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WhetstonesWhetstones have a special surface that is used to sharpen objects such as knives, razor blades, scissors etc. There are whetstones with a very rough grit, which are used for pre-sharpening very blunt objects as well as those with a very fine surface, which are used for fine grinding and for honing or polishing blades.
Natural stones versus artificial stonesWhat makes natural whetstones special is that each piece is one of a kind. This is what gives the Belgian whetstones or Arkansas stones their appeal. Natural whetstones are available to buy in cut, rectangular shapes or in their natural shape. Cut stones are more expensive. Many people collect natural whetstones. Artificial whetstones are almost always square or rectangular. Among them you’ll also find larger models for a smaller budget. But watch out: The quality of the stones can vary immensely. Another notable difference between whetstones: Some are used with water, others with a grinding oil.
How big should the whetstone be?This depends on what you want to sharpen with the stone. A small stone, for example 4 x 6 cm, should be plenty big enough to sharpen razor blades. Whetstones from 50 cm² are better suited to sharpening kitchen knives. Belgian whetstones come with additional rubbing stones. These allow you to smooth the whetstone and create an even surface. These are very small and are only used for this purpose.
Sharpening objects with a whetstone
It doesn’t matter how good or expensive a knife is; it will lose sharpness over time. That makes working precisely and cleanly impossible. But this isn’t a reason to throw away your high-quality tools. You can sharpen the blades so they’re just like new.
To grind knives and other objects, follow these steps:
- First use a rather coarse whetstone for the initial rough grinding. For this we recommend using a whetstone with a grit of 100-300.
- Then start the actual grinding process with a whetstone with grit between 650 and 2000
- Finally, use a fine whetstone with a grit of 2000 to 8000 to give the object the final polish.
Note that each object or blade must be sharpened differently and held at a different angle to the grindstone.