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Using the Naniwa Japanese Sharpening Guide

How do I use the Naniwa Japanese Knife Sharpening Guide?

Naniwa Japanese Knife Sharpening Guide

Most knife sharpeners find maintaining a consistent angle to be the hardest part of putting a good edge on their knives. The Naniwa Japanese Knife Sharpening Guide is a simple, easy to use guide to help with just that issue.

Clip it on the spine of your knife

To use the Naniwa Japanese Knife Sharpening Guide, slide it onto the back of your knife, and position it roughly in the middle of the length of the blade. Be sure the guide is firmly clamped onto the blade and that the blade is seated all the way into the guide.

Move the knife and guide over the sharpening stone

Keeping the ceramic rub bar in contact with the stone, slide the knife the length of the stone in a sweeping motion so that every portion of the edge comes in contact with the stone. Raise the handle as needed to keep the edge in contact with the stone as you move towards the tip.

Naniwa Japanese Knife Sharpening Guide

Stay on one grit until you feel a burr along the entire opposite side of the edge, then turn the blade over and do the same on the other side. Repeat the process through progressively finer grits until you are satisfied with the edge.

As a final step, the Naniwa guide will work on a strop if the strop is of suitable size. Remember to always move the blade away from the edge when stropping.

This is a fixed guide

The Naniwa Japanese Knife Sharpening Guide is not adjustable. The angle it creates is determined by the width of the knife being sharpened. The wider the knife, the lower the sharpening angle. As such, we recommend it only for traditional kitchen cutlery with blade widths of 3/4” or greater. For instance, a blade of 1 1/4” in width will sharpen to an angle of 17 degrees with this guide.

See the chart below for angles by blade width.

Angle Calculator*
Knife Width Angle
1 7/16" 15 Degrees
1 1/4" 17 Degrees
1 1/8" 20 Degrees
7/8" 25 Degrees
3/4" 30 Degrees

* This angle calculator table is based on our research and testing of the Japanese Knife Sharpening Guide. Because the back is fixed, the width of your knife determines the sharpening angle. We suggest only using knives between 3/4" and 1 7/16" in width. The width of the knife is measured from the spine to the edge of the knife.