Sharpening knives using stones has been an age-old technique of giving blades a finer, more effective edge. In the early days, natural stones were used to sharpen knives. Today, though, there are a lot of man-made, commercially manufactured stones in the market. They are built with specially-designed grit for you to decide how thick or thin you want the blade to be.
The surface of sharpening stones that are used for the actual process is known as grit. Its size is what decides the thickness of the blade. A finer grit stone makes the blade sharper and finer, while a thicker grit does the opposite.
There are different types of knife sharpening stones. Some of them are oil stones, diamond stones, ceramic stones, natural stones, and synthetic stones. Their compositions and sharpening prowess are different from each other.
Selecting a sharpening stone for your knives is easy once you know what you want. Your budget, requirements, the thickness of your knife blade, all matter.
Stone sharpeners don’t come in just a composition variety; they also come in different shapes and sizes. Plain stones or flat ones are used for standard or flat blades while the shaped ones are used for more complicated edges. Let’s take a look at reviews of some top stone knife sharpeners.
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Whetstone — Lupan Double-Sided Knife Sharpening Stone Grit
Norton 24336 Japanese-Style Combination Waterstone
Anself 3000/10000 Grit Double Side Combination Whetstone Sharpener
Best Knife Sharpening Stones Reviews
- Anself 3000/10000 Grit Double Side Combination Whetstone Sharpener Knife Sharpening Stone Grindstone for Knives
- Norton 24336 Japanese-Style Combination Waterstone 4000/8000 Grit
- Whetstone — Lupan Double-Sided Knife Sharpening Stone Grit with sturdy non-slip rubber Base (600/1500)
1. Best Price For Knife Sharpening Stones: Anself 3000/10000 Grit Double Side Combination Whetstone Sharpener Knife Sharpening Stone Grindstone for Knives
Quick take: Less Money More Blade.
The Anself knife sharpening stone is a combination of two different materials – a whetstone and grindstone. Aimed to offer more functionality, it consists of two different grits- coarse and fine. The coarse side sharpens the blade and the finer side gives it a sharper edge. The whetstones are of high grade and aim to give a good sharpen with each use.
This knife sharpening stone is small and easy to store. It is light in weight and very easy to carry. It offers the functionality of portability. This makes it very convenient to keep it even in the smallest of places and carry around wherever you go.
It sharpens all kinds of blades – scissors, knives, shaving blades, choppers, and more. This makes it versatile. It has an anti-friction design that prevents it from brushing against other surfaces and causing any damage. This also ensures a smooth movement of the blade over the stone. The double-sided edges have a 3000 grit on one side and a 10,000 grit on the other for a finer sharpening. The coarser grit is the pink side while the finer grit it green. It is made completely of natural materials without any artificial components mixed in it.
What we like the most about this product is the cost. The Ansel sharpening stone is very pocket-friendly, and given the fact that it is so versatile, we would say that it is a good investment. We like the fact that we can sharpen so many different types of blades with one product; that too which is so reasonably priced. The second thing that we liked about it was the usage of natural materials. It isn’t very shiny and polished to look at, and that is what makes it all the more appealing. The fact that no two pieces will be of the same color is a sure sign that it doesn’t use artificial materials.
The Ansel is a very low-maintenance knife sharpening stone that can be cleaned by giving it wipe down with a microfiber cloth. It comes pre-soaked in oil, saving you the time and resources of doing it at home. Then there is the small size and low weight. Portability is always a bonus, and this product offers this functionality. Overall, what we like about the Ansel knife sharpening stone is that it is economical, very easy to carry around, lightweight, and made of natural, high-grade materials.
The thing that kind of surprised us, was that we didn’t find out the stone was pre-oiled before taking it out. It wasn’t mentioned anywhere prominently on the packaging, which is a bit of an astonishment considering how much care has gone into making it. The other thing that isn’t really specified anywhere is which grit side is of which color. After trying it out, we did get it, but it should really be mentioned on the box.
The other fact that can become an issue for certain users is the size. It is a distinctly small stone knife sharpener that’s meant to fit into the pocket. However, some people, especially those who don’t measure the size using a scale, might find it too small. We would recommend you draw these dimensions on a piece of paper to get a fair idea of just how compact it is. This can become a problem for sharpening bigger blades. If you are a first time user and don’t really know how to use a knife sharpening stone, then it may become difficult in the beginning. And finally, the stone surfaces may not be completely flat. This can alter the level and shape of your blades if you sharpen over some bump or groove. Though this is not entirely a problem as it isn’t a very prominent issue.
What’s the verdict?
The Ansel double-sided stone knife sharpener is great in terms of price, portability, and quality of materials. We like the fact that it is made of natural materials, making it more durable. The fact that it is lightweight and easy to store is a plus. However, this small size may be an issue for some users. Although it is so versatile, it may become a problem for sharpening bigger blades. The thing that we didn’t like was the fact that the packaging isn’t labeled with regards to the grit size and its color, and that it comes pre-oil soaked. However, the versatility and functionality for such a reasonable price make it a great investment.
2. Best Quality For Knife Sharpening Stones: Norton 24336 Japanese-Style Combination Waterstone 4000/8000 Grit
Quick take: It Will Last Longer Than Your Knife
The Norton Japanese Style Combination Waterstones is a blend of a 4000 and 8000 grit waterstone. It can be used for sharpening steel knives and other blades. Because it makes use of waterstones, the Norton sharpener makes use of water instead of oil as a lubricant. The waterstone is quite sturdy and effective. The 4000 grit is used for retouching and honing blades, while the 8000 grit is used for the actual sharpening process. This isn’t exactly a small stone. It is 8 inches long, making it comfortable to sharpen even slightly bigger knife blades.
When you sharpen knives using this waterstone, it creates an abrasive slurry that’s effective for sharpening. It requires much less pressure for sharpening than what an oilstone requires. It sharpens knives, scissors, choppers, and all other blades.
It comes with a blue plastic hinged box with no-slip rubber feet. This is to be used as the holder while sharpening your equipment. This stone is created by bonding together grading abrasive material of a consistent size. It uses a careful process for creating the stones. It is called ‘Japanese Style’ because interestingly, waterstones originated as a knife sharpening tool in Japan as they are found there naturally.
The biggest highlight of the Norton knife sharpening waterstones is the high quality of the materials that are used in them, and the process that is followed for manufacturing them. Making these stones involves using a top quality abrasive material that is processed to even out the size. It is then bonded together strongly, and the surface is evened out to make smooth, and then molded. The advantage of a waterstone over an oil stone is the fact that it makes use of water as a lubricant, which is a lot easier to clean and less messy.
It is a synthetic waterstone, which means that the quality of the products and the manufacturing process are both performed with care. The special aspect of this sharpening stone is that it creates a special paste of abrasive and water to sharpen blades effectively. It is very sturdy and extremely effective in sharpening tough steel blades.
The plastic box with the non-slip rubber is a great addition to the packaging as it makes sharpening very easy. The box is used as a base for holding down the stones firmly so that sharpening is fast, efficient and safe.
The biggest drawback about the Norton knife sharpening waterstones is that it does not come flattened. This is surprising considering everything else, like the materials, their quality, the manufacturing process, etc. So if you are new to the entire stone knife sharpening process, then you will need to look upon some flattening methods or lapping methods. It also doesn’t have the perfect level of abrasiveness. You will need to use a lapping stone or sandpaper and create a slurry to remove the top unevenness and make the stone flat. This can become a potential issue considering the cost and quality of the product. Coming in a ready-to-use form is a natural expectation. Also, you may need to slurry it again after a while of usage, or the surface may become uneven again.
This can throw off your flat blades and make their edges uneven as well. So a word of caution – purchase a flattening or lapping stone with this product so that it arrives at the same time and you can get started right away. Another issue that some users may face is with the 4000 grit. It is effective and of good quality but may not always sharpen every blade as effectively. However, this isn’t a recurring or major issue as it isn’t seen in every case. Overall, if you are good with having to flatten the stone when it arrives, then it’s a good investment.
What’s the verdict?:
What we like about the Norton knife sharpening waterstones are majorly the quality of the materials used. It is a really good quality stone that’s sturdy and tough. However, the fact that it doesn’t come ready-to-use out of the box was kind of a downer. But that’s okay as it is often seen with knife sharpening stones.
Expectations didn’t meet reality here. If you are okay with this though, then you should try this product out. It is durable and can handle even the toughest of steel knives. The size is fairly comfortable yet compact, good for bigger knives and yet easy to carry. Just keep in mind that you will need to buy a flattening stone with this product, and learn the process too if you’re new at it.
3. Top Rated For Knife Sharpening Stones: Whetstone — Lupan Double-Sided Knife Sharpening Stone Grit with sturdy non-slip rubber Base (600/1500)
Quick take: Bring The Meat.
The Lupan double-sided knife sharpening whetstone is made up of two grit whetstones. It comes with a non-slip rubber base that can be used to keep the stone in place while sharpening. The base has a rubber seal that protects the surface below from damage. It has a top-notch silica-coated base. There is a 1500 grit stone on one side and a 600 grit on the other. It sharpens all kinds of knife blades – kitchen knives, pocket knives, hunting knives, chisels, etc. The stones are made of high-grade corundum which sharpens knives quite effectively.
These whetstones require only a water soak before usage. There is no need of using any oil on them. The dimensions of the stones are small yet practical. However, it does depend on your preference. The texture and quality of the stones ensure that they are resistant to wearing and erosion; additionally, they have a fine texture, a strong sharpening force, and high level of hardness to ensure maximum sharpening speed and efficiency.
It sharpens knives between 10 to 30 degree angles. The process is the same, starting with a coarse grit and moving to a finer one. Overall, it is a good quality stone that is easy to use.
The best part about the Lupan knife sharpening whetstone is that it is extremely easy to use. All you need to do is soak it in water before use, for about 5 minutes. Even during the sharpening process, you just need to keep lubricating it with water. Post use, you can either wash it with water again or wipe it with a dry cloth. If you do wash it though, air dry it or leave it close to sunlight; if left wet, the stone can catch some mold. So it’s better to be safe.
The quality of the materials is also very high. The corundum that is used is of top grade and very sturdy. Overall, these knife sharpening whetstones are built for durability, and to stand regular use without the wear and tear. It is also quite hard and has a great sharpening force. This will increase the speed of your sharpening and reduce the time. We also really love the non-slip rubber base that comes with this product. These small things are essential to avoid injuries due to slipping off the stone when sharpening. And it also prevents the surfaces on which the stone is kept from getting scratches. It offers a lot of functionalities.
To start with, we would like to say that this is a really great stone to use whether you are an experienced user or a new one. However, the only small thing that we thought could be a bother was that the lubrication of water doesn’t remain for the entire duration of sharpening. The stone does tend to dry off in between, so you will need to keep adding water to it in intervals. You will know it has begun to dry off by the way its surface feels against the blade of your knife. Keep a small bowl of water handy when you begin sharpening.
The other issue that we thought could definitely be a potential problem is that sometimes, the water soaks into the stone and goes to the bottom, settling at the base where the rubber base is. This causes the stone to slip from the rubber. We had to keep drying off the water at the base with a dry cloth. If the stone does, in fact, keep slipping this way because of water soaking and seepage, then it can be dangerous if you are unaware. This can be managed if you keep a cloth between the stone and the rubber base. However, surprisingly it did not happen with each use. Only sometimes. So remember to follow the instructions carefully.
What’s the verdict?
Overall, we found the Lupan double-sided knife sharpening whetstone to be a great buy. There are no potential problems with the product. It is sturdy and durable, and also extremely efficient to use. It is an easy product to use even for new users. The size is not too big to be an inconvenience and neither too small to become difficult to hold. It is perfectly practical. The no-fuss water application saves a lot of time and the mess that comes from using oil. It is designed to withstand tough use and wear and tear. For us, this is the best knife sharpening stone in terms of convenience, functionality, and value for money.
Which Knife Sharpening Stones is best for you?
We will now take a quick recap of all the three stone knife sharpeners.
If you are new to using sharpening stones, then the Anself knife sharpener may not be ideal because of the size. In that case, the Norton or Lupan sharpeners will work better.
Anself is a great knife sharpening stone in terms of size and ease of use. It is low maintenance because of the pre-soak in oil. However, this fact isn’t mentioned anywhere on the packaging. This does come as a surprise. Norton is great in terms of quality of the stones. They are made with top-quality materials and the manufacturing process is given a lot of attention. However, the stones are not flattened when they arrive. That job is up to you. For the cost at which it comes, this could a slightly farfetched expectation from a user’s point of view.
Lupan whetstones are the best with regards to practicality, functionality, and value for money. The stones are easy to use and are designed for a powerful performance. The product delivers as promised. You just need to keep wetting the stone, or it keeps drying out. But it is a great buy overall.
Buying Guide For Knife Sharpening Stones:
The knife sharpening stone that you buy will depend on how well you can use them, what exactly you are looking for, and how much you are willing to pay for it. For instance, if you are a new user, then buying a small stone will make it tough for you to do the job. Secondly, the size of the sharpener, and the materials that it is made of should be chosen depending on what you want to sharpen. If you are looking to sharpen smaller knives, then a small one will do. But for bigger and tougher knives requires an equally tough stone sharpener.
We can’t say this enough, but the best stone knife sharpener for you is the one that fulfills all your requirements easily.