Sharpening Stones For Sale

Four Best Sharpening Stones For Sale in 2020

Here at NaturalWhetstoneSharpening.com and in the Wild Whetstones community I unabashedly sell one of the most useful and durable whetstones in the market, period. That said let's take a look at the most commonly selling stones online, and consider the pro's and cons of these stones, AND how you would use them in a sharpening stone progression.

Whether you are a professional chef or just an occasional cook at home, I am pretty sure you know how frustrating it is to use a blunt knife. Chopping meat and other foodstuffs become hectic, and you are more likely to harm yourself with a knife that requires force to use, instead of cutting effortlessly. That’s why sharpening stones are so important in any kitchen, efficiency of your time plus safety and less wear and tear on your body doing repetitive motions.

Our sharpening stones are also very popular in the bushcraft knife and axe community as well as for out doors survivalists / camping and bug out bags. When you need a sharpening stone that can preform coarse as well as fine, that never dishes out, and never needs to be soaked or flattened Jasper and Jade are the perfect choice paired with a diamond plate.


Lets take a look at The Top Sharpening Stones for Sale According to online analytics, and what is mass produced. ALSO I have some free advice on which ones you should buy based on your budget. Disclaimer, Less is more!! 

Breaking sharpening down into COARSE, MEDIUM and FINE grit and knowing which stones to use for the task and tool at hand is far more important than how many stones you own. Also, a few brands should flat out be avoided, often you get exactly what you pay for. Another thing to consider is that not all whetstones are made equally, and MANY man made stones are produced poorly. Lets start with the brands you should avoid at all costs.


Sharp Pebble Premium whetstone
"The sharp pebble model is highly versatile and can sharpen all cutlery types you may have in your kitchen. The double-sided sharpening stone allows you to hone both sides of your cutting tools by just flipping over."

THIS SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD... BUT... what this doesn't tell you is that the stone requires soaking in water, yet too much soaking destroys this kind of stone often. These stones are a man made abrasive so the binder is less dense than Jasper. This is a good thing for sharpening cheap / beater kitchen knives fast, but it is annoying that these ceramic type stones load with steel quickly AND belly out in the center. ALSO!!! Please be aware that if you are sharpening high end knives, or straight razors you will find the sharp pebble stone EXTREMELY disappointing. Despite being on amazon's top seller list, the grit rating on these stones is garbage. The "8000" grit side feels more like a 600-800 grit Naniwa stone in comparison. 

You'll need to flatten these Sharp Pebble Combo types of stones constantly, they can gouge and the abrasive are not very densely packed. All in all this is the last choice of stone I'd ever suggest so it is high on this list to help you avoid the pain these cause. 


Icebear Whetstone AKA King Whetstones
Now this is more like it, these KING Whetstone brand's have some of the nicest and most affordable man made whetstones around. I suggest the 1000 grit plus also owning a diamond plate for ease of flattening this stone. This covers most rough work and touch ups for knives, bevel setting for razors, and usually a finished working grit level that is somewhat polished but still toothy enough that it bites strongly when cutting. This stone has a strong binder and can withstand a lot more use with water and light soaking. Some people soak this whetstone permanently, others for just a few minutes before sharpening. KING whetstones are still considerably soft compared to some of the next man made stones I will discuss. For the reason they are so soft, I would recommend not getting the KING 6000 grit as it is easily gouged, wears out and is a lot less fine than if you use your stone capable of final polishing with a fresh slurry. I find jasper far outclasses any mid range man made whetstones in terms of fineness and hardness, so go with a lifetime lasting polishing choice not a consumable semi fine option that needs constant flattening, just my .02

Naniwa / Chosera

These are my personal favorite for beginners as well as professionals who want to get into grit rated man made stones to use before they go to a fine finishing stone. The professional / Chosera series has great grit composition, they last a long time and don't wear out too fast. These stones are still a consumable item and usually only last a few years. The softness allows for fast grit exposure at the trade off that eventually these stones tend to crack from water and wear out from sharpening. 

Before I discovered jasper I spent $1000 on a full set of these stones, they worked well but I was disappointed that they wore out within a few years of sharpening as a professional. To this day I still use the 1000 grit Naniwa, I find that it pairs excellently with a diamond plate and then jasper. This gets me a mirror edge polish without having to own the entire Naniwa set of stones. I recommend a 325 grit diamond plate, then the Naniwa 1000 and then a jasper as an alternative to buying the full set of Naniwa, (400, 600, 800, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, 80000 and 10,000 is a very expensive investment for stones that will not last a lifetime. ) 

These are my favorite Japanese man made stones come in two hardness formulations, one that is harder and splash and go with sharpening, the pro series, and one set that is softer and creamier, and needs more water to work with. The 1000 grit Naniwa Chosera became an all time favorite of mine when I started sharpening straight razors, and needed a bevel setting coarse stone that did not gouge steel in an extreme way. This allows you to efficiently transition your polish next from linear scratches into whatever finishing polish you want. I found that the 5000 and 10000 will crumble from regular use, stones shed too much binder and lasted me only a few years of sharpening at most every time I bought them. These stones were designed when the price for Japanese natural whetstones became so high due to supply vs demand of natural whetstones from the mines.

I enjoy the trade off of the 1000 grit being consumable but fast and grit rich as a perfect set up to then going to a lifetime lasting finisher like jasper.


Norton Abrasives
Norton abrasive is a harder and more durable whetstone as compared to other types of cheaper synthetic sharpening stones you see on Ebay or Amazon. The Norton whetstones have a 4k/8k ceramic type option, which is not a bad stone but it is rather stuck in the mid range of grits, I prefer 1000 for coarse and a lot finer than 8000 for finishing, so know that this stone wont hurt to own but also I dont find it necessary as you'll want something rougher as well as finer and its possible to skip from a 1000 grit stone right to finishing level if you slurry your finishing stone with a diamond plate. A lot of straight razor folks like this stone, but they suggest bevel setting on the 4k side which I think is a poor choice, It is slow and takes too much time often requiring you to flatten the stone again mid session. Instead just buy the 1000 grit Naniwa and you'll thank me ;)

One pain with this Norton stone type is that to keep its efficiency and lifespan, you need to pre-soak it and also re-flatten it before sharpening to remove any dislodged particles and get the surface flat again as it will have dished out from sharpening.


Shapton Whetstones Knife Sharpening Stones
This entire set of stones has 2 lines, one is more expensive than the other both are a consumable whetstone, yet harder cutting and slower to wear out. They wont last for ever, but they are a professional stone. Shapton is also highly versatile and can be used with nail clippers and dental cutting tools, besides making a perfect match for hunters and seasoned cooks. It cuts down the cost of purchasing sharpening stones for specific tools. I like the Shapton line and I would give it the same suggestion I do with the Naniwa line, Instead of spending thousands of dollars on the full set of consumable stones, just buy 1 of the lower grit stones say 500 or 100 grit range and then from there get a fine natural finishing stone. This gets you the same results fast without having to spend 10 times as much money.

This luxury sharpening set is long winded and gives you more tools than you need, If you think of sharpening in three stages, COARSE, MEDIUM and FINE then you really only need 2 or 3 sharpening stones. If you are patient and not mass sharpening, A diamond plate, a 1000 grit synthetic stone and a jasper sharpening stone allows you to save $300-600 or even $1000 and skip buying a set of 10 stones.

 

TO CONCLUDE...

Man made stones will leave a rougher APEX of the edge and show less differentiation in a Kasumi finish than natural stones, which blend and polish steel very smoothly and produce a beautiful hazy mirror polish. These man made stones tend to be superior for speed and efficiency in initial bevel setting / grinding, but I find that natural stones far out perform them for mid range and final polishing. If you own a 325 grit diamond plate, a 1k man made stone and then a Jasper whetstone you can get the same results for far less money, and also your jasper finishing stone will far outlive any man made finishing stones.


Here are the best sharpening stones for sale that we can get our hands on,


At Wild Whetstones, we present you with carefully graded and precision made Jasper whetstones, of the Ancient Ocean Jasper, as well as jade. My love for these came from an understanding of dozens of other whetstones on the market. Jasper provides an exceptionally hard and fine sharpening platform that is also responsive to how the stone is dressed and can be used to cover the 1000 to 30,000 grit range, when slurried with a diamond plate.

 

If you own a diamond plate, and optionally a 1000 grit stone then you have the ability to accomplish the 3 stages of sharpening without the extra cost of purchasing multiple stones to cover each stage, say for example the long winded approach of using 8-10 stones in a progression.

 

This ability to do nearly one stone honing comes from ancient times, when the best stones were sought out and in high demand for the craftsmen and cutting based industries. A polishing technique with slurry was created by sword polishers in Japan. Toishi, or natural whetstones were picked for their ability to sharpen in a fine grit manner, as well as coarse and semi fine. Whoever had the purest finest stones could create the deadliest swords, and thus whetstone mountains became a military asset, as they played a roll in who conquered what territories, and thus continued cultivation of the stones.

In the spirit of purity, the polish that was sought after for swords is called a Kasumi Finish. Kasumi means Foggy or Misty, speaking to the beautiful differentiation that ultra fine particles can show when polishing differentially hardened cladding in steel/iron. The result is a beautiful hazy like mirror, when tipped in sunlight a reflective scintillating polish is seen.

Some whetstones are too rough and are going to ruin this polish or make it hard to achieve if they scratch the bevel too deeply. I found when sharpening straight razors for shaving that the kasumi finish a natural whetstone can provide feels buttery smooth as it cleanly shaves your face, where a 30,000 grit shapton, or Nubatama Gokyumo gives a very toothy harsh feeling along with its sharpness. I also found that a 1000 grit Nubatama Platinum, A 1k Shapton, or a 1k King or even a 1k Naniwa or 1k Naniwa Chosera are all an ideal choice for bevel setting without deep scratches.

I studied how the Japanese philosophy of sharpening takes into account stages in honing, and requirements for the stones in use. Thus lower grit honing often is done with coarser particles, yet you don't want to gouge or bruise the steel, or else when you begin finer sharpening you have to speed extra time at 1000 grit.

 

Coarser grit work can be done either with harder or softer formulation stones depending on the task at hand. I find that a diamond plate is the best option for long lasting and no upkeep, or a 1000 grit stone stone to cover coarser and semi coarse sharpening at a faster speed, requiring you to spend a little time flattening it with your diamond plate. 

Then because you already own a diamond stone whatever fine polishing stone you have can also cut MUCH faster when freshly slurried, so jasper can take that 1000 grit edge and give it the hazy mirror kasumi finish that was so sought after. Jasper does not dish out and so your polish will come in smooth and crisp and you will feel a razors edge begin to stick to the stone as you sharpen when it becomes highly refined.

At the end of the day natural stones give this smooth and sharp polish effect much better than man made stones, but there is certainly no wrong way to do this and I've tried as many different whetstones as I can to gain the understanding of breaking things down into 3 stages instead of trying to sharpen with as many different stones one after another as you can.

The jasper we use is carefully graded when selected, and crafted with precision. My whetstones come in different shapes as well for specific sharpening tasks. So if you need a small size for kitchen knives or large ones for machetes, my store has all of them. I am putting rounded whetstones into the works as well for serrated knives. Let me know your sharpening needs today, and these stones will help you handle the rest. We also carry barber hones, small bench sized whetstones, large whetstones and I occasionally post extra large sizes as well as take custom whetstone orders.