ceramic flattening stone run along the face of the waterstone. Dipping in water rinses away residue.

A ceramic flattening stone rubbing a waterstone over a bowl of water.
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Step 4

Cutting away the high points leaves only the pencil markings where there are still hollows.

Ceramic flattening stone next to japanese waterstone with pencil line.

Step 5

It’s important to keep checking the flatness of the stone throughout the process.

Step 6

Continue until the pencil lines have disappeared.

Worn pencil line on Japanese waterstone.

Step 7

Check for final flatness.

Steel rule on Japanese waterstone showing stone completely flat.

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