For the cooking enthusiast without sharpening experience, an electric sharpener could be a great help. The electric sharpening machine has one or more slots with different types of sharpening wheels. The slots are already in a fixed grinding angle, providing a fixed, reliable edge. This benefit can also be a disadvantage, since European knives are sharpened under a different angle than Japanese knives. By pulling the knife through the slots one by one, it will be thoroughly sharpened. The electric sharpeners are pretty easy to use and deliver a good result. However, a sharpening turn removes significantly more material from the blade then with the use of a sharpening stone. This means that your knife will end up with a shorter life span if you use the electric sharpener regularly. For pocket knives, we do not advise to use an electric sharpening machine. This is because the machine removes quite a lot of material and pocket knives generally already have a thin blade.
One of the most well-regarded natural whetstones is the yellow-gray "Belgian Coticule", which has been legendary for the edge it can give to blades since Roman times, and has been quarried for centuries from the Ardennes. The slightly coarser and more plentiful "Belgian Blue" whetstone is found naturally with the yellow coticule in adjacent strata; hence two-sided whetstones are available, with a naturally occurring seam between the yellow and blue layers. These are highly prized for their natural elegance and beauty, and for providing both a fast-cutting surface for establishing a bevel and a finer surface for refining it. This stone is considered one of the finest for sharpening straight razors.[citation needed]

Its main disadvantage is cost: At about $120, the flagship stainless steel Professional model sits in an uncomfortable middle ground between our main pick and our upgrade pick. That said, an otherwise identical Classic model made of black plastic is generally closer to the price of our main pick. A lesser point, but an important one, is that this design is not completely foolproof, as our other picks are. You have to pay attention and use a steady hand and pressure to get a straight edge. Not hard—but you may need a little practice to master the process.

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.


At Yoshihiro we offer 3 different grades of stones that run the gamut from coarse to fine and are essential tools for proper knife care. A #1000 grit “Arato” stone is best used for repairing damaged and very dull knives. The stone is abrasive which takes off a lot of material for refashioning a dull edge. A #3000 grit “Nakato Shiage” stone is best used for creating a sharp polished edge. This stone is necessary to maintain the blade's edge and is recommended for routine sharpening. An #8000 grit “Shiage” Fine Finishing stone is best used for creating an even more refined and honed edge. 

After testing nine honing rods, both steel and ceramic, we think the Idahone 12″ fine ceramic rod is best for most kitchens. We were looking for a tool that kept knives of all styles sharp, from 4-inch paring knives to 12-inch chef’s knives. We wanted one that worked equally well on German and Japanese blades, which are made of softer and harder steels, respectively. We also wanted to pay less than $40. The Idahone met all our requirements. Its surface was noticeably smoother than that of the other three ceramic models we tried, yet rapidly restored the edges of all the knives we tested. It also removed less material from the blades, which will help to prolong their working lives. And compared with the five steel honing rods we tested, the Idahone was gentler on the blades.
Guided sharpening systems use a holder where you secure your knife, one or several sharpening sticks or conductors. Through the use of the holder, it is easy to select the right angle for sharpening. When using a guided sharpening system, there are two ways to sharpen your knife: a. Sharpening sticks are placed in the holder, after which you pull the knife along the different sharpening sticks, in order to sharpen it. b. The knife is secured in the holder, after which you pull the sharpening sticks along the blade. There are various systems for sale with a sharpening stone grinding the knife under a adjustable angle. The advantage is that you have a nice straight cutting edge. Disadvantage of this method is that it takes more time than grinding on a regular sharpening stone. Moreover, by sharpening with a fixed angle, you are much less flexible. So if you don't want to sharpen the knife in ze pre-fixed angle, you will still have to do it manually. The guided sharpening systems are highly recommendable for sharpening expensive pocket knives, because they provide a very nice cutting edge. By pasting the blade with adhesive tape, you can prevent any scratches caused by the clamping system. For kitchen knives, it is advisable to use a sharpening stone or electric grinder.

I have been looking for water stones for a while and was pleased to find the two sided set from Budo Enterprises. I ordered the set and it arrived in two days as promised. I immediately put it to the test and the results were excellent. In the past I had separate 800 and 2000 grit stones, and having the 1000 and 4000 grit stones together is much more efficient. It was a good purchase.


While it may still feel like there is a lot to choose from, you don’t need a lot of of stones, you just a several good varieties to choose from. To summarize I will indicate below what my favourite stones are in each grit. Yes you can mix up the brands when sharpening but my recommendation is to buy a combination of 2-3 stones of the same brand and go from there.

The Sunrise Pro doesn’t have the pedigree of some other knife sharpeners on our list but it performs as advertised and that’s all that matters. For a relative song you get to restore all the knives, steak knives, cleavers in your kitchen to near pristine condition. It’s easy to use and the nice strong suction cup on the bottom means you can put the band aids away.

The Chef’s Choice 316 sharpener will restore your dull knives to professional sharpness. It’s a great, reliable, well-built kitchen appliance that requires no special knowledge or setup. The precision guides of the 2-stage system make sure the blade is firmly held at the correct angle so that optimal sharpening is realized with minimal fuss. Great for your Asian-style knives or those you’d like to endow with an Asian-type edge for some precision cutting.
Its main disadvantage is cost: At about $120, the flagship stainless steel Professional model sits in an uncomfortable middle ground between our main pick and our upgrade pick. That said, an otherwise identical Classic model made of black plastic is generally closer to the price of our main pick. A lesser point, but an important one, is that this design is not completely foolproof, as our other picks are. You have to pay attention and use a steady hand and pressure to get a straight edge. Not hard—but you may need a little practice to master the process.
×