The 6 Best Sharpening Stones for Your Dull Knives

These will keep your blades razor-sharp, smooth, and safer to use.

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Best sharpening stones

Food and Wine / David Hattan

A good set of knives is an essential component of any well-stocked kitchen. And once you have them, keeping those blades nice and sharp is an important part of knife maintenance. Sharp knives are easier to use, slice with more precision, and they’re safer, too. A dull blade can struggle to find purchase on smooth tomato skins, crusty breads, or slippery onion peels — increasing the odds of nicking your fingers instead of making clean, efficient cuts.

While you can take your knives to a professional for periodic sharpening, it’s also an easy task to take care of on your own, and a sharpening stone is useful for exactly this purpose. Sharpening stones are simple in that they have a flat, rectangular surface, but deciding on which one to buy can be tricky because they do come in a variety of different grit sizes and materials. 

Below, we’ve rounded up a selection of the best sharpening stones that will keep all the knives in your kitchen performing at their best.

Best Overall

King Whetstone Starter Set

KING Whetstone Starter Set


Pros: This two-grit set includes an angle guide and a sturdy base.

Cons: The stone needs to soak in water before use.

We appreciate that this sharpening stone set from King includes two grits, a base to keep everything stable while you’re working, and a guide to eliminating the guesswork of whether you’re holding the blade at the correct angle. Since this set includes everything you need, you can start immediately, even if you’re a beginner on the whetstone. 

This sharpening stone (also called a whetstone) does need to be soaked in water before use — water helps the blade to glide more effectively over the surface of the stone — but a 10-to-15-minute soak isn’t a dealbreaker for us. This set ticks all the right boxes for value, versatility, and quality. 

Price at time of publish: $50

  • Grit: 1000 and 6000
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Accessories: Base, angle guide, wiping cloth

Best Value

Royal Craft Wood 1000/6000 Grit Whetstone Kit

Royal Craft Wood 1000/6000 Grit Whetstone Kit


Pros: A dual-grit whetstone with a base and angle at a great price.

Cons: This one also needs a good soak before use.

Keeping your favorite chef’s knife sharp helps extend its useful life and ultimately saves you money on having to repurchase, which means that buying a sharpening stone is a generally good investment. But if you’re tight on cash and looking for a quality stone, this one from Royal Craft Wood fits the bill. 

Just like our pick for best overall, this whetstone offers both 1000 and 6000 grit sides, and it comes with a base and angle guide to help make the process easier. Again, you’ll need to soak the stone in water before using it, but that feels like a fair tradeoff for the excellent price point.

Price at time of publish: $19

  • Grit: 1000 and 6000
  • Weight: 1.97 pounds
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Accessories: Base, angle guide

Best Splurge

Naniwa Chosera 3,000 Grit Stone With Base

Naniwa Chosera 3000 Grit Stone


Pros: The fine grit creates a razor-sharp, ultra-precise edge.

Cons: One only grit despite the price.

This Japanese-made 3000-grit sharpening stone will refine your blade edges to a beautifully crisp point. Japanese knives are known for being super-sharp, and while a 1000-grit stone is typically fine enough to create a sleek edge, stepping up the grit to 3000 will take your blades even further.

That said, this is a pricey whetstone, and it doesn’t include a coarser grit. If you’re new to sharpening stones or prefer to only keep one on hand, this Chosera stone may not be your best bet.

Price at time of publish: $103

  • Grit: 3000
  • Weight: 1.98 pounds
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Accessories: Base, cleaning stone

Best Set

Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System

Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System


Pros: Five sharpening stones offer great versatility for all types of knives.

Cons: Having to clamp the knife blade in place makes the process more complicated than using a conventional flat stone.

This set may look daunting with all its bits and pieces, but it’s highly versatile for just about any knife you can imagine. While using these sharpening stones, you actually put the knife blade into a clamp and use the stone’s guiding rods to determine the angle at which you sharpen. It’s a bit more complicated than running an angled blade over a flat sharpening stone, but with five grits and four angles, you can take any blade from dull to delightful in just minutes.

We don’t necessarily recommend the Lansky Deluxe set for beginners, but if you have experience with sharpening or a wide selection of knives, this set is a great choice.

Price at time of publish: $54

  • Grit: 70, 120, 280, 600, 1000
  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Type: Ceramic
  • Accessories: Storage case, clamp, honing oil, guide rods

Best Diamond

DMT 8-Inch DuoSharp Plus Bench Stone

DMT DuoSharp Double-Sided Diamond Whetstone


Pros: This stone sharpens quickly and can be used hand-held.

Cons: It might scratch blades.

The use of monocrystalline diamond makes this sharpening stone from DMT a real powerhouse for restoring blades back to their original glory. Conveniently, it can be used either wet (with water) or dry, and when removed from the base, you can use it by hand to quickly refine an edge. 

Due to the inherent sharpness of diamond, this stone could potentially scratch your knife blades if it isn’t used properly, so this probably isn’t a great choice for beginners — but it’s an excellent tool for sharpening pros.

Price at time of publish: $74

  • Grit: 25 and 45 micron
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Type: Diamond stone
  • Accessories: Base

Best for Everyday Knivs

Shapton Glass Stone 2000 HR

Shapton 2000 Grit Glass Stone


Pros: A versatile, aesthetically pleasing sharpening stone. 

Cons: It doesn’t come with a base.

Most sharpening stones don’t look like anything you’d want to have on display, but Shapton’s glass stone doesn’t look half bad on the table. More importantly, it’s an effective sharpener for the knives you use most.

A grit of 2000 makes this stone just right for smoothing imperfections and creating a crisp, sharp knife edge. It doesn’t come with a base, but if you lay it on a stable surface and work with care, you’ll find it an easy stone to work with.

Price at time of publish: $66

  • Grit: 2000
  • Weight: .80 pounds
  • Type: Glass
  • Accessories: None

Our Favorite

Overall, we like the King Starter Set 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone for its great price, thoughtful accessories, and dual-grit versatility. The Chosera 3000 Grit Stone with Base is an elegant, ultra-fine grit splurge.

Factors to Consider


Coarse grits (those under 600) are useful for tough or damaged blades, but if you’re dealing with a knife that is chipped or warped, we’d recommend taking it to a professional rather than attempting to repair it at home. A grit of between 1000 and 3000 will be appropriately functional for the kitchen knives of most home cooks.

Stone Type

In general, there are three types of sharpening stones to choose from: water stones, oil stones, and diamond stones. Water stones are typically made from aluminum oxide and can come in various grit sizes, making them versatile and easy to use. Typically, aluminum oxide is softer than other materials, so it allows for faster, more efficient sharpening.

Oil stones, however, are available in various coarseness levels and can create fine edges on knives but can be time-consuming. Oil stones are typically made from silicone carbide or novaculite and require a layer of oil to lubricate the stone and assist with sharpening. Therefore, they can be messy to use and more difficult to clean than water stones.

Lastly, as their name suggests, diamond stones are made with small, man-made diamonds that are super coarse, and thus able to quickly sharpen and revive dull blades. Depending on the grit level you choose, diamond stones are best suited for honing the edges and points of sharp knives as opposed to serrated knives, which can get caught in them.


Since sharpening stones are purpose-built tools, you shouldn’t buy one on looks alone — though if design is a concern, the Shapton 2000 Grit Glass Stone is a solid choice. Instead, consider the functionality of a stone. If you have limited space or little experience, the multi-piece Lansky Deluxe 5-Stone Sharpening System may not be right for you, while the budget-friendly Royal Craft Wood Whetstone Kit is both functional and suitable for beginners.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do you use a sharpening stone?

    Jodi Pemberton, head chef and founder of Eat Pallet restaurant, recommends soaking your stone and, if it doesn’t have a steady base, placing the stone on a damp towel to keep it still during use. Then, “hold the blade gently at a 15- to 20-degree angle and, with enough pressure, drag the knife over the stone while moving the knife toward the tip of the blade. Repeat the same motion about 30-40 times until you notice silty water coming out from below the blade.” 

    Pemberton then suggests testing the knife — a tomato or a slice of paper is standard knife test material — to determine how you feel about the level of sharpness.

  • How do you clean a sharpening stone?

    Sharpening stones aren't meant to be cleaned, according to Mark Wade, Executive VP of Messermeister. "Water stones are made of corundum, and they rely on the paste, or slurry, that builds up on the surface of the stone to do the work. These loose particles tumble across the surface during sharpening, grinding away against the metal blade. Oil stones work in a similar way. Just dry the stones off and put them away. Natural stones are a bit different as they are harder and do not develop a slurry. Just wipe off the excess lubricant, and you are good to go," he says.

    "If you are going to use a whetstone, it's a really good idea to have a diamond stone flattener. This keeps the surface of your stone flat, as uneven wear can cause your stone to saddle in the middle. You [can] also use a stone flattener to knock down or bevel the edges of the stone, which helps to make smoother strokes."

  • How do you tell what grit a whetstone is?

    "It's important to understand there are at least three different standards used to assign the level of grit, and they vary widely," Wade says. "A grit number is the approximate number of abrasive particles within a specific area on the surface of the stone. The easy way to determine what is right for you is to look at the assortment offered from a single whetstone maker, which will always have a range of coarseness from low (rough) to high (smooth). The grit number will be on the stone itself or at least the packaging."

  • How do you choose a whetstone?

    "When choosing from the range of coarseness, keep in mind what you are trying to accomplish. Are you trying to quickly set the edge angle with a few strokes? If so, choose a stone within the range that has a lower grit number. If you want a super-fine polish, choose a stone with a high number. Most of the time people use whetstones in series, starting first with a coarse stone and progressing to the finer grit stones to polish out the scratches. That's why many whetstones come double-sided with two different grits," Wade says.

  • Why do you soak a sharpening stone in water?

    Soaking a stone in water — usually for less than 20 minutes — helps reduce friction and enables the knife blade to glide smoothly across the stone. Sometimes a honing oil is used instead, and sometimes a simple splash of water is sufficient rather than soaking. Carefully review the directions that come with your sharpening stone to make sure you use yours properly.

  • How long do sharpening stones last?

    A good sharpening stone can feasibly last a lifetime. With proper use (again, consult the directions it came with!) and careful storage, there’s no expiration date on a sharpening stone.

Our Expertise

This article was written by Summer Rylander, a food and travel journalist who has written about food, beverage, and cooking products for Food & Wine, Allrecipes, Serious Eats, and The Kitchn. She made her selections based on in-depth research and conversation with experts.

Stacey Ballis, a freelance writer, recipe developer, and product reviewer, also contributed to this piece. Stacey has been published in Food & Wine, Eating Well, Allrecipes, MyRecipes, Delish, and more.

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