Knives are vital utensils to have in everyone’s kitchen. They cut, slice, and help in preparing the dishes that you’re going to cook. But what happens when you get dull? We can’t deny the fact that even the sharpest and most premium of knives are going to lose their sharpness through time. That’s where whetstones come in. In this article, we’re going to help you choose the best whetstones that you’ll surely love.
What Is A Whetstone?
A whetstone is what you use to sharpen cutting tools such as knives and other kitchen utensils you use to slice through food ingredients.
In the past, these have been used to sharpen swords for knights and warriors. But as the world become more civilized, the use of whetstones has been confined to the realms of the kitchen. These are made of fine-grained stones that are useful in sharpening the blade of knives. This is used by grinding and honing the knife/knives into it until it sharpens its edges.
How To Choose The Best Whetstone?
1. Feel its surface.
The best and wisest thing to do when you’re planning to buy a whetstone is to first feel its surface. Touch it and feel the surface’s texture. Is it smooth? Is it rough? Is it too course or is it just too evened out? It’s in asking these questions that you’re able to say if it’s going to do a good job in sharpening your knife. After all, it’s the whetstone’s surface that does the literal sharpening. So it makes perfect sense for you to just set your eyes straight into the texture and know if it’ll do a good job.
2. Get the ideal size for you.
Know which is the ideal size for you. Do you want to have a wide whetstone or you want something that you can bring with you wherever you go. This is where the element of portability kicks in. Check the size of the whetstone and make sure that it is complimentary to your lifestyle or cooking process. If you're the kind of person who stays at the same place when cooking, then better invest on a big whetstone that you can permanently put in our kitchen. But if your kitchen lack space or you want to bring it with you to different places, then get a smaller one.
3. Is it durable?
Durability is another vital component to consider. Make sure that it's durable so that you'll not waste money on buying a new one if ever it gets damaged. By simply knowing what material it's made of, what company manufactured it, and how well does it stack up to your personal preference, there's no doubt that you'll get the best one out there.
Top 10 Best Whetstones You Can Choose From
1. Whetstone Cutlery Whetstone Stone
The Whetstone Cutlery Whetstone Stone managed to make it to our top five products because of it having a two-sided working surface. Its Side A has 400 grit sharpness while the Side B has a far sharper 1,000 grit surface. If you’re going to maintain the sharpness of your blade, go for Side A. But if you want to make it even sharper, then you better deal with Side B. This doesn’t only sharpen your knife, but this also polishes it and makes it look brand new.
- It is pretty good in grinding the imperfections away.
- It is a whetstone that has a very sharp surface, making sharpening very easy for you.
- I find this to not have any x-factor, mainly because it lacks an extraordinary feature.
- You might also come through durability problems with this one.
2. Sharp Pebble Premium Sharpening Stone
The Sharp Pebble Premium Sharpening Stone is another one we would like you to choose from. This is a sharpening bundle that includes a whetstone, bamboo base, and instructions manual that’ll make you an expert sharpener of blades. This is durable as it’s made from the finest material. It’s long-lasting too! This gives you the ability to save a lot of money as you don’t have to buy a new one every now and then. This doesn’t go blunt, that’s for sure.
- It works pretty well thanks to its well-built constructions.
- This is a very sturdy whetstone because of its even and smoothened outsurface.
- It’s pretty easy to use. The bottom surface sticks well to the kitchen counter.
- You might feel that it’s made of cheap products because of the way it feels.
- You also need to be patient when sharpening with this one because it’s quite slow in doing its job.
3. Unimi Whetstone Knife Sharpener
The Unimi Whetstone Knife Sharpener is a very sharp one. It has two sharpening surfaces with one having a 2,000 grit while the other has a stunning 6,000 grit. This doesn’t only hone and maintain your kitchen knife’s sharpness but this even upgrades them if you want to. That’s how cool and useful this whetstone us. It’s made from a premium material which is called white conundrum. This is what you need if you want a corrosion and friction-resistant product. It even has a non-slip silicone base to ensure that it will stay in place no matter how hard you use it.
- The size is ideal. It speeds up the sharpening process and it makes the task easier for you. It covers a huge area of the blade.
- It has a non-slip base which is very useful in making sure that it remains stationary when you’re using it.
- This whetstone is kind of soft. You can feel its tenderness by touching the surface.
- Its tenderness might be the reason which causes it to not be a very efficient blade sharpening tool.
4. King Japanese Sharpening Whetstone
Here comes a whetstone that prides itself as coming from a country that’s well known for steel-making. The King Japanese Sharpening Whetstone is made in Japan which is why you don’t have to worry about its quality. You have a lot of options with this one as it has a 1,000 grit and 6,000 grit stone surface on two different sides. Imagine, a 6,000 grit surface — that’s surely a very sharp one. It has a dimension of 7.25 x 2.5 x 1.0 inches which is an ideal measurement for a whetstone you’re going to use in the kitchen. It features a plastic stand to make sure that it won’t slide when you’re using it.
- This is a high quality whetstone made of high quality materials. This gives you the assurance that you’re going to use this for a really long time, possibly even a decase.
- It’s very easy to use because of the evened out surface that’s sharp.
- Even though it’s very durable, it’s not the best when it comes to sharpness. You might feel the need to upgrade to a more premium whetstone later on.
5. Sharpen Up Knife Sharpening Stone Kit
The Sharpen Up Knife Sharpening Stone Kit is perhaps one of the best ones in our review roundup, mainly due to its premium quality and strong performance. This is made from premium conundrum which assures its strength, sharpness, and durability for years to come. This is a two-in-one kit as it includes a 1,000 grit and 3,000 grit surface on two different sides. It’s what you want if you need an easy-to-use whetstone, making this the perfect choice for beginners and moderate users.
- This one no doubt would have a long service life due to its remarkable durability.
- It easily holds itself in place. It doesn’t move or slide around even if it’s your first time to sharpen a knife.
- The surface is very sharp. This is surely what you need to sharpen the blade in a very fast manner.
- But there’s nothing special about this blade. It just does what it’s supposed to do.
6. Genuine Arkansas Black Surgical
If you’re looking for a surgical grade stone, this one is the right option. It is a high-grade stone, pure black and smooth. As the name implies, it is commonly used by professionals to sharpen or refine scalpels and other dental tools. Chefs and woodworkers also prefer this stone because of its sharpening ability.
This Arkansas stone is a Novaculite. Meaning the rock used in manufacturing it is fine-grained and hard along with pure silica. The color varies from black, blue/black, and dark grey. The rock used was quarried from the Ouachita Mountains located in Central Arkansas.
During the sharpening process, you can use small amount of mineral oil to prevent blockage in the stone’s pores. Water can also work, but once you use oil at first, do not expect that the water will be effective.
You may encounter some issues when using this stone. It may be because of some possibilities such as the sharpening technique. If you are using the stone to sharpen your knife, make sure to maintain a consistent angle. Prior of using this stone, check if the blade of the knife has a proper edge. Otherwise, you would not achieve the best result. To prepare the edge, you must use first a coarser stone. You may find difficulty honing the edge if your knife is made from steel.
- Handy stone, but great for polishing
- No clean up required after using
- Easy to carry in a pouch
- Thin leather case that is worthless
7. Whetstone Sharpening Stone 1000/4000 Grit
This is a double-sided sharpening stone with coarse side and a fine side. The coarse side is 1000 grit that makes a metal edge to have a frosted look. It can make your dull knives and tools sharp because of its abrasive properties. Use this grit for the final stage of sharpening your kitchen knives.
The 4000-grit fine side is perfect for polishing and finishing edge. You can expect the edge to be very sharp. You can use the fine side for already sharp edges. It is best to use the fine grit after the coarse grit.
The Whetstone double-sided sharpening stone is rust and heat-resistant and made from high-quality white corundum. You can notice demarcation on its corners and sides. Both sides of the stone is ideal to sharpen kitchen knives, pocket knife, kitchen shears, Sun chef knife, precision tool, and even art appliance and straight razor. But never use it for ceramic knife and serrated blades.
- High-grade stone that offers effective results
- Double-sided with different grit
- Rubber frame that prevents the stone to move while using it
- Good quality and smooth to touch
- The details in the instruction is not clear
8. Norton Abrasives - St. Gobain 614636855653 IB8
The Norton abrasive is also a double-sided stone. Made from aluminum oxide making it durable to resist possible fracture. One face of the stone is 100 grit perfect to repair cutting edges and the other side with 320 grit is for sharpening. It works well for restoring straight-edged knives, precision instruments, and plane blades.
This stone meets the environmental and quality standards. Thus, having it guarantees you’re using a safe and durable product. Manufacturing this stone integrates a product with petroleum to ensure lubrication on its surface while using it. The lubrication prevents the small pieces of metal that breaks off to clog the pores of the stone.
- Has tough grit
- Made from high-grade aluminum oxide
- This oilstone is harder than a waterstone
- Some users found the honing oils messy
9. Kota Japan Combination Dual
Are your knives still sharp but not in best shape? Kota Japan Combination stone can help bring back the shape of your knives. It works both as a sharpening and polishing stone. As the name implies, this stone is tailored for Japanese knives that needs extra refinement. It will make the knife extra sharp perfect for accurate cutting.
It features dual grit, 2000 grit on the coarse side and 5000 grit on the fine side. It guarantees addressing the needs of your knives and other sharp objects. You will enjoy achieving perfect slices. Buying this stone comes with lifetime warranty. Thus, you can expect that it will serve you for long time. This stone offers function and style. It comes with bamboo holder and non-slip base with rubber that protects the countertop.
Before using the whetstone, soak it first in water until bubbles disappear. Slide the blade with light pressure to achieve the best results. To keep the surface of the stone wet throughout the process, sprinkle with water. Rinse the stone after grinding to remove the residue.
- Functional and durable
- Guarantees utmost safety
- Comes wit instructions and bamboo holder
- The blade guide does not work well
- Requires soaking in the water for a long time
10. Fallkniven Double Sided Ceramic Sharpener
This sharpening tool is a product of a Swedish manufacturer of knives, Fallkniven. It is designed for top-end knives made from hard steels. It is a double-sided stone with dark ceramic on one side and white ultra-fine on another side.
You can use the dark side for refreshing and maintaining an edge. This side has ceramic material and synthetic sapphires. Ceramic stones don’t have grit number because no abrasive particles are present. It leaves a more refined edge. The ultra-fine white ceramic is smooth, yet hard. Using this side of the stone will give your knife a mirror polish look. It works even on hard steels than the Arkansas hard black stone.
Its compact size makes it ideal to keep in the pocket. It comes with a leather pouch. Using this whetstone does not require water or oil. Instead, use it dry. You can clean it occasional with water and soap. Proper cleaning and maintenance is essential so that it will work efficiently.
- Portable and durable stone
- Easy to carry and store
- Can bring back the sharp edge of a knife
- Some customers complaint the sapphire and ceramic side are not so smooth and flat.
There are four types of whetstone designs in the market. This basically corresponds to what kind of knife you will use. These sharpening stones have different ways of usage, and that is a must to consider. Do not rely on the appearance of the product, but on how it will serve its purpose. Thus, choosing the best one that fits the needs of your knives is what you must think above anything else. These four types of whetstone designs are named water, oil, ceramic, and diamond stones. To further understand, here is what they possess.
Type of Whetstones
A. Water Stones.
Among all the whetstones, water stones are more popular. As its name suggests, basically soaking it into the water before using. But, as time goes by, it often becomes unannealed and needs to be changed from time to time.
B. Oil Stones.
It is also popular along with water stones. Before using it, you should add an ample amount of oil when sharpening your knives. Oil has been helpful to make the sharpness of your knives last longer. Thus, using oil in sharpening your knives comes a little slower and sometimes untidy. Aside from that, the oil you must also use is the honing oil.
C. Ceramic Stones.
Ceramic stones last longer, from months to years. This doesn't require the use of any oil and water before sharpening your knives. Thus, to keep its quality last longer, regular cleaning of it after use is a must, and you also need to choose the authentic ceramic stone to bring its purpose.
D. Diamond Stone.
This is the most expensive among the other whetstones. Diamond stones are not solely made of diamonds, thus metal or plastic plates with a splash of diamonds on top. As its name suggests, this corresponds to a higher price. Like the Ceramic Stone, this doesn't require the use of any water or oil to sharpen your knives. It will last longer and is genuinely effective in sharpening your knives.
Above all these, there are differences, and that is what you must consider in choosing one. It is not about the price. Thus, it is about how you take care of it. Therefore, you must also think about what your knife needs. Always check if it will surely give you the output you expect before acquiring one, as it may negatively affect your knives. Do not be carried away to your expectations; thus, always be mindful in choosing the right one that suits your knife's needs.
Do You Really Need One?
1. It makes sharpening easy.
Of course, you need one! This is what you need if you want to sharpen your kitchen knives. You might have experienced sharpening your knife with some other tool other than whetstones. If you did, you’ll know for sure how hard it is to sharpen them. But with the help of a whetstone, you don’t have to worry about that because it makes the whole process easier. It ensures that your knife sharpening session would be dealt with easily.
That’s how effective and important this sharpening tool is. It saves you the hassle of having to exert all your effort and energy into rubbing the knife’s blade into whatever it is. Just a simple grind and hone is what you need to sharpen your knife with a whetstone.
2. The sharpening process becomes safer.
There lies a certain level of risk in anything we do. But when it comes to sharpening your knife, nothing beats the reduction in risk level when you use a whetstone to sharpen it. Whetstones are designed to be used to sharpen kitchen knives, which is why the way they’re designed, the way they look, and how their surface’s texture is, is what makes the whole process a lot safer.
The tendency for accidental slippage or sudden jerking movements is reduced to a minimum and is even non-existent in most premium whetstones. That’s how useful and important these are to have in your kitchen. They’ll save you the possible cuts and calluses you would have otherwise got if you did not use one.
3. It ensures the proper sharpening of your knives.
Sharpening your knife might sound to be an easy task. But in reality, it really isn’t. It’s more complicated than just grinding, honing, or rubbing the knife on the whetstone’s surface. You need to do it in a proper manner with your hands, arms, and body all positioned and angled perfectly. It’s because of this that you need to know the proper technique when sharpening your kitchen knife.
With the help of a whetstone, you can easily learn that technique because this is specifically designed to just do that — sharpening. Knife sharpening might also cause damage to your knife if you don’t do it properly. But if you were to use a whetstone, you don’t have to worry about that because it’ll do the job for you in the most proper of ways possible.
4. Increases service life of your knives.
So what happens when you’re done sharpening your knife on a whetstone? The answer to that is simple, and that your knife would have an increase in service life. They aren’t any more blunt and dull! They’re already sharpened and made to be used for a much longer time. You see, even premium knives have an expiry date.
It varies from a year to possibly a decade or so, depending on how often you use it. But if you constantly sharpen them using a whetstone, chances are, you can use them for a much longer time. It can even increase its service life two-folds or even up to three-folds. That’s how necessary it is to have a whetstone. You’ll make the most out of your knife.
5. Helps you save money.
Then what happens when your kitchen knife would have an increase in service life? You would then not need to buy a new one! It’s as simple as that. You have just saved money because you don’t need to get a replacement for the knife that was once dull. By simply sharpening it using a whetstone, you have assured to yourself that you’re going to use that for a much longer time. So much for a swift replacement, right?
Based on my own experience in using all of the five products, I can confidently attest to the superior quality and performance of the Sharpen Up Knife Sharpening Stone Kit. Not only is it very good in what it’s supposed to do, but it also does a great job in being a stable, durable, and safe-to-us whetstone. You’ll surely have your money’s worth with this one.