A whetstone is a sharpening stone typically made from hardened corundum, and most commonly used to sharpen knives. For centuries, an individual could sharpen their blade by rubbing it against the rough surface of the stone.

Whetstones are known for taking dull blades and making them super sharp in no time. They work by using friction between the blade and the stone to abrade away the metal that was presumably removed during the cutting of food or other materials. A specialty lubricant like honing oil may be used at times so that nothing clogs up on the face of the stone as you use it, but generally a bit of water is all that’s needed to properly sharpen a knife on a whetstone. This makes them affordable and easy to care for since they don’t require any special maintenance like other methods of sharpening such as electric powered ones do in order to stay efficient.

This form of sharpening offers one major benefit over other methods – it causes much less damage to blades than what happens if you use electrical or mechanical grinders/sharpeners instead. Sharpening with abrasives wears away some metal which in turn ensures that your edge geometry stays consistent and doesn’t become too thick or too thin due to grinding. In addition, because these stones are extremely durable, some models can last for many years without needing replacement unlike diamond-based alternatives which require more frequent replacement because their gritty surfaces wear away significantly with use over time.

Types of Whetstones

When it comes to sharpening tools, knives, and razors, nothing beats using a high-quality whetstone. Whether you want to buy a cheap foam stone or an expensive Japanese water stone, there are many types of stones available that can do the job. This article will explain the different materials and grades of whetstones as well as their respective grits for getting that perfect honed edge.

Whetstones are available in a variety of materials and price ranges: from basic synthetic aluminum oxide stones to premium natural abrasives like Novaculite. The hard surface of the synthetics makes them ideal for honing because they require typically less pressure and work faster than the more breakable natural stones. While they may be cheaper, they may not produce as smooth an edge due to the larger grit size in comparison with the finer grit found in more expensive stones.

Novaculite is one type of natural stone that is known for its superior quality due to its low friability which allows it to last longer while also producing very precise edges on knives, scissors, razors, chisels etc. It is best used when wet and generally available in three varying degrees based on the amount of harder particles within; soft Arkansas (around 300 – 700 grits), hard Arkansas (400 – 1000 grits), and black Ceramax (approximately 800 – 2000+).

More affordable (and easily accessible) whetstones include diamond stones that efficiently erase wear through abrasion normally occurring during sharpening process. Available in various coarseness ranging from 100 micron (~800 – 1000 grit) up through a lapidary grade 2000+ micron (~320 – 600); diamond stones ultimately provide edges perfect for all around daily use knives thanks mainly to their quick cutting action which results in less wear than other types of abrasive grains such as corundum or silicon carbide stones.

Selecting a Whetstone

When selecting a whetstone, there are many factors to consider. The first and most important factor is the grade of the stone – typically, you will find stones labeled as “fine”, “medium”, and “coarse”. Stones labeled as fine will be your best choice for achieving the sharpest edge on your blade. Medium stones are suitable for most applications requiring some sharpening, while coarse stones may only be recommended in cases where an extremely dull blade has severe surface damage requiring significant reshaping.

In addition to choosing a grade of whetstone, it is also important to consider the size and weight of the stone when selecting one for your needs. Choosing a larger stone with greater weight could make it slightly more difficult to move it around or use it on smaller blades but can provide better results in less time due to its larger surface area. Alternatively, if portability is a concern for you then lighter whetstones may be preferable as they are more travel friendly and can fit into smaller spaces. It’s also important to take durability into consideration when shopping; more expensive options may last longer than cheaper ones so they can provide better value over time. Lastly, keep in mind that many cheap whetstones do still offer good quality performance while being economical; again considering other factors such as size, weight and durability can help you select the right stone without breaking the bank.

Maintenance and Care for Your Whetstone

Maintaining your cheap whetstone is important! Here are some basic steps to help you keep your just-purchased whetstone in prime condition over time.

1. Clean Your Whetstone After Every Use: To ensure the longevity of your whetstone, it should be cleaned after every use, especially if it has been used for long and intensive sharpening sessions. To do this correctly, simply use a cleaning solution such as warm water and a soft cloth or brush. Be sure to scrub off any excess dirt and residue from the stone to avoid any rust deposits. Let air dry for 7-10 minutes before storage.

2. Store Your Whetstone Appropriately: It is important to store your whetstone in a dry place away from direct sunlight or humid environment to avoid unwanted damages on the stone itself. An ideal place would be somewhere like a box or cabinet that can be closed up when not in use.

3. Keep Dust Away From Your Whetstone: As dust can accumulate on the surface of the stone during use, it is advantageous to cover the stone when stored away for extended periods of time between uses. This will help prevent unnecessary ‘wear and tear’ due to dust and debris which could otherwise compromise its sharpening abilities in the long run.

Using a Whetstone

Using a whetstone is the best way to keep all of your blades sharp, whether it’s a kitchen knife or an ax. First, make sure you have enough lubrication for the stone. Using oil is ideal but water will also do. It’s important to put just enough lubrication on the stone so that it coats the surface evenly and won’t affect the blade itself. Secondly, when you sharpen, place the blade flat against the stone and move it in a circular motion with just enough light pressure to ensure even grinding. If there are any nicks or dull spots that need extra attention, use some gentle strokes to wear them down more quickly. The key is to be consistent in your motions so that all areas of the blade are evenly ground down without wearing away too much metal. Finally, after grinding on each side of the blade for several minutes, finish off by stropping it using either a leather strip or diamond paste. This will successfully sharpen your blade and give it a polished look! With these tips in mind as well as a quality yet cheap whetstone, you can have sharp blades during every job!

Tips for Sharpening Knives

Whetstones are one of the most popular, and most efficient tools used to sharpen knives. Whetstones can be found in both high end and low end varieties, and there are some great deals to be had on cheap whetstones. When looking for a whetstone, pay attention to the size of the stone, as well as its grit rating. A larger stone is best for handling a range of cutting tasks, from daily use to more demanding ones like hunting or fishing knives. When it comes to grit ratings, you should opt for either a fine or medium-fine grade material; these ratings will give you the edge you need without taking up too much time.

Once you have your whetstone picked out, it’s important to understand how best to use it. One technique is known as honing – this process involves careful movement of the blade against the surface of the whetstone – never use quick strokes! Once your blade has been honed properly with a few firm strokes per side (not forgetting part of your routine should include flipping over so that both sides are sharpened evenly), you can move onto polishing. This basically means running the knife across at an angle between 45° and 75° degrees in order to bring out a razor-sharp edge. Make sure that when doing this that your pressure applied and hand position remain constant throughout; otherwise your edge won’t turn out perfect!


Investing in a good quality whetstone is essential for anyone who loves to sharpen blades and other metal objects. With a wide array of different types, sizes and grades available on the market, it can be confusing to know which to choose. Thankfully, there are a lot of cheap whetstones out there that provide reliable results at an affordable price. These products have many benefits, such as being able to reshape and refine blades while preserving their integrity, as well as honing them with better precision than other methods. Additionally, wet stones allow for greater sharpness on edges compared to dry stones alone, making it easier to cut through tough materials. Furthermore, with minimal need for maintenance or additional expense for lubrication and/or water whereas some electric sharpeners require extreme caution when in use due to their level of heat generation which could damage blade life span; manual grinding is by far the safest option. Lastly, opting for cheap whetstones is also an environmentally friendly choice since they do not require the use of any power sources nor do they produce hazardous waste or hot sparkles like some sharper machines. All-in-all, investing in a good quality but inexpensive whetstone is definitely worth it!


Cheap whetstones can offer an excellent way to sharpen a knife, chisel, axe, or other metal tools without breaking the bank. Generally speaking, cheap sharpening stones are less expensive than expensive alternatives but often just as effective and durable. They come in many sizes, grits, and shapes to suit any purpose. Often made from aluminum oxide or silicon carbide, these simple pieces of stone may require the occasional spritzing with oil for best results. With a little maintenance and some simple techniques, these budget options offer excellent sharpening capabilities that won’t hurt your wallet. Finding the best cheap whetstone for your needs is easy if you know what to look for: strong durability, consistent grain size for accurate sharpness levels over time, a comfortable grip handle when necessary, and an ideal size for your tools. Investing in cheap whetstones allows even novice sharpeners to add precision to their tools without buying into the more expensive offerings on the market — meaning quality sharpening doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg!