A whetstone is a type of stone used to sharpen blades. They typically include two types of stones; one with a coarser grit and another with a smoother grit. The user rubs the blade edge against the coarser stone first to make it sharp and then against the smoother stone to give it a polished, refined finish. This process can be done on both knives and other tools made of metal or ceramic material. Whetstones are usually quite large, but small pocket-sized versions can also be found for convenient carrying. Buying a whetstone from reputable retailers ensures that you get good quality product that will last for some time without needing replacement.

What is a Whetstone and What Tools Can it Sharpen?

A whetstone is a flat stone made of either ceramic, diamond, or natural stone with abrasive qualities that allow it to sharpen sharp blades such as knives, axes and scythes. Whetstones typically have two different surfaces: a coarse side for honing and a finer finishing side which results in polished blades. Commonly used tools that can be sharpened using whetstones include steel knives, scissors, pruning shears, mower blade, axes and an array of garden tools. They’re also great for chisels since they keep them nice and sharp without taking off too much material at a time from their edges.

Different Types of Whetstones and which is Suitable for Your Use

There are different types of whetstones available on the market depending on the type of sharpening job you require. Most commonly used varieties include:

– Oil stones – These are classic whetstones that are composed of a fine-grained and soft material, perfect for quick touch-ups. They will require periodic re-oiling to ensure the best possible results.

– Diamond stones – These are a more modern variation and are made up of diamonds bonded onto a metal surface or steel plates. This makes them incredibly durable and effective with even harder objects such as ceramics or tool steel. However, they can be pricier than other varieties.

– Water stones – Also known as Japanese whetstones, they’re composed of hard aluminum particles suspended in water. Using these requires one to soak the stone first before use, ideal for those who prefer a more traditional approach to sharpening knives.

When it comes to buying a whetstone, there’s no right or wrong answer as it depends on what your specific sharpening needs are for whichever objects you want to sharpen. Take some time to research which would work best for your tools or blades before making a purchase.

How to Sharpen Tools with a Whetstone

1. Secure your item: Secure the tool to a firm surface using a clamp or vise. This will ensure that you can sharpen your item without any risk of movement during the process.

2. Prepare the whetstone: Soak your whetstone in water for around 10 minutes before you start sharpening to prevent damage to the stone and keep it cool when sharpening.

3. Grind the blade: Use gentle strokes with the blade against the whetstone, working up and down its length, while gradually increasing the pressure as you go. Ensure you clean off any excess metal from time to time by dipping it in water and wiping away with a rag or cloth.

4. Check for nicks: Look for any nicks that are visible on the edges of your tool and work on them until they have been removed or minimized. Be sure to use gentle stroked and light pressure on sensitive areas where nicks may have formed due to material fracture points.

5. Test it out: Once you’ve finished sharpening, test out your tool on whatever material it is designed for use with – whether this is wood, metal, leather or something else – to check if your newly sharpened edge has made a difference in performance quality. If necessary, continue grinding until you reach an acceptable standard of performance.

Essential Safety Tips before Starting the Sharpening Process

1. Always wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from particles and debris.

2. Secure the whetstone securely before starting to sharpen. Use a clamp or vice grip device to mount it in a safe position.

3. Be sure to use lubricant on your whetstone while sharpening, such as water or oil, as this helps increase the life of the stone and contributes to a smoother finish on your blades when sharpening.

4. Work slowly as you sharpen and have patience with the process—rushing may cause slips and damage your blades or worse!

5. Make sure all blades are secure when pulling them away from the stone each stroke. If a blade becomes loose, stop immediately, properly secure it again, and resume sharpening only after you feel confident that it is tightly secured.

6. Let both blades cool off between strokes if they become too hot to handle safely—sharp objects can get extremely hot during long periods of use! Best practice is to avoid sharpening for more than several minutes per blade in one sitting.

7. Keep kids clear of sharpening areas since knives and razors may need to be tested for their new edge and honed over an edge tester device prior to being placed back into their handles prior to use or storage.

Where to Buy Whetstone & Factors to Consider When Purchasing

The best place to buy whetstone is at a reputable knife or tool-sharpening store. Many craft stores will also stock them, and they can be bought online as well. Before purchasing, it is important to consider a few different factors. Firstly, what type of stone do you require? Whetstones come in many sizes, shapes, and types with each one used for different sharpening needs such as fine-grading, honing, and polishing blades. It is also essential to determine which grit you need; softer stones are perfect for knives that become dull quickly whereas harder stones are great for sharpening stubborn blades. Additionally, consider the amount of time spent on sharpening; if you plan to use the whetstone frequently then investing in a more expensive item that offers better longevity is worth considering. Ultimately price should denote quality so keep in mind your budget when choosing a whetstone.


A whetstone is a great tool for sharpening almost any type of metal tool. It is especially useful for tools such as knives, scissors, axes, chisels and more. Whetstones come in a range of different materials and sizes, making them an excellent choice for anyone who needs to keep their tools well-sharpened. With proper care, the stone will last a lifetime and can really make all the difference when it comes to getting the best performance out of your tools. Whether you prefer more traditional stones or modern diamond versions, a whetstone is a great investment when it comes to keeping your metalworking tools properly honed and ready for use.