Kitchen knives are incredible tools that are, sadly, often severely neglected. Most people forget about improving their experience with kitchen knives, which can be quite easily done simply by utilising a whetstone. Knives are so incredibly versatile that they have a lot of uses and not all of them are in the kitchen, or even at home. However, merely starting to use a good whetstone can completely change your outlook on fully utilising your knives’ potential. Luckily, there are a lot of knives to choose from and even more whetstone, which will undeniably bring your knives’ usage to the next level.
The Pride Abrasive whetstones have become incredibly popular in the last few years. They are Japanese whetstones that are guaranteed to sharpen your knives quickly and efficiently. They’re quite durable, affordable, and leave an edge that is often equalled to that of significantly more expensive whetstone brands. This Japanese whetstone is quite versatile, as the company that makes it has been making whetstones for several decades. They are made with a vitrified bond that allows them to have a significantly more responsive feel, which means they have a lot better feedback than resin bonded stones. They also come in grits from 220 to 10,000, which is another indicator that the Pride Abrasive is a Japanese sharpening stone that is meant to be used extensively, even when you feel a whetstone wouldn’t be able to sharpen your knives.
King Combination Whetstone
One of the greatest positives about the King Combination Whetstone is that it’s ideal for woodworking and gardening blades, but it’s also great for any type of kitchen knife. In case you’re unfamiliar, King is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to sharpening stones. The King Combination is a Japanese-style whetstone made out of extremely fine ceramic of the best quality, meaning it’s intended for stainless steel and carbon knives. It’s a dual-sided stone whose one side has a grit of 1000 while the other side has a grit of 6000. The 6000 grit side is intended for applying finishing touches, and the whole whetstone has a sturdy plastic base intended to secure it on a kitchen counter.
Chefic Whetstone Sharpening Stone
This whetstone model is ideal for people who not only want to sharpen their kitchen knives but also their utility ones, such as hunting knives. This sharpening stone comes with two sides, one with 1000 grit and another with 4000, and it’s made with high-quality white corundum. It has a very large working surface that is perfect for sharpening chef and hunting knives. While the Chefic whetstone 1000/4000 is perfect for such knives, including pocket knives, paring knives, and even art knives, it’s not to be used on serrated or ceramic blades. This whetstone is also resistant to corrosion and heat and has a steady platform that allows for easy positioning and sharpening.
King Whetstone Starter Set
As stated previously, King is a very trusted whetstone brand. However, not everyone who wants to use a whetstone is clued in on either brands or how sharpening works. The King Whetstone Starter Set is ideal for beginners who want to get in on sharpening their knives, as the name implies. This starter set typically has two sides for sharpening your knives, one with 1000 grit and another with 3000-6000 grit. The second one is intended for applying a finish that will make your knife extra sharp. The starter set also usually comes with an angle guide and a base intended for teaching you how to stabilise your stone. This is a great tool for everyone that still haven’t learned how to sharpen their knives.
Shapton Glass Stone
The Shapton Glass Stone is intended for people like chefs and knife enthusiasts. Unlike many other sharpening stones, they don’t need to be soaked in at all – they can be used instantly whenever you want. They also last incredibly long as they’re made out of a fine-graded ceramic material, which also allows them to be used quickly and efficiently. Even though they’re meant to be used in high-end environments, such as a chef’s kitchen, they’re also quite affordable, despite their high-end nature. The Shapton Glass Stone is also one-sided, and the sharpening side has a grit of 2000 intended for multi-purpose utility.
What to Look For In a Whetstone
It’s completely understandable that not everyone knows what the important things when picking a sharpening stone are. The very first thing to look for is grit, which defines the coarseness of the sharpening surface. Typically, whetstones with grit less than 1000 are for either very or totally blunt knives. Medium grit, which is 1000-4000, is used to sharpen knives that aren’t completely blunt, while fine grit over 4000 is used to create the sharp edge at the end. There are a few types of sharpening stones to choose from, such as oil, natural water, synthetic water, and diamond stones. The most popular ones are natural water whetstones, most of which are Japanese whetstones and synthetic water ones. Diamond stones provide superior sharpening but are also more expensive.
How to Use a Whetstone
One of the most basic things to know about using whetstones is that most of them need to be submerged in water for at least a few minutes. However, some don’t need to be submerged, and others shouldn’t be used with water. In that case, you should use lapping fluid, which is good for almost all whetstones in general, because it increases their longevity. Most whetstones used in the household tend to last somewhere between five and ten years, but that also depends on the usage.
Whetstones are the unsung heroes when it comes to kitchen utilities. Most people tend to forget that knives need to be sharpened, so they forget to even buy whetstones. They’re incredibly useful, so the next time your knife starts to feel a little blunt, don’t forget to get one.