It cannot be denied that dull tools can be quite annoying and infuriating. It can even affect your work performance and results.
If you have ever worked with tools like knives, you know the importance of having a sharp tool. But, over time, even the sharpest knives can become dull. To sharpen blunt tools and knives, the perfect solution comes in the form of the best sharpening stone.
The Basics of Sharpening Stone
Before we can start choosing the best stones in the market, let us first understand sharpening stone and how it works. So, what is a sharpening stone?
A sharpening stone is a piece of stone that is utilized by craftspeople and chefs to sharpen their tools and equipment like knives. The knife is sharpened by running it through the stone in back and forth direction. The edges of the blade become sharp due to the constant friction as it comes in contact with the rock.
To ensure that you make the find the right sharpening stone for your needs, we have reviewed the top 5 of the best ones on the market today.
5 Best Sharpening Stone Reviews
With the Japanese Sharpening Grit Combination, you get two stones in one. Yes, the perfect stone for your needs. It measures 7.2 inches by 2.5 inches by 1 inch thick and comes with a sturdy base made out of plastic.
With this product, you will get two grit – the fine side 6000 grit and the coarse side 1000 grit. When working with this stone, you will get a mirror finish with the fine grit and sharpen dull knives with the coarse grit.
While you may not need the base to sharpen the stone, it is tailored with ridges that hold the stone in place when sharpening tools.
- Two stones in one
- Easy to use and comes with instruction manual
- Sharpens tools very fast
- Reliable, efficient, and delivers excellent quality results
- Requires water as lubricant
- Instructions must be followed to ensure great results
- The fine grit can easily break when soaked in water; it must only be splashed with water when used
This unique knife sharpening kit comes with premium quality whetstone with two sides (1000/6000), a sturdy bamboo base for holding the stone, an angle guide, and instruction manual.
It is designed for multipurpose use, and it is highly durable and long-lasting as well. In fact, it can sharpen any blade out there, be it in your kitchen or your workshop.
To use this sharpening stone, you merely need to splash water on it, and you are good to go. It is effortless to use, and sharpening knives have never been made this manageable. It does not even require any special oils.
- Two in one stone
- Comes with non-slip bamboo base
- Easy to use and uses water to sharpen
- Can work on any blade
- Requires water as lubricant
- The angle guide tends to scratch the edge if placed at the wrong angle when sharpening knives
If you are in need of a quality sharpening stone but you are on a tight budget, the Smith’s SK2 Sharpening Kit (2-Stone) is the best option for you.
This very affordable sharpening stone kit comes with a 5-inch block mounted medium stone, premium honing solution, 4-inch fine Arkansas stone, and a sharpening guide. The medium stone helps you set your edge while the fine stone will help finish your edge. The honing solution is used to clean as well as protect the sharpening surfaces. Lastly, the angle guide ensures that you have the correct angle every time you sharpen your tools.
Even with its affordable price, you still get durable stones that deliver excellent results.
- Two stones in one
- Very affordable
- Comes with angle guide for easy sharpening
- Provides good quality results
- It is not equipped with stoppers to keep the stone from sliding
- Requires the use of a honing solution, which is not readily available unlike water
4. Best for Beginners – Winco Fine/Grain Knife Sharpening Stone (12-Inch)
If you are new to sharpening tools, the Winco 12-Inch Sharpening Stone is your ideal pick. Though not a professional grade sharpening stone, it is still top notch and can delivery good results.
It can sharpen any blade ranging from carbon steel to stainless steel with its 12-inch long and 1.5 inches thick stone. The stone is a high quality carbonized silicon construction that can sharpen just about any blade.
Its fine to medium grit surface can work wonders on your tools.
- Best for beginners
- Easy to use
- Sharpens all types of blades
- Produces good results
- Large; may be too large for some people to work with
- Not a professional grade sharpening stone
This sharpening stone is ideal for bench work. In fact, it is perfect for sharpening all kinds of tools and not just knives. This unique tool is a 6-inch sharpening stone made of aluminum oxide.
This sharpening tool does come with two sides that both functionally exceptionally well. One side is a 240 coarse grit that can be used for final honing and the other side is a 150 coarse grit that is used for sharpening the tools.
Also, it is sized just right for bench work and would make a great addition to your workshop.
- Best for bench work
- Sized just right for bench work
- Easy to use
- Sharpens not only knives but also other tools and equipment
- Does not come with instruction manual
- Does not indicate whether this tool requires water or oil when used for sharpening
Sharpening Stones – Getting Started
There are a lot of varieties of sharpening stones in the market and finding the best one will depend on your needs and preferences.
Everyone wants to get stones that will provide them with the most practical use. You would not want to waste money on something that you will probably need to replace later. When it comes to sharpening tools and knives, you need a stone that can be used as a foundation for your future needs.
However, there are a lot of options available for you, and you often find yourself wondering where to start in your quest of finding the best sharpening stone. To help you narrow your choices, here are some factors that you need to consider when looking for a sharpening stone.
Grit – How to Choose the Best Grit for Your Sharpening Needs
The grit is the most critical aspect of a sharpening stone. Dull knives need a coarser stone to get it back into shape. Likewise, you will also need a finer grit stone to put a very sharp edge on an already sharp knife.
If your knives are already in good shape and just requires a touch-up, you need a finer grit stone may just be enough. However, if your knives need extra care, you need a coarser stone.
If you need both grits, you can always go for a combination sharpening stone. This tool often comes in a two-sided form, with one side coarser and the other side with a finer grit stone.
When looking into the grit of a sharpening stone, you will often see different numbers. These numbers refer to the size of the grit. Large numbers often indicate finer grit while lower ones indicate coarser grit.
For instance, when you have a two-sided sharpening stone with 400 and 1000 grit. The 400 grit is the coarser stone that is used for sharpening the tools while the 1000 grit will be used for refining the tool’s edges.
Size – Finding the Right Size
Yes, the size of the sharpening stone also matters. In fact, the size of the sharpening stone you buy will mainly depend on the size of the knives that you plan on sharpening. If you are looking forward to honing large knives, you will need a large stone.
However, if you are using the sharpening tool on your average kitchen knife, you will need a stone that measures about 7 inches long and about 2 ½ inches wide.
Type of Stone – Which Type is Best?
The type of stone refers to the material the stone is made with. There are different types of sharpening stones, including natural stone, ceramic, diamond, and synthetic.
Diamond sharpening stone
This is a popular choice due to their ability to cut fast. This is ideal for professional craftsmen, as sharpening tools using this stone can cause a lot of damage if done in the wrong way. Also, since they are slightly sharper, the stone can leave deep scratches on the blade, which will require aggressive polishing. This stone can be used with or without any lubricant.
Natural stones are considered one of the earliest form of sharpening stones. This type of sharpening stone is often expensive and comes with random grit sizes that provide you with a long lasting edge.
Ceramic Sharpening Stone
This type is considered the early replacement of natural stones. They need to be soaked for about 10 minutes or more before using to ensure that the pores of the stone are well saturated.
Synthetic Sharpening Stone
Synthetic sharpening stones are made of white fused aluminum grit which is suspended in resin. Some stones require a brief soaking in water before it is used while others just need a splash of water. You can find a variety of stones under this category.
Ease of Use
If you are looking for the best sharpening stone, you would want something that you can efficiently use.
Learning sharpening technique needs focus even without having to worry about the stone constantly. You may want to purchase a sharpening stone that does not require frequent flatting, cleaning or soaking or a stone that takes a longer time to create an edge.
If you are a beginner in this field, you should purchase a stone that is easy to use.
Water vs. Oil – Which is a Better Option?
All sharpening stones require either water or oil to act as a lubricant to sharpen tools. Most people prefer water stones as they are easier to use and less messy. Also, they are readily available and will not go rancid as oil does.
If you opt for a water stone, you may need to soak the stone in water for about ten minutes or more or splash water on the stone right before you begin the sharpening process.
It is essential that you read the manual of the sharpening stone that you buy to make sure that you use the right lubricant. Also, you should be mindful how you apply the lubricant as the incorrect application can cause the stone to chip or break.
The Bottom Line
Sharpening tools like knives require the right type of materials to yield good quality results. That said, you need to have the best sharpening stone in hand before you begin sharpening your dull knives.
Since there are various types available in the market, we have come up with the best one out there – the KING KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone with Plastic Base. This unique sharpening stones comes with two grits that efficiently sharpens dull knives and refines your tools that are already in good shape.
To ensure that it stays in good shape, however, you need to follow the instructions carefully. The coarse side must be soaked in water before sharpening while the finer side must only be splashed with water.
This sharpening stone is unique regarding quality and performance. Also, it is priced just right, making it our number one choice for the best sharpening stone today.