I have to admit I wasn’t much of an expert on the subject until I found myself in the kitchen one day with a knife so dull, it couldn’t even cut a tomato.
How am I supposed to finish making lunch if I can’t even chop up the vegetables?
So, instead of waiting for John to come home and asking him to sharpen the knife in question – and using a replacement one in the meantime – you know what I did?
I conducted a full-blown search on what’s the best sharpening stone, determined never to get myself into this position again.
If you’re interested to see what I’ve learned, keep reading!
Sharpening Stones: How To Choose The Best One For Your Kitchen Knives
As I mentioned previously, I wasn’t much of an expert, so it took some researching and comparing of different sources to get the hold of the various types, grits, sizes, and what not.
As it turns out, you can’t just buy the first sharpening stone you come across – there are many factors to be considered in the process.
So, without further ado, here’s how to choose the best sharpening stone for your particular needs:
1. Different Types Of Sharpening Stones
I don’t know if you knew this, but there are several types of sharpening stones (besides the natural ones) you can choose from:
Diamond Plates – These plates are becoming increasingly popular, despite the fact that they are way more expensive than any other type of sharpening stones. Once you invest in a diamond plate, you don’t have to worry about buying a new one for decades to come.
Ceramic Stones – One thing you need to remember about ceramic stones, which were introduced to the market as a replacement for natural stones, is that they greatly vary in quality.
Synthetic Stones – If you’re working with traditional stainless steel blades, or straight blades, then synthetic sharpening stones are the way to go.
2. Water vs. Oil
Some sharpening stones require the use of water, while others need oil before they can be used to sharpen knives, it’s as simple as that. And while the choice between the two is a matter of your personal preference, there are some things you should keep in mind when choosing one over the other.
For example, oil stones won’t give you as sharp of an edge as water stones will. On the other hand, water stones are more sensitive to all the wear and tear of regular use, so they’re not nearly as long-lasting as oil stones.
3. Pick The Right Grit
Don’t worry; you don’t have to speak Japanese to understand this part of the article. I just thought it would be nice to include the original names – you never know when you might get a chance to use one of these and sound like a real pro.
Ara-to (Coarse Grit) – Sharpening stones with a coarse grit are the most common type, and they range from around 200, and up to an 800 grit. If you want fast and efficient sharpening, this is the one you should consider. However, be prepared for visible scratch marks it leaves on the blade.
Naka-to (Medium Grit) – Being visibly smoother than coarse grits, middle stones are used when you need to sharpen your blades fast. Anything in the range from 800 to 1500 is considered to be “medium” grit, and won’t leave visible scratches on the edges.
Shiage-to (Fine Grit) – Final touches should be done with a fine grit, which, size-wise, is considered to be anything over 1500; after all, shiageto means finishing stone. And in case you didn’t know, this is the grit that produces the sharpest blades.
4. Consider The Size Of The Sharpening Stone
As you might have guessed already, the size of the sharpening stone you should buy is determined by the size of the blades you own.
For example, kitchen knives require stones around six inches long, while more substantial blades (and various tools) need a bigger one, at least 8 to 12 inches long.
That being said, there are also pocket-size sharpening stones available on the market (I’ve included one in my list), but I would recommend you use these when you’re out in the wild.
Camping trips are an excellent occasion for putting these to work; in the kitchen, however, you should stick to larger sharpening stones that have a solid, non-slip base.
A good rule of thumb is:
Always pick a sharpening stone wider than the blade you plan on using it for.
Taking Good Care Of Your Sharpening Stone: Flattening
Sharpening stones have the job of keeping your knives sharp. You, on the other hand, have a job at keeping your stone flat.
Over time, sharpening stones tend to develop a sort of a dip in the middle – that just how things work. And while it may not seem like a big thing, these “dips” will pretty much make your stone a useless (not to mention potentially dangerous) piece of equipment.
To prevent that from happening, you should make a habit of flattening your sharpening stone from time to time.
Top Five Sharpening Stones On The Market – Barbara’s Reviews 2020
1. Premium Knife Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone – You Get An Entire Sharpening Bundle
This Waterstone by Sharp Pebble is a double-sided sharpening stone; one side features a 1000 grit, while the other is a 6000-grit side. I love the fact that these two are combined, as they eliminate the need for buying two separate sharpening stones.
This way, when you’re done with using one side, all you need to do is flip the stone and put it back into its base.
Speaking of the base, you’ll be glad to know you don’t get one, but two stands with this stone. The rubber (or silicone) base goes inside the bamboo one, just to make sure there won’t be any sliding while you’re working your blade to perfection.
And when I say “blade,” I don’t mean just knives; this stone is suitable for scissors, razors, and even axes.
Now, what I want to know is how do I access the eBook promised by the manufacturer? While the bundle did include a detailed guide to angle sharpening, and a user manual, as promised, there’s no mention of the eBook, whatsoever.
It’s not a huge deal-breaker for me, but I’m just curious to know what happened.
- Double-sided sharpening stone (1000 and 6000 grit)
- It comes with a bamboo base and a silicone base
- The package contains a guide, a manual, plus an eBook
- Suitable for various types of knives (kitchen, hunting, pocket, etc.)
- It also works for scissors, razors, as well as axes
- It’s hard to get a nice polish with the 6000 grit side
- You don’t get info on how to get your eBook
- It needs to be soaked in water for about 10 minutes before use
2. Whetstone Sharpening Stone Shapton Ceramic Kuromaku #12000 – The Perfect Balance Of Smoothness And Abrasiveness
If you’re dealing with some incredibly dull knives, and you have you’re set on getting a 12000 grit, out of the five options listed here, this ceramic sharpening stone is probably the best choice for you.
But here’s the best part:
Not only is it capable of making your dull knives sharp again, but it also does an excellent job of reshaping the ones that are damaged. If you have blades that have suffered some severe damage over the years, ending up with chipped edges, this Shapton whetstone is the way to go.
There’s no need to put in a lot of pressure – a more gentle approach goes a long way.
If you owned – and used – sharpening stones before, you’re aware of the fact that some of them require soaking in water before you can use them. Well, not this one; the “splash and go” concept indeed speeds up the process.
However, this one is by far the most expensive sharpening stone on my list. I’ve decided to include it, though, because it does offer fantastic performance. You’ll get your money’s worth.
So, if you can afford it, by all means, give this one a try.
- An excellent choice for very dull knives
- “Splash and go” sharpening stones
- It does a great job of reshaping damaged knives
- Requires only very light pressure to polish your knives
- It’s nowhere near as affordable as the other sharpening stones
- It wears down relatively quickly
3. BearMoo Whetstone 2-IN-1 Sharpening Stone 3000/8000 Grit Waterstone – Use It Both Inside And Outside Of Your Home
Another double-sided sharpening stone on my list is this BearMoo whetstone, with a 3000 grit size on one, and an 8000 grit size on the other side. It’s also one of the more affordable sharpening stones here.
Here’s what I liked about it the most (well, besides the price):
The two grit sizes and the overall quality of the stone – which is corrosion and heat-resistant, by the way – make it suitable for use both in and around your home. What I mean by that is that you can use it on your kitchen knives, but if any of your gardening tools ever needs a quick sharpening, this one will do the job very well.
And the non-slip silicone base (which comes included in the package) will make sure you stay safe during the entire process.
Of course, there are some things I didn’t quite like, such as the size of the stone. I found that it gets a bit challenging to sharpen knives that are over eight inches long. If that’s the primary size of your knife collection, one of the remaining four sharpening stones might be a better fit.
But overall, this one is one of my personal favorites.
- Double-sided sharpening stone (3000 and 8000 grit)
- Corrosion and heat-resistant
- Suitable for various types of knives (kitchen, pocket, etc.) and gardening tools
- The package includes a non-slip silicone base
- It’s relatively affordable
- No-risk purchase with a 30-day full refund period
- It probably won’t work as well for blades over eight inches long
- The 3000 grit side doesn’t do the job very well
4. KING KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone with Plastic Base – If You Want To Feel Like A Pro
This King’s sharpening stone is a double-sided whetstone; one side features a 1000 grit, and the other a 6000 grit size. Now, is it affordable? Not quite; but it’s still reasonably priced; you’ll get excellent value for the price, that’s for sure. Easy to use (well, once you figure it out) and with an outstanding sharpening performance, what else could you ask for?
I like the fact that the package also includes a plastic base. As far as safety goes, it’s better than having to hold the stone in your hand as you work.
While I do think that a plastic base might not be the best solution out there, as it may slip, if you don’t apply too much pressure – which you shouldn’t be doing, anyway – you should be fine.
But if you’re not quite experienced in using sharpening stones altogether, there’s one thing you should keep in mind – the instructions it comes with are written entirely in Japanese. Luckily for you, there are plenty of videos on YouTube that will help you get the basic idea of how everything works.
- Dual-side sharpening stone (1000 and 6000 grit)
- Outstanding sharpening performance
- It is relatively easy to use (once you figure it out)
- The package includes a plastic base
- It’s reasonably priced
- The instructions are in Japanese
- The softer side arrived chipped at the corner
5. Lansky Puck – Dual Grit Multi-Purpose Sharpener – Blade & Tool Sharpener – A Must-Have For Outdoor Adventures
It just wouldn’t be my first choice for home use.
However, it is an excellent pocket-sized stone, which makes it a perfect fit for those of you that are always on the go. The fact that it’s suitable for various tools, as well as axes, only further proves my point – if you’re big on camping, you should have one of these included in your equipment.
The stone is also double-sided, with a 120 grit on one, and 280 grit on the other side of the stone. Due to the size and shape, it’s rather comfortable to hold, and easy to use.
I’ve thought about buying this one in addition to the sharpening stone I’ve picked out for my kitchen knives so that we can have one for our future camping trips. If we ever get around to going on one, that is.
One thing I didn’t like is related to its size; I feel like your fingers will always come up over the edge while you’re using it, and I don’t think you want them to be that close to the blade.
- Pocket-sized sharpening stone
- Excellent on-the-go sharpening stone
- Dua-size grit (120 on one, and 280 on the other side)
- Suitable for axes and various tools, as well
- Easy to use
- Extremely affordable
- You need to wear gloves to protect your fingers
- Doesn’t give razor-sharp results
- Finer grit runs out way faster than the coarser side
And The Best Sharpening Stone Is…
The KING KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone with Plastic Base, there’s no doubt about it.
Of course, there are plenty of excellent choices on the market. Even if you didn’t find what you were looking for here, the buying guide should help you in your search for the best sharpening stone. 🙂
What are your thoughts on the subject? Which one do you use and why?
Leave your comments below.
Last update on 2020-07-11 at 07:43 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API