We understand your passion for a truly beautiful wood carving. Because of this, we know that you need your knife to be optimally sharp. A dull blade makes it not only more difficult to carve, but more uncomfortable! There are so many different types out there, but which is the best sharpening stone for my tools?
Unfortunately this cannot be a one-word answer. We need to take a look into the different types available before we can make a decision.
Do You Know The Difference?
Finding the best sharpening stone could be a little harder than you think. There are quite a few different kinds you can be using to sharpen your tools. These different stones with varying grit sizes have different purposes. If used incorrectly you could sharpen your tool ineffectively, or worse, damage it!
There are three main different types. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, and for what tool, a specific one might not be the best sharpening stone for you that is for another. Some can come in either synthetic or natural varieties. Traditionally, the oil brand is natural, it does come in synthetic varieties. The water type is usually synthetic and there are natural varieties rarely available. The synthetic ones have the advantage of consistency.
This is the traditional whetstone. Used for centuries, it is made up of either Novaculite, Silicon Carbide, or Aluminum Oxide. A large amount are natural, but there are also synthetic variations. This type is a generally much finer grade of whetstone and, although it is not necessary to lubricate any whetstone in order to use them to sharpen tools, it is typically intended for use with oil as a lubricant (water may be used). Lubricating your new gadgets helps to wash away the swarf after it is sharpened, and it also aids the process.
- Have a good overall performance, and can cut a fine edge
- They are cheaper to purchase
- Cut slower than other types
- Using the oil lubricant also can make cleanup a little more messy
These are a comparatively newer form of whetstone. As their name implies they are intended to be lubricated with water, however, unlike the oil stone where you can use both oil and water, it is recommended to never use oil to lubricate a this variety. Just like the oil stone, this one can be found naturally and synthetically, although a general consensus is that synthetic water brand are more reliable and especially better for the beginning user. Natural water varieties are also not very readily available and can be expensive.
- Can cut much faster
- Water as a lubricant is much easier to use and clean
- Wears away quicker
- Are slightly more expensive
- May wear unevenly and require flattening
|Product||Review||Weight||Size||Stone Quantity||Grit||Ideal For|
|★★★★★||10.4 ounces||2 x 8 x 1"||2||400/1000||Small and medium carving tools as well as kitchen knives.|
|★★★★||1.92 ounces||3-Inchx1-Inchx3-/8-Inch||1||Coarse grit||Small hand carving knives.|
A diamond sharpening stone has very small diamonds attached to the face of a metal plate. Obviously the diamonds are much harder than any other stone used to sharpen. The most common style of diamond sharpening plate has holes in the surface to capture the swarf from your tool after it is sharpen(and also helps lower the cost in production). This diamond style is not very good for sharpening tools with points as they can get caught in the holes of the plate. There is a continuous version of the diamond plate that is arguable the best sharpening tool for tools with points.
- The diamond sharpening stone will last much longer
- It will sharpen your tools very quickly
- Maintains its shape and will not need flattening
- The biggest drawback is its very high cost
- Is not available in fine grit sizes, therefore it cannot get a blade to as fine as an edge as other stones
This measurement is one of the most important qualities of your best sharpening stone. For example, if you use a 220 grit stone without knowing what you are doing, you can end up completely reshaping your tool or knife. Lower grit means that it is more coarse. Stones which are more coarse shave off more metal from your blade. Stones that are higher grit count are more fine. More fine stones cut slower and shave off more metal in general. So just to recap – lower grit, or coarser stones, cut fast and shaves off more, whereas higher grit, or finer stones, cut slower and shave off less. There are pros and cons to each of these factors.
Here are some examples:
This level of grit is ultra coarse and it will quickly shave metal from your tools, this is useful if you need to reshape your blade or repair obvious ships. On the other hand it takes away so much from your tool that it is very hard to use without messing up your blade, and it is not the best sharpening stone for beginners
This is the basic level for sharpening that is good for quick sharpening and maintaining a quality blade.
This level is considered a medium stone, it will sharpen slower than lower grit levels, but it can achieve a finer edge easier than lower grit stones. It is recommended for people who would like to regularly sharpen their knives. It can be used everyday or every other day.
This is considered the basic finishing stone. It is to be used after the 1000 or 2000 grit stones to more finely hone your blade. (note: do not soak fine stones like this one or it could result in weakening or cracking)
Which is the best sharpening stone for me?
There is no one best sharpening stone for every purpose. You should take this information and make your own decision for your own tools and preferences. Do you need to repair a chip, or do you want to finish a fine blade? Depending on your budget and purpose, any of the above sharpening stones have the potential of being the best sharpening stone for you.