As an amazon associate, Best Wood Carving Tools may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our site.
With as much carving as any carver does in one day, it is without a doubt the best investment to get some type of honing material or, better yet, the best sharpening stone available to you. In your case, all the sharpening stones mentioned here have been fully reviewed and tested to determine its range of quality and versatility, although not every one of them is the top dog.
Among the top leading sharpeners, we have found that the most useful and necessary best sharpening stone is the Smith’s TRI-HONE Sharpening Stones System.
Our second best sharpening stone also offers a variety of grit counts and has about a $5 difference to our top pick. The Double Sided Whetstone Knife Sharpener comes in a 400 and 1000 grit difference for light honing maintenance and removing chipping.
Top 5 Best Sharpening Stone
1. Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas TRI-HONE Sharpening Stones System
2.Whetstone Knife Sharpener – 400/1000 Grit Two Sided Wet Sharpening Stone
3.Smith’s 50448 6-Inch Diamond Tri-Hone Sharpener
4.King 47506 1000/6000 Combination Grit Waterstone
5.DMT WM8EF-WB 8-Inch DuoSharp Plus Bench Stone – Extra Fine/Fine With Base
Importance of grit count
All stones arrive in a range of grits and in order to determine the best knife sharpening stone, each user has to consider the grit along with their individual needs. As far as repair knives are concerned, a grit of less than 1000 is good for the chipped edges. On the other hand, for sharpening up dull knives, sharpening stones with a grit range of 1000 to 3000 are considered best suited. Knife edges can easily be refined by using finishing stones of grit range 4000 to 8000. In case of a knife used for cutting meat, the best sharpening stone is the ones that offer 4000 to 6000 grit range.
Here’s a quick breakdown of ranging grit count:
- Course: Best sharpening stone for removing blade abrasions that offer a girt range of 200 to 800.
- Middle: These are middle stones consisting of grit range of 800 to 1500.
- Finishing: Best for a sharp, refined edge that a offer grit grade of 1500 and higher.
Each kind of grit grade has the ability to sharpen the knife in a different manner. For beginners, grit stones of 400 and 1000 are recommended. These have the ability to offer decent polish and fixing of minor chips. The users are advised to consider their usage of knives along with the grit grade of the best knife sharpening stone. For meat cutting purposes, 4000 to 6000 is regarded as the upper limit while fruits and vegetable knives can use a higher grit grade of 8000.
|Product:||Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas||Whetstone Knife Sharpener||Smith’s 6-Inch Diamond Tri-Hone||King Combination Grit Waterstone||DMT 8-Inch DuoSharp|
|Sports knives/wood carving hand knives:||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
Types of sharpening stones
As far as sharpening tools is concerned, stones and strops are definitely the most effective and traditional tools to opt for. The need for sharpening is bound to arrive regardless of the type of tool one uses. While a strop has the ability to sharp the tool but it doesn’t work for reviving a dull blade, stones and diamonds are perfect for keeping your tools sharp and set. Sharpening stones are readily available at any sporting or hunting supply stores. Many department stores carry diamond sharpeners along with whetstones. Certain brands offer stones that are glued to pieces of wood in order to offer user friendliness and mobility.
Oil stones are most commonly used and were traditionally regarded as the best sharpening stone for knives. The particular type can easily be found in any hardware store. Australia offers coarse stones in this particular form while America provides finer versions of them as well. These are relatively slow as far as cutting is concerned.
Diamond sharpening stones are gaining immense popularity owing to their fast cutting properties. While diamond stones are best as far as the efficiency is concerned, these have the ability to damage easily as well. Moreover, diamonds tend to be quite sharp and have the potential of creating deep scratches on the blade. These can easily be used without any lubricant.
Ceramic Sharpening Stones
Ceramic sharpening stones are the most traditional replacements for the ancient natural stones. However, the quality difference can simply not be ignored. Ceramic sharpening stones are known for offering varying quality from soft versions that tend to dish out quickly to the hard ones that can cause glazing in speed. These items require being soaked for at least ten or more minutes in order to saturate the stone pores before use. Ceramic stones tend to work on certain types of chisels and knives such as those with single edges. Kaiden ceramic stones are the best sharpening stone from Japan in terms of fast cutting.
Whetstones are gaining popularity quite speedily. These are essentially composed of a white fused form of aluminum grit which is balanced in resin. While some best whetstone require soaking for a brief amount of time, others are good to go after a splash of water. The whetstones come in a lot of variety depending upon the feel required by the user. Water-stones serve as best whetstone for stainless steel. These work well with conventional Japanese style blades as well.
Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas TRI-HONE Sharpening Stones System
The Tri-6 by Smith’s offers a quality sharpening system at a very affordable price. With three whetstones for less than $30 this may be the best sharpening stone for the avid carver. It includes two Arkansas stones – a fine stone of 1000-1200 grit and a medium stone of 600 grit – and one coarse synthetic stone of 400 grit. The three stones are mounted on a triangular plastic frame with handles on the end to allow you to easily rotate between the stones. They are held by a sturdy V-shaped base, with non-skid rubber feet to keep it from slipping. The base also includes a trough to catch any oil and metal residue that builds up as you’re sharpening.
The three-in-one system of the Tri-6 allows you to use the Smith sharpener for blades in a variety of conditions. The coarse stone can help you restore the dullest blades, while the medium and fine stones will freshen up blades that are just beginning to lose their edge from everyday wear and tear. While there are best knife sharpeners that will offer a finer finish on your blade, the fine stone that Smith’s includes will give a very sharp edge and is more than adequate for most uses.
A nice bonus is that Smith’s includes a bottle of their honing solution with your purchase. While it’s not hard to pick up oil on your own time, its inclusion here is both thoughtful and convenient, as you really shouldn’t be sharpening anything on a dry stone. Smith’s also includes an angle guide, to help you do the best job no matter what the bevel of your tool.
At 6” long and 1 5/8” wide, the stones in the Tri-6 system are noticeably smaller than a traditional Japanese waterstone, and some users have noted that this smaller size take a bit of getting used to. Still, Smith’s gives you more are to work with than other low-budget options such as sharpening rods or small pocket
stones. The Smith’s stones are also really straightforward to use, making the sharpening process easy and safe even for amateur users. It’s a great compromise for users who want a quality finish to their blade, without the price tag and the hassle of some of the more expensive options.
The stable design and straightforward usage of the Tri-6 Sharpening System, as well as the thoughtful inclusions of Smith’s honing oil and an angle guide, make this perhaps the best whetstone for beginning users who may not be accustomed to using a knife sharpener. While professional chefs, craftspeople, and collectors may want to invest in a Japanese waterstone or something similar, this is a great, convenient, and affordable option that will more than get the job done for most everyday uses.
Whetstone Knife Sharpener – 400/1000 Grit Two Sided Wet Sharpening Stone – Bamboo Base
This two-sided best sharpening stone by Sentima offers a 400 grit coarse stone on one side and a 1000 grit fine stone on the other. The 400 grit can be used to establish a bevel on a very dull blade, while the 1000 grit will let you sharpen and refine your edge. The stone is made of corundum, to guarantee consistent performance and durability. Corundum is bonded abrasive, highly regarded for the consistency of its grain. The high quality of the corundum stone provides not only a fast cutting action, but a smooth finish, making this stone suitable even for use on collector blades. However, while the 1000 grit will give a very sharp edge, it won’t have quite as smooth a finish as finer grain polishing stones. If you want an absolutely flawless finish, or if you’re sharpening razor blades, a whetstone with at least 4000 grit will be the best stone for you.
The Sentima has a simple, classic design that makes this sharpener an elegant addition. The two-sided stone rests in a bamboo base, which is equipped with a non-slip rubber casing to keep the stone firmly in place as you work. This time-tested design is both safe and convenient, keeping the stone steady when you need it to be, but allowing it to be removed easily for quick clean-up. The uncomplicated design and durable materials mean that this stone can last for years and years without degrading in quality.
Having a whetstone that can be removed from its base also makes it easier to soak it. This Sentima whetstone can be used without any oil at all, simply place it in water for 10 or so minutes before use to moisten it. After soaking you simply set the stone back in its base and get to sharpening. While it can also be used with oil, this can be more difficult to clean and having the option to simply soak it makes using the stone a lot more convenient. This makes sharpening your knives a bit less of a chore and the more convenient it is for you to sharpen your knives, the less time they’ll spend going dull!
At about 7” long and 2 ½” wide, this is perhaps best suited for sharpening kitchen knives and small tools such as chisels, scissors, and planers. The hard grit of the corundum makes quick work of most blades, letting you hone an edge in minutes. If you need an edge that’s truly flawless you’ll want to invest in something with a higher grit; however, if you just need something that will get a dull edge whistle sharp in a matter of minutes, this is a great buy. In fact, with its elegant and straightforward design, the Sentima Whetstone Knife Sharpener may be the best knife sharpening stone for home users. Combining quality and convenience, it’s a practical and attractive addition to any kitchen or workshop.
Smith’s 50448 6-Inch Diamond Tri-Hone Sharpener
Smith’s Diamond Tri-Hone Sharpener puts the renowned quality of a diamond sharpener into a convenient and affordable package. This addition to Smith’s popular Tri-Hone line includes two coarse diamond best sharpening stone, at 350 grit and 750 grit respectively, and one natural Arkansas stone at 1000-1200 grit.
High quality diamond stone
Diamond best sharpening stone are well-regarded as the best stone for sharpening heavy duty metals quickly and efficiently. As one of the hardest materials on earth, diamonds are an extremely durable and effective abrasive and hold their flat surface over time, making it one of the best sharpening stone for chisels and tools. This high quality sharpener lets you easily put an edge even on older tools that have been rusting away for ages. The speed offered by the diamond stones will let you touch up a dulled blade in no time, letting you get right back to cutting and chopping.
The best diamond sharpening stones here are on the coarser side. While they offer extremely quick sharpening, a finer grain of diamond stone quickly gets more expensive. Smith’s pairing of the diamond stones with a finer natural stone is especially helpful for this reason. The two diamond stones let you quickly and easily set a bevel on a dull blade, while the natural stone will let you hone that edge to a fine point.
As usual Smith’s includes an angle guide and a bottle of their honing oil with your purchase. However, it’s usually best to use water to lubricate the best diamond sharpening stones. Oil is the perfect lubricant for the Arkansas stone, you don’t have to worry about cleaning the oil out of the stone afterwards because it’s actually good for the oil to soak into the stone. However, with a diamond best sharpening stone there are no pores for the oil to seep into and the oil will just sit on the surface unless cleaned off. You should still always lubricate it, but simply spraying the diamond with water is simpler and will make for an easier clean up.
Smith’s uses an interrupted surface for their diamond stones here. The recessed holes of the interrupted surface are designed to collect metal shavings and keep them out of your way as you work. A sharpener with an interrupted surface will be the best diamond sharpening stone for speed; however, it has a less smooth feel as you work, compared to continuous stones, which some users find hard to adjust to. This also makes the interrupted diamond surface tricky to use with very small or pointed tools, such as fish hooks, as they can get caught in the recessed holes.
The stones come set in Smith’s plastic Tri-Hone holding base. This features a rotatable triangular mold set in a V-shaped plastic frame. The design lets the user easily switch between them, while directing residue into a trough in the base for easy clean-up. All in all Smith’s combination of coarse and fine stones gives you everything you need to take an extremely dull or damaged blade to a refined edge quickly and easily making it a great option among the best sharpening stone.
King 47506 1000/6000 Combination Grit Waterstone (japan import)
Japanese waterstones have long been regarded as the absolute best stone for sharpening for knives and all manner of tools. The soft clay which binds the incredibly fine silicate particles is unique to the geology of Japan. Natural Japanese waterstones are highly sought after and can come with a hefty price tag. The King here is more affordable, being artificially made of ceramic, but King is renowned for their meticulous attention to quality in capturing the properties of the original waterstones. The softness of it means that dulled abrasive particles are constantly being washed away in favor of sharp new ones, giving you a clean cut with every stroke for faster and smoother sharpening.
With this Combination Grit Waterstone, King have produced a high quality and versatile sharpener that is suited to a variety of tools and needs. The stones measure in at 7.3” long and 2.5” wide to give you an ample amount of space for sharpening a range of different blades. The base is equipped with a non-slip ring to hold it securely in place. The coarser red side has a 1000 grit surface, for basic sharpening, while the white side offers an ultra-fine 6000 grit surface to give your blades a razor edge and a mirror finish. When used correctly. King’s renowned quality ensures a consistent performance and a superior finish every time. High grade materials and super fine particles ensure an unparalleled sharpness for your blades.
While waterstones give a more refined finish than a diamond sharpener or an oil stone, they also require a bit more maintenance. It will start to wear away with heavy usage. Users should be aware of this and sand the stone down periodically to keep it straight and level. Even with maintenance, they will wear down quicker and need to be replaced more often than most oil stones or diamond sharpeners. The uneven wear that waterstones often exhibit means this might not be the best sharpening stone for chisels and other flat back tools. Users should also make sure never to use oil on these stones. The clay that binds the abrasive particles in a waterstone doesn’t interact well with oil, and your stone will quickly become clogged and useless. The coarser side of it can be soaked in water for a few minutes before use, while it’s best to simply spray the finer side to prevent cracking over time.
In other words
If you’re willing to invest the effort into keeping a waterstone in good condition, there’s no question that it is the best knife sharpening stone you can buy. The 1000 grit surface of the coarse side is still relatively fine, so you won’t want to wear it down unnecessarily with extremely dull or rusty tools. For very dull knives that need to have a new bevel established you’ll save a lot of time and wear on it by using a coarser grade of stone or a best diamond sharpening stone. Still, for everyday touch ups and keeping tools in peak condition – or for maintaining more fragile collector’s blades – this King Combination Grit Waterstone is ideal.
DMT WM8EF-WB 8-Inch DuoSharp Plus Bench Stone – Extra Fine/Fine With Base
DMT is well-known as one of the top names in best diamond sharpening stone. With this fine/extra fine DuoSharp Plus Bench Stone they have more than lived up to that name, offering a superb sharpening tool which can suit a variety of needs. The two-sided stone has a fine grit (25 micron/600 mesh) on one side, while the other side is extra fine with 9 micron/1200 mesh. The fine grit is perfect for putting an edge to a lightly dulled knife. It works quickly while still giving a fairly refined edge and can be used as an all-purpose sharpener in most scenarios. The extra fine side should be used on an already-sharp edge to give it an extra degree of sharpness and polish. DMT only uses monocrystalline diamonds, meaning diamond particles that are not fractured. This means that the abrasive particles of the sharpening are uniformly sized, to provide a smooth and even finish. Its versatility and quality makes this DMT sharpener perhaps the best diamond sharpening stone for everyday use.
DMT’s innovative design lets you take advantage of both the speed of an interrupted diamond surface, and the consistency of a diamond surface. While the majority of this 8”x2.5” stone has an interrupted surface which will wick away filings for quick sharpening, each side also has a smaller continuous zone. The continuous zone is perfect for small or pointed tools, which are difficult to use on the interrupted surface as they can get caught in grating of the diamond plate. The inclusion of a continuous zone makes DMT’s DuoSharp Plus Bench Stone a great buy for those who enjoy fishing, leatherwork, engraving, or any number of crafts and activities that really on small precise tools.
The DMT diamond stone consists of a metal plate with abrasive diamond particles bonded onto it. This makes it more durable than traditional natural or even artificial stones which will wear away with use. A diamond sharpening stone holds its flat shape and won’t pick up odd dips and hollows like a traditional stone. This reliably flat surface makes it the best sharpening stone for chisels and other tools requiring an extremely even plane. These DMT diamond stones can even be used for flattening worn water stones!
Of course, although diamond best sharpening stone outlast many traditional stones, they still don’t last forever and do require a bit of care and maintenance. While the stone can be used dry, for best results we recommend lubricating with water – never oil. It’s important to always make sure yours is dry before storing it, and to rinse and clean it out with a toothbrush once in a while to make sure it doesn’t get clogged. The lifespan of a sharpener varies greatly depending on how often you use it, but a diamond sharpening stone of DMT’s quality will hold up well after hundreds and hundreds of uses. Even if you use the stone everyday it should still last for several years with proper maintenance, and for less frequent users the stone could last decades!