We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. It's a well-known fact that sharp knives are safer, more effective, and easier to use than dull ones. Whether you're slicing vegetables, building a shelter in the woods, or dressing game in the field, a properly honed blade will make your life simpler. One or more of these whetstones will keep all your tools in peak condition and ready to use at a moment's notice. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best whetstone on Amazon.


This is a good quality stone for a beginner looking to learn about hand sharpening knives and blades. It holds up well, especially for the price point. New sharpeners are prone to gouging and scratching stones, pushing too hard, etc, and this stone handles the abuse nicely. The no slip base is very effective at cementing the stone in place, which is a critical safety feature.

Basically, there are 3 types of whetstones, Arato (rough grits), Nakato (medium grits) and Shiageto (fine grits). We normally use Nakato for the sharpening, but you can start with Arato to correct rough or damaged edge, and then Nakato and finish with Shiageto to get a fine and keen edge. All the sharpening methods and processes are same. However, it is not recommended to sharpen the opposite flat side of the blade with Arato


Now that you're holding the handle and the blade is in position, gently apply some pressure to the belly of the blade with your left hand fingers – "roughly the amount of pressure to semi depress a sponge," says Warner. Starting at the tip, glide the blade up and down the stone – around five strokes up and down is a good number. Then move to the middle – five more strokes. Finally five strokes up and down on the heel.
Begin with your lower-grit stone. Place the heel of your knife on the far edge of the stone, holding the blade gently but firmly with both hands at a 15- to 20-degree angle. Using even pressure, slowly drag the knife over the stone toward you down the length of the stone while simultaneously moving the knife such that the contact point moves toward the tip of the blade.
The basic concept of sharpening is simple – you're using an abrasive edge to remove metal – but the knife you buy may alter the method you should use. A general rule of thumb is that a waterstone can be used for both Japanese- and Western-style blades, but you should avoid pull-through sharpeners for Japanese knives (or any knife with very brittle blades).

To sharpen a knife using a whetstone, submerge the stone in water for approximately ten minutes. When the stone absorbs the proper amount of water you will no longer see air bubbles floating to the top of the water. Place the whetstone on a flat, stable, slip-resistant surface coarse side facing up. Move the blade back and forth across the stone several times, tip to heel, at the correct angle for your knife. While sharpening, it is important to continuously pour water on the whetstone. Small particles release from the whetstone and form an abrasive substance when in contact with water. Repeat on the other side of the blade. Once this is complete, flip the stone over to the fine side and repeat the process. The fine side will take off any leftover steel. Finally, rinse the knives off in hot water.


Sharpal 102N 5-in-1 Knife and Hook Sharpener features Sharpal 102N 5-in-1 Knife and Hook Sharpener features pre-set crossed carbides for quick edge setting and ceramic stones for fine honing. Multi-groove sharpening stone is designed to sharpen fishhooks of various sizes. It comes with rubber over-molded body and feet for secure and comfortable grip. Moreover integrated compass built-in rust-proof ...  More + Product Details Close

We’ve shown you how to keep knives sharp before, and even discussed why water stones are best, but this crash course is quick, fast, and gets to the point. In most cases the most the average person at home can do is either hone their blade with a honing steel, which straightens and lines up the blade’s edge, but it doesn’t sharpen it. Alternatively you could run it through a handheld or electronic sharpener, but depending on the model you use it can do more harm than good.


"How do I use this daunting metal rod?" I hear you ask. Well, it's not too hard, really. The best way for a beginner is to balance the steel on a surface with the tip secured by a damp tea towel. You want to get that angle right, whether it's around 15 degrees for a Japanese knife or 20 degrees on a German or French blade. Then swipe slowly down, away from you, making sure the whole blade is honed – around five swipes on each side should do. 
I use to work in the culinary industry and never finished my knives with a 6000-8000 grit (polishing) stone before. Mostly 2000 grit was good enough for me and I would usually run it by the stone every 2 weeks to keep the edge sharp. By no means do I see myself as a expert at sharpening knifes but it was a necessity and I can do it. I purchased this just to see if there was a difference and man is there. With a 2000 grit stone, you can still feel the burrs/slight edges that form from the sharpening process (especially if you didn't take care of your stone and formed a lot of uneven surface). You can see the removal of the burrs/edges after running your knife through this stone just on the first pass. It makes the knife buttery smooth and glide through food. Although I don't work in the restaurant business anymore, this stone has definitely improved the quality of my knifes and how I enjoy prepping meals at home.
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"Sharpening is like a hangover cure," says Laurie Timpson, founder of Savernake Knives in Wiltshire. "If there was a cure and you knew about it, I'd stay at your house, crash on your sofa and have whatever it was when I woke up. Everyone would have it and there'd be no discussion. Everybody says they've created a perfect sharpening technique, and they haven't." 

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