Hobby microscope view of a 220 grit diamond sharpening stone. Tiny diamonds are electroplated to a perforated metal carrier strip and bonded to a plastic backing. The feature identified with the red line across it measures about 0.08 mm across. The dark area at upper right is a void designed to allow for swarf created during sharpening to be cleared from the diamonds. This relatively coarse stone would be used to reshape a damaged blade edge which would be refined by finer grit stones.
You want sharpening stones that will be useful for the majority of your edges now, and that will remain useful as you expand both your tools and your sharpening toolkit in the future. Ending up with duplicate stones or ones that are no longer useful as you gain new knives or tools is a waste of money. The goal is to start with something that will stay with you as your needs develop.
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.
Repeat the process on the opposite side of the blade, this time with the edge facing down, index finger on the spine and thumb on the heel. Because the direction of the edge has changed, you’ll now be applying pressure when swiping up. To ensure consistent pressure, avoid switching hands. Grind the full length of the blade along the whetstone, and check for a burr.
I am new to sharpening my own blades using a whetstone but this product seems to do a pretty good job even considering my rudimentary technique. It is large enough to work well for a wide range of blade sizes and comes with a nice holder to keep it from moving while sharpening. I was able to get some pretty good edges so I would imagine someone with more experience using this type of product would be able to get some scary sharp edges using it. The only issue I had other than my own lack of skill was that the 1000 grit side seems to be wearing down fairly quickly. I don't know if this is normal or due to something I am doing but if this continues I don't see the stone lasting for many uses and I thought this would be a long lasting product. Again this may be due to user error so please take this with a grain of salt. Overall I think it's very capable and if long lasting an excellent tool for keeping all your blades sharp.
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.
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!)
We just got done explaining the difference between water-based stones and those based with oil. Well, this last section also plays a role in determining which style you prefer. But, either way, it is not as if there is a clear-cut loser in this case. The reality of the situation is this; sharpening stones need to be lubricated because if they are not, they will lose their effectiveness and will not be as efficient. But, the manner in which they need to be lubricated is going to be different between the different types of stones.
A sharpening stone is made of particles of abrasive material that are sintered or bonded together. The blade is moved across the stone and the steel is worn away, which creates the edge. However, at the same time, the stone is also worn away to reveal new, coarse particles. As a general rule, the softer the stone, the more rapidly it will wear and will be more aggressive in use. Harder stones don’t wear as quickly.
My order came in incomplete. I contacted the company and had a response within a couple hours. They immediately responded, researched and started the replacement process. I had my order replacement within 1 week or so. Every email was answered the same day. I so highly recommend this company. LOVE MY PRODUCT AND LOVE THE SERVICE MORE. GREAT COMPANY.