The 10 Best Whetstones

Updated June 09, 2018 by Melissa Harr

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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.

10. Culinary Obsession Two-Sided

The Culinary Obsession Two-Sided is a great, budget-oriented alternative to an expensive, three-stone set. One side is a highly abrasive surface that can bring any edge back to true. The other side is much finer, providing a razor-sharp finish.
  • nonslip bamboo base
  • use with any honing fluid
  • 1000 and 6000 grit sides
Brand Culinary Obsession
Model CUL-MN-W01
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

9. Naniwa Chosera

The Naniwa Chosera is a favorite of sushi chefs worldwide. It's a heavy, full-size model that's big enough for almost any kitchen knife. There are several to choose from, depending on the hardness of the steel that makes up your blades.
  • must be soaked prior to sharpening
  • very occasional cracking issues
  • needs flattening every few uses
Brand Naniwa Chosera
Model SS-1000
Weight 3.3 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. DMT DuoSharp

The DMT DuoSharp is intended to help you keep your scissors, axes, and other hand tools nice and sharp. It stays secure on your workbench thanks to its sturdy plastic frame, and you won't have to worry about much cleanup, because this one works best when it's dry.
  • two-sided with complementary grains
  • can remove metal too easily
  • pricier than traditional materials
Brand DMT (Diamond Machining
Model W8EC-WB
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Shapton Glass

The Shapton Glass is a one-of-a-kind sharpening surface that will look great in the most modern kitchens. It's perfectly flat from the first time you use it, and it stays that way as long as you don't drop it. It's recommended to use just a bit of water with this one.
  • choose from grits up to 8000
  • doesn't fit well in most bases
  • costs more than standard stones
Brand HMS
Model 硝子砥石
Weight 13.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. DMT Dia-Sharp

The DMT Dia-Sharp is available in a wide range of mesh and particle sizes that fulfill many different needs. Its coarsest offering is great for restoring heavily damaged blades, while the #8000 model provides the ultimate edge in the hands of a skilled user.
  • won't wear down over time
  • solid diamond-infused construction
  • removes material very quickly
Brand Diamond Machine Technol
Model D8F
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

5. Tri-Hone by Dan's Whetstone

The Tri-Hone by Dan's Whetstone is an excellent all-in-one choice for keeping your pocketknives and smaller hunting knives in trail-ready condition. Its three stones let you take out nicks, pull a clean burr, and put a razor-sharp hone on any blade.
  • includes bottle of dan's honing oil
  • affixed to sturdy base for safe use
  • too slim for larger tools
Brand Dan's Whetstone Company
Model TRI-8
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Naniwa Super Stone 12k

The Naniwa Super Stone 12k is notable for its tiny 5 micron particle size and ultra-fine, 12,000-grain abrasiveness. These numbers mean it's perfect for the most extreme edges, and it's absolutely ideal for keeping your straight razor perfectly sharp.
  • no soaking required
  • the best dedicated polishing stone
  • won't help with very dull knives
Brand Naniwa
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. DMT 6-Inch

The DMT 6-Inch is a long-lasting and easily portable option. Its surface is lined with a diamond-coated alloy that restores a blunted edge with just a little pressure. It's great for extending the life of hand tools or lawn and garden equipment.
  • no lubricant needed
  • comes in 4 levels of coarseness
  • budget-friendly choice
Brand DMT (Diamond Machining
Model W6FP
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. King Deluxe

The King Deluxe is a classic and affordable option that will quickly sharpen any non-serrated kitchen knife. Depending on what kind of steel your blades are made of, you might need one or two finer stones to complete the job, though.
  • loved by pro chefs around the world
  • designed for use with water only
  • all-purpose 1000 grit surface
Brand KING
Model 3634
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Black Arkansas

Many knife enthusiasts consider the Black Arkansas by Best to be the gold standard for sharpening and polishing. The 1,200-mesh model is great for Japanese and Western blades alike, and it shouldn't require flattening nearly as often as others.
  • reasonably priced and long-lasting
  • oil or soap lubrication recommended
  • comes in a nice hardwood case
Brand Best Sharpening Stones
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

Whetstones, Meet the Whetstones

A whetstone is a sharping tool used by many consumers and professionals alike to sharpen and hone a blade. They may be used on kitchen knives, shears, or even hatchets and machetes. The whetstone's abrasive surface scrapes against the blade to remove the dull edge and give it a new, clean finish.

Contrary to popular belief, the whetstone is not called so because it is soaked in water prior to sharpening. To whet an object means to sharpen; the soaking step aids in priming the stone for sharpening. The process of sharpening a blade with a whetstone is aptly called stoning. The water combines with the small particles in the stone to create an abrasive surface to grind the blade.

Your whetstone will most likely be double-sided with a coarse and a fine grit. The grit is determined by the number of sand-like particles in the stone. The coarse grit will have fewer particles, whereas the finer grit will have more grains. Both sides are utilized to effectively sharpen a blade. The coarse grit, usually a deeper color; red or gray, will pre-sharpen the blade and remove any burrs or discrepancies in the blade. The finer grit is then used to hone and polish the blade, creating a finished edge.

The grit is labelled by a numbered system from 240-8000. The low end is a very coarse grit and it should reflect the type of blade you will sharpen; a dull camping utensil for instance. A finer grit should be reserved for high end kitchen knives or specialty blades such as a straight razor for shaving.

True Grit

At the end of the day, you are simply purchasing a rock. However, manufacturers who want your business will entice you with add-ons, such as a stable base for the stone, a wide range of grit sizes, and claims of unparalleled durability.

A base for your whetstone should be included in any model you purchase. Considering you are using your whetstone after its been submerged in water; the stone tends to slide on most surfaces when you sharpen. The base, usually a rubber silicone anchor, will ensure that the stone does not move around. A slippery stone can be a hazardous situation. The goal is safety, however, some companies will take liberties to present a decorative base and forgo the safer option.

The grit range is important only in regards to the type of knives you will sharpen. It is entirely up to the consumer and how they utilize their knives. Obviously you want a stone that is capable of sharpening all your blades to the appropriate sharpness. As a rule of thumb, the higher the grit, the more you will be able to get the finest razor's edge. However, this might mean several more swipes back and forth along the stone, which can be quite time consuming.

The stone should be durable: avoid knockoff models that are chipped or cracked. This is a serious concern when purchasing online, especially overseas. A quality whetstone should last a lifetime, and the price offered is a steal compared to the value. You may never have to replace expensive blades if you can simply sharpen a dull edge, and the stone pays for itself after only a few uses.

I must mention that there is a difference between natural and synthetic stones. Consumers tend to gravitate towards natural stones which are usually higher quality and beautiful to behold. The Belgian Coticule is seen as the gold standard for natural whetstones.

A Sharp Beginning

The history of sharpening blades goes back as far as the first rudimentary tools and weapons in ancient times. The concept of sharpening a blade on a stone dates back to Roman antiquity. The Belgian Coticule stones were the preferred choice of the Roman army, and today it is still seen as the highest standard of natural whetstone.

Any stone with a flat surface was a perfect candidate for sharpening blades. A sword, however, was sharpened on a circular stone that was rotated by a handle. As you can see, knife sharpening has not undergone a huge technological shift in history. The method of sharpening has stayed consistent, while the materials improved; from flint rock to stainless steel.

The emergence of high quality synthetic stones has begun to replace their natural stone counterparts. This is in part because of the limited resources of natural stones in the current market. The synthetic models boast a consistent particle size and high quality to rival the natural stone. The advantage of natural stones are their natural beauty and their rarity, which make them collectors items and they are usually handed down from one generation to the next.

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Last updated on June 09, 2018 by Melissa Harr

Melissa is a writer, editor, and EFL educator from the U.S. She's worked in the field since earning her B.A. in 2012, during which time she's judged fiction contests, taught English in Asia, and authored e-courses about arts and crafts. In her free time, she likes to make stuff out of sticks and string.

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