Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to Review Box Brasil. Today we are pleased to present a buying guide about the sharpening stone. If you want to buy the product to keep your knives sharp, we recommend reading this text to the end. Also known as sharpening stone, this production has been used since the dawn of mankind. You may think that they are all the same, with differences only in price. But there are important differences between these stones. In this article you will learn: the types of whetstones, how the grammage defines the power of the product, the average prices and the differentials of each version. Have a good read and keep your mind sharp so you do not make a mistake when shopping.




First of all, the most important things

  • The more abrasive stones have a higher sharpening capacity.
  • Most worthwhile products have at least two different forms of sharpening: one more and one less abrasive.
  • For professional sharpening the knife can be sharpened by 3 different types of grindstones: low grade (300 to 1,000 grit), medium grade (1,000 to 4,000 grit) and high grade (6,000 grit).

Best Whetstone: Our Picks

Buying Guide

Are the knives in your kitchen unable to even cut a fruit properly? Are there tools in the workshop that need urgent sharpening? There are many reasons why a person buys whetstone. In this section of this article, you will learn what it takes to know how to choose the best sharpening stone as per your own needs.

Faca sendo afiada em pedra de amolar.

The right sharpening stone can be just what you need to refurbish your knives without having to buy new ones. (Source: Norasit Kaewsai / 123RF)

What is a sharpening stone and how to use it?

Sharpening stone (or, whetstone) is a mineral structure useful for sharpening knives or other cutting instruments. These stones have different grain types (grit) and sizes. This product is also known as quartzite stone and can have granite, marble or other minerals in its composition. Whether it's in the maintenance of kitchen knives in a home or to keep workshop instruments always very sharp, the use of sharpening stone is indispensable.

Bernard ShawJornalista Irlandês
"Life is like a whetstone, we can wear out as we can sharpen ourselves, it depends on how we glide across it."

According to historians the whetstone is among the oldest sharpening tools of mankind. The sharpening method still hasn't changed since ancient times: You need to do the back and forth moment with the knife on the stone to sharpen the ridge and make the blade sharp. Those who are not very used to the work find it a bit tiring to sharpen the knives on the whetstone. Don't worry, because in a few days you get used to the practice of sharpening.

Did you know that you cannot sharpen your knife every day on the sharpening stone? This wears out the blade and is harmful to the knife

What are the types of sharpening stone?

There are two main versions of sharpening stone:

  • Extracted from nature
  • Produced by abrasive raw materials.

The most traditional form of sharpening stone is square in shape. There are also round versions of sharpening stone that are used for sharpening together with a specific machine. One rule is certain: the more abrasive stone (with more grit) has superior power in sharpening, while the less abrasive versions are better for ridge wear. The size of the sharpening stone can range from 15 centimetres to up to 200 centimetres or more. The smaller structures are easy to store anywhere in the kitchen.

Imagem de pessoa afiando faca.

There are grinding stones that are extracted from nature and others that have been produced from abrasive raw materials. (Source: jasongillman / Pixabay)

Are sharpened knives more dangerous?

Mistakenly, many people think that after being sharpened on the whetstone knives become very dangerous. A blunt knife is more dangerous because it damages products when cutting, as well as being terrible for quick and accurate cuts.

How to maintain a sharpening stone?

One of the factors that explains the success of the grinding stone is the fact that there is little need for maintenance. You really only need to wash the stone after use and leave it to dry in the open air.

How to sharpen knives with whetstone?

You may even be in doubt about buying a sharpening stone for fear of not being able to know how to sharpen safely. Don't worry about that as the use is very simple. By following the steps below you can sharpen safely, quickly and without harming the life of the sharpening stone:

  1. Let the sharpening stone soak for 5 minutes in cold water.
  2. Place the stone on a straight surface with plenty of stability.
  3. At an angle that can go from 10 degrees to 30 degrees, hold the knife and slide it on the stone, without applying too much pressure. Make a back and forth movement.
  4. Repeat the movements until you notice that the blade is sharp.
  5. After sharpening, clean the stone with a damp cloth and rinse with water. Let it dry in the open air.

See in the video in detail how to use the sharpening stone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG4t5BwYU7E

What are the advantages of the sharpening stone?

The world is full of advantages and disadvantages to every thing and in the case of sharpening stones it is no different. Let's start with the main plus point: the price. The values charged for sharpening stones are getting cheaper and cheaper. With this product you can keep the maintenance of your knives up to date and save money by not having to buy new sharpened blades. There is a point that can be considered positive by some people and negative by others: this product does not require electricity to work. You even save on the electricity bill, but you need to work with a little physical effort to sharpen the knives. With a grinding stone that has thousands of grains you can polish, ridge wear or just sharpen. That is, a positive point of the product is in the various ways of sharpening that it presents.

Imagem de pessoa segurando faca sobre mesa com pedra de amolar ao lado.

With the whetstone, you can leave your knives and other tools always well sharpened. (Source: smilekorn / 123RF)

The downside is that sometimes you can get confused and buy a stone that is too or not abrasive enough for your usage needs. There are different sizes of stone, including in the right sizes to store in small spaces in the kitchen. This is good if you don't have many places to store items in your home. The solid and abrasive structure creates a bit of complication to carry this product to different locations. To transport the sharpening stone without making a mess, you must first store it in the plastic bag. The sharpening time on the knife is 30 days. It can be bad to think that there is a need to perform a new sharpening every month so that the blades are always sharp. In the following table you can see a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the sharpening stone:

Advantages
  • Can wear ridge, sharpen and polish
  • There are versions with low prices
  • It is a light and resistant product
  • Does not need electric power to work
  • There are different size options
Disadvantages
  • The variety of grit in each stone confuses consumers
  • Some knives cannot be sharpened on stones with few grits
  • Not practical to take to different places every day
  • The movements for sharpening tire the arm
  • Does not keep the knife sharp for a long time

What grammage should the whetstone be?

People may even think that it is a difficult task to choose the dressing stone. But, when you finish reading this text, you will realize that there are not so many difficulties in buying the ideal product. The first most important point is the grammage (also defined by the term "gram"). It defines how porous or thick the surface of the sharpening stone is. The type of grit shows the ability the stone has to sharpen certain materials. There are many variations of grit among sharpening stones, and we can summarize the general average into 3 types:

  • Low level of sharpness. Sharpening stone that has 300 to 1,000 grit;
  • Medium honing level. Sharpening stone that has 1,000 to 4,000 grit;
  • High level of honing. Sharpening stone that has more than 6,000 of grammage.

Below, you will learn about the characteristics of each of these three grit averages for sharpening stone:

Sharpening stone with a grammage ranging from 300 to 1,000

The stone is used to sharpen knives or cutting instruments that have not been sharpened for a long time. This stone works with the specific purpose of reducing the peak (or angle) of the blade, which allows the knife's cutting ability to evolve.

A stone with a grit close to 1.000 is very common for sharpening meat knives.

It is recommended to use this sharpening stone only once in a while so as not to wear out the blade present in the knives. This version has the lowest prices, although some structures are large.

Grinding stone in grit sizes ranging from 1,000 to 4,000

This product serves very well for sharpening objects of different sizes a lot. A common practice of professional sharpeners is to first sharpen the knife blind on the grinding stone with a maximum grit of 1,000. Next, they use the same knife on stones with 3,000 or 4,000 grit to make the blade cut even sharper and more professional. These sharpening stones are thinner than the stones that can have from 300 to up to 900 grit.

The product has a medium retail price level.

Sharpening stone of over 6,000 grit

These sharpening stones are the finest structures in the market. There is so much fineness that they can provide a radiant shine on the blades, performing a true polishing job. Do you not care about details of the shine of a sharp knife? Then you can dispense with buying this expensive priced stone. The 6,000 grit whetstone is widely used in sword sharpening. Below we have put together information in a comparison table to show the difference between these three versions of whetstone:

300 to 500 grit 1,000 to 4,000 grit 6,000 grit
Use Edging Sharpening Polishing
Price Low Medium High
Size Coarse Medium Fine
Abrasion Low Medium High

Buying criteria: Useful factors for comparing grindstone offers

When it comes to buying grinding stone you cannot falter by taking home the first popular version you find in the market. First you need to compare and to make a good comparison consider these 5 factors:

  • Discount
  • Warranty
  • Use
  • Support
  • Size

Below you understand more exactly what the 5 points shown in the list above mean:

Discount

If you do a little research you will realise that many sellers offer special promotions. For example, buy one product and receive two units, or get discounts on the purchase of three or more grinding stones. Nowadays even the best brands of sharpening stones are found in this kind of promotion.

Guarantee

Many people don't know, but there is a 3-month guarantee on the purchase of these sharpening stones. It is good to buy only the guaranteed products, because the stone can show problems with too much crumbling or by the lack of effectiveness in time to perform sharpenings on blades. In case of problems with the sharpening stone within the first few days of use, claim the guarantee immediately.

Uma faca afiada cortando um tomate.

Call the warranty if your knives are not being properly sharpened by a new stone. (Source: congerdesign / Pixabay)

Use

Stones of 6,000 grit or more are very expensive and are only used to perform finishing touches after sharpening. If you just want to sharpen your kitchen knives once in a while, you don't need to spend money on the 6,000 grit stone. You can buy a cheap double-sided version that has on one side at least one grit that can range from 500 to 3,000.

Support

One of the secrets of professional sharpening is stability. When the sharpening stone is in an unstable position, it is difficult to be precise when making back and forth sharpening movements. To avoid this kind of problem some versions of sharpening stone have a rubber support glued or fitted. This allows the work to be developed with more safety, speed and precision.

Size

If you are looking for a good sharpening stone to fit in the small space of the kitchen, you should search for offers that offer products of proportional sizes. To avoid future problems it is important to check where you intend to store and only then look for the right size grindstone. (Featured image source: SnaXXy / Pixabay)

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