Over the years, I’ve sharpened a lot of knives. However, there’s one method I always go back to.
My Top 3 Sharpening Stones
Sharpening stones are reliable, cheap and easy to use. They are a great way to sharpen a wide range of knives. More importantly, a sharpening stone or “whetstone” is a surefire way to get your knife razor-sharp.
The Best Sharpening Stone In 2021
Most of you already know what a whetstone is. Most of you, however, don’t use one regularly. You might have used one once or twice before, but likely never more than that. I am here to help you change that.
Whatever reason you have for the change, you’re in luck. I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite sharpening stones I’ve used recently.
I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do.
This all-in-one kit by ShaPu is quite the deal.
It comes with 4 double-sided sharpening stones. Each side is a different grit with the entire set ranging between 240 and 10,000 grit. Sharpening my knife with the entire range of grit was able to get it razor-sharp.
This Sharpening stone set makes a perfect gift for both beginners and experts alike.
- Comes with a variety of grits
- Easy for beginners to use
- Comes with a wooden base
- Not great for anything larger than a kitchen knife
- Stone needs to be flattened before use
This professional-grade waterstone works great for a wide variety of knives.
It’s double-sided with each side having a different grit. Despite being only a single stone, it can be used to fully sharpen a knife. The best part about this sharpening kit, however, is the inclusion of an angle glide. This tool is incredibly helpful in getting the right angle on the knife when sharpening.
Overall, this is a real high-value kit for the cost.
- Comes with an angle glide
- Has a high grit on the fine side
- Can be difficult for beginners to use
- Wooden base isn’t completely non-slip
The Premium Sharpening Stone by Sharp Pebble definitely lives up to its name.
I tested it out on one of my older knives and the results were more than I expected. It left my knife with an incredibly sharp edge to it. It did take a while to get there, however.
If you have a little patience, then the Premium Sharpening Stone is definitely a premium product to keep your eye on.
- Can easily sharpen old and dull knives
- Comes with a rubber base
- Takes a while to sharpen
- Rubber base can scratch up your counter
This sharpening stone by Whetstone Cutlery doesn’t seem special at first glance.
However, that is what makes it great. It is very easy to use and will easily sharpen most knives. But the logo on the coarse side can cause it to take off too much material off the blade. Luckily, you will rarely need to use this side as the fine side is more than enough to keep your knives sharp.
Whetstone Cutlery has outdone themselves in creating such a fantastic entry-level sharpening stone.
- Can be used to sharpen other cutting tools like scissors, blades, razors, etc.
- Great entry-level stone
- Logo on coarse side can take off too much material
LK-WORLD has created quite an innovative sharpening kit.
Unlike traditional whetstones, this stone is created using diamond. Although not as good as a high-end stone, this sharpening stone is more than enough to get the job done. It’s easy to use and makes a great choice for those of you new to knife sharpening.
- Base sticks to the counter like glue
- Has both a coarse side and a fine side
- Easy to use
- Not great for badly maintained edges
The TRI-HONE Sharpening Stone by Smith’s Arkansas is highly efficient at what it does.
Unlike most sharpeners, the TRI-HONE comes with three sharpening stones that are each attached to the included triangle stand. This stand can be rotated and allows you to easily change the level of grit you’re using. The design of the stand also makes it easy to get the right angle when sharpening.
This is definitely a wonderful kit by Smith’s Arkansas and it’s one I can see myself using again in the future.
- Can be used to fix up nicks
- Comes with 3 different stones
- Has a triangle base design
- Notably small
- Can be complicated to set up
What to look for before buying a sharpening stone?
Once you’ve decided to buy a whetstone – or even before – there are a few things you need to take care of beforehand.
Buying the first whetstone you see is a bad idea. So before spending your hard-earned cash, make sure to have a checklist of the following:
Pick The Right Size
Whetstones come in a variety of sizes. Most small knives can be sharpened using a large stone. It’s rarely the case, however, that you can sharpen a large knife with a small stone.
Although easier to transport, a small stone is only worth buying if the knives you have are also small. If you plan to sharpen larger knives, it’s a good idea to go the extra mile and pick up a larger stone instead.
Find The Right Level Of Coarseness
It’s almost always a good idea to have both a fine stone and a coarse one.
A coarse stone can be used to quickly remove nicks, sharpen a dull edge or adjust the angle. Refining the edge, however, is best done through the use of fine stone. At the same time, you don’t want to go too fine or too coarse.
Before buying a whetstone, it’s important to look at the level of coarseness that would work best with the knives that you have. Likewise with fineness – find the level that will keep your knives in pristine condition.
What are the different types of sharpening stones?
Sharpening stones come in a wide variety of styles. The most common are:
Each stone varies widely in the advantages and disadvantages they bring. Water stones, for example, wear down quickly. In return, however, you are able to sharpen your knives much more quickly than other styles.
When deciding on a sharpening stone, it’s important to understand the pros and cons that each type of stone will bring. Oil stones are great for someone on a budget, but are a bad choice if you’re looking for speed.
Find the style that works best for you.
What is a sharpening stone?
Sharpening stones – also called whetstones– are stones designed to sharpen the edge of a blade or knife.
Unlike regular stones, however, a whetstone can come in a large variety of grit sizes. The lower the number, the coarser the stone is. The opposite is also true: the higher the number, the finer it is.
A stone with a low level of grit can be used to fix the edges of old knives. As the level of grit rises, however, it becomes harder and harder to sharpen up a dull knife. Instead, it becomes easier to polish up a sharpened knife’s edge for a better finish.
The result is a knife with an incredibly sharp edge.
How do you use a whetstone to sharpen a knife?
Using a whetstone is a relatively simple process.
Assuming the use of a normal whetstone, the sharpening process starts with preparing the stone itself. How the stone is prepared varies depending on the style of stone being used. It can range from a simple soak in water to no preparations at all.
Once the stone is ready to use, the sharpening process may begin. In most cases, you would start the process using the coarse side of the whetstone. From here, slide the edge of the blade across the stone. Assuming you hold the knife at the proper angle, the edge of the blade should become steadily sharper each pass.
Once the blade is suitably sharpened on both sides, you can flip the stone over and begin working with the finer side of the stone.
As before, the process is the same. As long as the final pass is made using a high grit, it’s possible to get a razor-sharp edge on your knife each time.
How long should you soak a whetstone?
Most whetstones need to be soaked in water before use.
Knowing how long to soak it for, however, can be complicated. Depending on the size of the stone, the style of it and sometimes even the brand, the amount of time the stone needs to soak can vary anywhere from between 5 and 20 minutes. If you over-soak the stone, you risk getting mold and other unsanitary results. Under-soak, however, and you won’t be able to sharpen your knives as efficiently.
Luckily, it’s fairly simple to know when to take the stone out of its water bath. Just leave it soaking in the water until it stops bubbling. It is, however, important that you regularly check the stone to avoid over-soaking.
What grit do I need to sharpen knives?
“What level of grit do you need?” seems like an easy question to answer.
Unfortunately, it’s not.
How much grit you need can vary widely. The size of your knife, its current level of sharpness and what level of sharpness you’re trying to reach are all aspects to think about when deciding on what level of grit you need. To make matters more confusing, you will sometimes have to switch what level of grit you’re using while sharpening.
The good news, however, is that there are usually only a few simple uses for each level of grit. Low grit, such as under 500, is usually used to sharpen a blunt edge or to remove chips from a damaged blade. Higher grits, 8,000 and up, for example, are used for creating an incredibly sharp edge that can cut through a tomato skin with ease.
How long does it take to sharpen a knife on a whetstone?
Like soaking, the amount of time you need to sharpen a knife can vary widely.
A knife that is incredibly dull can easily take an hour or more to sharpen. It can take even longer if you plan to get it razor-sharp. A well-maintained knife, however, can be brought to razor-sharp levels in a mere 20 minutes. In either case, you can expect to do multiple passes for each side of the knife.
Finally, the amount of passes and the amount of time you need is also dependent on the level of grit you’re using. The higher the level of grit you use, the longer it will take to raise the level of sharpness. This is why it’s a good idea to start sharpening a dull knife with a low level of grit.
Although it won’t be able to get a knife razor-sharp, it will sharpen it enough to make using a high level of grit viable.
Sharpening Stones: A Tool As Old As Time
Sharpening a knife can be a lot of work. If you’re new, it can be complicated work too.
The good news, though, is that with a little patience and elbow grease, even a total beginner can be well on their way to becoming a knife-sharpening expert. The Sharpening Stone Set by ShaPu, for example, is a great choice for anyone new to sharpening stones.
For experts or more advanced users, the Sharp Pebble Premium Sharpening Stone is a great choice instead. If neither fits your style, any other stone on this list is a great pick too because the best sharpening stone is the one that works best for you.
Last update on 2021-05-04 at 11:54 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.