There are several kinds of sharpening stones. The most familiar is the Carborundum stone. Stones are usually available with coarse, medium, and fine textures or a combination of these textures. These three textures allow for the sharpening of almost all knives in all conditions. The stone must be lubricated with either mineral oil or water to avoid the excessive heating of the steel which would cause the loss of proper tempering of the knife in the sharpening process.
If a new stone is being used for the first time, it is highly porous and will absorb water or oil rapidly. For this reason, it is recommended to soak the stone in cool, clean water until it reaches the point of maximum absorption. This will save time and prevent the stone from wearing out rapidly.
A knife may be sharpened on the stone using either a pushing or circular motion across the surface of the stone.
The knife must be held at a 20-degree angle and drawn across the stone as if shaving it, using the full length of the blade from heel to tip. An angle less than 20 degrees would over sharpen, and more than 20 degrees would dull the edge, so this angle is critical.
It is important to always sharpen the knife in the same direction. Each side of the knife should be stroked the same number of times. Burrs should not form if the sharpening process is done correctly. Stop if any burrs begin to form. Do not apply pressure to the knife blade. Draw the blade evenly across the stone.