Whetstones are an essential tool for keeping your knives sharp and in good condition. They come in various types, including natural stones and man-made ones, and different grits, which determine the coarseness of the stone. This guide will explain what the best knife sharpening stones are, the different grits and their uses, and step-by-step instructions on how to use them.
What is a Whetstone?
A whetstone, also known as a sharpening stone, is a tool used to sharpen and hone the blades of knives, scissors, and other cutting tools. They are made of various materials, including natural stones such as diamond and Arkansas stone, and man-made materials such as ceramic and silicon carbide. Whetstones come in different grits, which range from coarse to fine, and each grit has a specific purpose.
How Long Do Whetstones Last?
Whetstones have an average lifespan of up to six years. If you use yours less often, you can expect to get more use out of it. Every time you sharpen a knife, it wears down the center of the stone. This wear and tear will eventually cause the stone to break apart. You should invest in a new one before this happens to reduce the risk of injuring yourself. Those who use these knife sharpening tools more often may find that they only last for three years or less.
Different Grits and Uses
Whetstones are available in various grits, which range from coarse to fine. The coarsest grit is around 200 and is used for repairing chipped and damaged edges. Medium grits range from 800 to 1000 and are used for restoring dull and worn blades. The finest grits range from 4000 to 8000 and are used for honing and polishing the blade's edge.
The best whetstones are the 1000/6000 grit combo whetstone and the 3000/8000 grit combo whetstone. The 1000 grit side is used for sharpening dull blades, while the 6000 grit side is used for honing the blade's edge and giving it a polished finish. The 3000 grit side is used for sharpening and the 8000 grit side for honing and polishing.
Step-by-Step Guide on Using Whetstones
Before using a whetstone, it's essential to ensure that it's clean and dry. Here are the steps for using a whetstone to sharpen your knife:
Step 1: Soak the Whetstone
Soak the whetstone in water for at least 10-15 minutes before use. This step ensures that the stone is lubricated and prevents the blade from getting damaged.
Step 2: Prepare the Knife
Clean the knife blade, removing any debris or dirt that might be on it. Ensure that the blade is dry before placing it on the whetstone.
Step 3: Sharpen the Blade
Hold the knife at a 15 to 20-degree angle to the whetstone (or attach an angle guide to the knife’s spine) and apply gentle pressure while moving the blade along the stone in a sweeping motion. Repeat this process several times on both sides of the blade, alternating between the coarse and fine grit sides of the stone.
Step 4: Hone the Blade
Once you have sharpened the blade, hone it by using the fine grit side of the whetstone. Repeat the process several times on both sides of the blade, ensuring that you maintain a 15 to 20-degree angle.
Step 5: Clean the Blade
Once you've finished honing the blade, clean it thoroughly with a damp cloth to remove any metal particles.
Step 6: Store the Whetstone
After using the whetstone, clean it with water and let it air dry before storing it in a cool, dry place.
Find the Best Whetstones at Seido Knives
Finding the best knife sharpening stone and all the other accessories you need is easy when you shop at Seido Knives. We have a huge range of chef knives and knife sets as well as whetstones and sharpening tools. Shop today to find the best whetstones for your kitchen.Buy Best Whetstones →