Table of Contents
- 1. Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone
- 2. TATARA Japanese Whetstone
- 3. Kota Japanese Knife Sharpener
- 4. Cwindy Whetstone
- 5. KING Whetstone
- 6. Yoshihiro Whetstone
- 7. Chefic BearMoo Whetstone
- 8. Shapton Japanese Whetstone
- 9. Masuta Natural Sharpening Honing Stone
- 10. Mikarto Professional Knife Sharpening Stones
- Best Japanese Water Stones Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Best Japanese Water Stones
You have got knives, scissors, and even razors but they do not slice through as well as they did when they were new? What do you do? Buy a new one? You wish to get them better than they were when they were new, don’t you? Well, your wish just came true with the Best Japanese Waterstones! Now get better-than-factory sharp blades with our list of the top Japanese Waterstones!
Check out our reviews of the top Japanese Waterstones to get you blades all sharp and shiny!
Knives and blades are needed in several places ranging from a household kitchen to camping with your family. They are an essential piece of tactical gear as well. Their versatility is justified by their use in almost all skills and chores such as fishing, hunting, crafts and furniture making, and many more.
While they all seem so effortless with a sharp knife, a blunt knife would not only make it nearly impossible to carry out all their chores but would potentially be more dangerous than a sharp knife. A sharp knife will become dull and less effective with time and use as a part of natural degradation.
The knife would take longer to cut through a surface, would slip instead of cutting, and would take a longer amount of your precious time to make inaccurate cuts. Therefore keeping your blades sharp is a necessity and to do that one of the best blade sharpening tools is Japanese Waterstones.
This whetstone bundle features a non-slip hand-crafted bamboo base to keep the stone in place, a silicone base for keeping the stone inside the bamboo base, and an angle-guide. It used water for sharpening rather than oils and can be easily washed with water.
The bundle comes with an instruction manual & a detailed e-book for beginner to advanced skill level. This multipurpose whetstone can sharpen all sorts of knives.
- Double-sided grit
- Safe to use
- Can be cleaned with water
- Premium quality grain composition
- Requires soaking before use
- Have to keep the stone wet at all times
2. TATARA Japanese Whetstone
The first product on our list is the TATARA Japanese Whetstone. This whetstone features a hand-crafted non-slip bamboo holder to keep the stone secure on the counter, a rubber case for holding the stone inside the bamboo holder, and an angle-guide.
It has a coarse 3000 grit to finish the sharp point and an 8000 grit to sharpen the dull side of the blade. Moreover, it is made from professional grade Aluminum Oxide and does not require oil. It also comes with a free sharpening guide
- No oil required for sharpening
- Safe to use
- Double-sided grit
- 3000 grit needs to be flattened
- Residue from blades on the stone
- Requires submerging in water before use
3. Kota Japanese Knife Sharpener
The Kota Japanese Knife sharpener features a bamboo holder with a silicone rubber base. It comes with a dual-sided 400-1000 grit for coarse sharpening and fine polishing. The bundle includes angle-guide and sharpening guides with a bonus e-Book! Moreover, this product comes with a lifetime warranty.
- Easy to use
- Double-sides grit
- It takes a few days to dry after use
- Needs constant sprinkling of water
- Wears out quickly
4. Cwindy Whetstone
The Cwindy Whetstone is made up of organic white corundum material. It has a dual-sided 3000 and 1000 grit. This whetstone features a silicone base for keeping the stone from sliding. It is perfect for all sorts of knives, including precision tool, straight razor, planer tool, kitchen, chef, steak and chisels, etc.
- Works for all kinds of knives
- No non-slip bamboo base
- No angle-guide included
- Does not have the right height
5. KING Whetstone
King Whetstone features a dual-sided 1000/6000 grit combination stone. It is made up of ceramic material. It comes with a sturdy plastic base.
- Easy to use
- Slip-prone plastic base
- Gets nicked easily
6. Yoshihiro Whetstone
The Yoshihiro Whetstone is a Japanese Sushi Chef Tool. Its 3” width allows for a wider surface area to sharpen your knife more precisely. The 1” high stone has enough material to last for years. It features a thick wooden base to give a sturdy foundation to the stone. It is manufactured in Japan.
- Wider than usual whetstones
- High quality
- Contains a single stone
7. Chefic BearMoo Whetstone
The Chefic BearMoo Whetstone is a dual-sided stone with 3000/8000 grit. It features a coarse side with 3000 grit and a fine side with 8000 grit. The whetstone works perfectly for various purposes ranging from sharpening kitchen knives to art appliances and garden tools. It is made up of professional-grade white corundum material.
- Demarcated edges and corners
- Not suitable for serrated blades and ceramic knives
- No angle guide included
- No wooden base
8. Shapton Japanese Whetstone
The Shapton Japanese Whetstone features a single stone with 8000 grit. It is manufactured in Japan. This whetstone is made up of pure ceramic material.
- The storage case is easy to carry
- Softer than other whetstones
- Can easily crack
- Not dual-sided
9. Masuta Natural Sharpening Honing Stone
It’s a high quality extra-wide 12000 grit natural Tsushima whetstone. It comes with a separate Nagura stone to flatten and clean the larger stone. This whetstone is ideal for sharpening and honing knives, razor blades, chisels, planes, and other blades. It comes with a genuine top-grain leather case and a silicone non-slip pad.
- No soaking required
- Easy to carry due to leather case
- Excellent finishing stone
- Not dual-sided
10. Mikarto Professional Knife Sharpening Stones
The Mikarto Professional Knife Sharpening stone features a dual-sided polishing stone with 1000/6000 grit. This kit comes in a sturdy, moisture-resistant, ventilated box with holes at the bottom. It is a multipurpose knife that can be used for various purposes.
It is made up of Corundum material (Aluminum Oxide), a rock-forming mineral. It comes with a separate cleaning and lapping stone for the block surface. It also comes with an angle guide for optimal sharpening.
- Comes in a custom box
- Ventilated storage
- Non-slip rubber base
- Requires soaking before use
- The fine side wears easily
Best Japanese Water Stones Buying Guide
There are various options available for combining different stones to form a good sharpening set, and it can be assembled for every budget. A starter set would contain 3 stones and can cost as low as 50 euros and a professional set can go as high as 300 euros.
You might think that all Japanese Waterstones are the same but they differ in shape, size, and grit grades. Therefore you need the following features into account before deciding which Waterstone would be the best to fit your needs.
One of the main reasons you should consider buying a Waterstone is that the only thing needed to lubricate it is water. The lower grit stones require soaking for a few minutes before usage whereas the higher grit stones need to be wet just before using them.
Waterstones are available with different grit numbers. These numbers define how coarse or how fine the surface of the Waterstone is. The lower numbers represent finer surfaces with higher numbers representing coarser ones. When sharpening a blade, you should start with lower grit numbers and continue up to higher grit numbers to get that final touch to your blade.
Types of Japanese Waterstones
Japanese water stones are of two types, namely natural and synthetic. Both of them are famous for their sharpening of not only the tools found in japan but also the tools from all around the globe. The Waterstones contain loosely bounded particles, called grit, that wear off of the Waterstones as the sharpening process is being carried out. These loosely bonded particles are then washed out quickly as they blunt the sharpening process to expose new sharp particles to rub against the blade. Remember to lubricate Waterstones with water only.
Brands of Waterstones
We have gathered a large selection of stones from manufacturers known all around the globe to aid connoisseurs to find the ideal stone that best fits their need. The reason being the diversity of the materials with which these stones are formulated.
Using different materials enable these stones to inherit different sets of qualities due to which different woodworkers select different stones from different manufacturers to make the optimal collection of Waterstones that fits best to their needs.
Once you know the qualities of different stones, you may very well be able to find one seller that offers exactly the type of stones you need but remember there is no one size fits all.
Grit size and uses
It is recommended to have a grit grade from 120 – 400 to remove unusually dull blades, to remove chips on the edges and for rough sharpening.
For normal sharpening, a grit grade of 700-2000 is recommended to be used.
To take off the fine scratches from the blade left during the rough or normal sharpening by coarser stones, we recommend using a grit grade of almost 2000 grit. How better you want your finish would totally depend on your preference but in our experience, a grit grade of above 10000 grits brings no significant improvements to the table for the edges and the blades.
Japanese standard ends at 8000 grits, and finer grits are sold on the word of the manufacturers as there is no gauge to judge grit grades above 8000 grits.
The practical cases of sharpening stones require 3 blades if you do the significant sharpening. One is for rough-grinding, one for sharpening and the last one for honing.
However, if you do not use Waterstones usually, a combination stone would suffice. It all comes to the face of having a trade-off between speed and cost. The bigger the stone the more quickly sharpening can be done whereas smaller stones would take longer for a job to finish.
The Waterstones come in many sizes; you should consider the following:
- For small knives and blades, a small Waterstone would do the job.
- For large knives and blades or for a set of knives, a large Waterstone is recommended.
- Lager Waterstones are more likely to be more expensive than the smaller Waterstones.
The size of the grit particles of the stone is referred to as the grade of the Waterstone. Japanese Waterstones usually come in under three grades. The options include:
- Rough– They have grit grades between 120 and 140. They have larger grit particles and are coarser.
- Medium– The medium Japanese Waterstones have grit grades between 700 and 3000.
- Smooth– It is worth noting that there is no upper limit to the grading, but you are unlikely to see any significant improvement by using stones with a grade of over 10,000 grit. However, the range of grit grades for smooth water stones is from 3000 to 10000.
- Single grit stones– These are the water stones that have only one grit grade.
- Multi-grit stones– Also called multiple grip stones, these stones have more than one grade of grit. These are usually double-sided with a rougher stone on one side and a smoother grit on the other.
- Sets– You can also buy a Japanese whetstone set, which consists of 3 Waterstones. They include a rough, medium, and smooth stone in each set.
The selection of the grit grades you would use would totally depend on the product you want to achieve. Following is the guide that would help you decide what you will use it for:
- Chips and very dull blades– for chips on the blade and for blades that are very dull rough Waterstones should be used.
- Regular sharpening– A Waterstone with a grit grade between 700 and 3000 should be used for regular sharpening of the blade.
- Buffing and polishing– Rougher Waterstones tend to leave scratches on the blade. To remove these scratches these grit grades of 3000 to 10000 grits are used.
One of the major factors for buying a Waterstones for many people would be price. Here are the points to consider:
- The price is affected by the brand that makes the stone, the size of the stones that are manufactured, the grit grade, the quality of the grits, and the location from where the stones were mined from.
- A single grit stone is usually cheaper than that of multi-grit stones or even the sets of three single grit stones.
- Buying stones individually would cost you more than buying a set of stones of multi-grid stones.
- There are two types of sets the beginner set is cheaper, whereas the expert set is expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
Question 1: What are the Japanese Waterstones?
Japanese Waterstones or Japanese whetstones are a block of a certain material (depending upon where you buy it from) that you are used to polishing and sharpen knives, blades etc.
Question 2：What is a nagura?
It is a type of cleaning stone that helps in creating slurry on your finer grit stones, and in case the stones become uneven after use, it can also be used to flatten them.
Question 3: Why should we use Japanese Waterstones over other available options?
There are some advantages to choosing Japanese Waterstones over other options. These include:
- They can be used in various aspects of life since knives, scissors and blades, etc. are used in so many places that the need to sharpen these tools becomes necessary.
- They can be used from sharpening out edges to polishing the blades etc.
- Japanese Waterstones are better than the Waterstones manufactured elsewhere because only Japanese Waterstones can sharpen and polish Japanese knives as well as other knives, whereas other Waterstones can only sharpen other than Japanese knives as they damage them.
- They only need water as a lubricant, not some expensive oil or any other lubricant.
Question 4: What are the alternatives to Japanese Waterstones?
Options other than the Japanese Waterstones include:
Other whetstones– Whetstones formed from quartz, such as novaculite, are mined from many countries around the world.
Diamond plate– A steel plate coated with diamond grit, which is a form of carbon, and it can act as an abrasive which can grind metal.
Artificial stones– Artificial Waterstones let you choose the particle size and properties of the material of the Waterstones.
Pull-through sharpeners– They cause chipping in some knives during the sharpening process, especially in the Japanese knives that are thin and brittle.
Oil stones– They use oil as lubricants instead of water as in Japanese Waterstones which increases the cost of sharpening and polishing.
Question 5: How should I use the grit size?
There are different grit grades. Each grit grade is used for a different purpose. For example, the smaller grit grade is used for sharpening and roughing purposes and getting rid of the chips, whereas the Waterstones with greater grit grades are used for polishing and buffing of the blades. the medium grit grades are usually used for general sharpening of the blades.
Question 6: Is there a specific sequence for using Japanese Waterstones?
Yes, there is a specific sequence for using Waterstones. It depends upon the surface of the blade or razor that you want to sharpen. If the surface to be sharpened has chips in it, you should start with the roughing first however if you do not have any chips on the blade you can skip this step and skip to the next step in the sequence which is using Waterstones with medium grit grades, which is used for general sharpening. After that comes the part where a Waterstone of higher grit grades are used to polish and buff the blade.
Question 7: Which is better: Single grit or multiple grit?
If you are confused at the decision of buying a single grit or a multiple grit, let us clear that confusion up for you:
A single grit is used for only one purpose, whereas the multi grit can be used for multiple stages of the sequence of sharpening and polishing of the blade.
You can buy several single grit Waterstones for use in sharpening and polishing different knives and blades.
Single grit costs less than the multi-grit Waterstones.
Multi-grit Waterstone combines multiple grits in a handy package. Multi-grit Waterstone will consume less space than two single-grit Waterstones.
Waterstones are used to sharpen and polish a knife or a blade that can be used in so many daily tasks. There are different grades of the grit sizes of the Waterstones which perform different types of sharpening.
Larger grit sizes are used for polishing whereas smaller grit sizes are used for sharpening and clearing chips from a blade’s surface.
In this article, we have reviewed the top 10 best Japenese Waterstones. We learned how to use a Waterstone and sequence for using the Waterstone different types of Waterstones and different companies that manufacture Waterstone
Here’s to sharper knives and blades!
Last update on 2021-04-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API