A dull blade is a far more dangerous one than a sharp blade. Just ask anyone in the culinary arts world. Even the best knives need to be sharpened from time to time in order to keep them in good working condition. You should be able to cleanly slice through the food you prepare.
While there are different tools out there that pro chefs use to sharpen their knives, one of the most popular is the whetstone. Using whetstone and whetstone grit makes it so that you get a properly sharpened blade. There are several types of whetstones out there, so before you invest in one, read on to get a better idea of which one is best suited to you.
Just what is a whetstone?
A whetstone is a rectangular stone-shaped object with a rough surface on which metal tools - such as knives - can be sharpened. Also known as Japanese Waterstones, a whetstone can be made from synthetic or natural material. While synthetic ones are more affordable and have a quick process, natural whetstone models do not remove as much steel from the blade and deliver an incredibly sharp result.
Using a whetstone requires some skill. When pro chefs go to sharpen their Western or Asian knives, they want the utmost precision so that their blades get the best results.
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Why is it important to sharpen a kitchen knife?
Sharpening a kitchen knife is important if you want to make foodfool prep easier. A dull blade makes you more prone to slicing yourself, plus it can also harm the cells inside of your food. When you're settling on a knife set, you need to also get a whetstone for sharpening those blades.
How To Use a Whetstone
You'll need to learn how to use your whetstone so you can get your knives perfectly sharpened. Here are a few quick and easy steps for how to use and care for it:
- Saturate your whetstone in water for 5-10 minutes at the very least.
- Position your whetstone so as to avoid any sliding, and work from coarse to fine.
- See the Angle Guide for the proper angle, with the blade diagonally angled on the whetstone.
- Bring the knife back and forth across the whetstone and work the entire blade at once for an even finish.
- Flip the blade and repeat.
- Finish off with a finer whetstone, and, if you have one on hand, a leather strop for a little extra refinement.
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The Absolute Best Whetstones
So, which are the best whetstones to buy? We have two whetstone grit combinations that we recommend above all else. Let's go over what the benefits are to each of them so you can pick the one that will work best for you.
1000/6000 Grit Whetstone Combo
If you are shopping on a budget, the 1000/6000 Grit Whetstone Combo is an affordable option. It is backed by a no-risk 30-day money-back guarantee, so if you aren't satisfied with how it sharpens, you have a return window.
This double-sided model is handcrafted with a #1000 side that is much more coarse and meant to sharpen duller blades. If you are looking for just a little bit of refinement for your knife, the #6000 side will get the job done. A non-slip bamboo base is included to keep your whetstone locked into place.
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3000/8000 Grit Whetstone Combo
Another affordable option is the 3000/8000 Grit Whetstone Combo. Its #3000 side is able to revive a dull knife and is a solid choice as far as middle-grit soaking stones go. If you need an even more refined sharpness, turn the whetstone to the #8000 side and apply the right amount of hand pressure. You should notice a good amount of feedback from this side.
If you're uncomfortable with your angles, be sure to read the included Angle Guide before you get started. However, once you get used to this whetstone, you should start feeling like a pro.
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Regardless of whether you're just wanting to buy your first whetstone for your home kitchen or are a budding professional chef looking to find an affordable whetstone, our whetstone options present a lot of versatility. So, while you're checking out some brand-new knives, consider getting one of these whetstone combos to help keep them sharp.Buy Whetstones →