Best Japanese Sharpening Stones for Your Kitchen Knives (Buying Guide Included)

Japanese sharpening stones are portable accessories for sharpening knives and tools at home and on the road. They are as durable as the best diamond sharpening stones but cost significantly less money. They are also easy to use and recommended for sharpening both straight and curved edge blades. While you might have to use oil or water to boost the efficacy of these stones, they are generally safe to use as they are stable. Premium brands have non-slip bases that grip tables and countertops. The base acts as a storage area as well.

This article has provided detailed reviews of the best Japanese sharpening stones for use at home. We cover each products’ features, pros, and cons in detail to help you make an informed choice when buying. We have also shared a detailed buyer’s guide so you can understand what to look for when buying a Japanese sharpening stone.

Are you in a hurry?

If you're in a hurry, here are out top-rated Japanese sharpening tools.

Recommended
Finew Professional Whetstone Sharpener Stone Set

Best Overall

Finew Professional Whetstone Sharpener Stone Set

With Finew Professional, you will not gamble with knife sharpening as you get everything in a compact and affordable package. You get two water stones with four grit sizes (400/1000 3000/8000). These are suitable for honing dull knives made from durable materials such as steel. You can also hone knives and create a razor-sharp edge without exerting a lot of effort. The manufacturer provides a non-slip bamboo base for securing these stones as you sharpen knives. You also get an angle guide for adjusting the sharpening angle.

Shapton Ceramic Kuromaku Japanese Whetstone Sharpening Stone

High-End Pick

Shapton Ceramic Kuromaku Japanese Whetstone Sharpening Stone

With Shapton, you receive a 9.09 x 3.5 x 1.61-inch Ceramic Kuromaku whetstone with a coarse grit type. It has a unique melon theme that is easy to see in the dark. The premium ceramic used to make it is also one of the best to sharpen most knives. If you have a dull chisel or any other tool that needs restoration, this product will be of help too. Its wide surface fits most devices and has micro-graded particles that deliver quick and consistent results. Buy one worry-free today.

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Mizu 1000 6000 Grit Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone

Budget Pick

Mizu 1000/6000 Grit Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone

By design, Japanese sharpening stones are affordable items. To save more money without sacrificing quality, look for a Mizu 1000 / 6000-grit stone. Its classic Japanese-style design can sharpen most blades. It has an angle guide for adjusting the cutting angle and a non-slip bamboo base that plays two roles. First, it grips and secures the stone on tables or countertops, enabling you to use it safely. Also, due to its comfortable structure, you will not get tired of using the stone for long. This kitchen-grade sharpener is also suitable for sharpening all tools.


Benefits of Japanese Sharpening Stones

People employ many different techniques to keep their knives sharp. Diamond rods, for instance, are in demand but can be expensive. Others use river rocks or ship out their knives or tools to professionals for sharpening. Japanese stones are equally suitable for these reasons:

Versatile: Even though simple-looking, the versatility of Japanese sharpening stones makes them an ideal pick for most people. You can sharpen both straight and curved knives on them safely. If you have dull tools that need minor touch-ups, they can also work well.

Easy to Use: Professional grinding wheels require a bit of skill and effort to use correctly. They also can be expensive and take up a lot of space, which some people might not have. Japanese stones are different. Even though slow, they are straightforward to use. Secure yours to a base, add oil or water, and sharpen your knife or tool. Some models have angle guides that deliver even better results.

Long-Lasting: The abrasive micro-particles on Japanese sharpening stones can withstand abuse for a long time. They typically do not chip or fade over time, making these stones durable for both home and commercial use. Order a reputable brand to get a product that will not let you down.

About the Best Japanese Sharpening Stones – What to Look For

Are you looking for a new Japanese sharpening stone for honing your knives/tools? To get a versatile item that delivers, check these features.

Grit: Japanese sharpening stones come in three coarseness levels or grit. These determine the type of items you can sharpen and the quality of the results to expect. Rough stones (about 300 or less grit) can file off a considerable amount of material and are suitable for restoring damaged knives. They do not create a razor-sharp edge, though. If your knife is dull but not damaged, you will benefit from a medium grit sharpening stone. These restore blunt edges without scratching your blades; coarse grit stones often do. Finally, fine grit stones are suitable for making final touch-ups. They remove minor scratches and scuffs on knives and can create a razor-thin edge whenever needed. For the best results, but a product with coarse, medium, and fine grit edges.

Base: While sharpening a knife, you will be exposing your hands to sharp metals that can cause a great deal of damage. To handle the process safely, look for a product with a sturdy base. Bamboo or plastic models are ideal as they grip most surfaces securely. They also fit snug in hand and are suitable for storing stones when they are not in use.

Angle Guide: Not all Japanese sharpening stones have angle guides. However, for the best results, look for a model with one. These simple plastic add-ons help people position knives well while sharpening to get a fine edge. You do not gamble while sharpening.

Longevity: Japanese knives endure a lot of abuse while sharpening rigid knives and tools. Therefore, while shopping for daily use, opt for a brand that can withstand such a level of abuse. Its micro granules should be durable. The base and all other add-ons that it comes with should also be top-grade. Check their materials, structure, and reputation to know whether the product will serve you well.


Top 5 Best Japanese Sharpening Stones

Here are our picks of the best Japanese sharpening stones to date:

1. Finew Professional Whetstone Sharpener Stone Set

Features:

  • Four side grit (2 stones)
  • Secure bamboo base
  • Robust angle guider
  • Durable bamboo strop
  • Sharpens knives and tools
  • 30-day return service
  • Long lasting components

Finew sells an excellent kit containing everything that you’ll need to sharpen knives and tools. The two stones, for instance, have two reversible sides with different grits. The fine 400/1000 stone is ideal for honing and restoring dull knives, while its finer 3000/8000 is perfect for finishing edges. You can use them to sharpen tools and have a wide surface with tough micro granules. The Finew stones are super accurate. They are easy to use and have multiple add-ons to make your life easier while sharpening your knives or tools.

Its food-grade material is durable and fits comfortably in the hand while in use. The bamboo base, for instance, positions stones flat on your table or countertop. You also get an angle guide that helps position the knife at the proper cutting angle. The guide will help improve your results if you are not a professional. Finally, you get a leather strop for deburring your knife of polishing its edges. Like the stones, these accessories are long-lasting and very easy to use.

Pros:
  • You get multiple grit surfaces for sharpening different types of tools and knives.
  • A deburring and polishing leather strop is in the package.
  • A secure bamboo base makes the stones easy to use on most surfaces.
Cons:
  • The set does not come with an instruction guide on how to set it up and use it.
Our Verdict:

While beginners might struggle to set up and use these stones, they do a good job always. You get multi-grit surfaces for sharpening tools or knives. The angle guide helps you to position knives well, while its deburring leather strap in the pack will polish your blades as well.

2. Shapton Ceramic Kuromaku Japanese Whetstone Sharpening Stone

Features:

  • Color-coded stones
  • Various grit sizes
  • Controlled sharpening
  • Non-slip base
  • Durable ceramic
  • Sharpens knives and tools
  • Japanese made product

One of the worst decisions you can make while ordering a Japanese stone is to purchase a slippery product that creates a rough finish. It will ruin your knife, and you can slice your hand as you hone knives or tools. A premium ceramic model such as Shapton Kuromaku will serve you better for many reasons. The stone provides for a smooth, sharpening motion without slipping. It also provides a sharp and natural finish as it delivers superior grinding power compared to other conventional knife sharpeners. If you are constantly using your knives, you’ll need a sharp knife for consistent, easy cutting.  The Shapton is an excellent choice for this. It’s also great too for fishermen and even carpenters.

The color-coded design of the stones enables you to identify the correct grit while getting ready to sharpen your knives or tools. The melon-colored stone has a fine 8000 grit for finishing knives. However, it also comes in blue-black (320 grit), blue (1500 grit), and purple (30,000 grit), to name a few. The many grit sizes enable you to sharpen almost all tools and knives found in homes.

Pros:
  • The stone has a smooth sharpening feel that makes it quick and easy to use.
  • It comes in many grit sizes for sharpening most knives and tools.
  • 100% safe to use as the stone does not slip when wet.
Cons:
  • Not reversible. You have to buy many stones to get many grit sizes.
Our Verdict:

You will never go wrong with an authentic Shapton Japanese stone, as their quality is on another level. They come in many grit sizes for restoring, honing, and finishing knives. These stones also have color codes for quick identification and a plastic base that doubles as a storage case.

3. DALSTRONG - Premium Whetstones

Features:

  • Thick corundum structure
  • Two stones (1000/6000 grit)
  • Sturdy wood base
  • Precise sharpening surfaces
  • Food-grade (hypoallergenic)
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Satisfaction guarantee

DALSTRONG is a set of two premium whetstones (1000/6000 grit) made from thick corundum. The material is durable. It also offers unrivaled performance whenever you are sharpening knives due to its design. Here are some of the key features of this product.  First, the oversize stones on offer accommodate both small and large knives. Also, because they support precision sharpening, you get a fine edge every time using one of the two stones and water. You do not need power (as is the case with electric models) not special skills to use it.

DALSTRONG had your safety in mind while producing this premium set of whetstones. The set comes with a robust wooden base that secures them to smooth surfaces to prevent slipping. The wood is food-grade and has a slot on the side for storing a stone when not in use—as such, transporting and storing these Japanese stones is easy. You get a lifetime guarantee for these DALSTRONG sharpening stones. An original set also qualifies for unlimited customer service.

Pros:
  • The thick corundum used to make these stones are durable, safe, and offer precise sharpening.
  • You get two Japanese sharpening stones (1000/6000 grit) that accommodate most knives.
  • It has a sturdy wooden base that boosts the stability of the stones on tables.
Cons:
  • You do not get an angle guide, which is a bummer.
Our Verdict:

While you do not get a sharpening guide and leather stope, this product will not let you down. They are thicker and larger than other products in this niche. They also sharpen efficiently and have a wood base that boosts their stability on tables. The quality is amazing.

4. Mizu 1000/6000 Grit Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone

Features:

  • 1000/6000 grit sharpener
  • Durable Japanese style
  • Double sides design
  • Restores and sets edges
  • Detailed usage instructions
  • Robust angle guide
  • Satisfaction guarantee (100%)

Mizu is a 1000/6000 grit Japanese-style wet stone with a bamboo base, an angle guide, and detailed instructions. Its professional design is not only durable but also does an excellent job always for several reasons. For instance, its double-sided design is suitable for restoring dull blades and setting edges. As such, your knives will stay sharp and functional always if you use them as needed. Follow the detailed instructions in its guide to get the best out of it.

With Mizu, you will never struggle to position your knife correctly whenever you are sharpening. Its broad surface fits knives of all shapes and sizes. You also get an angle guide that will help you to position your knife/tool correctly to get a sharp edge. The product makes a good gift item as it comes in a stylish and secure pack. You get a satisfaction guarantee as well, which attests to its high quality.

Pros:
  • It has a long-lasting two-sided design that can sharpen most knives.
  • Its unique Japanese style is durable and has an instruction guide that eases its use.
  • An angle guide positions knives accurately to deliver better results.
Cons:
  • The surfaces are prone to pitting if you handle them roughly.
Our Verdict:

Be gentle with a Mizu sharpening stone to get professional results for many years. Its reversible design is suitable for sharpening most knives and tools. It is also portable and has an angle guide that helps you to get a sharp edge every time. You will enjoy using one at home.

5. Yoshihiro Professional Grade Toishi Japanese Whetstone Knife Sharpener Water

Features:

  • 2.9-inches wide
  • Thick stone (0.9 inches)
  • Reputable Japanese brand
  • Sharpens most knives
  • Proudly made in Japan
  • Sharpens most knives

Yoshihiro is a reputable Japanese brand that has produced premium knife sharpeners for years. The Toishi, for instance, is a recommended sushi-grade model measuring around 2.9-inches wide. The stone is thick (0.9-inches) and can provide years of excellent service irrespective of the knife in your possession. You can use it to sharpen tools without its grains pitting or the stone losing its efficacy.

This sharpener is available online at a reasonable price. Therefore, if you struggle to sharpen knives and cannot pay for the professional services offered online, this is the product for you. The value of this sharpening stone is excellent.

Pros:
  • It has a durable Japanese-made design that sharpens most types of knives.
  • Its thick design (0.9 inches) withstands abuse for many years.
  • The Nagura conditioning stone creates a sharp edge without ruining knives.
Cons:
  • The product is beginner friends as it requires a bit of effort to use.
Our Verdict:

Yoshihiro is a durable knife sharpener that can also sharpen tools, to name a few. While it requires a bit of effort to use correctly, it does a good job always. The thick stone used to make it lasts for many years.


Final Words

These Japanese sharpening knives will help you to maintain sharp and multi-functional knives at home. They are long lasting and made from food-grade materials that do an excellent job always. A majority also have add-ons such as angle guides and secure bases that boost their versatility further. Buy worry-free. They deliver the best results always.

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