The size of the sharpening stone is a factor to consider before purchasing. The size of your tools determines the size of the stone. If you need a stone for kitchen knives, then a 6-inch stone is good but will not be as effective on larger blades. An 8-12 inch stone is safe to use on hand tools and larger blades. There are pocket size stones that you can carry around. It is crucial for the sharpening stone to be wider than the blade.

Know your stones: Whetstones are made with a range of materials, from ceramics to synthetics, or a cement-like conglomerate of finely ground stone. All whetstones are categorized according to grit, or coarseness. Rough stones have a lower grit count and are the first step in sharpening a particularly dull or chipped blade. Medium whetstones hover in the 800- to 2,000-grit range and are most often the first step in sharpening a knife. Whetstones with a grit count of 3,000 or above are referred to as finishing stones, and are used for refining and polishing.
Grit choices should fall in line with the steel used to make the knives you plan to sharpen. If your knives are all European, relatively soft steel knives, then you could finish off your knives at the 1,000 – 2,000 grit level. There is a lengthy explanation regarding this topic but suffice it to say that at 2,000 grit, these knives can be made extremely sharp.
Now you may wonder, if a finer stone produces a better cutting edge why do I need a coarse stone at all? The answer is that finer stones work much more slowly than coarse ones. The amount of metal a fine stone removes with each pass is much less than what a coarse stone removes. If you have an edge with a good shape to it from a coarse stone, this is not a problem because the fine stone doesn’t have to remove much metal to improve the edge. If the edge is dull, it will take many times longer to reshape it with a fine stone than it would with a coarse one.

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Japanese water stones – both natural and synthetic – are known for their superior sharpening performance, not only for Japanese tools, but also on their Western equivalents. The loosely bonded abrasive grit is washed out very quickly, as it blunts during the sharpening process; this exposes new, sharp, particles that can get to work on the blade. Water stones are lubricated only with water! Never use oil!
The truth is that there is no one recommendation that we can make that will meet everyone’s needs. Every sharpener’s needs are different and every sharpening toolkit will be different. In order to help beginning sharpeners get started with good sharpening stones to build around, we need to understand their individual needs. So with that in mind, let’s look at the basic needs of a beginning sharpener.

After several uses the Kamikoto is proving itself to be better than expected. As a professional I use different knives all the time and in fact have several thousand dollars worth of very fine blades of various manufacture. As it stands right now, if I could pick only one knife from all of them, I would take the Kamikoto. Fish, vegetables, raw meat, cooked meat, it handles them all very well and is a pleasure to use because of excellent balance and weight. And the edge… magnificent. Care and careful sharpening will be important, but then it always is with the finest of things. I would unhesitatingly recommend this product to people who appreciate the best. This is not a knife for fools or clumsy people. Buy, use, enjoy. And to the people at Kamikoto; “Thank You for making such a beautiful thing!”
Once you’ve decided to start sharpening your kitchen knives with a sharpening stone, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to actually get going. These steps include finding and buying the best sharpening stone for use at home, learning the basic technique involved in doing the sharpening, and then practicing enough times to get it right. (For the sake of the knives, we don’t recommend using your best kitchen knives for practice!)
The DuoSharp Plus stones are nicely sized at 8” long by 2 5/8” wide and have two grits on each stone to maximize value. The Plus in the name refers to an area of continuous grit in the otherwise interrupted grit surface of the stone. This area is for sharpening edges with fine points that might be difficult on the interrupted surface. A coarse/fine DuoSharp Plus stone is a good single stone to start a sharpening toolkit.
The coarse grit sharpening stone is the basic level stone which is very handy in removing the loose and hard particles of the blade. If you notice very carefully you will see that this coarse grit makes scratches very easily on the blade and gives a new edge so fast. For the dull blades and blades that need a new edge this stone is the primary requirement. Diamond stones are the basic coarse grit stones.
Now it's time to polish. This is when you'll swap over from the coarse grit to the finer grit (make sure this side is wet, too). I found the knife still had a bit of grime on it, so I gave it a wipe clean beforehand. The motion is exactly the same as with sharpening, but you can apply slightly less pressure, and limit to roughly 30 strokes on each side. 
The stone should be durable: avoid knockoff models that are chipped or cracked. This is a serious concern when purchasing online, especially overseas. A quality whetstone should last a lifetime, and the price offered is a steal compared to the value. You may never have to replace expensive blades if you can simply sharpen a dull edge, and the stone pays for itself after only a few uses.

The stone should be durable: avoid knockoff models that are chipped or cracked. This is a serious concern when purchasing online, especially overseas. A quality whetstone should last a lifetime, and the price offered is a steal compared to the value. You may never have to replace expensive blades if you can simply sharpen a dull edge, and the stone pays for itself after only a few uses.
One more thing to consider before you proceed is if you would like to sharpen your knife freehand or use a guide such as the DMT Sharpening Guide. Your skill and experience in sharpening will help you decide on the method that's best for you. If you are experienced and comfortable with freehand sharpening, a knife guide may be unnecessary. On the other hand, a knife sharpening guide is an inexpensive and easy way to keep the angle consistent. If you have tried to sharpen before but never achieved the proper edge, we recommend using the sharpening guide. The guide can solve common mistakes in the sharpening process. If you choose to use a guide, please read our how-to for using the knife sharpening guide.
Stone is awesome, stand and rubber holder are awesome. Sharpened my Benchmade griptilian with a 154CM (58-61HRC) stainless steel blade to easily shaving hair in about 10 minutes or less, on the 4000 side. Can probably get it sharper, too. Completely worth the money, and very easy to use after a few minutes of reading - don't waste any money on pre-built sharpeners - they suck.
Using the strength of industrial high precision superior mono-crystalline diamonds, Diamond Machining Technology (DMT) have created a durable longer-lasting flat sharpening surface that will efficiently sharpen, hone, deburr and polish almost any type of knife or cutting tool. The DMT set contains 3 one-sided whetstones that have extra-fine, fine, and coarse grits which means you have a complete sharpening system at your fingertips.
In most cases a sharpening stone will be a combination of sharpening grains and a binding agent. However, in case of a Ardennes Coticule it is a completely natural product. The grains have cutting edges which enables them to sharpen your knife. As soon as a sharpening stone is used little pieces of the grains break off, revealing a new cut ing edge. The higher the number, the finer the grain. Stones with coarse grains (up to grain 400) can be used to shape the blade of a blunt knife. You can subsequently take care of the fine finish with a stone with a smaller grain.
Using the strength of industrial high precision superior mono-crystalline diamonds, Diamond Machining Technology (DMT) have created a durable longer-lasting flat sharpening surface that will efficiently sharpen, hone, deburr and polish almost any type of knife or cutting tool. The DMT set contains 3 one-sided whetstones that have extra-fine, fine, and coarse grits which means you have a complete sharpening system at your fingertips.
Crafted by employing methods from centuries-old traditions, the Kamikoto Toishi Sharpening Whetstone is specifically primed to hone and sharpen single bevel Japanese steel knives. The sturdy bamboo stand has been formed to hold the whetstone firmly in place during the entire sharpening process, allowing for the control necessary to form the perfect chiselled edge. The Toishi Sharpening Whetstone features two sides with different grits; the 1000 grit side is the coarser side, utilized specifically to grind away at the rougher edge produced over multiple uses of a knife. The other side consists of a finer 3000 grit for polishing and finishing the edge of a blade, the final step in a sharpening cycle.
Therefore, the first step to choosing a whetstone is to determine your intended purpose and then choose your whetstone accordingly. For instance, when sharpening tools that do not require a fine edge, you should choose a relatively soft, coarse, stone such as a Norton Crystolon water stone. However, for sharpening tools that do require a fine edge, a somewhat harder Norton India oil stone would be a good choice. But, for sharpening hunting knives where an exceptionally fine edge is required, a Novaculite or Coticule oil stone would be the best but, most expensive, choice. So, the process of choosing the correct whetstone for any given purpose is to first determine how fast you would like for the stone to cut and how fine an edge you need, and then choose either a soft, coarse, stone or, a hard, fine, stone of the appropriate type and grit.
BearMoo is a market-leader in the manufacture of top-grade sharpening stones for kitchen knives. This particular sharpening stone features a top grade dual sided construction which makes it ideal for sharpening of the edges as well as the polishing and finishing. The coarse side features 3000 grit while the fine side boasts 8000 grit for added convenience.
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