How often have you thrown away a dull knife? What about scissors that would no longer cut?
Let’s not forget that close shave that ended up looking like war zone instead of smooth skin.
Whetstones, or better known as sharpening stones, are used to sharpen steel tools by honing or grinding. You can use whetstones on scissors, knives, razors, chisels, scythes, and more!
Sharpening stones comes in various grades, or size of grit on the stone. Think of different levels of sandpaper. They also come in different shapes, sizes, and materials.
Natural vs. Artificial
Natural whetstones are usually made out of quartz. Traditionally, the Japanese have been using natural sharpening stones for hundreds of years.
However, the use of natural stones have almost become obsolete with the invention of artificial stones.
These high-quality, synthetic stones are equal to or even better at sharpening than natural stones. Because artificial stones are made with consistent particle size (or grade), they are able to produce an even sharpening process.
These stones are formed by using a bonded abrasive made of ceramic. This makes for a faster cutting motion than natural sharpening stones.
The best part? Artificial whetstones are usually double-sized with a course grade (or grit) on the one side and a finer grit on the other. It’s almost like a two for one special!
Oil vs. Water Stone
“Whet” is sometimes mistaken for “wet”. But “whet” actually means to sharpen. However, lubricating a whetstone with either water or oil helps in the cutting action and carries away metal scrapings.
Don’t want to lubricate your whetstone? No worries. You don’t need to lubricate a sharpening stone at all.
But can all stones use both water or oil?
The answer is no. Some natural stones should only be lubricated with water since oil decreases the effectiveness.
Oil stones, however, don’t wear out as fast as its softer partner.
Thinking about getting a Honing Steel File? Maybe a Grinding Wheel? Single Application Knife Sharpener? What about a Razer Strop? Sharpening Jig?
Forget all those. Whetstones can replace all of them and work even better!