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August 13, 2012
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In response to chironsdaughter's post.... Just want to point out that sometimes a technical meaning is more useful and definitive than a dictionary description. To hone a blade is not to sharpen it; rather it is to reshape the burr of the blade (which develops over time) into a more effective shape. To sharpen a blade is to remove steel from it and then polish the edge to the desired shape and bevel. Whetstones are used to remove steel from a blade and therefore sharpen, while a ceramic honing steel or a strop block are to perfect/polish/upkeep the shape rather than actually change it.
Whet is useful from my experience as a long-time cook for one of two applications; to whet ones palate or appetite by utilizing appropriate dishes and/or drinks in a calculated succession, or as in a whetstone, which is solely used for the purpose of changing the blade, (and hopefully sharpening it if you do it correctly). I've not experienced any other applications for the word.
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