Anyone who wants to ensure that their knives are as sharp as they can be is going to want to invest in the best sharpening stone that they can buy. Keeping your knives in pristine condition will reduce the risk of injury that’s often caused by a dull knife. Unfortunately, not everyone understands which sharpening stone is right for them or even how to fix it, so we decided to not only find the best ones available but also write a guide on the subject as well. Hopefully, this is information that will prove useful to anyone looking to keep their knives in top condition.
Quick Summary of the Best Sharpening Stones
- Editor’s Choice
Sharp Pebble Premium 2-Sided Whetstone (Amazon) – Review
- Also Recommended
Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas Tri-Hone Sharpening System (Amazon) – Review
- Also Consider
Genuine Arkansas Pocket Knife Whetstone (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Sharp Pebble Premium 2-Sided Whetstone
There are a lot of sharpening stones available nowadays, and many of them cost hundreds of dollars. Although those expensive sharpening stones last a long time and do a good job of putting an edge on a blade, not everyone wants to pay a small fortune sharpening their knife. Fortunately, with this sharpening stone, they don’t have to. That’s because this model will do just as good of a job as those other stones and will do it for a fraction of the cost.
Sure, this stone isn’t as thick as those commercial sharpening stones, so it won’t last quite as long, but it lasts long enough to be a cost-effective tool. It’s a great multipurpose stone that can be used for kitchen knives, steak knives, butcher knives, cleavers, sushi knives, hunting knives or paring knives. It can even be used to sharpen straight-edge chisels, scissors, straight razors, and even an ax.
Since this is a whetstone, the consumer is not only going to have to soak it before use but they’re also going to have to keep it splashed with water while using it. Even so, this stone is still almost as easy to use as some of the pull knife sharpeners that can be found in the kitchen department of every store. It’s an easy to use stone that comes with everything a person needs to put a good edge on their knife.
This double-sided stone has one edge with a 1,000-grit for sharpening knives, and its other side is 6,000-grit for honing a knife. This set also comes with a bamboo base with a silicone holder that helps to hold the stone in place, an instruction manual, and a knife sharpening angle guide. And all of this is available for a very reasonable price. Now no one has the excuse not to keep their knives razor-sharp.
Also Recommended: Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas Tri-Hone Sharpening System
Even though this sharpening stone isn’t as versatile as other stones we’ve reviewed, we do believe that it’s a great stone for home use. This is a stone that can be used for sharpening everything from kitchen knives to tools and it works quite well. The stone is a little bit smaller than we anticipated and the base is a little bit lighter than we would’ve liked, but otherwise, we felt that this was a stone that a person new to knife sharpening can begin to use right away.
This sharpening system comes with three stones that allow a person to sharpen their knives and tools as they see fit. It features a 6-inch by 1-5/8-inch by 3/8-inch medium 600-grit synthetic stone, a course 400-grit synthetic stone, and a 1,000-1,200-grit fine natural Arkansas stone. It also features a molded plastic base with non-skid feet and a trough that can be used to catch oil drippings. Also included with this system is Smith’s premium honing solution and a sharpening angle guide as well.
Switching between stones is quite easy, too. All the consumer has to do is lift one of the sections that hold the stone and then dial into the stone they want to use before putting it back into the base. And although the base is lighter than we would’ve liked, it, fortunately, didn’t move during the sharpening process. It also should be noted that due to its small size, this system is easy to store just about anywhere in most kitchens.
Another thing that we liked about this sharpening stone system was that it was inexpensive. It was a fraction of the cost of most commercial or even high-end residential stones. That allows it to be a reasonable investment by most people so they can assure that they’re knives remain as sharp as possible. We thought it was a great system and would gladly recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive home sharpening stone.
Also Consider: Genuine Arkansas Pocket Knife Whetstone
Genuine Arkansas sharpening stones are some of the most sought after stones for sharpening knives in all the world. Few other stones can put an edge on a blade as these stones can. Unfortunately, they’re not as common as some sharpener manufacturers would have people believe. Although there are plenty of companies that claim they use genuine Arkansas sharpening stones, many of them are either outright imitations or Arkansas stone that’s been glued to more inferior materials.
Fortunately for all of us, this is the genuine article. This stone is mined in the Ouachita Mountains of Central Arkansas and is 100% natural. Because it’s a natural stone that means that while consumers can rest assured of their quality, they won’t know exactly what color their stone will be. Some of them are grey, some are white/pink, some are grey/pink, some are all white, some are black and white, and some are black and grey. Regardless of the color, however, consumers will get a genuine Arkansas stone for sharpening.
Each stone is approximately 3-inches by 1-inch by 1/4-inch and comes in a leather pouch that keeps the stone protected in between uses. Because of this stone’s small size, it can be carried virtually anywhere, so hunters, campers, hikers, and fishermen can keep their knives in good condition. All the consumer has to do is to use some light honing oil and put in a bit of elbow grease and they will walk away with knives with well-honed blades.
It’s also worth mentioning that these stones are also inexpensive. This is probably a good thing considering their small size and that they will probably spend most of their time at the bottom of a toolbox or in a backpack. Just because it’s inexpensive doesn’t mean it isn’t a great stone, however. We felt that it was one of the best ones around for pocket, hunting, and paring knives.
A Guide To Sharpening Stones
In a way, a lot of people have become spoiled by pull-and-sharpen devices. After all, these sharpeners are cheap, easy enough for anyone to use, and they can also be easily tossed into a kitchen drawer when the user is done with them. Unfortunately, they’re just not very good for the knives they’re used on. Those plastic sharpeners end up removing too much metal from the knife, and that will eventually lead to the destruction of its edge.
No, the only way to properly sharpen a knife is to use the best sharpening stone available. A stone that will not only keep the knife nice and sharp but will also protect the integrity of the knife’s edge. Of course, for a lot of people that also means that they will also have to take the time to learn how to use the stone properly. These stones will do an amazing job of sharpening a knife, but only if they’re used properly.
We wanted to make sure that our readers not only could find the best stones for sharpening available, but we also wanted to make sure that they had the information they need to use that stone properly. That’s why we’ve decided to write this little guide. Although this guide won’t cover all the intricacies of sharpening a knife with a stone, it will do a good job of covering the basics. Having said that, let’s get started and find out a little bit about knife sharpening with a stone.
Choosing The Proper Grit
The first thing that the consumer is going to want to do before they sharpen their knives is to make sure that they have the stones they need. For regular maintenance of a knife, most people are only going to need one quality all-purpose stone or a couple of stones with different grits.
For more advanced sharpening, however, the consumer is going to want to make sure they have a variety of different stone grits available. What stone grits should a person have for sharpening? The following table should be able to answer that question by listing some of the more common stone grits along with their recommended purpose.
120 To 400 Grit
If the consumer has a blade that’s extremely dull or a blade in which they need to remove chips from the edge, then they’re going to want to choose a 120 to 400-grit knife. 120-240 grit is perfect for removing chips or nicks from the blade’s edge, while 240-400 is good for restoring a dull blade.
700 To 1,200 Grit
Most people will want to own at least one sharpening stone in this grit range. That’s because this grit is the one that’s the most common for normal everyday sharpening. Just by using a sharpening stone in this grit range, the consumer should be able to maintain their knives quite well.
2,000 To 8,000 Grit
Stones in this range are used to remove the burrs and scratches that are left by some of the coarser stones used to sharpen the blade. This grit range is used by knife sharpening experts to polish up their knives.
As we said, most people can probably get away from using a 700-1,200 grit sharpening stone to keep their kitchen knives in good condition. However, for people who want to elevate their game a bit further, then they’re probably going to want to make sure that they have three sharpening stones. A rough stone for removing nicks and chips, a stone to sharpen, and a stone to hone the blade’s edge.
How To Use A Sharpening Stone
Once a person has acquired the proper sharpening stone (or stones), then it’s now time to use those stones to sharpen the blade. In this section of this guide, we’re going to give a simple and brief explanation of the sharpening process. Okay? Good, let’s get started.
Step One: Read And Follow The Stone’s Preparation Directions
Most sharpening stones come with a guide that will tell the user how they should prepare the stone for use. Some stones require to be soaked in water for a while, while others can simply be splashed with water or even used dry. The consumer should know what their stone requires before they begin the sharpening process.
Step Two: Properly Situate The Stone
The next step is to place the stone either on the stand that’s included with it or a wet towel on a flat surface. This will help to keep the stone from moving all over the place during the sharpening process. To begin with, the coarse side of the stone should be on top, so the consumer can quickly bring their knife’s blade back into shape.
Step Three: Lubricate The Stone
Following the sharpening stone’s instructions, make sure to lubricate it properly. Some stones require water to be used as lubrication, but other stones require the consumer to use special honing oil for lubrication.
On the other hand, some stones don’t require any lubrication, so it’s important to know before beginning the sharpening process. If the stone requires water or oil, that’s usually applied down the middle of the stone and then massaged evenly over the surface. When that’s complete, the process can begin.
Step Four: Begin Sharpening!
Holding the knife at a 20-degree angle, and starting at the knife’s heel, the consumer should draw the knife down and across the sharpening stone in one smooth action. This should be repeated approximately 4-6 times, depending on how dull the blade is. The knife should then be flipped over and sharpened the same number of times and in the same manner as the first side.
Flip the knife back over and sharpen the knife again, but start with the tip of the knife this time and draw it towards the heel. Do this motion 4-6 times, flip it over, and repeat the same motion on the other side the same number of times.
Once that’s done, flip the stone to the fine side and repeat the process. Congratulations! The knife is now razor-sharp and ready to be used.