The Best Sharpening Stones 2020

Top 5 Best Sharpening Stones 2020:

  1. Kota Japan Combination Sharpening Stone
  2. KING KW65 Grit Combination Whetstone
  3. Dan’s Whetstone Company Inc. Black Hard Arkansas Knife Sharpening Stone
  4. Sharp Pebble Premium Sharpening Stone
  5. DMT W6EFC Three 6-Inch Diamond Whetstone Set

A good-old sharpening stone is a necessity for anyone who wants to be able to keep a sharp edge on anything from a fishhook or a kitchen knife to the lawnmower blades. No matter how expensive or well made, every blade will get dull over time. When that happens, you can accept the loss, toss it, and move onto another, or use a sharpening stone to restore its sharpness.

When is the best time to act?

It would be best to act as soon as you feel that a blade is less effective and is starting to get dull. The sooner you do it, the less effort it will take.

How can you find a good sharpening stone?

It is where we come in! We have prepared a helpful buying guide and made a list of our favorite, thoroughly tested products. If you read this post to the end, you’ll surely find the best sharpening stone for your needs and never again have to use a blunted blade. Say goodbye to that frustrating experience, and hello to brilliantly shiny and perfectly sharp edges! 

Related: The Best Knife Sharpeners


5 Best Sharpening Stones In 2020: Detailed Reviews

1. Sharp Pebble Premium Sharpening Stone – Suitable for almost any type of blade

Image Credit: Amazon.com

The premium quality sharpening stone from Sharp Pebble is highly versatile and can manage almost any type of blade from the pocket and kitchen knives to chisels, and even ax blades. It is made of aluminum oxide imported from Japan and is built to last.

This durable water stone whetstone features two sides – a coarse one (1000 grit) and a fine one (6000 grit). As a result, you can use it to sharpen, refine, or polish your blade.

Thanks to the non-slip bamboo and silicone combo base, it is very stable and extra safe. The base does not only keep the stone securely in place but is also extra high, making the sharpening process quicker and easier.

The angle guide maintains the correct angle and helps keep the consistent pressure while you sharpen the blade. You can also consult an e-book manual if you are new to sharpening. Make sure you dry the bamboo base thoroughly when the stone is not in use, or it can develop mildew or cracks.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Easy to use
  • Professional grade
  • Superb sharpening performance
  • Two-sided stone 
  • Can sharpen a wide range of blades
  • Non-slip base
  • Angle guide 
  • eBook manual

Cons

  • Bamboo can develop mildew or crack if wet.

2. KING KW65 Grit Combination Whetstone – Japanese style whetstone made from high-quality ceramic

Image Credit: Amazon.com

KING KW65 Grit Combination Whetstone is suitable for numerous types of kitchen or working blades. It is made by a renowned company you can trust and is primarily designed to sharpen stainless steel and carbon knives. 

KING Combination Whetstone is made in Japan of high-quality ceramic. It features a dual-sided stone. The 1000 grit side is used to hone the blade while the 6000 grit side is there to polish the edge and apply finishing touches.

The stone is securely held in place by a sturdy plastic base. The base is painted light brown to resemble wood, but since it is made of plastic, you can safely use it around water.  

The KW65 is not the best option for beginners for two reasons. First, it does not feature an angle guide. Second, all the instructions are written in Japanese, and if you do not speak that language, you have to rely on Youtube videos or know-how.

Pros

  • Made of high-quality ceramic material
  • Reasonably priced
  • Made in Japan
  • Large size for easier sharpening
  • Superb sharpening and polishing performance
  • Two-sided
  • Sturdy plastic base

Cons

  • No angle guide
  • Instructions are written only in Japanese

3. Kota Japan Combination Sharpening Stone – Versatile dual-sided diamond whetstone

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Kota Japan Combination Knife Sharpening Stone is another Japanese whetstone worthy of your attention. It is a versatile tool that you can use to repair old, dull, or damaged blades. You can use it for all kitchen knives, hunting knives, scissors, razors, swords, and tools. 

This whetstone features a double-sided water stone. It has a 2000 grit side to sharpen a blunt or rusty edge and the 5000 grit side that brings the sharpness even higher and adds a polished shine.

Being a water stone, you need to soak it in water for five minutes before each use. The stone has a secure bamboo base with non-slip rubber underneath it. The angle guide is there to help less experienced users maintain the right angle.

Newbies will also appreciate a Free Sharpening Stone Guide and an instructional Ebook. All buyers receive a 100% money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty too. Bamboo can develop mold, so make sure you store the stone only when completely dry.

Pros

  • Highly versatile
  • Affordable
  • Great sharpening performance
  • Double-sided – removes dullness & polishes
  • No oil required
  • Polished bamboo & non-slip rubber base
  • Angle guide included
  • Bonus instructional eBook
  • 100% money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Bamboo is prone to mold
  • Fine grit can feel a bit slippery

4. DMT W6EFC Three 6-Inch Diamond Whetstone Set – Elegant and highly-versatile sharpening stone set in a wood box

Image Credit: Amazon.com

DMT W6EFC Three 6-Inch Diamond Whetstone Set, even though expensive, is an excellent addition to any kitchen or toolbox. It can handle all sorts of blades, including incredibly dull ones.

It utilizes the strength and precision of industrial superior mono-crystalline diamonds. Thanks to the Diamond Machining Technology (DMT), the surface of the stones is durable and highly efficient at sharpening, honing, deburring, and polishing. 

The DMT set features three one-sided whetstones: a coarse grit for dull edges, fine grit used for honing, and the polishing extra-fine grit for finishing touches.

Each sharpening stone has a wide surface and can be used for both straight and convex blades. You do not need messy oils, simply add water. A beautiful hardwood box doubles as a base for extra security. 

If you notice any defects, you can rely on a 100% replacement guarantee. It is a bit expensive and has no angle guide, so it will take some time to learn the right technique.

Pros

  • Professional quality
  • Three-in-one set 
  • Combines extra-fine, fine, and coarse grits
  • Durable mono-crystalline diamond surface
  • Can be used dry or with water
  • Suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor knives and tools
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • 100% replacement guarantee

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Requires a learning curve

5. Dan’s Whetstone Company Inc. Black Hard Arkansas Knife Sharpening Stone – Pocket-size whetstone suitable for outdoor enthusiasts

Image Credit: Amazon.com

Dan’s Whetstone Company Inc Genuine Arkansas Black  Knife sharpening stone is a portable pocket-size whetstone. It is tailor-made for outdoor enthusiasts and hunters, but you can also use it in your kitchen to provide final touch up to any knife.

Made from genuine Arkansas Novaculite stone 100% quarried in the Ouachita Mountains of Central Arkansas, this stone is extremely hard and has superior sharpening ability. It can even be used to sharpen surgical tools.

This sharpening stone offers an extra/fine surface and features a grit that ranges between 5000 and 8000. It is ideal for honing, polishing, and making an ultra-sharp edge on any blade.

For the best results, you need to use a light mineral honing oil. It will prevent clogging by suspending the metal particles produced during the sharpening process.

The stone comes in a stylish hand-crafted leather pouch that protects it and makes it easier to carry. The price is in tune with the quality.

Pros

  • Premium quality
  • Reasonable price
  • Genuine black Arkansas stone that contains high-purity silica Novaculite
  • Extra hard, durable surface
  • Ideal for honing, polishing, and creating a razor-sharp edge
  • Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and hunters
  • 5000 to 8000 grit range
  • Comes in a hand-crafted leather pouch

Cons

  • Small surface and no coarse grit makes it unsuitable for extra-large or dull blades

What To Consider When Shopping For The Best Sharpening Stone?

Best Sharpening Stone

There is no need to fret over choosing a sharpening stone. With our helpful guide at hand, it should not be difficult at all.

We will break down some of the things you should consider when searching for the best sharpening stone so that you can have a good sense of what to look for.

You have a selection of different materials, grits, and sizes at your disposal. Our guide should help you choose the ones that best suit your needs. 

So, without any further ado, these are the considerations when choosing a sharpening stone:

1. Material

There are sharpening stones made of different materials. These materials have different properties and can thus differ in their grit range or lifespan. You should pay close attention to the material of the sharpening stone you plan to buy and make sure you will benefit from its characteristics.

Natural Sharpening Stones

Natural sharpening stones are, by definition, far more expensive than the man-made whetstones. But the question is, are they worth it?

They definitely have a range of valuable properties and can produce a much finer and sharper edge compared to the majority of man-made sharpening stone materials.

There is a plethora of natural materials that are worthy of your attention.

Novaculite

  • Novaculite is a common natural material used for sharpening stones.  It is often referred to as “Arkansas stone.” It is very tough and provides an excellent finish to any blade. In fact, novaculite will maybe surprise you with how fast it can sharpen even the dullest blade.

Siliciclastic Clay Sediment

  • If you want an impressive high-performance, try a natural sharpening stone made of siliciclastic clay sediment. It is a soft & smooth material and thus provides a superbly smooth finish too. The siliciclastic clay sediment sharpening stones are also known as  “Japanese Water Stones.” They are expensive and hard to find. Unfortunately, being soft, these stones do not last very long. 

Belgian Bluestone 

  • As far as the sharpening experience and finish are concerned, Belgian Bluestone sits somewhere in between novaculite and siliciclastic clay sediment. It is relatively expensive as well, mostly due to the costly mining process, but it will provide you with a balanced, effective sharpening approach to prove its worth.

Man-made Sharpening Stones

The aforementioned silicon carbide and aluminum oxide can be cut as natural stone but are sometimes man-made too. Mane-made versions cost less.

Diamond Sharpening Stones

  • Diamond sharpening stones are made of tiny fragments of industrial-grade diamond attached to metal or plastic plates. Diamonds are the hardest material, and consequently, the sharpening stones made from them last the longest. They sharpen the blades faster than any alternative material too. Of course, you have to break your wallet to own a diamond sharpening stone. Still, if you can afford one, go for it!

2. Lubricating Method

Sharpening stones are very similar to sandpaper. When you sharpen a blade, you remove small particles of metal as well as particles of the stone you use. These particles remain on the surface of your sharpening stone and clog up its rough surface. You need to remove them in order to use the stone to sharpen some other blade. So how can you do that?

There are two options to prevent clogging and keep your stone in operating condition at all times. Some whetstones require oil, while some need only water to lubricate the stone before each use. 

Water Stones 

  • Water stones typically need to be soaked with water before you use them. It means you’ll have to spend significant time well before you can start the sharpening itself. On the bright side, these stones are usually quite affordable and easy to maintain. They wear down more quickly, though. 

Oil Stones

  • Oil stones, as their name clearly indicates, require their surface to be coated in oil. You can lubricate the surface just before you start the sharpening process. Oil stones tend to wear unevenly and thus require laborious periodic flattening.

3. Portability vs. Efficiency (Pocket Stones vs. Bench Stones)

There are two types of blade sharpening stones: bench stones and pocket stones. What’s the difference?

  • A bench stone is designed to lay flat on a surface. You can position it on a workbench or a countertop. Many bench stones are sold with an attached base made from plastic, silicone, or some type of wood, such as bamboo. They require minimal effort for smooth sharpening results. You can use them at home or in the workplace.
  • Pocket stones are much smaller and thus far more portable. They allow you to sharpen a blade almost anywhere. Unfortunately, it is much harder to maintain a consistent angle & pressure when sharpening longer knives on a small surface. 

Related: The Best Pocket Knife Sharpeners

4. Grit

Just like sandpaper has a sand count, each sharpening stone has a grit number. The higher the grit number, the finer the stone is since there are more grit particles in a specific area. In fact, the grit number shows how abrasive a whetstone is.

You should best use multiple different grit levels for your blades, which is why many sharpening stones are dual-sided. A dual-sided whetstone features a finer side and a coarser side.

  • The coarser side with low grit allows you to make a good edge fast. It provides speed at the cost of precision and smoothness. For that, you will need the finer side.
  • The finer side has a higher grit number and is ideally used after the coarser one. It will help you refine and polish the edge and make it the sharpest it can be.

In general, 400 grit is coarse. and 1,000 grit is fine. The best sharpening stone offers both of these and thus serve the majority of households well.

  • Interesting fact: Japanese Waterstones can have as much as 30,000 grit, and that is why Samurai swords are so sharp. 

5. Base

The best sharpening stone should have a sturdy base that will help prevent it from sliding around during the sharpening process. Most often the base is made from the following materials:

  • Rubber Silicone
  • Plastic
  • Bamboo 
  • Hardwood

Even though bamboo and hardwood have the most elegant look, in terms of durability, a rubber silicone base is a better option. It guarantees the stability of the stone too. The plastic base is a good choice if you work around water, while bamboo and hardwood will get ruined sooner if they get wet constantly.

6. Angle Guide

An angle guide supports the blade at the proper angle for the most effective sharpening. Experienced users can do without it, but newbies should definitely rely on it for better results and accident prevention.  

7. Price

Oil stones are the cheapest option, especially if you opt for general-purpose ones. Arkansas and diamond stones are much more expensive but still quite cheap in comparison to Japanese sharpening stones that can cost as much as $600!

See Also: The Best Sharpening Steels


The Final Words

There is not much more to say, we have shared all our knowledge and experience. It is time you make a choice.

If you cannot make up your mind, go for either Kota Japan Combination Sharpening Stone or KING KW65 Grit Combination Whetstone. Both whetstones are highly versatile and offer good quality and price ratio. 

If you want to be able to sharpen your blades on the go, get the ultra-portable and highly-effective Dan’s Whetstone Company Inc. Black Hard Arkansas Knife Sharpening Stone.

You can always share your preferences and experience with us too!

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