Most people do not think about sharpening their knives until they are no longer sharp. Note that nothing affects the performance or longevity of your knife more than routine sharpening and maintenance. A blunt knife in the kitchen is more dangerous than a sharp one when workers must force their way through cutting meats and vegetables. For this reason, it is imperative that you sharpen and maintain your knife regularly. So remember to use a knife sharpening stone or electric knife sharpener and keep your knives in shape.
There are many sharpening tools so it might get confusing when trying to buy the best knife sharpener on the market today. including electric knife sharpeners, honing steels and sharpening stones or whetstones . Out of the three, sharpening stones are the most popular and traditional way of sharpening knives. Most professional chefs and home cooks love them for their versatility, as they can sharpen almost any edge. In this article, we will discuss EVERYTHING there is to know about sharpening stones and then recommend the most popular and top rated ten sharpening stones on the market today.
- 1 Types of Sharpening Stones
- 2 Top Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Sharpening Stone
- 3 Grits for Sharpening Whetstones
- 4 Top 10 Best Knife Sharpening Stones on Amazon
- 4.1 Premium Home Knife Sharpener Stone Kit
- 4.2 Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone Kit
- 4.3 Tri-6 Arkansas Tri-Hone Stone Sharpeners by Smith’s
- 4.4 Premium Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone
- 4.5 Natural “Ocean Blue” Sharpening Honing Stone
- 4.6 Bob Kramer Zwilling J.A Henckels 6-pc Glass Waterstone Sharpening Stone Set
- 4.7 Norton IM200-8” 3 Stone Sharpening System
- 4.8 Tri-Stone Knife Sharpener
- 4.9 BearMoo Whetstone 2 in 1 Sharpening Stone
- 4.10 King KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone
Types of Sharpening Stones
There are three major types of sharpening stones:
- Oil stones
- Water stones
- Diamond stones
Oil stones are the most popular traditional way of sharpening knives. They can be made from Silicon Carbide, Aluminum Oxide or Novaculite. Just as their name suggests, oil stones use oil for swarf removal. Here are the various types of oils stones.
Natural Sharpening Oil Stones
Natural stones are the most common oil knife sharpening stones. Quarried from Arkansas, natural stones are made from Novaculite. Once processed, natural stones are commonly referred to as Arkansas stones and classified into different grades depending on the finish and density the stone produces. The finer grades are called Hard translucent Arkansas, Hard Black Arkansas, Hard Arkansas, and Soft Arkansas. Though they produce an incredibly sharp edge, natural knife sharpening stones sharpen the blade slower when compared to the man-made sharpening stones.
Artificial / Man-made Sharpening Oil Stones
When it comes to artificial sharpening stones, Aluminum Oxide oil stones are the most popular. They cut faster than the natural oil stones and produce a finer edge on all tools and knives. Aluminum oxide sharpening stones are usually graded as coarse, fine and medium. They come in either orange or brown colors. The most popular Aluminum Oxide sharpening stones are the Indian stones that are made by Norton. These stones are coarser than manmade stones and are commonly used together with Arkansas stones together all levels of coarseness.
Silicon Carbide Sharpening Oil Stones
They are the fastest sharpening oil stones. Commonly called the Crystolon stones, Silicon Carbide oil stones are made by Norton. They are usually labeled coarse, medium and fine and mostly come in gray color. When compared to natural and Aluminum Oxide stones, these oil stones do not produce a finer cutting edge. However, their ability to cut fast makes them perfect for initial coarse sharpening. Due to their ability to cut fast, most chefs use the Coarse Crystolon sharpeners first before progressing to the India Stones and then finishing with Arkansas stone.
Benefits of Oils Stones
Oil stones come at a lower price when compared to the other types of sharpening stones. They can produce an incredibly sharp edge. Because they are relatively hard, they do not require any flattening. Crystolon stone and some India stones are least expensive to buy, while Translucent Arkansas and the Hard Black Arkansas stones are most expensive.
Shortcoming of Oil Stones
The only shortcoming of oil stones is their slower cutting rate. Additionally, since oil is used to remove swarf, it makes it messier to clean the stone.
Water stones are a new addition to the Western sharpening tools. Just like the oil stones, they come in synthetic and natural materials. Synthetic water stones are the most readily available. They are made from Aluminum Oxide, just like India oil stones, and can produce a razor-sharp edge. The only difference between the India oil stones and synthetic water stones is the binder that joins the abrasives of the water stone together. Water stones cut faster than the India oil stones since their old abrasive are continually replaced with the fresh sharp material.
Advantages of Water Stones
The main advantage of water sharpening stones is their ability to cut faster. Additionally, since water is used to remove the swarf from the stone, cleaning becomes easier.
Disadvantages of Water Stones
Since water stones are soft, they wear done very quickly. The wearing down is uneven and thus routine flattening is needed to bring the stone back to its original shape.
Diamond Sharpening Stones
These types of sharpening stones have small diamonds affixed to face of their metal plates to make sharpening fast and simple to use. When compared to the other sharpening stones, diamond stones are the hardest. However, it is imperative to note that not all diamond stones are created equal. In fact, there are two major classifications of diamond stones:
- Diamond stones with a continuous surface
- Diamond stones with small holes on their surface
The diamond stones with a continuous surface are ideal for sharpening knives and tools with points which can get caught in the recesses of the non-continuous diamond surface. The diamond stones with holes on their surfaces are the most commonly used. The holes are used to capture swarf from the blade being sharpened. Both diamond stones come in poly-crystalline and mono-crystalline diamonds. The mono-crystalline are most preferred due to their ability to last longer.
Advantages of Diamond Stones
The two major advantages of diamond sharpening stones are that they can sharpen your blades very fast. Secondly, they are flat and can be used to flatten water stones.
Disadvantages of Diamond stones
The only shortcoming of diamond stones is their high-cost price. However, this is due to their unique features and ability to last for a long time. Thus, the long-term cost can be comparable to other sharpening stones.
There are numerous good reasons as to why there are many types of sharpening stones available. There is not one type of knife sharpening stone that is best for everyone. Choosing the best sharpening stones starts by finding the best combination of benefits for your particular sharpening needs. Here are top factors to consider when choosing a knife sharpening stone.
Top Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Sharpening Stone
When choosing your sharpening stone, go for a sharpener that can work on any blade. A good sharpening stone should not only sharpen kitchen knives, but also scissors, pocket knives, and hunting knives. This will help you to save money
The size of your sharpening stone will determine your convenience and safety during the sharpening process. It is highly advisable that you go for a larger sharpener stone, as having a smaller stone will make it hard for you to sharpen larger blades. It is important to note that the length of the sharpener is more important than its width. It is highly recommendable that you choose a sharpener stoner with a minimum length of 8 inches.
Choose a sharpening stone that has at least two-sided grits, a fine one, and a coarse one. The fine grit is suitable for honing and polishing your knife while the other coarse grit is ideal for sharpening even the dullest knives. Instead of buying two products for your sharpening needs, it is imperative to choose a combination stone. This saves you money.
Non-Slip Secure Base
Since you will be dealing with knives, a little slip of the stone could cause severe injuries. To enhance safety and comfort during the sharpening process, it is imperative that you go for a stone sharpener with a non-slip base.
Grits for Sharpening Whetstones
After deciding to buy a knife sharpening stone, you must have a good understanding of the different grits for sharpening stones. Each sharpening stone has a different level of coarseness for sharpening knives, removing blade steel, polishing the edges of the knives. This level of coarseness is what is known as grit. Sharpening stones are rated according to the number of grits. Read this section to know more.
- #8000 Grit
The 8000 grit provides the best finishing for the sharpest and polished blades. It is ideal for sharpening knives used for cutting fruits and vegetables.
- #6000 Grit
The 6000 grit is perfect for polishing blades. It produces incredibly sharp and fine cutting edges. It is suitable for polishing knives used to cut meat on a regular basis.
- #5000/ 4000 Grits
The 5000 and 4000 grit stones are ideal for sharpening western knives with a U shaped edge. They act as a bridge between the super fine and coarse sharpening stones.
- #3000 Grit
The 3000 grit is commonly used for finishing. It helps to make your knives smoother and refines cutting edges. 3000 stone grit can also be used to balance the edge retention and sharpness for both straight beveled and double beveled blades.
- #2000 Grit
The 2000 stone grit is found in most medium level sharpening stones. They are smoother than 1000 grit stone and only remove less material with every pass.
- #1200 Grit
If you own a traditional Japanese knife, then you should buy a knife sharpening stone with 1200 grit. It is ideal for honing and sharpening all kinds of single and double beveled knives.
- #1000 Grit
The 1000 stone grit is suitable for maintaining new knives or blades. You can use it with high carbon stainless steel blades, such as Shun or Wusthof. However, you cannot use the stone to sharpen any advanced ceramic blade.
- #300 Grit
The 300 knife sharpening stone is perfect for sharpening the dullest stainless steel blade. The stone requires a medium level of professionalism to operate properly. It is not recommended for beginners.
- #220 Grit
These 220 grit stones are very aggressive. They have the ability to repair or reshaping blades. The 220 grit is not recommended for
Top 10 Best Knife Sharpening Stones on Amazon
Standing with a lot unique pleasing features, the Premium Home Knife Sharpening Stone Kit from Love This Kitchen provides the best out of sharpening as it comes with the most basic tools for your sharpening stuff. Measuring 8.25 inches long, by 2.75 inches wide, by 1.5 inches tall and weighing 2.2 pounds, this sharpener stone kit is ideal for sharpening all types of blades including serrated and straight edge knives. The 3000 grit stone hones and polishes your blade, while the 800 coarse grit side is ideal for restoring the dullest blade to a razor sharp edge.
The Premium Home Knife Sharpener Stone Kit comes with a non-slip base and a sturdy Bambu stand to make sharpening safe and comfortable. Its patented dual base design with an adjustable plastic enclosure allows you to place the stone at a 15 degrees angle or at a flat base for easier sharpening. The knife sharpening stone comes with a premium cleaning kit, a user’s manual and a step by step online video tutorial.
The Premium Home Knife Sharpener Stone Kit is one of the most trusted sharpening stones on the market. It comes with a 60 days money back guarantee. If you are not happy with this kit, contact Amazon within 60 days for a refund.
Pros of the Premium Home Knife Sharpener Stone Kit
- Suitable for sharpening and honing all types of knives
- Nonslip base for firmness of the stone while sharpening
- The kit comes with an 800/3000 grit stone
- Measures only 2.2 pounds making it easy to carry around
- Comes with basic tools needed for your sharpening stuff
- 60 days money back guarantee
Cons of the Premium Home Knife Sharpener Stone Kit
- The stone is soft and may get dents
Made from corundum, the Premium Knife sharpening stone is designed to sharpening any flat blade, including Japanese chef knife, Global knives, scissors, hunting knives, military, army knives, hand tools, chisels and many other flat blade tools and knives. It comes with a 400 coarse grit to turn the dullest blades into incredibly sharp edges, and 1000 grit for honing and polishing your blades.
The stone is placed on a bamboo wood holder with a rubberized non-slip base for enhanced firmness and comfort while sharpening. The Patented dual design allows the manufacturer to combine the 1000grit stone and 400 grit stone for enhanced sharpening results.
The Premium whetstone is built to last and is very easy to use. All you need to do is put the stone in water for 10 minutes, mount it to the wooden base and sharpen your knives. Manufactured by Sentima, this sharpening stone measures, 7.1 inches long, 1.2 inches wide and 2.4 inches high. It weighs only 1.55 pounds making it easy to carry around.
Pros of the Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone Kit
- 400/1000 stone makes it ideal for sharpening, honing and polishing knives
- Comes in a discreet size and weighs only 1.55 pounds, making it easy to carry around
- 100 percent bamboo holder base with a rubberized casing for enhanced comfort and safety while sharpening
- Designed to sharpen all types of flat blade knives and tools
- Easy to use, maintain and clean
Cons of the Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone Kit
- Little hard to sharpen serrated knives
- Needs water
Tri-6 Arkansas Tri-Hone Stone Sharpeners by Smith’s
Smith’s has been a trusted brand in the sharpening industry for more than a hundred and twenty-five years. The stone comes with three different sharpening stones for sharpening, honing and finishing the cutting. The color-coded stones include a coarse synthetic stone, one fine Arkansas stone, and one medium Arkansas stone. The fine Natural Arkansas stone has 1000 to 1200 grit; the medium Arkansas stone has a 600 grit, while the coarse synthetic stone has 400 grit.
All the three sharpening stones are placed on a triangular plastic base w with handles on the end for simple stone rotation and easy recognition of stone labels. The three stones are also held in position by a sturdy, non-slip stand with a through in the ground to hold excess sharpening or honing solution. The molded plastic base and nonslip rubber feet also help to enhance comfort and safety. The knife sharpening stone comes with a discreet size and weighs only 1.55 pounds.
Pros of the Smith’s Tri 6 Arkansas Sharpening Stones
- 3 sharpening stones: one coarse synthetic stones, one fine Arkansas stone, and one medium Arkansas stone.
- The three stones are mounted on a plastic triangle with handles to allow to rotate the stones and identify labels easily.
- Nonskid rubber base for enhanced safety and comfort
- Comes with a sharpening angle guide
- Discreet size and weights only 1.55 pounds, making it easy to carry around.
- Easy to use, clean and maintain
- Ideal for sharpening all types of blades for tools and knives
- Affordably priced despite the many unique features
Cons of the Smith’s Tri 6 Arkansas Sharpening Stones
- Comes with a professional design and may be difficult to use for beginners
With a two-sided whetstone design, the Premium Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone is a top rated sharpening stone. One side is white colored and rated at 1000 grit while the other half is light blue and is rated 6000 grit, giving you the full range of options for whatever you need. The 1000 grit side is ideal for repairing or reshaping damaged edges while the 6000 grit side is ideal for smoothing, polishing and fine finishing your cutting edges
The Premium Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone also comes with a simple user’s manual, a detailed eBook and a user’s manual to help beginners learn the basic and advanced tips for effective blade sharpening. The sharpening stone can be used to sharpen all kinds of kitchen knives, scissors, pocket and hunting knives too.
This sharpening stone is easy to store, easy to assemble and easy to use. It comes with a bamboo holder with a non-slip silicone base for enhanced safety and comfort while sharpening. The sharpener comes in a special beautiful package and can be a perfect gift for your family and friends.
Pros of the Premium Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone
- Two-sided sharpening stone with a 1000/6000, making it ideal for honing and polishing blades
- Nonslip bamboo base ensures the stone is fixed in one place during sharpening
- The silicon base enhances the safety and comfort during the sharpening process
- Highly durable and long lasting
- Angle guide to help you sharpen different types of knives correctly
- Comes with a user’s manual and detailed eBook on knife sharpening
- Affordably priced
Cons of the Premium Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone
- The angle guide can scratch the blade. To prevent this from happening to make sure you set the blade at the correct angle during the sharpening process.
Natural “Ocean Blue” Sharpening Honing Stone
Quarried from an undermined mine near South Tsushima Island in Japan, the Natural “Ocean Blue” Sharpening Honing Stone, is increasingly becoming popular. It comes with a 12000 ultra fine grit making ideal for sharpening, honing and polishing all types of knives, razors, chisels, gouges, and planes. Measuring 8.0 inches by 2.7 inches by 1.0 inch thick and weighing 3 pounds, this L shaped sharpening stone is discreet and lightweight.
The Natural “Ocean Blue” Sharpening Honing Stone is well built and will last a lifetime. It comes packed in a genuine cowhide top grain leather case. The silicone nonslip base ensures that the sharpener is firm during the sharpening process.
Pros of the Natural “Ocean Blue” Sharpening Honing Stone
- Nonslip silicone padding for enhanced safety and comfort during sharpening
- 12000 grit make the sharpening stone sharpening and honing the dullest blades
- Comes with the Japanese golden stamp of authenticity
- No soaking is needed before using this stone
- Produces a long lasting cutting edge
Con of the Natural “Ocean Blue” Sharpening Honing Stone
- Not ideal for serrated blades
- Comes with a high selling price, but this is because of the 12000 stone grit
Bob Kramer Zwilling J.A Henckels 6-pc Glass Waterstone Sharpening Stone Set
The Bob Kramer Zwilling J.A Henckels 6-pc Glass Waterstone Sharpening Stone Set is specially designed for professional chefs and experienced home cooks. The sharpening stone set comes with three whetstones: one 5000 stone grit, one 1000 stone grit and one 400 stone grit, one synthetic ceramic stone, one glass stone and a cleaning stone. The synthetic ceramic stone is made in Japan, helps in superior sharpening capability. The three different whetstones are ideal for sharpening, honing and polishing knife edges. The cleaning stone is specially designed for polishing and cleaning the whetstones. The glass water stone is used together with a layer of water to lubricate the stone and properly sharpen the blade.
This sharpening stone boasts a whetstone bridge with adjustable wing nuts and rubber feet to fit in any countertop or sink basin so as to provide a perfect sharpening station. The ceramic synthetic material is designed to last a lifetime and can be used on all ceramic knives. Each of the six stones measures 8.25 inches by 2.75 inches by 0.25 inches. The bridge measures 16.25 inches by 3 inches. The sharpening set is easy to use and it comes with a Bob Kramer sharpening instructional DVD.
Pros of the Bob Kramer Zwilling J.A Henckels 6-pc Glass Waterstone Sharpening Stone Set
- A complete sharpening set with 6 piece sharpening stones
- 3 whetstones with a rating of 5000 grit, 1000 grit and 400 grit for sharpening even the dullest blades
- Bob Kramer sharpening instructional DVD for basics to beginners
- One cleaning stone for polishing sharpening stones after use to return them to like-new construction
- Adjustable bamboo whetstone sink bridge to create a sturdy workstation for sharpening
- Limited manufacturer warranty
Cons of the Bob Kramer Zwilling J.A Henckels 6-pc Glass Waterstone Sharpening Stone Set
- Retails at a high-cost price but this is due to the many sharpening stones that are combined to make the set.
Norton IM200-8” 3 Stone Sharpening System
The Norton IM200-8” 3 Stone Sharpening System is a top seller and one of the best tri sharpening stones available on the market today. It comes with a 320 grit aluminum oxide stone, 150 grit silicon carbide stone and 100 grit silicon carbide stone.
The course Crystolon stone is a fast cutting system suitable for repairing damaged and severely damaged blades. The fine India stone is used for honing and it also offers a precision edge ideal for most food preparations. The stone should be used regularly to give your knives a high-quality cutting edge. The medium stone sharpens the bluntest blades and is used to upgrade the finish left by the coarse stone.
The unit comes with non-slip rubber feet for enhanced stability. It also comes with an angle guide, a reservoir and a 4.5 oz can of sharpening stone oil supplied for lubrication. The reservoir is where the lubrication fluid goes. Stones that are not being used can be submerged here so that they remain clean, saturated and ready for use. The rotating axis holds the stone in place during the sharpening process.
Pros of the Norton IM200-8” 3 Stone Sharpening System
- Sharpening system with three sharpening stones: 320 grit aluminum oxide stone, 150 grit and 100 grit silicon carbide stones
- Self-contained sharpening unit with a bench, a reservoir in the base of the unit, a lid, and a durable plastic case
- Nonslip rubber feet keep the unit sturdy and protect the stones from breaking
- The angle guide helps you to position your blades accurately
- One 4.5 ounces can of Norton sharpening stone oil is added for lubrication
- The reservoir holds oils to keep your stones clean, saturated and ready for use
- High rated and trusted by most professional chefs and home cooks
Cons of the Norton IM200-8” 3 Stone Sharpening System
- Some customers felt the rotating block caused the stones to rock slightly throwing off the sharpening angle
Tri-Stone Knife Sharpener
The Tri-Stone Sharpener comes with three fine, medium and coarse stones. The fine stone is usually 3000 grit, the medium stone is 1000 grit and the coarse stone is 240 grit. To get an incredibly sharp edge, start with the coarse grit stone, and work your way to the fine grit, apply water to make sure that the blade moves across the stone. The sharpener comes with a water bottle so you can continually rewet the stones during use.
The Tri-Stone Sharpener can be used on both single and double-edged blades. It comes in an attractive wooden box, making it easy to store on the counter or in a drawer. The sharpening system is specially designed for professional chefs and people who cook at home a lot. Amazon customers have expressed a high level of satisfaction for this sharpener and is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Pros of the Tri-Stone Sharpener
- Sharpening stone with three sharpening stones: 240 grit coarse stone, 1000 grit medium stone, and a 3000 grit fine stone
- Ideal for sharpening and honing both single and double bevel blades
- Comes with a plastic water bottle to keep the stones saturated during the sharpening process
- Comes packed in a wooden box so you can easily store it or present it as a gift your family or friends
- The stone uses water not oil, thus easy to clean
- Measures 9.2 inches by 3.2 inches by 2.9 inches and weighs only 2 pounds
Cons of the Wusthof Tri-Stone Sharpener
- Needs water
- Little bit hard to sharpen serrated knives
BearMoo Whetstone 2 in 1 Sharpening Stone
With a dual-sided design, the BearMoo Whetstone 2 in 1 Knife Sharpening Stone is the best product for anyone looking to make their blades incredibly sharp. The sharpening stone is made from top quality white corundum material to guarantee effective sharpening outcome. The sharpening unit consists of a fine 8000 grit stone and a coarse 3000 grit stone. The Waterstone can be used to sharpen nearly all kinds of blades including serrated and ceramic knives. The nonslip silicon base enhances the stability of the sharpener while in use.
Measuring 7.09 inches by 2.36 inches by 1.18 inches, the BearMoo Whetstone 2 in 1 Sharpening Stone provides good performance. The sharpener is built to last and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee. If you are satisfied with the performance of this unit, you can return without any hassles.
Pros of the BearMoo Whetstone 2 in 1 Sharpening Stone
- Comes with two sharpening stones 3000 grit stone and 8000 grit stone
- 30 days money back guarantee
- Silicone base to enhance the firmness of the sharpener during the sharpening process
- Quite versatile
Cons of the BearMoo Whetstone 2 in 1 Sharpening Stone
- Doesn’t work well with ceramic knives and serrated blades
- The middle part of the stone may create a hollow if frequently stroked with the blade
King KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone
Made of steel and carbon, the King KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone is one of the best water stone for sharpening knives. It comes with two stones a 1000 stone grit and a 6000 stone grit. The Waterstone measures 7.25 inches by 2.5 inches by 1.0 inches and weighs only 1 pound. This makes it very easy to transport and carry around. The stone comes with a plastic stand to hold the stone securely while sharpening the blade.
Pros of the King KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone
- Adequately versatile
- Nice sharpening results
- Sharpening stone with a 1000 grit stone and a 6000 grit stone
- Easy to use for beginners
- Comes with a discreet size and is lightweight
Cons of the King KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone
- Plastic stand seems to be constructed cheaply
- Not suitable for serrated blades and ceramic knives
These are the most important details you should know before buying the best knife sharpening stone. As you can see, there are many types of stone sharpeners on the market today. We hope that this information will help you come up with a proper guideline for choosing the best stone sharpener for your needs.
If you have any questions or queries about sharpening stones, do not hesitate to write a comment. We will be happy to help.