If you are a intimidated by sharpening your knives on a whetstone, here is a simple way to make it easy to keep your blades sharp without messing them up.

Prepare your whetstone with some water or oil.  Personally, I like to use WD-40 on my whetstone.  It flows away easily, carrying all the bits of metal.  It is also very easy to spray some more WD-40 on it to clean it off.

Take a black permanent marker and color the honed portion of your blade.  Now pass the blade on the whetstone like usual.  Look at the blade and you can easily verify whether or not you are holding the knife at the original angle because you will see where the black marker has been worn off.  Adjust the angle if need be and take another pass on the whetstone.  Check and adjust, check and adjust.

Keep this up until all the black is worn off and the edge is honed nice and smooth.

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