If your knives and other cutting tools are starting to get a little dull and less effective for cutting things, then you are going to want to sharpen them. That means you are going to need a sharpening stone, and preferably the best sharpening stone you can find. Using a blunted knife can be very frustrating and can also be hazardous, increasing the risk of accidents as well as slowing down your cutting significantly. A whetstone is an easy way to get your knives back to a brilliant shine and a perfect level of sharpness as quickly as possible without too much effort and is an important part of your home toolkit that everyone should ensure is present in their kitchen somewhere.
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Choosing the best sharpening stone out there is not as difficult as you might think, particularly if you have got a helpful guide to hand. That is why we’ve put together our best sharpening stone reviews, which you will find below, explaining the most important features of each of our top 10 knife sharpening stones 2020. There is also a buyers guide, breaking down some of the things you should consider when you are looking to buy a sharpening stone and helping you to get a great sense of what to look for.
View the Best Sharpening Stone, Below.
- Sharp Pebble Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone
- DMT W6EFC Three 6-Inch Diamond Whetstone
- Dan’s Whetstone Company Inc. Pocket Knife Sharpening Stone
- Chefic Whetstone 2-IN-1 Premium Sharpening Stone
- Fallkniven CC4 Ceramic Whetstone Sharpener
- KING KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone
- Lansky Multi-Purpose Sharpener Puck
- Norton ine/Coarse India Combination Oilstone
- Whetstone Cutlery 20-10960 Knife Sharpening Stone
- Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas Sharpening Stone
1. Sharp Pebble Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone
No matter what type of blade you need to sharpen, from kitchen knives to scissors, chisels, and axes, the premium quality Sharp Pebble Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone is an excellent choice for fixing a blunted, dull blade. This durable water stone whetstone is made from imported Japanese aluminum oxide and is built with a 1000/6000 dual sided grit combination for full control over your knife sharpening.
For safety and stability, the sharpening stone is held in place inside an extra high bamboo base with silicone grips on the underside, keeping everything securely in place while you sharpen with no risk of unexpected slips and accidents.
The premium aluminum oxide Sharp Pebble Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone is one of the best knife sharpening stone options out there, offering versatility and excellent sharpening performance for every type of blade.Check Price on Amazon ➞
2. DMT W6EFC Three 6-Inch Diamond Whetstone
The DMT W6EFC Three 6 Inch Diamond Whetstone set can easily fulfill a wide range of different blade sharpening needs, from final polish all the way to sharpening even the bluntest and least functional of knives. These sharpening stones are made from high precision mono-crystalline diamonds, giving an exceptionally durable and long-lasting flat sharpening surface that can easily and efficiently sharpen, hone or polish almost any type of blade, from knives to other cutting tools such as scissors and axes.
This set includes 3 one-sided whetstones of different grit levels, giving you full control over every step of the process, and none of them require lubrication; you can sharpen your blades completely dry or add water if you want.
The 3 in 1 nature of the DMT W6EFC Three 6 Inch Diamond Whetstone set ensures that no matter what your particular knife sharpening need is, there is a stone with the right grit level to fit your needs comfortably.Check Price on Amazon ➞
3. Dan’s Whetstone Company Inc. Pocket Knife Sharpening Stone
Pocket whetstones are often lower quality than the larger and more expensive models of bench stone that feature larger and finer materials. Not all pocket sharpening stones are lower quality, however, and the Dan's Whetstone Company Inc. Pocket Knife Sharpening Stone is an excellent example of this. This tiny hand stone is made from genuine Arkansas stone, 100% quarried in the Ouachita Mountains of Central Arkansas – one of the highest quality natural whetstone materials available.
The medium grit level of this natural sharpening stone allows for quick sharpening of dull, blunted blades on the go, helping you to return your tools to perfect sharpness as fast as possible and enabling you to get back to work with the maximum efficiency possible.
The Dan's Whetstone Company Inc. Pocket Knife Sharpening Stone is a high-quality knife sharpening stone made from 100% genuine natural Arkansas stone for the best sharpening experience possible, all in a small and portable package.Check Price on Amazon ➞
4. Chefic Whetstone 2-IN-1 Premium Sharpening Stone
The Chefic Whetstone 2 in 1 Premium Sharpening Stone is one of the larger models of bench stone available, but its large size is a worthwhile price to pay for the excellent professional quality sharpening offered by this knife sharpening stone. Made from professional grade white corundum, this dual-sided sharpening stone features a 400 grit side for efficient sharpening and honing and a 1000 grit side for smoothing and finishing touches, allowing you to return chef's knives and most other types of long, straight blade to a level of sharpness equivalent to the factory edge of most tools.
For safety, this bench stone includes a non-slip silicone base, keeping the stone firmly in place to minimize the risk of slips and accidents when working with sharp, dangerous blades.
If you are looking for professional quality knife sharpening for chef’s knives, the Chefic Whetstone 2 in 1 Premium Sharpening Stone is the stone for you. This whetstone easily returns chef’s knives to factory sharpness levels at a high speed.Check Price on Amazon ➞
5. Fallkniven CC4 Ceramic Whetstone Sharpener
If you often need to sharpen knives in outdoor situations such as while camping, the Fallkniven CC4 Ceramic Whetstone Sharpener is one of the best knife sharpening stone options for this need. This new combination whetstone features a dual-sided design with synthetic materials. The white side of the sharpening stone is a super fine 2000 grit side for finishing touches and smoothing the surface of your blade, while the dark gray side is made from synthetic sapphires with a grit of approximately 1000.
This innovative pocket sharpening stone does not need any oil or water for lubrication, making it particularly easy to achieve sharpening with minimal preparation required, and offering easier sharpening out in the field where access to lubricants is limited.
The Fallkniven CC4 Ceramic Whetstone Sharpener is a remarkably efficient pocket handheld sharpening stone, offering excellent performance for quickly sharpening blades on the go in any situation.Check Price on Amazon ➞
6. KING KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone
If you are looking for a great first whetstone and do not want to splash out on something expensive and premium, then the KING KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone is a good choice. This imported Japanese style combination whetstone is made from high-quality ceramic, designed especially for sharpening stainless steel and carbon knives.
Its dual-sided design features a 1000 grit side for honing the blade and a 6000 grit side for finishing off the process and applying the last finishing touches, making it easy to transform a dull, blunt knife into something sharp, smooth, and ready to cut once more. It is worth noting, however, that if this is your first whetstone, then you will need to look for instructions on how to use it separately, as all of the instructions included are written in Japanese.
The KING KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone is an excellent option for beginners, as an affordable and accessible knife sharpening stone that is still high quality and effective for sharpening most normal knives.Check Price on Amazon ➞
7. Lansky Multi-Purpose Sharpener Puck
A small and portable puck-shaped knife sharpening stone, the Lansky Multi-Purpose Sharpener Puck offers a high level of versatility, flexibility, and ease of use, making it one of the best pocket knife sharpening stones for any type of blade and any situation. This small, round whetstone is easy to fit into a pocket and has a contoured shape that is specially designed to be easy to grip firmly and securely for maximum safety when sharpening your tools on the go.
Its rounded shape is ideal for sharpening awkwardly shaped blades such as machetes, hatchets, spades, axes, and lawnmower blades, and features a dual design with a coarse 120 grit side for quick shaping and a medium 280 grit side for finishing touches on any blade type.
It can be challenging to sharpen awkwardly shaped blades such as lawnmower blades, but the Lansky Multi-Purpose Sharpener Puck makes it easy to return even the most inconveniently shaped blades to perfect sharpness and smoothness.Check Price on Amazon ➞
8. Norton ine/Coarse India Combination Oilstone
If you are looking for the quickest and easiest possible way to repair and maintain your knives and other blunted cutting tools, the Norton Fine / Coarse India Combination Oilstone is an excellent choice. This 100/320 grit combination knife sharpening stone is made from wear-resistant aluminum oxide, a particularly durable and long-lasting material that is well suited for sharpening kitchen knives, chisels, woodworking plane blades and other tools, producing strong and long-lasting cutting edges.
This whetstone comes pre-filled with oil to save time and eliminate the need to lubricate it before use, and the oil prevents metal fragments from bonding with the surface by washing away any loose chips of stone or steel.
The Norton Fine / Coarse India Combination Oilstone is an exceptionally durable and survivable aluminum oxide whetstone that promises great knife sharpening performance in an easy to maintain and care for package.Check Price on Amazon ➞
9. Whetstone Cutlery 20-10960 Knife Sharpening Stone
The Whetstone Cutlery 20 10960 Knife Sharpening Stone is a highly versatile water stone for sharpening knives. It is specifically designed for restoring shape and sharpness to dull and worn kitchen knives, but also offers excellent sharpening performance for other blades from scissors and gardening tools to razors, hatchets, and axes.
Made from silicon carbide, this dual-sided whetstone is durable and features a 400 grit side for heavy-duty sharpening and a 1000 grit side that gives a smoother and neater finish to provide the last finishing touches. This is a sharpening water stone and is designed for use with water rather than oil. As such, it needs 5 to 10 minutes of soaking with water before use for the best performance possible.
Thanks to its large size, the Whetstone Cutlery 20 10960 Knife Sharpening Stone is an excellent option for sharpening larger knives and other bladed tools, and gives excellent sharpening performance for even the largest of blunted blades with ease.Check Price on Amazon ➞
10. Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas Sharpening Stone
If you are looking for a single purchase that will cover all of your blade sharpening needs, no matter what the grit level you may need is, then the Smith's TRI 6 Arkansas Sharpening Stone is the whetstone for you. This innovative unit includes 3 different sharpening stones mounted on a rotating plastic unit to make it easy to access whichever surface you need. This comprises a 400 grit coarse synthetic stone, a 600 grit medium synthetic stone, and a 1000 to 1200 grit natural fine Arkansas stone for fine detail work when needed.
The durable plastic base features non-skid rubber feet to ensure safety at all times when sharpening blades at home and includes a built-in oil trough to catch waste lubricant and debris, making the cleaning process as easy as possible with no need to clean the surrounding area of your workbench.
The Smith’s TRI 6 Arkansas Sharpening Stone is an innovative rotating 3 stone sharpening stone unit that offers a surface for every need, making it easy to ensure that you have the correct grit level to sharpen any blade, no matter what your needs are.Check Price on Amazon ➞
Sharpening Stone Buyer’s Guide
Natural Sharpening Stones
Sharpening stones come in a wide range of different materials, all of which have different properties such as grit ranges and lifespans, and it is important to pay attention to the materials that your whetstone is made from. Natural materials tend to be far more expensive than man-made whetstones, but they often produce a much finer and sharper edge than most man-made sharpening stone materials. There are a number of natural materials used for sharpening stones that are worth considering, as each one has a different range of valuable properties.
Novaculite is a common natural whetstone material that is very tough and gives an excellent finish. Often sold as “Arkansas stone,” novaculite is prized for how fast it is capable of sharpening even the dullest of blades.
One of the most impressively high-performance natural sharpening stone materials is siliciclastic clay sediment. This soft and smooth material is used for whetstones commonly known as “Japanese Water Stones,” expensive premium sharpening stones that are often hard to find thanks to the limited availability of the stone used in their production. This gives an extremely smooth finish, but the softness of the stone means that they often do not last very long.
Belgian Bluestone offers a finish and a sharpening experience somewhere between those of novaculite and siliciclastic clay sediment. This is a relatively expensive material, thanks to the complex processes required for mining it, but it offers a balanced and effective knife sharpening approach.
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Diamond Sharpening Stones
Diamond stones are made from very small fragments of industrial-grade diamond attached to the surface of plates of metal or plastic. As diamonds are far harder than any other material used for sharpening stones, they last far longer and sharpen your blades far faster than any alternative. Unsurprisingly, however, they are also far more expensive to purchase.
They offer excellent performance, though, so are very much worth considering if you can afford one, especially if you need to sharpen several tools on a regular basis, as diamond hones are the most efficient way to manage this.
Oil Stones vs. Water Stones
When whetstones sharpen metal blades, they operate like sandpaper, removing tiny particles of metal from the blade. At the same time, they remove particles of stone from the sharpening stone itself. The two types of particle can easily build up on the surface of the sharpening stone, clogging up the rough surface needed for sharpening. In order to remove these particles, some whetstones require either oil or water to lubricate the stone before use, preventing this clogging from occurring and keeping the sharpening stone in operating condition.
Water stones often require soaking with water well in advance of sharpening, making them an option that requires significant preparation time before you can get started on sharpening. They are cheaper and easier to keep operational, requiring only water to lubricate them, but often wear down quickly.
Oil stones, meanwhile, require a coating of oil to lubricate the surface. This can be applied just before you start sharpening, giving a well-lubricated surface that you can easily use with minimal preparation in advance.
Bench Stones vs. Pocket Stones
The two main classes of knife sharpening stone are known as bench stones and pocket stones. The difference between these two styles is usually easy to understand from a quick look at the stones in question.
If a stone is designed to be laid flat on a surface such as a workbench or a countertop, it is known as a bench stone. Bench stones tend to be relatively large and are often sold with an attached base made from silicone, plastic or wood (usually bamboo). Bench stones give a smooth and efficient sharpening result with minimal effort and are the most common option for use at home, in the workplace, or on campsites.
Pocket stones, meanwhile, are much smaller and are designed for easy transport, allowing you to sharpen blades easily in the field. Their smaller size means that it can be challenging to maintain a consistent angle and even pressure when using a pocket stone to sharpen a longer blade, but the convenience is usually seen as a worthwhile trade-off.
The grit number used to describe all sharpening stones is similar to the sand count of sandpaper. A higher grit number means that the stone is finer, with more, smaller particles of grit in the same area. You are going to need multiple different grit levels in order to keep your blades in good condition, though, which is why many types of sharpening stone are dual-sided, including a finer side and a coarser side on the same stone.
Coarse stones are the foundation of your knife sharpening toolkit. Coarser, low grit stones are the fastest way to get a good edge on any blade, and they work much more efficiently for this than a finer stone. These are necessary for speed, but will not produce the smoothest and sharpest blade possible. That requires a finer stone.
Finer sharpening stones with higher grit numbers are used after the coarser stones, refining the edge and improving the quality of the cut with each successive pass. If your blade is dull, then you are going to need a coarse stone to sharpen it up, and a smooth stone to polish the surface and refine that roughly sharpened blade into the best cutting edge possible.
The materials used in whetstones are not the most important consideration when choosing a new sharpening stone, but are not something to be ignored completely. It’s more important to focus on the grit, but different materials will have different lifespans.
Did you know?
Not all whetstones need lubricating! While most require oil or water for the best performance, there are some that are designed to be used dry for the quickest and easiest knife sharpening.