9 Best Sharpening Stones of 2020
While there are various ways of sharpening blades, the sharpening stone is by far the most effective.With the best sharpening stone, you can give even the dullest blades a sharp edge fast and maintain it for long.
Sharpening stones come in various types ranging from the water and oil stone types to ceramic and diamond stones. All are suitable for different sharpening applications and are also available in various grit options.
Whatever you choose to buy should not only help keep your blades sharp but also durable enough to serve you long. And for this to be so, it is important to know some of the top-rated sharpening stones and also what to look for in these handy stones.
9 Best Sharpening Stones – Review
1. Sharp Pebble Premium 2 Side Sharpening Stone (Best Overall)
2. Whetstone Cutlery 20-10960 (Durable & Reliable Water-sharpening)
3. Smith's 9001785 (Sturdy & Convenient)
4. Bora 501057 (Easy to Use Dual-Sided Design)
5. Chefic SS02 (Versatile 2-in-1 Design)
6. Tacklife HSS1A (Mess-Free & Cheap to Use Water Design)
7. Cwindy WaterStone Sharpening Stone (Self-Sharpening Natural Corundum Stone)
8. Tarvol Combination Sharpening Stone (Best Budget)
9. Paitree Premium Sharpening Stone (Professional Handmade for Exceptional Service)
1. Sharp Pebble Premium 2 Side Sharpening Stone
2. Whetstone Cutlery 20-10960
(Durable & Reliable Water-sharpening)
3. Smith's 9001785
(Sturdy & Convenient)
4. Bora 501057
(Easy to Use Dual-Sided Design)
5. Chefic SS02
(Versatile 2-in-1 Design)
6. Tacklife HSS1A
(Mess-Free & Cheap to Use Water Design)
7. Cwindy WaterStone Sharpening Stone
(Self-Sharpening Natural Corundum Stone)
8. Tarvol Combination Sharpening Stone
9. Paitree Premium Sharpening Stone
(Professional Handmade for Exceptional Service)
1. Sharp Pebble Premium 2 Side Sharpening Stone – Best Overall
- Material: Aluminum Oxide
- Grit: 1,000 fine, 6,000 finishing
- Size: 2.25 x 7.25 x 1 inches
Although this two-sided aluminum oxide sharpening stone is the priciest item on our sharpening stone reviews, it is worth the extra cost as it comes as a complete bundle withe everything you need to keep your knife sharp.
The water stone has a 1,000 grit side for fine sharpening and the 6,000 grit one for finishing the knife. And it has a silicone base that holds it inside the non-slip bamboo base that ensures stability for safe use.
This 7.5-inch long stone will also come with a knife sharpening angle guide that will help you sharpen the knives efficiently and safely.
And apart from the high-quality materials, this kit is also easy to assemble and quite user-friendly.
Although there is no flattening stone in the bundle, you do not always need one and hence this should not affect the effectiveness of this sharpening stone.
2. Whetstone Cutlery 20-10960 – Durable and Reliable Water Sharpening Stone
- Material: Green Silicon Carbide
- Grit: 400 coarse, 1,000 fine
- Size: 2-1/4 x 7 x 1-1/8 inches
Silicon carbide makes some of the best sharpening stones and they are also often more long-lasting. This particular one is two-sided with 400 grit coarse side and 1,000 grit fine side.
It is a water stone and this means that you will not need any honing oil when sharpening your blades as it uses water.
This multi-use whetstone will be helpful for sharpening everything from kitchen cutlery to hunting and pocket knives and various other blades.
Also, you can use the 7-inch long silicon carbide for larger tools like hatchet and axes, and it will always leave them with razor sharp edges.
The grits looks almost identical and is hence hard to tell them apart if you are inexperienced. However, once you start using the stone this should be easy to figure out.
3. Smith's 9001785 – Sturdy and Convenient
- Material: Arkansas Stones, Synthetic Stone
- Grit: 220 coarse, 600 medium, 1,000 fine
- Size: 6 x 1-5/8 x 3/8 inches
Smiths Tri-6 is a top-rated sharpening stone that comes with three different and sturdy grit stones to make it quite versatile.
These stones include a couple of Arkansas stones and one synthetic stone with 220 coarse, 600 medium and 1,000 fine grits. And they are alll made from highly durable Arkansas and synthetic materials.
These handy sharpening stones are mounted on a sturdy and convenient rotating plastic base that makes stone rotation and identification easy.
The molded plastic base also includes non-skid rubber feet that keep it in place for safety when sharpening knives.
Also, there is a sharpening angle guide that will ensure that you get the correct angle every time and you will also get a premium honing solution with your purchase.
The sharpening are seems relatively smaller and might hence not be ideal for tools with longer blades, but for most knife types the size is still perfect.
4. Bora 501057 – Easy to Use Dual-Sided Sharpening Stone
- Material: Aluminum oxide
- Grit: 150 coarse, 240 fine
- Size: 6 x 2 x 1 inches
The Bora 50157 is one of the cheapest sharpening stones on our list but it still performs well. It is an easy to use two-sided stone that will come with 150 and 240 grit sharpening surfaces.
And despite the affordable price tag, it is made from a tough and highly durable aluminum oxide material. It is also a highly versatile stone that will be helpful for sharpening a variety of tools and blades.
This 6-inch long stone is just the perfect size for a workbench and so you will never have to agonize over where to place it or use it from when sharpening your knives.
Because this stone does not have a base it can be quite messy as you can easily end up with oil or water everywhere but for a budget model this is expected.
5. Chefic SS02 – Versatile 2-in-1 Sharpening Stone
- Material: White corundum
- Grit: 3,000 fine, 8,000 polishing
- Size: 7.09 x 2.36 x 1.18 inches
The BearMoo Whetstone 2-in-1 is a high-quality sharpening stone that comes with a coarser 3,000 grit side for making edges very sharp and finer 8,000 grit side for finishing and polishing.
It is also a highly durable stone thanks to the white corundum material. And it is easy and safe as it comes with a non-slip silicone base.
This versatile sharpening stone is suitable for a variety of grinding applications from sharpening kitchen and pocket knives to restoring the sharp edges on shears. But, the sharpening stone is still not ideal for sharpening ceramic knives or serrated blades.
And if by any chance the stone does not impress you, the company allows you to return it for a refund as it comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
The longer drying time can be a little inconvenient when you want to store the stone after use but this is a small price to pay given the many good features it offers.
6. Tacklife HSS1A – Mess-Free and Cheap to Use Water Sharpening Stone
- Material: White corundum
- Grit: 1,000 coarse, 6,000 ultra-fine
- Size: 7 x 2.3 x 1.1 inches
Versatility is one of the important traits of the best sharpening stones and the dual-sided design of this one from Tacklife makes it quite versatile. It uses water when sharpening and this means that you will not have to buy any expensive honing oils or have to deal with messy cleanups afterward.
This sharpening stone has a 1,000 and 6,000 grit sides for coarse and fine sharpening and it is a high-grade white corundum stone that is quite durable.
And it is a safe and easy to use stone that will come with a bamboo base that has non-slip rubber holder to keep it in place.
There is also an angle guide to help you with the sharpening and the manufacturer will back it with a 2-year warranty.
This stone seems to scratch a little easily when you run a sharp edge over it but this does not affect its usability or durability.
7. Cwindy WaterStone Sharpening Stone – Self-Sharpening Natural Corundum Sharpening Stone
- Material: Natural corundum
- Grit: 3,000 fine, 8,000, polishing
- Size: 7.1 x 2.4 x 1.2 inches
Dual-sided sharpening stones like this one from Bluesun are a one-stop shop for all your blade sharpening needs. It has a 3,000 grit side to give you fine and sharp edge and an 8,000 grit side for polishing. And it is made for high-grade for durability and wit self-sharpening feature.
The natural corundum material will also make it possible to sharpen your knife without removing a lot of material.
The fantastic sharpening stone comes with a silicone non-slip base that keeps it in place when in use.
This sharpening stone is also quite a versatile grinding tool that you can use for kitchen, hunting, and pocket knives. Also, it will help you restore the edge on your chisels and planer tools.
The logo is embedded on the sharpening surface but the good news is that it does not affect the stone's sharpening ability
8. Tarvol Combination Sharpening Stone – Best Budget Sharpening Stone
- Material: Aluminum Oxide
- Grit: 120 medium, 240 fine
- Size: 6 x 2.2 x 1.1 inches
The dual-sided Tarvol Combination is the best budget sharpening stone on our list but it still performs significantly well when it comes to sharpening knives and tools.
This aluminum oxide stone with superior wear resistance comes with a 120 medium grit side and a 240 fine grit side that make it ideal for sharpening and polishing various knife and tool types.
You can also use this stone when both dry and wet but the fine grit side works best with honing oil. And despite its highly affordable price tag it will still come with a 100% money back guarantee.
This sharpening stone does not seem as tough as the other pricier one but for a budget model it is still accetable.
9. Paitree Premium Sharpening Stone – Professional Handmade for Exceptional Service
- Material: Corundum
- Grit: 3,000 fine, 8,000, polishing
- Size: 7.6 x 3.1 x 1.7 inches
This dual-sided 3,000 grit and 8,000 grit Pailtree Premium sharpening stone is professionally handmade with high-grade corundum to ensure top-notch performance and durability.
It has one of the largest sharpening areas on our list which makes it ideal for sharpening large blades and knives. And it is also an easy-to-use sharpening stone provided you follow the instructions.
This highly versatile sharpening stone will help you restore edges in a variety of knife and blade types.
Pailtree will provide a 6-month warranty for this sharpening stone and a 30-day refund guarantee in case it does not impress you.
This sharpening stone is still a little brittle and will not work for ceramic and serrated blades but it is still a highly useful sharpening stone to have around.
How to Buy the Best Sharpening Stones
Here are the factors to consider to ensure you end up with a high-quality sharpening stone
1. Types of Sharpening Stones
Sharpening stones are not created from the same material. Hence there are a variety of types available.
Different stones work differently, will be suitable for different kinds of blades and also their maintenance routines will differ. Below are some of the most common sharpening stone types.
Water stones like Tacklife HSS1A are the kind that will require dipping in water or splashing some water on them before and during use. They are the most common type and also what many people seem to prefer.
These stones are best for sharpening chef’s knives but they are also available in various grits that make them more useful and versatile.
However, the constant dipping/splashing and drying will make these sharpening stones more prone to breaking.
You should buy the water stones if you do not mind having to buy another one within a relatively short time as their soft nature means they wear out quickly.
The oil sharpening stone will require you to apply some oil before sharpening to ensure that the particles that come from the blade when sharpening will not remain on the stone.
Oil lubrication will preserve the life of the sharpening stone and also keep it efficient for long. These stones are available in various grits and since they are from aluminum oxide or silicone they are also very long lasting.
Also, the sharpening surface will remain flat for long thanks to the strength of these stones but their main downside is that they make you oily when sharpening.
Oil stones like Tarvol Combination Sharpening Stone will be a great buy if you want something long-lasting and quick to use and are not concerned with getting a very fine edge as they hardly produce one.
Natural sharpening stones are no longer as widely available as they were in the past and so the ceramic types act as their replacement.
Ceramic stones last longer than most other types and the best thing about them is that their effectiveness does not diminish as they age. And they also do not need any lubrication since you can use them when dry.
Although they give you a sharp and fine blade you still have to scrub them to remove the metal particles. However, these stones tend to be a bit harder to work with before you master them.
Ceramic sharpening stones will be one of the best options for the single-sided blades.
The strength and lasting capabilities of the diamond stones make them one of the best sharpening stones for various kinds of blades.
These stones are formed from hard industrial diamond which makes them great for sharpening blades and also ensures that they last for decades.
Buy a diamond stone if you want a great coarse stone as they are not always very useful as refining stones.
2. The Grit
Grit is the coarseness or texture of a sharpening stone and it is one of the most important aspects. And when it comes to choosing a good sharpening knife you have to think about both the type and range of the grit.
1. Types of Grit
When it comes to the sharpening stone grit type there are three main categories which are coarse, medium and fine grit and they will be ideal for different sharpening applications.
- Coarse grit- Most common sharpening stone out there and it will remove metal fast and roughly while leaving some visible scratch marks. It is ideal for sharpening very dull blades.
- Medium grit- A much smoother option than the coarse grit but it still sharpens the blades fast and without any visible scratch marks on the edges.
- Fine grit- The fine grit is the perfect option to turn to when finishing up an edge. Fine grit stones are great for knives that require regular sharpening and constant improvement of the sharpness as they produce the sharpest edge
2. Range of Grit
Besides from choosing between coarse, medium and fine grip you also need to choose a specific sharpening stone grit. And there is a wide range available which is in most cases is between 220 grit and 8,000 grit.
The 220-300 grit stones to chip off vast sections of the blade and they are perfect for dull knives or those that reshaping.
1,000 and 1,200 grit sharpening stones are great for kitchen knives as they not only produce excellent results but are also gentle on the knife. You can use them interchangeably and they are very useful for sharpening Japanese knives.
With the 3,000 grit stone, you get a reliable finishing stone. This medium grit stone eliminates the need to jump straight from the low grit options to higher ones like the 6,000 grit.
The 8,000 grit stones are for those blades that come with impeccable polishing and need to remain sharp at all times such as kitchen knives.
When it comes to the size a good sharpening stone for you will depend on the size of the tools or blades that you intend to use it to sharpen.
You can get sharpening stones in various sizes including the easy to carry pocket size ones. The 7-inch ones like Cwindy WaterStone Sharpening Stone are great for sharpening kitchen knives while the 8 to 12-inch stones are great for hand tools and significantly larger blades
4. Ease of Use
Although sharpening your knife using a stone takes some time to master the type of stone that you are using and its grit also affects the ease of use.
Using the wrong kind of grit on your knife makes sharpening harder for you. For example, when sharpening a very dull knife you need to start with a low grit stone as it speeds up the job. And also makes it way much easier than using the high grit stones.
You have to maintain your sharpening stone for it to remain useful for long. However, the maintenance will depend on the types of stone that you are using.
Even the best Japanese sharpening stones will require flattening after a particular period of use to keep them level.
Flattening is the most crucial aspect of sharpening stone maintenance because any stone that is not level does not sharpen the knife well and is also more tedious to use.
Your choice of sharpening stone will always affect the performance, usefulness, and durability of your blades and so you cannot afford to go wrong. But you cannot go wrong with our sharpening stone reviews for recommendations,.
That said, the Tarvol Combination Sharpening Stone is our recommendation for anyone looking for something basic and inexpensive that allows you to use it both wet and dry.
However, the Sharp Pebble Premium 2 Side Sharpening Stone is our best overall sharpening stone as it comes as a complete bundle of everything you need to keep knives and other tools sharp.
- 9 Best Sharpening Stones – Review
- 1. Sharp Pebble Premium 2 Side Sharpening Stone – Best Overall
- 2. Whetstone Cutlery 20-10960 – Durable and Reliable Water Sharpening Stone
- 3. Smith's 9001785 – Sturdy and Convenient
- 4. Bora 501057 – Easy to Use Dual-Sided Sharpening Stone
- 5. Chefic SS02 – Versatile 2-in-1 Sharpening Stone
- 6. Tacklife HSS1A – Mess-Free and Cheap to Use Water Sharpening Stone
- 7. Cwindy WaterStone Sharpening Stone – Self-Sharpening Natural Corundum Sharpening Stone
- 8. Tarvol Combination Sharpening Stone – Best Budget Sharpening Stone
- 9. Paitree Premium Sharpening Stone – Professional Handmade for Exceptional Service
- How to Buy the Best Sharpening Stones