Stone: With a sharpening stone, you'll drag the blade of the knife across the rough surface of the stone. Sharpening stones consist of a number of types of material, such as diamond stones, oil stones (also called Arkansas stones), water stones (or aluminum oxide stones), and ceramic stones. Yes, the diamond stone actually contains tiny fragments of diamonds, but it's a little heavy to wear as an earring. The trick with a sharpening stone becomes applying the right amount of pressure and sharpening at the proper angle because using a sharpening stone requires a completely manual process with no guide slots. However, stones can sharpen many tools, including scissors and chisels.
Understanding Grit: You’ll see a bunch of numbers being thrown around when discussing the grit of a sharpening stone. The number refers to the size of the grit. The larger the number, the finer the grit. A good beginner stone would be a two-sided stone with #400 and #1000 grit. The #400 grit is the courser stone for working out the nicks and imperfections, the #1000 grit is for refining.
In a perfect world we would all have time to spend 5-10 minutes everyday (or every week for home chefs) to sharpen our kitchen knives to a razor's edge on a Japanese waterstone. This is in fact how the very best Japanese or French chefs finish their shifts – They sharpen their knives religiously at the end of each day. Remember the best time to sharpen your knife is when it’s still sharp. If you wait until it’s blunt, it will take much greater effort and time.
Newer knife sharpeners have been designed with you in mind. They are quick and easy to use. They figure out the angle for you, so you can focus on learning skills in other areas of your life without wasting time learning how to hold a knife. This page has been designed to bring you the best of the best of today’s most popular kitchen knife sharpeners. Of course, some of the older style sharpeners have prevailed in popularity over the years and we will be sure to include a couple of those here as well.
The Chef’sChoice ProntoPro 4643 is our overall pick among knife sharpeners. A manual model, it was the easiest of all our test models to use—almost intuitive, in fact: You insert the blade in one of the slots and run it back and forth, from heel to tip, until the tool grinds a new edge. The sharpening elements are wheels impregnated with diamond abrasive—a material that Cook’s Illustrated found to be superior (subscription required) to ceramics in both sharpening speed and lack of friction. In our test, about 30 strokes on the coarse wheels under light pressure cut a brand-new edge. Another 20 strokes on the fine, polishing wheels gave the edge a reasonably smooth finish.
Most people don't think about sharpening knives until this vital kitchen tool is no longer sharp. The truth is that nothing impacts the longevity of your knives, or their daily performance, more than regular sharpening and maintenance. A dull knife in the kitchen is more dangerous than a sharp one when employees must force their way through cutting meat and slicing vegetables. As a result, daily sharpening and maintenance is easy, and most importantly, necessary. We're here to show you how to use a sharpening stone, including correct techniques and maintenance. The end result is a more efficient, and safer, set of knives!
Let's begin by sharpening the knife from the front side. Western knives are not evenly double-beveled. The ratio for sharpening them is 80% on the front side and 20% on the back side of the blade. (The angle of the blade to the sharpening stone surface is about 10 degrees.) All knives are sharpened from the cutting edge to the spine of the blade. You hold the handle with your right hand, push down on the side of the blade with the fingers of your left hand, and sharpen by moving the blade toward the center of the stone.
The EZ Hone Knife Sharpening Systems is an exclusive product that was designed by Dan Kirschman of Dan’s Whetstone Co., Inc. with the novice knife sharpener in mind- however, numerous experienced knife sharpeners use this product as well. This design features the end-block reference angle so that anyone can learn and maintain a good working edge on their knife. This design facilitates four different grades of stones and highlights an ultra fine stone, making it available and affordable to the general public. This compact field item, with its reusable container and one ounce bottle of oil makes it a popular product for household and field use as well.
I bought this knife sharpener for my son as a Christmas present years ago and recently (but cautiously) used it on my cutlery (Henkel and Wusthof). Frankly, I had been a little lazy and let my knifes lose a bit of their edge. I did not feel like getting out my stones and oil to do a proper job, so I borrowed my son's sharpener. It really works great, which I hate to admit, as it feels like a cheat and it is a fraction of what I spent on stones. I realize that I need to buy one for myself, so I looked around to see if there is anything better and I could not see anything that looked better. This one is adjustable, which is what I need. I looked at the 1 star ratings and there was a common theme that the knife edge chatters as the blade is pulled across. It can, if you don't use it properly! If your blade is very dull, you will need to pull with a very light, steady, and quick motion. You never need to push down hard as you pull. Even pressure. Don't be a brute! Finesse is what is needed. I am going to buy another one for me.
The newly designed dual-sided combination whetstone from Fallkniven features a super fine white ceramic stone (0, 1 micron) with a grit of 1400 to 2000 and the dark grey ceramic stone is made of synthetic sapphires (1 micron) and has a grit of 800-1000. There is no need to add any oil or water, just lay the blade on the stone, raise the blade's spine and deburr your blade on the grey side until it has a razor-sharp edge and then use the smooth white side to get a nice polished edge.
Heres why I wasn't impressed at first. I only used it for a few minutes on each side, which resulted in nothing. I watched a video online with a master chef using his stone, and he sharpened his knife for 10 minutes on each stone before moving up to a finer grit. I took this hint, and used sharpened my knife on each side of this stone for 10 minutes, which led to perfection.
Our favorite way to sharpen a blade is to use a whetstone—a rectangular block that works almost like sandpaper, helping to straighten and refine the cutting edge on the blade as you slide the knife across it. Most whetstones are designed to be soaked in water before every use, so check the manufacturer's instructions to be sure. (Fun fact: Whetstones aren't actually named for the fact that most are used wet—"whet" is actually just an old word for "sharpen").
As you probably have guessed, knives are easier to sharpen on longer stones. The width of the stone is less important than the length when sharpening knives. The longer stone allows for longer sharpening strokes and contributes to faster sharpening. The longer strokes mean fewer strokes across your stone, making it easier to maintain a consistent sharpening angle. As a rule of thumb, a small knife can easily be sharpened on a large stone, but a large knife cannot easily be sharpened on a small stone.
If you’re a dedicated home chef, or if you simply demand the best possible edge that doesn’t involve messing with stones or jigs, we recommend the Chef’sChoice Trizor XV Sharpener. Cook’s Illustrated also names this professional-grade electric model as the top pick in the category, and I’ve used a similar model, the 1520, to great satisfaction on my heavy Wüsthof chef’s knife and cheap paring knives for six or seven years now. (The fact is, Chef’sChoice dominates the high-quality sharpener market.)
This Chef Sharp manual knife sharpener is made to sit solidly on your countertop or whatever workspace you like. Its soft, rubbery bottom provides the perfect non-slip surface no matter what type of material you are working on. The smoothest of countertops will be no match for this sharpener, it will stay perfectly still as you work. To offer extra stability and support, this sharpener also includes a horizontal steel handle. Holding onto this handle will not only help to keep your sharpener steady, it will also keep you steady as you draw your blade through either of the two sharpening slots.
Keep your knife razor-sharp with a high-quality sharpening stone. We offer a wide variety of sharpening stones, such as Arkansas stone, Diamond stone, Bench stone, Water stone and more. Whether you own a pocket knife, a hunting knife or a kitchen knife, a sharpening stone is essential for preventing your blade from becoming dull. Most of our sharpening stones are lightweight and portable, so you can use them at home or take them with you wherever you go.
Manual sharpeners are, in my opinion, the best way to sharpen your knives. They are my personal favorite, because they allow you to sharpen your blades with precision. Unlike electric sharpeners which can take off layers of steel so quickly you barely see it happen, you maintain control over the sharpening process with a manual sharpener. You can put one pass through, then check your edge. You can do another pass or two, then check it again.
There really is no point in having amazing knives if you don’t keep them sharp. Bert from TOG Knives has spent years experimenting with different sharpening methods and bits of equipment to work out the absolute best way to sharpen TOG Knives. If you follow the advice below we guarantee you will become a sharpening Ninja. Watch this space as we’ll be adding more videos in the future…