Sharpening stones, or whetstones, have been used since ancient times to sharpen tools and weapons. There are various types of sharpening stones available on the market today, including diamond sharpening stones and whetstones. Both have their own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Diamond sharpening stones are made from a combination of diamonds and metal grains that allow for extremely precise results. Diamonds also last for longer than other sharpening segments; they remain consistently dull until re-seasoned. This makes them a great option for those who need consistent results over an extended period of time. However, they can be quite expensive when compared to other sharpening stones due to the cost of the diamonds used in construction.

Whetstones offer an easier method of sharpening with no extra fuss: just a damp cloth or water is all you need! They are readily available in both natural and synthetic varieties, but many people prefer natural ones because they create a finer edge more quickly than synthetic options. However, whetstones require more frequent re-seasoning than diamond options, making them less suitable for long term use unless regularly maintained.

Basic Explanation

A sharpening stone and a whetstone are both materials used for sharpening knives and other blades. The main difference between the two is in their construction. A sharpening stone is typically made from a combination of aluminum oxide, feldspar and husk, with varying levels of abrasiveness depending on the user’s needs. The surface of the stone can be plain or porous to help hold lubricating oil allowing for easier sharpening. In contrast, a whetstone is typically made from fine-grained natural minerals such as quartz soaked in an oil like water or kerosene to avoid metal oxidation and rust impacting the keenness of the edge.

Both stones are used similarly: by rubbing a blade against them while applying pressure in order to bring it to its desired level of sharpness. Depending on the type of blade being worked upon, different shaped stones can be sought after; rounded edges will benefit larger knives while pointed stones are ideal for smaller blades.

The choice between a diamond sharpening stone or whetstone will depend on the individual’s preference as each presents benefits and limitations. Generally, diamond bits offer higher abrasion levels over that of a standard whetstone while buttering requires more effort when using a diamond bit compared to that of a regular mineral stone block . However, with greater precision due to lack of dependence on lubricant oils; some users may prefer diamond bits regardless. On the other hand, traditional stones remain popular due to their non-shifting abrasion levels as well as their ability to tackle both hardened steel blades as well as softer materials like woodworking tools without damage being inflicted in either case.

Selection Factors

1. Types of metals to sharpen: An important factor when deciding between a sharpening stone and whetstone is the types of metals that the tool will be used for. For example, some stones are more suited for harder metal such as stainless steel, whilst others are better for soft metals such as aluminum.

2. Desired finish: Different sharpening stones and whetstones can provide different results – from an extremely fine edge to a coarse finish. As such, it is important to consider what type of finish is desired before selecting which stone or whetstone to go with.

3. Durability: Sharpening stones and whetstones are available in various materials including natural stone and synthetic material; Harder stones tend to last longer but may require more pressure when sharpening blades making them more tiring for the user; Lighter stones can wear down quicker but require less force so are more suitable for those new to sharpening tools

4. Cost: The cost of the tool must also be taken into account when making a decision on whether to purchase a sharpening stone or a whetstone; Generally speaking, synthetic stones tend to cost less than natural ones but may offer lower durability while hardier ones will come with a higher price tag

Sharpening with a Diamond Stone

Using a diamond sharpening stone is an efficient and effective way to sharpen your knives, cutting tools, and other metal implements. The diamond stones offer a wide range of grits, which can be adjusted as per the user’s preferences. This enables sharpening of almost any metal edge.

The process of using a diamond stone is pretty straightforward: start with the coarsest grit and finish with the finest grit until you are happy with the blade polishing. When starting out it’s important to start with a coarser stone in order to create burrs on the edge of the blade before switching to finer stones which will then hone the knife or tool edge itself. To get an even better honing result, you can use stropping blocks or leather strops after finishing with the diamond stone.

The main advantage of using a diamond sharpening stone is that diamonds wear very slowly so you only need to replace them occasionally rather than after every few sharpenings like other types of abrasive materials used for sharpening purposes require. Diamond stones provide superb results and can even be used for reshaping a damaged edge without having to purchase better stones initially for individual shapes such as spear point or straight edge blades that come factory pre-sharpened in particular shapes.

However, there are some potential disadvantages associated with using diamond stones too – they’re more expensive than other types of sharpening stones and require regular cleaning in order to remove any swarf created while sharpening that may stay stuck between grooves in their surface, decreasing their effectiveness as time progresses. In addition, they tend to be heavier than some other types of oil and water-based stones making them slightly less convenient when travelling outdoors by foot or bike due to much added weight when already carrying camping gear etc.

Sharpening with a Whetstone

Sharpening with a whetstone is a method employed by many knife sharpeners to create an edge on knives and other cutting tools. A whetstone is a flat piece of rock, often made from the same material as a natural stone or slate. It is finer than the diamond stone which is more abrasive, and used in combination with water or honing oil to lubricate the sharpening process.

To use a whetstone, hold it against the cutting edge of the blade at an angle of between 10 and 20 degrees. Use light pressure and gently stroke along the full-length of the blade, using a circular motion for curved blades. Flip the blade over after each pass and sharpen both sides of the edge until you feel it get sharper under your fingers. Whetstones can range from medium to very fine grit depending on how much you want to refine your cutting edge.

Sharpening with a whetstone is relatively simple compared to other methods such as pull through sharpeners as there’s no manual guidance needed over which angle or direction to use when running your blade across it; essentially you just need to keep stroking it in one direction until you’ve reached an acceptable level of sharpness. Once you’re happy with its sharpness, finish up by stropping or honing your edge with leather strop or butcher block knife honing system; this will prepare your blade for use by further refining its edge while increasing its durability.

The pros associated with sharpening with a whetstone are that it provides good control over just how sharp an edge you can create; different stones being available depending on your experience level and sophistication required from an edge, plus they are relatively cheap to purchase so great value for money as they can be reused multiple times before needing replacing if well looked after. The downsides however include having practice patience as too much pressure applied during honing can prematurely wear out one side of your blade’s edge more than another causing uneven sharpening and possibly damaging your tool in general if things aren’t done correctly; also wetting your stone regularly is important to help keep debris created during operation away from any paintwork on handle guards etc., letting pieces build up considerably could eventually require professional cleaning which may cost additional funds in order for safe operation afterwards – something not always covered by warranty either so taking good care is encouraged!


Diamond sharpening stones should be washed and dried regularly to remove any deposits that may accumulate on the surface. A mild detergent should be used to clean, followed by a thorough rinsing with water. It’s important not to use anything too harsh on diamond sharpening stones as the diamond particles can become degraded over time and lose their durability. The stone should be dried thoroughly and then carefully stored in a cool dry place away from extreme temperatures or temperature fluctuations.

Whetstones require more maintenance and must be soaked for 10-15 minutes in water before use to prevent them from cracking. When cleaning, do not scrub the stone with a wire brush or use an abrasive cleaner as this may damage the whetstone surface. Rinse thoroughly and then soak again until ready for use. Store in a dry place, such as inside a cupboard, away from sunlight and humidity as excessive moisture can also cause them to crack over time


A diamond sharpening stone and whetstone are both effective in sharpening knives, but there are significant differences between the two. A diamond sharpening stone is made up of a thin coating of industrial diamonds on a metal plate while a whetstone is made from natural stones that require water, or a lubricant such as oil, to be used during sharpening. Both methods can yield exceptional results if used properly, but diamond sharpeners provide faster and more consistent results than whetstones. Whetstones tend to require stricter upkeep because they wear down quickly with improper usage. Additionally, they can be messier to use compared to diamond sharpeners as they do require water or oil for lubrication.

Overall, it is recommended to use a diamond sharpener since it provides better results faster without needing extra lubrication. It is also easier to maintain since the diamonds will stay put regardless of wear and tear over time. In comparison, whetstones may require extra attention if not properly cared for and frequently re-lubricated which can cause them to wear down faster than a diamond sharpener over time.