6 best Japanese sharpening stones / whetstones for razor sharp knives

by Joost Nusselder | Updated:  May 13, 2022

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Are you looking for the best way to sharpen your knives?

Japanese sharpening stones are considered some of the best in the world. They’re made with a higher quality of materials and often last longer than other types of sharpening stones.

A Japanese whetstone is a perfect way to get that sharp edge. These stones come in various shapes and sizes so that you can find the perfect one for your needs.

Follow the steps below to learn what the best Japanese whetstone is and how to select one to get so you can get started using your now sharp knives to create the perfect dishes in no time!

6 Best Japanese sharpening stones / whetstones for razor sharp knives

But, what is the best Japanese whetstone to buy?

The best Japanese sharpening stone, or whetstone, depends on the type of knife you will be using for.

The Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone has 2 grits you can use to sharpen all types of Japanese knives. It is durable and withstands repeated use. It also comes with an angle guide so you can always get the sharpest edge, regardless of the blade’s shape and size. 

Let’s discuss the factors you need to keep in mind when selecting a whetstone for your knife and then I’ll show you some of the best whetstones available.

I’ll also explain what makes these Japanese sharpening stones so good and give you some tips on how to properly use one.

Check out the top whetstones and then read the full reviews down below:

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Best whetstones Images
Best overall Japanese whetstone: The Sharp Pebble Premium Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone

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Best budget Japanese whetstone: Goodjob Premium Goodjob Premium Japanese Whetstone Knife Sharpener Stone Set

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Best Japanese sharpening stone set & best for beginners: KERYE Professional

KERYE Professional Japanese Whetstone Sharpener Stone Set(view more images)

Best Japanese whetstone for professionals & chefs: MITSUMOTO SAKARI MITSUMOTO SAKARI Japanese Knife Sharpening Stone

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Best diamond whetstone: Diamond Machine Technology (DMT) Diamond Machine Technology (DMT) 3-6-in. Diamond Whetstone

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Best ceramic whetstone: Ha No Kuromaku Medium Grit #1000 Ha No Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstone Medium Grit #1000

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In this post we'll cover:

Buying guide: how do I choose the right Japanese whetstone for my needs?

Japan is known worldwide for its unique dishes and exceptional attention to detail when cooking. That’s why using sharp knives is essential for creating the perfect dish.

When choosing a Japanese sharpening stone, there are four main factors you need to consider: grit size, the type of stone, price, and durability.

You should also consider what type of knife you want to sharpen, the level of sharpness you need, your knife’s material, and your budget.

A carbon steel knife, for example, will need a different level of sharpening and grit size than a stainless steel one.

Fortunately, there are a ton of different types of whetstones on the market, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.

Grit size

Grit size is the most important factor to consider when choosing a whetstone. The grit size refers to how fine the particles are that make up the stone.

The higher the grit number, the finer the particles and the sharper your knives will get.

A softer sharpening stone is better for thinner blades, while a harder sharpening stone is better for thicker blades.

Are you looking to maintain an already sharp knife? Then you’ll probably need a lower grit size.

However, if you need to sharpen a dull knife, then medium grit stones or higher may be necessary.

For most, a medium grit size (1000-3000) will work just fine.

However, if you’re looking to get a really sharp edge on your knives, or you have a larger blade, it may be best to choose a higher grit size.

Type of sharpening stone

The type of whetstone you select is also an important consideration.

In general, there are six main types of Japanese sharpening stones:

  • natural stone
  • ceramic stone
  • diamond stone
  • combination stone
  • water stone
  • oil stone

Each type of sharpening stone has its own advantages and disadvantages including price, skill level necessary for use, and durability.

I’ll explain them in short.

Natural sharpening stone

Natural sharpening stones are made from a variety of materials, such as Novaculite, Arkansas Stone, and Washita Stone.

These stones are the most affordable options, but they require the most maintenance–you’ll need to soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before use.

What’s more, they need to be lubricated with oil during the sharpening process to prevent them from drying out.

Ceramic sharpening stone

Ceramic sharpening stones are man-made from a variety of materials, such as silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, and zirconia.

They’re more expensive than natural stones, but they don’t require as much maintenance. Even better? You’ll only need to soak them for a fraction of the time you’ll need to soak natural ones–about 5 minutes before use.

Diamond sharpening stone

As the name suggests, these stones are made from diamond dust. They’re the most expensive type of whetstone but also the most effective, able to sharpen even the toughest blades.

What’s more, they don’t require any soaking or lubrication–simply use them dry. However, you will need to clean them frequently to prevent the diamond dust from clogging the pores.

A diamond sharpening stone is the longest-lasting type of whetstone, so you won’t need to replace them as often.

Combination sharpening stone

As the name suggests, combination stones are a mix of two different types of stones. For example, a common combination is ceramic and diamond stone.

This combines the best of both worlds: the fast-sharpening ability of a diamond stone with the lower price point of a ceramic stone.

Water sharpening stone

The most common type is the water stone, which is made from abrasive materials such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide.

Waterstones are typically softer than oilstones, making them more suitable for beginners. However, they can wear down quickly and require frequent flattening.

Oil sharpening stone

Oil stones are made from harder materials, such as Novaculite or Arkansas stone. They are more durable than water stones and don’t require as much flattening.

However, they can be more difficult to use because they require the use of oil. For this reason, they are typically reserved for experienced sharpeners.

No matter what type of Japanese whetstone you choose, you’ll be sure to get a quality sharpening stone that will last you for years to come.

Price

Price is always an important consideration when making any purchase. Japanese whetstones range in price from around $10-$100.

Of course, you’ll get what you pay for, with the more expensive sharpening stones like diamond being of a higher quality and lasting far longer than other materials.

However, there are some great affordable options available, for those on more of a budget as discussed earlier (think natural and ceramic whetstones).

Durability

Finally, you’ll want to consider the durability of the stone.

Japanese whetstones are generally very durable, but some more so than others. The best example of this is natural sharpening stones vs ceramic or diamond sharpening stones.

No matter what your budget or needs are, there’s a Japanese sharpening stone out there that’s perfect for you. Just be sure to do your research before making your purchase.

Base of the Japanese sharpening stone

The base is the most important part of the sharpening stone. It needs to be flat and level so that the stone can sit securely on it without wobbling around.

A good way to test the flatness of the base is to put a piece of paper on it and see if it slides around. If it does, then the base is not flat enough.

The base should also be made of a material that is non-porous so that it does not absorb water from the stone. A good material for this is silicone or bamboo wood.

Bamboo is very popular because it is environmentally friendly, sustainable, and has a very low absorption rate.

The size of the base is also important. It should be large enough to fit the sharpening stone snugly, but not too large that it is difficult to move around.

Finally, make sure the base is non-slip because if the whetstone moves around as you sharpen your knives, you risk cutting your fingers.

Once you’ve got your Japanese knife sharp again make sure to store it properly as well in a knife block or stand

The best Japanese whetstones reviewed

Now that you know a little bit more about Japanese sharpening stones, it’s time to choose the best one for your needs.

We’ve created a detailed list of the best options on the market factoring in user skill, use, and stone material.

When making your decision we recommend considering the type of knife you have, the level of sharpness you need, and your budget.

There are many great options available, but which is actually the best for keeping your kitchen knives sharp and ready for action?

Let’s find out…

Best overall Japanese whetstone: The Sharp Pebble Premium

Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone 2 Side Grit 1000/6000 Waterstone

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  • water sharpening stone
  • grit: 1000/6000
  • base: bamboo
  • weight: 2.1 lbs

If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese whetstone that you can use to sharpen all kinds of knives, this Sharp Pebble one is the best value buy.

Sharp Pebble is a well-known manufacturer of knife sharpeners and this particular one comes with two sides.

It’s a two-sided oil stone – one 1000 grit side for dealing with dull and damaged blades and the other 6000 grit side for polishing and finishing.

This whetstone is the best for sharpening authentic Japanese knives because it has the 1000 grit which is essential for a good sharp blade and then it has the 6000 grit for finishing and polishing to make your knives look like new.

This stone is meant to be used with water only and can be stored safely when not in use.

The oilstone is made from durable aluminum oxide and comes with a non-slip bamboo base to help you keep a steady hand while sharpening your knives.

It has an overall rating of 4.6* rating, scoring highly on durability, stability, and value for money.

The Sharp pebble premium also scored highly on ease of use, with many beginners being able to use this whetstone knife sharpener successfully on their first attempt.

What sets this sharpening stone apart from others is the easy-to-understand angle guide. It shows you what angle to sharpen at for different types of knives like yanagiba, deba, gyuto, etc.

There are many knockoff whetstones like this one but those just don’t last as long and turn too soft they feel like soap!

One thing to keep in mind is that this stone does wear down a bit faster than those $100+ whetstones.

However, it’s easy to use and doesn’t damage your blade so once you learn how to create a burr, your knife will be razor-sharp!

Check the latest prices here

Also read: Japanese knife skills & techniques | Learn the moves like a pro

Best budget Japanese whetstone: Goodjob Premium

Goodjob Premium Japanese Whetstone Knife Sharpener Stone Set

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  • water sharpening stone
  • grit: 400/1000
  • base: rubber
  • weight: 1.87 lbs

If you’re looking for a good quality whetstone but don’t want to spend a lot of money, this Goodjob set is a great option.

It comes with two stones (400/1000 grit) and a rubber base for a very reasonable price.

The 400 grit side is perfect for repairing damaged blades and the 1000 grit can be used for sharpening the knife.

Unlike higher grit sharpening stones, this one isn’t recommended for finishing premium knives so I recommend it for just sharpening your knives regularly.

This whetstone is made from premium white corundum and also requires a good soak in water before you can start sharpening.

Goodjob also has a great video tutorial on how to use this whetstone if you’re a beginner.

One thing to keep in mind is that the stones are quite soft so they do wear down quickly.

But, they’re very affordable so it’s not a big deal to replace them often.

One downside of this product is that it doesn’t come with a storage case. Also, it can’t be used to sharpen serrated edges and ceramic knives – just stick to your regular Japanese knives.

The Goodjob whetstone has a rubber base for stability. The base is also non-slip so you won’t have to worry about it moving around while you’re sharpening your knives.

This set is great for those who are new to knife sharpening because it comes with a detailed guide on how to use the stones.

It also has an angle guide so you can sharpen your knives at the correct angle.

This is the kind of no-fuss, basic Japanese whetstone that is great for basic tasks like fixing small imperfections and keeping the blades sharp.

Check the latest prices here

Best overall Sharp Pebble vs best budget Goodjob

The Sharp Pebble is better for those who are looking for a stone to use with premium knives while the Goodjob is better for those who want a basic stone to use for sharpening their regular knives.

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, go with the Goodjob set. It’s a great quality product that comes with two stones and a rubber base for a very reasonable price.

The Sharp Pebble is also a great product but it’s more expensive and only comes with one stone.

However, you might notice the quality difference between these two from the get-go. The Sharp pebble has a bamboo base while the Goodjob has a rubber base.

The Sharp pebble is also double-sided while the Goodjob is only single-sided.

So, if you’re willing to spend a bit more money, the Sharp Pebble is the better option.

Both stones are made from white corundum and require a good soak in water before use.

Now let’s compare the grits. The Sharp Pebble is a bit finer at 6000 grit while the Goodjob is coarser at 1000 grit.

The Sharp Pebble is better for those who want a really fine finish on their knives while the Goodjob is better for those who just want to sharpen their knives and don’t mind a bit of imperfection.

To summarize, the Sharp Pebble is the better stone if you’re willing to spend a bit more money and you want a really fine finish on your knives.

The Goodjob is the better stone if you’re looking for a basic stone to use for sharpening your regular knives.

Best Japanese sharpening stone set & best for beginners: KERYE Professional

KERYE Professional Japanese Whetstone Sharpener Stone Set

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  • water sharpening stone
  • grit: 400/1000 + 3000/8000
  • base: bamboo
  • weight: 5 lbs

If you’re looking for a premium whetstone with all the accessories you need, the Kerye set is the one that has it all.

It comes with two whetstones with different grits. The first stone has a 400/1000 grit which is best for repairing and sharpening.

The second stone has a 3000/8000 grit for finishing and polishing.

Chefs recommend that you use the 3000 grit to sharpen your meat knives like gyuto or santoku while the 8000 grit is best for honing the cutting edge of your veggie knives like usuba or smaller paring knives.

This set also comes with a bamboo base, a flattening stone for leveling, a sharpening angle guide, a leather strop, anti-cut gloves, and a carrying case.

The leather strop helps you polish the blade and also remove burr. With the flattening stone, you can level the surface of your whetstone when it starts to get uneven.

The bamboo base is slip-resistant and also has a water reservoir to keep the stones wet. The angle guide ensures that you’re sharpening your knives at the correct angle.

The carrying case is great for storing everything together and for keeping the stones from chipping.

Plus, you get anti-cut gloves that keep your hands safe while sharpening.

The Kerye set is a bit more expensive than the Sharp Pebble but it’s worth it because you’re getting two stones and you can do more fine polishing since it has that 8000 grit surface.

So, if you’re looking for a complete set that has everything you need to sharpen your knives, the Kerye set is the one for you.

The Kerye set is also great for those who are new to knife sharpening because it comes with a detailed guide on how to use the stones.

What people really like about this set is the added angle guard. This is a tiny clip that goes on your knife’s back and it keeps the blade in position so you can get that 18-degree angle with every contact.

Therefore, you won’t end up sharpening at different angles. This feature is a must-have for beginners because it ensures consistent sharpening.

Some people also find that the Kerye stones are softer and easier to use.

One thing to note is that the Kerye set is quite large and heavy so it might not be suitable for those who are looking for a portable option.

Check the latest prices here

Make your set even more complete with a traditional Japanese knife sheath to protect your sharp knife

Best Japanese whetstone for professionals & chefs: MITSUMOTO SAKARI

MITSUMOTO SAKARI Japanese Knife Sharpening Stone

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  • water sharpening stone
  • grit: 1000/3000
  • base: bamboo
  • weight: 1.7 lbs

This is an authentic Japanese whetstone built for chefs and professionals.

The Mitsumoto Sakari stone is a natural water stone that’s been quarried in the Niigata prefecture of Japan.

It has a grit rating of 1000/3000 and it’s one of the hardest stones on the market. It’s a classic double-sided whetstone that can be used for both repairing and finishing.

The 1000 grit side is for repairing and the 3000 grit side is for finishing.

This type of Japanese stone will make your blade last a long time without losing its edge. It allows you to sharpen knives between 10-20 degree angles.

This stone is perfect for those who want a really sharp edge on their knives.

It’s also great for those who sharpen their knives often because it doesn’t wear down as quickly as other stones.

Therefore, it’s more suitable for chefs who have to constantly sharpen their Japanese knife collection while working in a busy restaurant.

You’ll clearly notice a huge difference between Mitsumoto and budget stones like Goodjob which will wear down much faster.

Also, this whetstone’s bamboo base contains a rubber gasket that prevents it from slipping while in use.

Some cheaper products don’t have a good rubber gasket so your stone can make small movements while you sharpen and that’s quite unsafe.

The base is also quite large so you won’t have to worry about the stone moving around while you’re sharpening your knives.

This whetstone lacks the 6000 grit necessary for extra fine polishing but if you’re constantly cooking, you don’t really need a finer grit than the 3000 because you have to keep sharpening your blade over and over again.

The only downside to this stone is that it’s quite expensive. But, if you’re looking for a high-quality option that will last you a long time, the Mitsumoto Sakari is the best choice.

Check the latest prices here

Kerye set for beginners vs Mitsumoto for chefs

The Kerye set is great for beginners because it comes with a detailed guide and an angle guard. The Mitsumoto stone is better for chefs because it’s a harder stone that can withstand more sharpening.

With the Kerye set, you get 4 grits to choose from while the Mitsumoto only has 2.

The Kerye is also softer and easier to use while the Mitsumoto is harder and better for those who want a really sharp edge.

The Kerye set is large and heavy while the Mitsumoto is smaller and more portable.

Both whetstones have a sturdy non-slip bamboo base but the Mitsumoto has a better rubber gasket.

If you’re working at a restaurant you aren’t going to do as much knife polishing so you probably don’t need such a fine 8000 grit.

You need a better, stronger stone that doesn’t wear down as fast. That’s why I recommend the Mitsumoto. It’s made in Japan and it will last you a long time.

If you’re starting out, go with the Kerye set because it comes with a helpful guide and 4 different grits to choose from.

Lastly, the Kerye set is more affordable while the Mitsumoto is more expensive.

Best diamond whetstone: Diamond Machine Technology (DMT)

Diamond Machine Technology (DMT) 3-6-in. Diamond Whetstone

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  • diamond sharpening stone
  • grit: 45 Micron / 325 Mesh, 25 Micron / 600 Mesh, 9 Micron / 1200 Mesh
  • base: wood
  • weight: 1.8 lbs

This diamond whetstone is the best choice for those who don’t like traditional Japanese whetstones or find them too hard to use.

The DMT has a three-stone system that’s easy to use and it comes with a durable base that won’t slip while you’re sharpening your knives.

It also doesn’t require any water so it’s great for those who travel often.

The three grits allow you to sharpen, repair, and finish your blades.

The 45 Micron / 325 Mesh is for repairing, the 25 Micron / 600 Mesh is for sharpening and the 9 Micron / 1200 Mesh is for finishing.

This diamond whetstone is perfect for those who want a really sharp edge on their knives. It’s also great for those who sharpen their knives often because it doesn’t wear down as quickly as other stones.

Traditional waterstones will bevel and gouge over time – this doesn’t happen with diamond stones. That’s why many people prefer to use this material for sharpening their Japanese knives.

Another advantage of this type of sharpening stone is that using it is less time-consuming.

On average, it takes about 1/3 of the strokes and sharpening moves to get your knife razor-sharp compared to a regular aluminum whetstone.

One disadvantage is that the diamond stones are narrower than your traditional whetstones so it takes a bit of getting used to. But, once you get the hang of it, you won’t have any problems.

Also, I want to mention that you don’t need to use a lot of water with these so you only need a light mist of water. This means less mess and no more slushy dirty water to clean up.

This type of whetstone is a real-time saver. Just be aware that this kind of whetstone is much pricier than others.

Check the latest prices here

Best ceramic whetstone: Ha No Kuromaku Medium Grit #1000

Ha No Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstone Medium Grit #1000

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  • ceramic sharpening stone
  • grit: 1000
  • base: plastic
  • weight: 1.5 ounces

With this whetstone, you don’t need to soak it before use. Just splash it with some water and then you’re ready to start sharpening in about a minute.

The Ha No Kuromaku is a great ceramic whetstone that is perfect for those who are just starting out. It has a medium grit of 1000 which is great for sharpening and repairing your knives.

For regular at-home use, this is the kind of grit you need and this stone will keep your blades in pristine condition.

It’s the kind of whetstone that provides consistent results and won’t let you down, use after use.

What you’ll notice immediately is that it’s very hard compared to the regular water stones.

Unlike the water stones, this one doesn’t shed and it’s much denser. Therefore, you can expect excellent results after using it.

But, one thing to keep in mind is that this type of whetstone can chip easily so you need to be extra careful while using it. Also, it might feel a bit rough on your fingers at first but after a few uses, you’ll get used to it.

It’s also really small and light so it’s perfect for those who travel often or don’t have a lot of counter space.

The only downside to this whetstone is that it doesn’t come with a wooden base and many people prefer the classic bamboo base. However, the plastic is sturdy and doubles as a carrying case.

Check the latest prices here

Diamond vs ceramic whetstone

These are two different types of whetstones: diamond and ceramic. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.

Diamond whetstones are more expensive than ceramic but they’re also more durable and last longer. They’re also easier to use because you don’t need to soak them before use.

Ceramic whetstones are more affordable but you’ll need to wet the stone for about a minute before you can get to work.

When it comes to sharpening, both types of whetstones will get the job done but diamond stones are faster.

The DMT whetstone has 3 grits you can use whereas the Ha No Kuromaku only has one 1000 grit which is medium.

Also, the Ha No Kuromaku has a plastic base which some people might not like as much as the classic bamboo base.

So, it really comes down to your personal preferences and needs when deciding which type of whetstone to buy.

If you’re looking for a fast, durable, and easy-to-use sharpening stone, then go for the diamond whetstone. If you’re looking for an affordable option that still gets the job done, then go for the ceramic whetstone.

Do I really need to use a Japanese whetstone?

If you want to keep your blades in great condition for a long time then yes!

Japanese whetstones are a little more expensive than other brands. But being higher in quality than most other options, they’re definitely worth the investment!

Plus, they’re really easy to use and keep your blades in great condition for a long time. They’re made from a range of materials that can be used wet, dry, or with oil.

Plus they have an optimal grit size for ceramic blade knives, carbon steel knives, and stainless steel knives.

What are the benefits of using a Japanese whetstone?

There are many benefits to using a Japanese whetstone that make cooking in the kitchen much easier and more efficient.

Some of these benefits include:

They help you achieve a razor-sharp edge quickly

As mentioned before, getting a sharp edge is the key to the perfect dish.

Japanese whetstones can help you achieve this quickly and easily, allowing you to get back to cooking in no time.

They’re convenient and easy to use

Japanese whetstones are incredibly easy to use–simply soak them in water or oil (depending on the stone material you’re using) for the recommended amount of time, then sharpen your knives on the stone.

What’s more, they don’t require any special equipment or skills to use. So pretty much anyone can do it.

They’re durable and long-lasting

Another great benefit of Japanese whetstones is that they’re built to last. With proper care, your whetstone will last for years–meaning you’ll spend less time and money replacing them.

They’re easy to use and require little maintenance

As mentioned before, Japanese whetstones are very easy to use and require little maintenance. Just presoak or oil, then wash with water once you’re finished.

This makes them a great option for those who are typically short on time and don’t have it spare to spend on knife sharpening.

There’s a type of whetstone for every need

No matter what your budget or cooking style, there’s a Japanese whetstone that’s perfect for you.

How do I use a Japanese whetstone?

To use a Japanese whetstone, simply soak it in water for the recommended amount of time, then sharpen your knives on the stone.

Regardless of which type of stone you’re using, it’s important to keep your stone wet while you’re using it. So be sure to check the water level regularly and top it up as needed.

Depending on the type of Japanese whetstone you’re using, there are some other considerations you should be mindful of.

Here are some tips on how to use different types of Japanese whetstones:

How to use natural whetstones

Natural stones such as Arkansas and Novaculite are more brittle than man-made stones, so it’s important to take extra care when using them.

To avoid damaging your stone, only use a light touch when sharpening your blades. Pressing too hard can cause the stone to crack or break.

How to use man-made whetstones

Man-made stones such as waterstones and oilstones are more durable than natural stones, so you can be a bit more aggressive when using them.

However, it’s still important to avoid putting too much pressure on the stone to prevent damage.

How to use ceramic whetstones

Ceramic stones are made from a harder material, so they can take more pressure than other types of stones.

This makes them ideal for those who are looking for a more aggressive sharpening experience. Just be sure to use even pressure to avoid damaging the stone.

How to use diamond whetstones

Diamond stones are the hardest type of whetstone, so they can take a lot of pressure.

This makes them ideal for those who want to achieve a very sharp knife edge in the most efficient way possible.

However, because they’re so hard, it’s important to use even pressure to avoid chipping your sharpening stone.

How to use combination whetstones

A combination stone or multi-grit stone is a sharpening stone with a mix of different materials. Because of this, they’re able to offer you the benefits of both natural and man-made stones.

These stones are also more durable than natural Japanese sharpening stones, so don’t have to be as delicate with them.

Again, always ensure you’re using an even pressure to avoid damaging the stone.

Electric vs manual sharpening stones

A lot of people think that using a knife sharpener is easy, but there are actually some things to consider before purchasing one. One of these considerations is whether to purchase a manual or electric whetstone.

Electric sharpeners are the quickest and easiest to use.

That’s because all you have to do is run the blade through the sharpener a few times and it does the rest of the work for you. The downside to them is they can be expensive.

Manual sharpeners, on the other hand, require a little bit more effort but are a far more budget-friendly option.

To use a manual Japanese whetstone, hold the blade at the correct angle and run it through the sharpener in a consistent motion.

The best option for you really depends on your needs.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to sharpen your kitchen knives, then an electric whetstone is the way to go.

However, if you are on a budget or simply prefer the satisfaction of sharpening your knives by hand, then a manual whetstone is likely the better option.

FAQ’s

Are you supposed to wet a sharpening stone (whetstone)?

The answer to this common sharpening stone question is yes and no. It really depends on the type of sharpening stone that you have.

For example, if you have a natural honing stone, then it is recommended that you do not soak it in water before use.

However, for most other types of sharpening stones, including synthetic, man-made stones, it is generally recommended that you soak the stone in water for at least 20 minutes before use.

The reason for this is that soaking the stone in water helps to “lubricate” the surface of the stone and prevents the metal from being pulled away from the stone too easily.

Soaking the stone also helps to “rehydrate” the stone and prevents it from drying out too quickly.

How long should you soak a whetstone?

It is generally advised that you soak your whetstone for at least 20 minutes before use.

This will help to ensure that the stone is evenly saturated and ready to provide a consistent sharpening experience.

Can you use water on a whetstone?

Yes, water is the most common lubricant used when sharpening on a whetstone. However, some stones can also be used with oil.

Always consult the manufacturer’s instructions before using oil on your whetstone.

How often should I use my Japanese whetstone?

It’s important to use your Japanese sharpening stone regularly to keep your knives in top condition. Depending on how often you use your knives, you may need to sharpen them weekly or monthly.

If you notice your knives are losing their edge more quickly, it’s a good idea to increase the frequency of your whetstone use.

On the other hand, if you find that your knives are still holding their edge well, you can reduce the frequency of sharpening.

The key is to find a happy medium that works for you and your knives.

How should I store my Japanese whetstone?

To keep your sharpening stone in top condition, and ensure its use for years to come, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

How do I select the correct grit size to sharpen knives?

As mentioned above, the grit size is an important consideration and measures the abrasiveness of your sharpening stone. It’s measured in microns with larger micron ratings having a coarser surface.

The right grit size for your knife will depend on the type and size of your blade, as well as how sharp you want it to be. For example, a lower grit like 220 is best for very dull or damaged blades that need to be repaired, while a higher grit like 3000 is better for general sharpening.

For most purposes, a grit size of 1000-2000 is ideal.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right Japanese whetstone is essential for getting the most out of your knife sharpening kit.

There are many different types and sizes of whetstones available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to choose the right one for your needs in order to get the best results.

When it comes to the top pick for the best Japanese whetstone, the award goes to The Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone.

This is a universal sharpening stone with the most used grits that you can use to sharpen Japanese and Western knives so you always have sharp cutlery on hand.

It can also be used to sharpen all types of knives including pocket knives, fillet knives, kitchen knives, and more.

Regardless of your budget or skill level, there is a Japanese whetstone that is perfect for you. There are plenty of great options available on the market, so you’ll definitely find the right sharpening tool for your needs.

Also check out these amazing & traditional Japanese knife rolls and arry your knife collection safely like a pro

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.