The best kitchen knife sharpening stone set

Kitchen knife sharpening stone

There is no such knife that stays sharp forever. Even the best knife in the world will lose its edges depending on the quality and frequency of use. Each time you use your knife it will get dull and lose some of its sharpness. Proper maintenance and sharpening are the two main factors that affect the longevity and performance of a knife.

A dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. This is because a dull knife needs more force than a sharp one to cut through meat and vegetables. If you are not an expert in sharpening a knife you can send it to the store or visit a professional to get the job done. Sending the knife to a professional will be time-consuming and costly. The best way to sharpen a knife is to get a quality sharpening stone, aka whetstone, and do it yourself. A knife sharping stone works by removing small bits of metals along the edge of the blade and leaving a new sharp edge behind. 

This is a fact that a good quality knife sharpening stone will help to enjoy razor-sharp edges but that will need some sort of sharpening skills. Every knife is different than the other and it required special treatment to be sharpened. A manual, boxed with the sharpening stone, is the best source to learn how to sharpen a knife using a sharpening stone. There are many videos available with proper knife sharping demonstrations on YouTube and the internet. Here is one of them.

What to look for in kitchen knife sharpening stone?

There are different kinds of sharpening stones available in the market. Some of them with different grit sizes and others are made of different materials such as oil stones and water stones. The selection of sharpening stones depends on the knife blade material and blade thickness. Every knife needs special treatment and a different sharpening angle. Following are some of the main features of a knife sharpening stone to consider.

Sharpening Stone Grit

Grit values define the fineness and coarseness of the sharpening stone surface. The higher the git number the finer sharpening stone surface. Coarse grit is used for rough blade edges and finer is used to hone the knives. A grit below 1000 is effective for a blunt or damaged blade, above 1000 and below 4000 for sharpening dull knife blades, and a grit value above 4000 for honing razor-sharp edges. The grit between 4000 and 8000 are used as polishing stones rather than sharpening stones.

Stone Design

To have a perfect shape blade and razor-sharp edges, it is a good practice to use a combination of higher and lower grit stones. A single-faced or one-sided stone comes in just single grit value and double-faced or two-sided sharpening stones with both higher and lower grit. The doubled-faced sharpening stone is coarse with a lower value on one side and finer with high grit on the other side.

The second feature in sharpening stone design to look for is the secure base or handle. A secured-based stone provides precision and the right angle to sharpen the knife, but it needs to be placed on a hard surface. A stone without any base is portable but it is also hard to get the right sharpening angle.

Types of Sharpening Stones

Sharpening stones are available in a variety of materials such as oil stones, water stones, diamond stones, or ceramic stones. Whetstones or sharpening stones with different materials depending on the size and materials of the blade and also the frequency of sharpening.

Oil Stones

Oil stones are more durable and harder than water stones, that is why they require less flattening.  The oil stones need to be lubricated with oil before processing. The only disadvantage of oil stones is the messy cleanup after every use.

Natural Water Stones

Natural water stones are formed of quartz, such as a novaculite. These stones are mined from stone quarries available in Arkansas, Japan, Syria, and Lebanon. The water stone requires initial soaking in water between 10 to 15 minutes before processing. Water sharpening stones required constant moisture during the process. A stone with 3000 or above grit should not be soaked in water, use a splash of water if required. Water stones are softer than oil stones, easy to clean, and require more flatting.

Synthetic Water Stone

Synthetic or artificial water stones also known as ceramic stones are made artificially from ceramic such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide. These stones are harder than natural water stones and require less water soaking during the process. Synthetic water stones are easy to clean and require less or no water and oil.

Diamond Stones

Diamond sharpening stones are the hardest of all, made with industrial diamonds. There are two different types of diamond stones, Polycrystalline and monocrystalline. Monocrystalline diamond sharpening stones are the highest quality, single structure with the longest lifespan. Diamond stones are more expensive than oil and water sharpening stones. They have the highest quality sharpening surface and require very less or no flattening in most cases.

The top 5 best kitchen knife sharpening stone sets

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Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone

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SHAPTON Ha No Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstone

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Premium Knife Sharpening Stone Set – 400/1000 and 3000/8000

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Norton Abrasives Tri-Stone Sharpening System

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Ultra Sharp Diamond Sharpening Stone Set

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This is one of the best beginner knife sharpening stones. This multipurpose stone comes with a double-sided surface, a 1000 grit to sharpen the knives, and a 6000 grit to hone the knives. No matter, if you are a professional chef or want to use it in the kitchen the Sharp Pebble water knife sharpening stone will be a great choice. The package also included a simple instruction manual and an ebook with lots of useful information on how to use the stone and sharpen your knives. Not just the instructions guides, it also comes with a non-slip silicone base for holding the stone inside the bamboo base. The double base mechanism and the included angle guide will help to sharpen the knives at the right angle. As this is a water stone, it is very user-friendly, easy to clean, and easy to wash. No messy sharpening or honing oil is required. Remember to soak the stone for about 10 minutes in water before the process. Wash it water after every use and let it dry in the air before storage.

Pros

Cons

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Made of Ceramic Kuromaku whetstone comes in a set of two grits. A 1000 coarse grit for sharpening stone and a 5000 fine grit for finishing. Shapton Ha Na Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstone is made in Japan product, best knife sharpening stone set for kitchen knives, sushi knives, and other precision tools. To avoid the stone from damage, they come in matching colored ventilated plastic box which can also be used as stone bases. These knife sharpening stones are harder and hold their shape better than other water stones. Shapton Ha Na Kuromaku Ceramic whetstone requires no or just a few splashes of water to get started, but as a professional, I would recommend soaking the stones for a few minutes in water before every use.

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If you are a professional or an expert in knife sharpening then this is the best knife sharpening stone for you. This is an all-in-one knife sharpening set. The package includes two different knife sharpening stones with 400/1000 for knife sharpening and 3000/8000 for finishing and polishing. To hold the stones stable there is also an anti-slip silicone base and premium quality bumbo base included with the set. You will also get a flattening stone to level the sharpening stone surfaces when required. This premium all-in-one knife sharpening stone set uses water for sharpening, honing, and cleaning, no expensive and messy sharpening oil is required.

For the newbies, they also provide a free gift to learn sharpening techniques. Wait, there is much more with this, Each sharpening stone comes with a bonus tutorial link for articles and videos. Each stone ( sharpening stones and flattening stone ) is available in 1.18 inches height, 2.35 inches width, and 7.09 inches in length.

Pros

Cons

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A self-contained bench sharpening unit with a reservoir for oil and rotating axis that holds three stones in place for sequential use. The system includes three sharpening stones, a 100 grit silicon carbide for repairing, a 150 grit silicon carbide stone for sharpening, and a 320 grit aluminum oxide sharpening stone for honing and sharping the blade edges. The Norton Abrasives Tri-Stone also includes a 4.5 oz. can of sharpening stone oil for lubrication and a plastic angle guide to position the blade correctly on the sharpening stone.

Instead of the common stone base, they come with a black durable plastic case that has a lid, non-slip rubber feet for stable positioning, an oil reservoir, and a 360-degree rotation mechanism. It is the perfect all-in-one solution to keep your blade edges sharp. The compact design makes it easy to operate and is ideal for in-home kitchen knives, tools, or razors. The sharpening stones require sharpening oil before use and proper cleaning storage. To maintain the surface of the sharpening stones and clean them properly, use a piece of cloth to wipe the stones.

Pros

Cons

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The ultra-sharp diamond sharpening stone set is the best value diamond sharpening stone in the market. All these stones are made of micronized monocrystalline diamonds, electroplated to the surface of high-quality metal plates. The set includes three sharpening stones with each with a different grit, each with a size of 8 x 3 inches and 2.2 pounds weight. The universal stone holder works as a stone base that holds the stones firmly in place and provides stability while sharpening the blades. These extremely fast honing 300, 600 and 1200 grit diamond stones will quickly sharpen anything with a cutting edge including high carbon, stainless, and ceramic knives. The UltraSharp Diamond Sharpening Stone doesn’t require any lubricant or water soaking for sharpening knives. UltraSharp Diamond Sharpeners are so confident about the quality of their diamond sharpening stone that they back them with a no-questions-asked 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.  Whether you are a chef, sportsman, woodworker, or knife enthusiast, Ultra Sharp diamond sharpening stones will quickly give you the results you need.

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FAQs

What grit sharpening stone is best for sharpening kitchen knives?

A stone with less than 1000 grit is recommended for chipped edges. To sharpen a dull knife, you will need a stone between 1000 to 4000. The finishing process, also known as polishing a girt between 4000 to 8000 is perfect to make the blade razor-sharp.

Can you sharpen a knife with a 1000 grit sharpening stone?

Yes, you can sharpen a knife with a 1000 grit sharpening stone. A 1000 grit stone is a medium-size grit and go-to sharpening stone. It should not be used very often as it will wear down your knife. A 1000 grit in combination with other higher-value stones will be a perfect knife sharpening set. Remember, that 1000 grit should be used to sharpen your knives not for maintaining the sharp blade edges.

How to clean a sharpening stone?

The water stones and diamond stones are very easy to clean. Tap or warm water and a brush to scrub is enough to clean the stone. After every wash, use a piece of cloth or let it dry out in the open air before storage. The water remaining for a longer time will make the stone softer.

How to flatten a sharpening stone?

Flatting a sharpening stone is just like sharpening a knife using a whetstone. After several uses, the stone will wear down from the center, and as a result, the sharpening stone will become uneven. Once the stone becomes a concave shape, it is time to level the surface.

Use a hard and flat surface to level the stone. If it is a water stone, use water to moisture and oil for oil stone to lubricate the surface of the stone. For smoothing the surface of the stone, you will need another stone or sand screen disc with lower grit values. A grit between 100 and 400 is recommended to flatten the surface. Start rubbing the stone with a lower grit sand screen disc till you get a perfect level surface. Once done clean the stone using water and brush, let it dry before storage.

How long does a sharpening stone last?

The lifespan of a sharpening stone depends on the stone materials, blade materials, and use frequency. During a sharpening process, it is both the blade edges and the stone surface that are consumed. Almost all the stones require flattening after several uses. The time span between the two leveling processes depends on the number of times used and materials (both stone and blade). The stone needs to be flattened after about 10 uses and after 5 uses if used to sharpen very dull or damaged blades. For common household use, the knife sharpening stone will last for about 5-10 years.

What is the best way to sharpen a kitchen knife using a sharpening stone?

Every knife has a different sharpening angle but, in most cases, a 22.5 angle will be just perfect to start with. Place the sharpening stone on a flat surface with a secure base. Before getting started you should know the sharpening angle of your knife. Once you get that place the knife on the moisture stone with the right angle and draw the blade down and across the whetstone in an even motion. The motion should start from the backside of the knife and end at the tip. Repeat the same 5 to 10 times. Now change the side of the blade and repeat the same motion 5 to 10 times again. After both sides are done, start the process again but this time in a reverse direction.

Replace the sharpening stone with a higher grit stone and do the same to Polish the edges and make the blade razor-sharp. Knife sharpening is a skill and needs patience. During the process make sure that you are using the same angle each time.

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