Updated on 16 October, 2021
The knife's sharpness can be lost if it is used repeatedly, making it more difficult to use. A dull or chipped edge can also pose a risk to your health. That's why it is a good idea for your knives to be sharpened every now and then. And it's not easy to find the right knife sharpener. Sometimes it is best to go back to basics and use a tool that has been around for centuries to sharpen your knives, such as a whetstone.
If you want to get the best results, it is important to understand the purpose of each stone. However, if you don't have enough knowledge, you could end up with a knife not suitable for your needs. But first...
Whetstones can also be called sharpening stones. These stones can be synthetic or natural and are used to sharpen knives and they come in different sizes and can be made of different materials.
You can transform the surface of the whetstone by running your knife's edges back and forth on it. The type of whetstone you use will determine whether the blade gets a polished or dull look.
Sharpening a knife using a whetstone can be simple, even though it might seem difficult. You must first ensure the blade is at an angle when rubbing against a stone.
It will help if you are looking for the proper dimensions of the whetstone for your cutting tools. A small whetstone can make it more challenging to sharpen large knives, and the process can be dangerous and frustrating. A whetstone to sharpen kitchen knives should measure approximately 6 inches. A longer whetstone might be more suitable if you plan to sharpen knives that are over 8 inches in length.
There are four types of whetstones available on the market. Each one has its pros and cons. Let's first look at the four main types of whetstones and their characteristics.
Water stones are one of the most popular whetstones. However, the stones must be soaked in water before they can be used. They are some of the most stunning whetstones available, but they can be very fragile. These stones can be very delicate if they are subjected to repeated drying and soaking. So, important to replace them once in a while.
Before oil stones can be used, it is necessary to spray oil on their surfaces. This will ensure that the knife's metallic residues are removed when sharpening, and it will last longer. Oil can make sharpening more effortless, but it can also cause more work and take longer.
If you're looking for a durable whetstone, a ceramic stone is an excellent choice because it is hard and brittle. It was designed to replace natural sharpening stones. Therefore, they don't require oil or water before use. However, it would be best if you cleaned it after each use. And once you are done, clean the whetstone's surface. It is essential to properly maintain a ceramic sharpening tool stone if you intend to purchase one.
These are the most expensive and valuable whetstones available. These whetstones, despite their high prices, are extremely popular. You can make diamond whetstones from either metal or plastic plates with tiny diamonds attached at the top. And there are two types - The most popular one has holes in the surface, and the other one is continuous and has no gaps which are more expensive.
Many whetstones have a number on them. This number is probably not something you are familiar with but this number indicates the degree of coarseness or grittiness which means, the lower the number, the grittier a whetstone will be.
Each grade of grit is different and will sharpen your knife differently. Based on the number of whetstones, there are three types: coarse, medium, and fine.
4. Quality, durability, price
A product should not be made of inferior materials or last for a long time. Therefore, you should carefully evaluate the price of a ceramic or diamond whetstone. However, longevity is not always determined by quality.