Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Anyone who uses a knife at home again and again knows the problem. After a while, even the sharpest blade of a knife becomes dull and needs a new sharpening. One possibility is a knife sharpening stone.

With the help of this article and our large knife sharpening stone test 2023 we want to help you choose the right sharpening stone for your home. We will show you all the advantages and disadvantages as well as the different types and what you should consider before, during and after the purchase. Blunt knives and the resulting increased risk of injury are a thing of the past.


  • With the help of a sharpening stone, you can sharpen any knife, no matter how dull it is.
  • When choosing your sharpening stone, you should pay attention to the grit size and always work from coarse (small number) to fine (large number).
  • The classic liquid to use is water. This way the abrasive material can be bonded right away

The Best Knife Sharpening Stone in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Knife Sharpening Stone

What is a knife sharpening stone?

Everyone knows the problem that a knife becomes dull once in the course of its life through use. To eliminate this problem, various ways of resharpening have been developed.

One possibility is the knife sharpening stone, which can be used to resharpen or polish the knife to ensure optimal cutting performance.

What grit should a knife sharpening stone have?

The grit or grit number usually starts at 150 and goes up to over 3000. It is worth mentioning that the higher the number, the finer the whetstone.

A knife sharpening stone between 150 and 500, which is therefore rather coarse-grained and hard, is very good for bringing very dull knives back into shape.

What does a knife sharpening stone cost?

The price of the knife sharpening stone ranges from 5€ to 250€, whereby you should pay attention to the quality of the whetstone. Otherwise you may damage the blade more than you can benefit from it.

It also matters whether you buy two identical grits or a combination whetstone with two grits. The latter tend to be a little more expensive, but have the advantage that you can do both the rough sanding and the polishing with one stone.

Are there different processes for sharpening?

In general, you can say that the sanding process depends on the sanding tool. Therefore, when using an electric grinder, a different procedure is required than when using a grindstone.

When sharpening with a knife sharpening stone, the procedure is always very similar (we will describe this later in this article), whereby the number of sharpening processes depends on the starting position.

Which side of a knife sharpening stone should I use first?

That depends on which knife sharpening stone you have at home.

Combination stone = two different grit sizes

Some whetstones have the same grit on both sides, so there is no difference. However, if you have two different sides, you should always start with the coarser grit and work your way up to the finer grit.

What alternatives are there to a knife sharpening stone?

Besides the classic knife sharpening stone, there are several other ways to sharpen a knife. The best known is probably the sharpening steel, but this is often used in addition to the knife sharpening stone. The whetstone is used for basic sharpening and the sharpening steel for honing in between.

Messer Schleifstein-1

Another alternative is grinding on a grinding wheel. (Image source: / Manki Kim)

Another option is to sharpen the knife with a grinder, which simply pulls the knife through the grinding wheel and gives the knife a new sharpness.

The last alternative we would like to mention is the electric knife sharpener, these are similar to the sharpeners where the knives are pulled through, but the discs inside also rotate.

What types of Knife Sharpening Stones are there and which is the right one for you?

When you want to get a sharpening stone for your knife, you can roughly distinguish between two types of stones:

  • Natural knife sharpening stone
  • Synthetic knife sharpening stone

Oil, ceramic and dimant stones also fall under the synthetically produced stones and have most of the same properties. Both types have their strengths and weaknesses, and we would like to introduce these to you in more detail in the next few paragraphs.

What distinguishes a natural knife sharpening stone and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The natural knife sharpening stone is quarried in various regions of the world and then cut into shape in the quarries. Mostly, such a stone consists of sedimentary rock with various inclusions. This has the following advantages and disadvantages:

  • Durability
  • Wears away less material
  • Fine grinding
  • Grinding process takes longer
  • Unique
  • No exact determination of the grain

Due to its natural hardness, this stone has a very high hardness and is particularly suitable for fine sharpening your knife, because only a small portion of your knife is ever removed. However, if you have a very dull knife, you should think twice about whether a natural stone is the right choice.

As every stone is unique, every stone will have a different grain and therefore the number of grains can only be “estimated”. Even if it is true for most of them, the accuracy of artificial stones is much more exact.

What distinguishes a synthetic knife sharpening stone and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Due to the way they are manufactured, stones can be further divided into different types. These include the Japanese water stone, the ceramic stone and the diamond stone. These are all bonded to different shapes with an adhesive and thus have strengths and weaknesses that largely follow:

  • Consistent grit and stones
  • Accurate grit count
  • GeneralPrice
  • Quicker wear
  • Artificially produced
  • Possible “slipping effect”

Synthetic stones are artificially produced and can therefore be produced more cheaply. This makes them especially suitable for beginners. Due to the controlled production process, you can be sure that the stone has exactly the desired grain size.

The sliding effect describes the phenomenon that the glue used for the stone could heat up under certain circumstances. This causes the blade of the knife to slide over the stone and it loses its hardness.

Depending on which stone you choose, it can be much more expensive than the natural stone. The checker stone in particular has a high price and is therefore usually more expensive than the others.

Buying Criteria: You can compare and evaluate a Knife Sharpening Stone based on these factors

In order to find a good knife sharpening stone, you should consider certain factors while buying. These criteria for comparison include the following points:

Now we will go into the various criteria in more detail again

Shape of the knife sharpening stone?

In addition to the classic rectangular stones, there are also round to oval flat sharpening stones. However, it does not matter for the process itself which shape the knife sharpening stone has.

However, it can make a difference for you personally which stone feels better in your hand or which stone you feel more comfortable with.

Grain size of the knife sharpening stone?

The grit size plays an important role in the selection of your sharpening stone and should be chosen according to the intended use

Grit sharpening
200-400 repair sharpening for particularly dull knives or for small chipping. Relatively seldom used
800-100 normal grinding provides good sharpness for normal use
from 3000 fine grinding + polishing for more experienced grinders. This keeps the knife sharper for longer than a normal grind

if you buy your first sharpening stone first, you could also buy a combination stone. This way you already have two different grits and are well equipped for the beginning.

Which sharpening stone for European / Japanese knives?

Japanese knives have to be sharpened in a completely different way because of the way they are ground, so they are not suitable for sharpening with a sharpening steel or a knife sharpener.

Messer Schleifstein-2

Knives from the Asian region sometimes need to be treated differently from European knives.
(Image source: / Robby McCullough)

In addition, it takes quite a bit of practice, especially with Japanese knives, to achieve the desired sharpness. It is especially important to pay attention to the grind of the respective (Japanese) knife.

Which binders should be used?

Most sharpening stones are used together with water. The stone should always be covered with a film of water so that the ground material is removed immediately.

The majority of stones use water as a bonding agent

In addition to water stones, there are also diamond stones and oil stones that do not need water during grinding. The diamond stone does not need any liquid during the process. The oil stone was mainly used in the past, when there was no stainless steel, because the oil immediately forms a protective layer around the stone.

Facts worth knowing about the Topic of Knife Sharpening Stones

How do you clean a knife sharpening stone?

Under no circumstances should you use oil on a water stone, as this closes the pores. Likewise, you should not treat the surface with aggressive cleaning agents, as these also destroy the surface.

Where should you store your knife sharpening stone?

If you use the knife sharpening stone regularly (more than once a week), you can store it directly in a water bath. However, you should bear in mind that algae can form under certain circumstances.

If you do not use the stone so often, you can simply leave it to dry after use and store it like this. Before the next use, simply put it back into a water bath.

How do you straighten a knife sharpening stone?

The question should really be: “How do you dress a knife sharpening stone?”, because straightening is called dressing.There are several ways to straighten your stone. One way is to rub two stones with the same grit against each other with water. This will make both stones straight again.

Alternatively, you can do the same thing with sandpaper and water. To do this, place the sandpaper on a straight surface and run the stone over it in circular motions until the stone is straight again.

stone type abrasive paper
coarse stone 80- 100
fine stone 150-200

This list shows you which sandpaper you should use for which whetstone.

What should I keep in mind when using a survival knife?

The procedure for a survival knife is the same as for a kitchen knife. Here, too, you can simply use the sharpening stone. There are also special outdoor sharpening stones that you can take with you on your adventures.

Is there a sharpening stone for the drill?

For this unconventional way of sharpening the knife, there are also attachments for the drill. These are clamped in place and work in a similar way to an electric knife sharpener.

A big difference, however, is that you have to hold both the drill and the knife. This makes it relatively difficult to bring the knife to the abrasive at the right angle.

How can you sharpen a knife without a knife sharpening stone?

A very common home remedy for this is the underside of a ceramic cup. Ceramic is very suitable because of its hardness and can also be found in almost every household. If you want, you can also use a little water here, which promotes the grinding process somewhat.

Another alternative is the nail file, which you can also use to give your knife the necessary sharpness. However, you should make sure that it is sandpaper, otherwise you are more likely to damage your knife.

Image source: Kaewsai/