Sharpening your kitchen knives is something you may not think about very often, but it can make the difference between using effective knives or dull blades. While there are some modern kitchen devices that can help to sharpen blades, the most ideal way to get them sharp is to use sharpening stones. When you use the best sharpening stones for your knives, you will end up with a better cut that requires less maintenance and stays for longer.
- What Are the Benefits of Getting the Best Sharpening Stones?
- Choosing a Sharpening Stone
- Top 5 Best Sharpening Stones
- 1. Mighty Dreams #1000 & #6000 Aluminum Oxide Water Stones with Bamboo Base – Great for beginners without any sharpening experience
- 2. Love This Kitchen #800 & #3000 Synthetic Water Stone Set with Cleaning Stone – Ideal for chefs with a large variety of blades to sharpen
- 3. King Two-Sided #1000 & #6000 with Base – Perfect for sharpening sushi knives and other small, fine blades
- 4. Smith’s Arkansas Stone Set & Base – Perfect for sharpening smaller blades
- 5. DMT Diamond Water Stones (Coarse, Fine, Extra Fine) – Good for anyone looking for fast sharpening
What Are the Benefits of Getting the Best Sharpening Stones?
Good sharpening stones can do a lot for your knives. When you first start, you may not immediately notice how much better this method is than some of the store-bought gadgets, but over a short period of time you’ll find that these benefits emerge:
When a knife is not properly sharpened, it can lose its edge very quickly. Using a good set of sharpening stones helps the blade to keep its nice edge for longer intervals.
Sharpening stones come in many different varieties of grit, from coarse to fine, so you can work your blades down to a very fine edge. You can get it to be much sharper with stones than it would be with any other sharpening methods.
Different blades are easier to sharpen depending on what kind of stones you have in your home arsenal. You can easily sharpen all of your various knives to their best with a few choice sharpening stones.
Caring for Your Blades
Sharpening stones are easier on your knives than many other types of knife sharpeners. Depending on the type of sharpening stone you get, your knives will be well cared for and will last longer than if you use low-quality sharpeners.
Fixing Chipped Knives
Knives with chips, scratches, and other small damage on the blades can be fixed with the right sharpening stones. It takes a little bit of time, but it’s the easiest and most affordable way to fix your knives and restore them back to prime condition.
Choosing a Sharpening Stone
How can you figure out which sharpening stone is the best sharpening stone for your needs? Here is some advice about what to look for:
Get the right grit
The grit of a sharpening stone refers to how coarse or fine of a surface it has. Higher grit stones make finer blades while lower grit stones make broad, large adjustments to a blade without refining the sharpness.
Choose your materials wisely
Not all sharpening stones are created from the same materials. There are a variety of different stones available, from synthetic combination materials to natural stones. Here is a short summation of the most common types of sharpening stones:
Industrial Diamond Plates
Diamond sharpening stones are formed with hard industrial diamonds that are great for shaping blades. In most cases, these are great coarse stones, but are not always ideal refining stones.
These stones can be made with a variety of natural stone materials, but the reason they are called oil stones is that the swarf (metal shavings released from sharpening a knife) is cleaned off using oil rather than water. Most oil stones are quick to use but don’t create a very fine edge like some other stones will.
Unlike oil stones, water stones are used and cleaned with water. This should usually be soaked or doused with water before you use them to sharpen any blades. There are some rare natural water stones and many synthetics. The synthetics are the most common by far, and they are some of the fastest stones available. Unfortunately, the speed of sharpening you is the result of the stones being softer, so they will wear out more quickly than other stones.
As a replacement for natural stones, ceramic stones are a good choice for single-sided blades. They tend to be a bit harder to work with, and they are also a bit softer than many other types of stones. Although they can be used to make a very fine edge, one of the disadvantages is that they should be soaked for around 10 minutes before use.
Synthetic StonesMany varieties of synthetic water stones are available on the market today. Depending on the quality, they may need to be soaked before use or just briefly splashed with water. While these stones are usually fairly average quality, they can be a great choice for traditional stainless steel blades and straight blades.
Go for a good size
The ideal sharpening stones are long enough to make the work go by faster, but short enough to store easily and to hold properly. Some stones are available as short as 3 to 4 inches long, but the average size is around 5 to 7 inches in length. Longer stones can be found as well, and they are good for long blades.
Consider maintenance (flattening)
As sharpening stones are used, they must be maintained if they will continue to be useful on your knives. Depending on the type of stone, maintenance will be different. However, all stones will need periodic flattening to keep the level. Stones that aren’t level will not sharpen your knives properly.
Think within your budget
A set of sharpening stones can be cheap or very expensive, according to the type of stones you choose to get. If you’re just starting out as a beginner, you should only need 2 or 3 stones to get the desired results, whereas a more experienced sharpener can use as many as 5 or 6 stones of varying materials and grits.
Choose a set of stones that works well with your knives, and then look for a good price range that fits your budget.
Top 5 Best Sharpening Stones
|Mighty Dreams #1000 & #6000 Aluminum Oxide Water Stones with Base|
|Love This Kitchen #800 & #3000 Synthetic Water Stone Set||A-||$$|
|King Two-Sided #1000 & #6000 with Base||A||$|
|Smith’s Arkansas Stone Set & Base||A||$|
|DMT Diamond Water Stones (Coarse, Fine, Extra Fine)||B+||$$$|
1. Mighty Dreams #1000 & #6000 Aluminum Oxide Water Stones with Bamboo Base – Great for beginners without any sharpening experience
One of the biggest disadvantages of this sharpening stone set is that it’s not a great set for getting kitchen knives razor sharp. It will make a great edge, but you won’t get a razor sharp blade from these stones.
- High quality build and attractive bamboo base.
- Good for straight and serrated blades.
- Comes with a guide on how to use the stones.
- Easy to use edge guide included with the set.
- Grip on the bottom of the base is excellent for using two hands to sharpen at once.
- Some customers received a smaller stone than advertised.
- Edge guide installation is not intuitive for everyone.
- Not meant for sharpening extremely dull knives.
2. Love This Kitchen #800 & #3000 Synthetic Water Stone Set with Cleaning Stone – Ideal for chefs with a large variety of blades to sharpen
You can flip your dual-sided sharpening stone over and use the #800 or #3000 grit sides, depending on which phase of sharpening you’re on. The base that holds the stone while you work can be level or put at a 15-degree angle to help you get a better edge.
If you’re looking to sharpen serrated blades or razors, this is not a good set for you. The shape of the stones is not efficient for use with serrated blades, and the #3000 grit side isn’t going to create a fine enough edge for razors.
- Large enough for kitchen knives, average sized swords, and other blades.
- Effective for beginners and experienced sharpeners alike.
- Great instructional videos and booklets available.
- Comes with a small cleaning/flattening stone.
- Quick sharpening for most kitchen knives.
- Not good for straight razors and razor sharp blades.
- Serrated blades will not get sharpened well.
- Some customers received this stone broken from shipping.
3. King Two-Sided #1000 & #6000 with Base – Perfect for sharpening sushi knives and other small, fine blades
As a ceramic stone set, you can expect both sides to lose their shape more quickly than some other stones might. This is a bit of a disadvantage for this set, because it means you may have to flatten them out more often. Additionally, you have to be careful not to soak the fine side in water or you will risk cracking it. These are some of the things you can expect from lower priced sharpening stones, although it will still perform well and give your blades a fine edge.
- Great for stainless steel and carbon knives.
- Easy maintenance and minimal soaking needed for both sides.
- The #6000 grit side gives knives a shiny finish.
- Good for use at home in the kitchen.
- This set works well for small knives, such as sushi knives.
- Excellent value for the money.
- Not effective for excessively dull blades that need to be re-shaped.
- These ceramic stones can get misshapen somewhat quickly.
While this is a good set of sharpening stones, it would be better if the stones were a bit larger than they are. With the smaller size of these stones, it is difficult to get a good edge on medium-large knives. Also, the stones included in this set aren’t fine enough to get a razor sharp edge on anything.
- Very convenient plastic mounted stone case.
- Non-skid rubber feet hold the base in place as you use the stones.
- Multiple stones of different grits included.
- Built-in angle guide helps you get the desired edge on your blades.
- The set arrives with the stones already attached to their appropriate slots in the base.
- Great for beginners and intermediate sharpeners.
- Stone oil included with the set.
- Stones are too small to sharpen larger blades.
- These stones won’t sharpen your knives very quickly, you may have to use a bit more time to get it right, especially with medium-large knives.
- Base does not stick well to all surfaces and may slide.
5. DMT Diamond Water Stones (Coarse, Fine, Extra Fine) – Good for anyone looking for fast sharpening
The biggest complaint about this set is that the wooden carrying and storage case is a very poor quality. Within a few weeks of buying the set, the case may start to warp and you will not be able to fit the stones inside anymore, forcing you to find a new place to store them. This is a bit of an inconvenience that seems very unnecessary for the price of the set.
- Set comes with 3 stones necessary for the best finish.
- Good for culinary knives and any other type of tools as well.
- Very quick sharpening compared to many other types of stones.
- Oil-free sharpening and cleaning, stones can be used with water or dry if needed.
- Large swarf collection pits help improve the reliability of sharpening.
- Great for fixing and re-shaping damaged blades.
- Not too effective for flattening other stones.
- Wooden carrying and storage case is low quality.
- The coarser diamond stones don’t last as long as finer stones.
In my opinion, the Mighty Dreams synthetic set is the best sharpening stone set I’ve talked about today. It checks all the boxes, because it has two very different grits that complement each other and offer you the ability to make a very fine edge. It’s a simple set that has all the basics: a sturdy base, low maintenance needs, solid stones, and average size for kitchen knives and other small-medium tools, and a good price to match.