A good knife is essential in any kitchen, but a blunt knife is nearly useless and possibly even more dangerous than a sharp knife. Blades become dull and less effective the more they’re used. In addition, it takes longer to cut, the cut is not as precise, and the knife might slip instead of slicing straight through. Therefore, keeping your knives sharp is a necessity, and you might want to use one of the best Japanese whetstones to restore your knife’s blade to its prime.
Japanese whetstones are well-known worldwide. And why are they so fantastic? Let’s find it out, and see some of the best Japanese whetstones.
The 3 Best Japanese Whetstones of All:
If you want a lightweight whetstone, there are many reasons to choose this professional-grade stone from Yoshihiro. It has the proper hardness that you want and enough elasticity to control the knife while sharpening.
Furthermore, Yoshihiro whetstones are larger than ordinary Japanese wet stones. That’s why the sharpening process is easier.
The high-quality construction gives knives an even sharpness which is the most impressive aspect of this product.
The price is on the high end; otherwise, it’s one of the best Japanese whetstone knife sharpener sets. Unfortunately, there are no guidelines that come with this whetstone, but you can find video tutorials.
KNIFEPLANET is a company well-known for its integrity, commitment to its work, and dedication to quality. This product is a reflection of their work ethic.
This set from KNIFEPLANET is feature-rich. First, these stones are made with alumina oxide, which is famous for its strength. Next, they are forged under 200 tons of pressure and no glue is used in the process. Finally, they are heated for 72 hours at 1,300°C for high density and durability.
The stones have 4 sharpening grits: The 400/1,000 grit will raise the burr and sharpen the blade’s edge. Then, with the 3,000/8,000 grit stone, you can polish and perfect the blade.
KNIFEPLANET has added 2 nonslip rubber bases and a bamboo stone holder to the set. The rubber base will minimize the risks of slippage while sharpening your knives. There is also a flattening stone to repair an uneven stone that has worn down over time.
In addition, each set comes with a bonus link to instructional articles and videos that will help you master the art of knife sharpening.
This 2-piece set from King is a combination stone with 1,000 grit on one side to sharpen and smooth, while the 6,000 side is for honing the blade. The convenience of having both sides provides a sharper edge. The set includes a stand and an 8,000 grit Nagura stone.
Most sharpening leaves a hollow or ‘bowl’ in the whetstone over time. The Nagura (‘Nagura’ in Japanese means ‘correcting’) stone. During the correction process, a high-quality slurry develops and helps flatten high spots on the surface of the sharpener. A slurry is a mixture of water and whetstone dust. This pasty material accumulates on your blade as you sharpen it and helps sharpen the blade. Although you might be tempted, you shouldn’t wipe it off until you’re done sharpening.
The Kota Japan Whetstone kit is a dual-sided stone that has two different grits. One is 3,000 grit, and the other side is 8,000 grit. In addition, there is an adjustable bamboo holder base with a nonslip rubber base which ensures there is no slippage while you are sharpening.
The Kota stone is bigger, measuring 8.6×4.6”, so you can use it for all kinds of sharpening, even beyond the kitchen. It is perfect for heavy-duty sharpening of larger blades with longer edges.
Getting the angle right when sharpening your knife often comes down to guesswork. However, this set includes a precision blade guide which eliminates the guesswork.
In addition, the set comes with an e-book with instructions so you won’t damage the angler, blade, or yourself while sharpening your knives.
This combination whetstone from Kai offers a 240 grit surface and a medium-gray 1,000 grit surface with rust remover.
This type of whetstone is a favorite of many professional chefs to achieve the ultimate sharpness in their knives. You can sharpen different kinds of knives, including fruit, cleaver, and sushi knives. It also can sharpen weaponry collections of Samurai swords, kama, and others.
Moreover, you should hand wash this stone in water or without water. And never use oil in the sharpening process. Although it’s made in Japan, it’s imported to the US. The instructions are in Japanese, so you might have trouble trying to understand the process. However, many tutorial videos on the internet can help you understand how to use it.
This premium-quality professional-grade Arkansas honing stone is made of high-quality aluminum oxide. Also included in the kit is a nonslip bamboo base for extra height and comfort and a free angle guide to take the guesswork out of getting the perfect blade angle. In addition, the pieces are third-party-inspected to ensure you’re getting the best product.
This whetstone knife sharpening stone has two grits- 1000 grit for easy sharpening and 6000 grit for polishing. Oil is not required when using this stone, and water actually works better and makes cleanup easier.
In addition, this whetstone is suitable for sharpening razor blades, scissors, pocket knives, machetes, chisels, and even axes.
The manufacturer has included a pdf user’s guide and instructional video.
Culinary Obsession is confident in their product that they offer a 1-year no risk, 100% money-back guarantee, and world-class customer service. Their website states that if you’re not happy with your purchase for any reason, just contact them and they’ll ‘make it right or give you your money back. That’s a promise!’
This is a classic Japanese combination whetstone set from Mizu crafted by experienced knifemakers as the best whetstone for sharpening knives. The 1,000 grit stone side is ideal for duller blades and setting the edge. The 6,000 grit size is perfect for refreshing or finishing a blade to a razor-sharp edge.
The set includes a durable bamboo tray with a nonslip base to maintain stability when sharpening. In addition, there’s also an angle guider to take the guesswork out of getting it right. The combination sides are suitable for sharpening all types of blades, including scissors, pocket knives, and even samurai swords. Moreover, it includes a guide, so that it will also be useful for beginners. It’s safe, durable, compact, and can be stored easily. Overall, it is a good option for those who want sharp knives.
Mizu offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. They stand behind their products and are there to help with any questions or problems you might experience
This is a complete sharpening set from Grocery Art. You get everything you need for a professional-quality sharpening in one kit. The set includes a double-sided high-quality Corundum whetstone (1,000 and 6,000 grits), a bamboo base with a silicone mount, and a knife sharpening angle guide. In addition, there’s a sharpening corner (angle support) that allows you to get the correct sharpening angle every time. Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, the guiding grit numbers help you get a smooth and sharp blade.
No oil is needed to use this stone. Simply put the stone in a bowl of water for 5-10 minutes and let it soak. Then, assemble the stone, silicone mount, and bamboo base, and it’s ready for use. Use the entire surface of the stone, not just the middle section, when sharpening. Do not hone serrated blades and ceramic knives with this whetstone.
Grocery Art is so confident of their product that they offer a full refund if you are not satisfied.
There are different whetstone sizes available. If you need to sharpen only small knives, a smaller whetstone will work fine. However, for large knives or multiple knife sizes, a larger whetstone will be easier to work with. Keep in mind that larger stones will cost more than smaller ones.
When you talk about whetstone grit, you’re referring to the size of the grit particles in the stones. There are three grades of Japanese whetstones and you can buy stones of different grits.
These have the largest grit particles have a grit between 120 and 140.
Medium Japanese whetstones have a grit between 700 and 3,000.
A smooth water stone will have a grade between 3,000 and 10,000
The whetstone grade you choose will depend on what you need it for.
For knives with chips in the blades or the blades have become extremely dull, use a rough stone.
For general sharpening, use a stone that is between 700 and 3,000 grit.
Some of the rougher Japanese sharpening stones can create scratches to the surface of the blade. To get rid of these, use the smoother stones to buff and polish the blade
These whetstones are found and naturally mined in different parts of the world. In the West, the most common rock is Novaculite, also called Arkansas stone. These whetstones are usually quite hard and will last a long time. However, the downside is that natural Novaculite stones cut slower. They usually need oil for lubrication.
Japanese whetstones come from sedimentary rock. This type of whetstone is softer and wears down faster than Novaculite stone. However, they cut better, which means that they will sharpen knives more quickly. These whetstones are only used with water, so they’re also known as Japanese water stones.
Synthetic/artificial whetstones offer better consistency than natural stone. They’re made from a bonded abrasive (usually aluminum oxide or silicon carbide) stuck together with a clay/glass/resin binding agent and come in a block.
These are usually steel plates coated in small diamond bits. Because diamond is the hardest mineral on Earth, it’s useful in sharpening anything. These plates last a long time but are typically more expensive. They are also not recommended for beginners, and they’re are often used to fix water stones that have become uneven after years of use.
The whetstone grade you choose will depend on the material you will be sharpening.
For knives with chips in the blades or the blades have become extremely dull, use a rough stone.
For general sharpening, use a stone that is between 700 and 3000 grit.
Some of the rougher Japanese sharpening stones can create scratches to the surface of the blade. To get rid of these, use the smoother stones to buff and polish the edge.
These whetstones have only one grade of grit.
These stones have more than one grade of grit. They are usually double-sided with a rougher stone on one side and the smoother stone on the other.
Ease of use not only makes sharpening knives easier but safer as well. Choose the right whetstone for the job. For small knives, a smaller stone will work fine. However, for large knives or multiple knife sizes, a large whetstone will be easier to work with.
Japanese whetstones should be soaked in water before you begin sharpening your knife. The stone will absorb water which then comes out as you sharpen the blade across the stone’s surface. Lubricating the stone makes it more efficient, decreases the amount of wear on the stone, and carries tiny metal shavings away from the edge of the blade you’re sharpening.
Most whetstones come with a rubber or silicone nonslip base to keep the stone in place when you are sharpening your knife. However, if your whetstone doesn’t come with a nonslip base, you can set the stone on a damp towel to keep it from sliding.
Various factors will affect the price of the whetstone.
Natural Japanese whetstones are made from sedimentary rock. These are also known as ‘waterstones’ and should be used with water during the sharpening process.
There are also synthetic whetstones that offer better consistency than natural stone. They’re made from a bonded abrasive, usually aluminum oxide or silicon carbide, stuck together with a binding agent to create the familiar block shape.
Synthetic whetstones are made of silicon carbide or aluminum oxide. It gives the stone consistency and makes it versatile. These stones are inexpensive, and thus they are used the most. You can use either water or oil during the sharpening process.
Cleaning your water stone is as important as using it. The grey streaks you see on the water stone after using it are particles of the knife you have just sharpened. For light cleaning, wash your water stone and wipe it with a soft, clean cloth to remove all the accumulated debris. You can use liquid dish soap and a soft cloth to clean the surface. Allow the stone to air dry completely before storing it to prevent mold development.
To maintain your water stone, you first need to use it properly and also clean it well. Clean it after every use and allow it to dry thoroughly before you store it away.
Before sharpening your knife, soak your water stone in water for about 20 minutes. The liquid fills any holes in the stone and creates a smoother sharpening movement, carrying metal shavings and debris for easier cleaning.
You should use either oil or water as a lubricant, depending on the stone when using your whetstone. For water stones, you will use water. Once you use one liquid, either water or oil, never switch. It’s always best to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use and maintain your stone.
However, you can use oil on stones made of Novaculite and some synthetic aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. While oil stones last longer, they usually take longer to sharpen a blade and are harder to clean.
Japanese water stones, ceramic, or synthetic aluminum oxide are softer and wear down faster, which requires frequent flattening to bring the stone back to shape. However, they are quicker for sharpening blades and easier to clean.
Most sharpening leaves a hollow or ‘bowl’ in the whetstone over time, and you will need to flatten it out again to regain its optimal condition. You can use a Japanese Nagura stone to flatten high spots on the surface of the sharpener.
Japanese water stones are essential tools if you want to keep your expensive Japanese or other knives sharp, safe, and functional. There are different grit sizes, and each has a different purpose.
We have provided reviews of the 8 best Japanese whetstones and their features. However, no matter which product you use, you should use it properly. Though this article is about whetstones used for sharpening knives, being careful is paramount. However, you can learn how to properly use a whetstone to sharpen your knives before you get down to business. There are many tutorials on the internet for instructions on how to use and maintain your whetstone. As we said before, a dull knife can be just as dangerous as a sharp one, so learn how to keep your knife blades in optimal condition and be safe.