Belgian Whetstone


Belgian Whetstone

Nowadays whetstones are known around the world and have become valuable collector?s items. The Belgian whetstone is another brilliant sharpening tool with its own very special qualities. If you?ve never heard about this stone before, you should definitely check it out.

Origin of the Belgian whetstone

The Belgian whetstone has already been used for several centuries, starting in the 17th century. The Belgian Ardennes are part of the Rhenish Massif. The sedimentary rock in these mountains was created over 400 million years ago and can only be found in the Ardennes. As in the past, the Belgian whetstones are still mined by hand in quarries.

Every Belgian whetstone is unique

Belgian whetstones are natural sharpening stones, which means that they are all unique. The surfaces of the individual stones also differ in hardness. Belgian whetstones are classified into different levels of quality (standard and extra or extra-extra). On a side note, the shape of the stone has nothing to do with the quality. The results when sharpening depend only on how hard the surface is. It is not uncommon for the Belgian whetstones to have small cracks or deformations. So called bench stones are also available to purchase. These are cut stones which are higher in price.

The Belgian whetstone and its special sharpening properties

Belgian whetstones are used for the final polish. The grit is between 6000 and 8000. They are typically used for polishing and honing knife blades, but can also be used to sharpen other objects. When sharpening with a Belgian whetstone, many micro-sized garnets are released, which is why this kind of whetstone sharpens very precisely and quickly. The garnets grind any steel, including high-performance steel, with ease.

Sharpening objects with a Belgian whetstone

Moisten the whole surface of the Belgian whetstone. Then take another small Belgian whetstone with a size of 1.5 x 3 cm or 3 x 3 cm and rub this over the surface of the whetstone you are going to use to sharpen the object until a kind of paste has formed. Put the rubbing stone aside and begin the sharpening process. Please note that different objects will require different sharpening techniques.

Smoothing the surface

Smaller Belgian whetstones, also known as rubbing stones, can be used to smooth and even out the surface of the whetstone. To do so, moisten the rubbing stone and run the over the surface of the whetstone until it is even and smooth again.