The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (2023)

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (1)

by Joost NusselderUpdated November 2, 2022

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The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (2)

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Are you looking for the best way to sharpen your knives?

Japanese whetstones are among the best in the world. They are made from high quality materials and generally last longer than other types of whetstones.

Ajapanese sharpening stoneit's a perfect way to get that sharp edge. These stones come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can find the perfect stone for your needs.

Follow the steps below to learn which is the best Japanese whetstone and how to choose one, so you can use your now-sharpened knives to prepare the perfect dishes in no time!

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (3)

But what is the best Japanese whetstone you can buy?

The best Japanese whetstone or whetstone depends on the type of knife you are going to use.

The Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife SharpenerIt has 2 grains that allow you to sharpen all types of Japanese knives. It is durable and will withstand repeated use. It also comes with an angle guide so you always get the sharpest edge, no matter what blade shape or size.

We'll discuss the factors to consider when choosing a whetstone for your knife, and then I'll show you some of the best whetstones available.

I'll also explain what makes these Japanese whetstones so great and give you tips on how to use them correctly.

Check out the top whetstones and read the full reviews below:

Beste WetzsteinePhotos
Best overall Japanese whetstone: Der Sharp Pebble PremiumThe 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (4)

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Best Budget Japanese Sharpening Stone: Goodjob BonusThe 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (5)

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Best set of japanese sharpening stones and best for beginners:KERYE Profi
The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (6)

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Best Japanese Sharpening Stone for Professionals and Chefs:MITSUMOTO SAKARIThe 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (7)

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Best diamond whetstone: Diamond Machine Technology (DMT)The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (8)

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Best Ceramic Whetstone: Ha No Kuromaku Medium Grain #1000The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (9)

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The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (10)

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Buying Guide: How Do I Choose the Right Japanese Whetstone for My Needs?

Japan is known worldwide foryour unique dishesand exceptional attention to detail in cooking. That's why using sharp knives is essential to preparing the perfect dish.

When choosing a Japanese whetstone, you need to consider four main factors: grain, stone type, price, and durability.

You should also consider thatwhat a knifeyou want to sharpen, the sharpness you need, your knife material, and your budget.

A carbon steel knife, for example, requires a different degree of sharpening and a different grit than a stainless steel knife.

Fortunately, there are several different types of sharpening stones on the market, so you're sure to find one that suits your needs.

grain size

Grain is the most important factor when choosing a whetstone. The grain indicates how fine the particles that make up the stone are.

The larger the grain, the finer the particles and the sharper your knives will be.

A softer wheel is better for thinner blades, while a harder wheel is better for thicker blades.

Looking to keep an already sharp knife? Then you probably need a lower grit.

However, if you need to sharpen a dull knife, medium or higher grit stones may be required.

A medium grit of 1000-2000 is ideal for most purposes.

However, if you want a really sharp edge on your knives or have a larger blade, it may be better to use a higher grit.

The right grit for your knife depends on the type and size of your blade, as well as how sharp you want it to be. For example, a lower grit like 220 grit is better for very dull or damaged blades that need repair, while a higher grit like 3000 grit is better for general sharpening.

type of whetstone

The type of whetstone you choose is also an important consideration.

In general, there are six main types of Japanese whetstones:

  • Natural stone
  • Keramikstein
  • Diamantstein
  • combination stone
  • water stone
  • Ölstein

Each type of whetstone has its own pros and cons, including price, skill level required to use it, and durability.

(Video) The Best Guide to Japanese Whetstones -Watch before you buy one

I will explain them briefly.

natural whetstone

Natural whetstones are made from a variety of materials such as: B. Novaculite, Arkansas Stone and Washita Stone.

These stones are the cheapest options, but require the most maintenance - you'll need to soak them in water for at least 20 minutes before using them.

In addition, they must be lubricated with oil during the grinding process so that they do not dry out.

ceramic sharpening stone

Ceramic sharpening stones are man-made from a variety of materials such as silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, and zirconium oxide.

They are more expensive than natural stones, but they don't require as much maintenance. Even better? You only need to soak them for a fraction of the time it takes to soak more naturally - about 5 minutes before use.

diamond whetstone

As the name suggests, these stones are made from diamond dust. They are the most expensive type of whetstone, but also the most effective, as they are capable of sharpening even the toughest blades.

Also, they don't need to be soaked or oiled - just use them dry. However, you need to clean them frequently to prevent diamond dust from clogging your pores.

A diamond sharpening stone is the most durable type of sharpening stone, so you won't need to replace it as often.

whetstone combination

As the name suggests, blended stones are a mixture of two different types of stones. For example, a common combination is ceramic and diamond stone.

This combines the best of both worlds: the quick sharpening ability of a diamond stone with the cheaper price of a ceramic stone.

whetstone for water

The most common type is waterstone, which is made from abrasive materials such as silicon carbide or aluminum oxide.

Water stones tend to be softer than oil stones, making them more suitable for beginners. However, they can wear out quickly and often need to be planed.

whetstone for oil

Oil stones are made from harder materials like Novaculite or Arkansas stone. They are more durable than water stones and don't need to be flattened as much.

However, they can be more difficult to use as they require the use of oil. For this reason, they are generally reserved for experienced sharpeners.

No matter what type of Japanese whetstone you choose, you are sure to get a quality whetstone that will give you many years of pleasure.


Price is always an important criterion for every purchase. Japanese whetstones range from $10 to $100.

Of course, you get what you pay for, as more expensive whetstones, such as diamond, are of higher quality and last much longer than other materials.

However, there are some great affordable options for those on a bigger budget, as mentioned earlier (think natural and ceramic whetstones).


Finally, you must consider the durability of the stone.

Japanese whetstones are generally very durable, but some are more durable than others. The best example of this is natural sharpening stones versus ceramic or diamond sharpening stones.

Whatever your budget or needs, there is a perfect Japanese whetstone for you. Make sure you research before you buy.

Japanese whetstone base

The base is the most important part of the whetstone. It needs to be flat and level so the stone can sit securely without wobbling.

A good way to test the flatness of the base is to place a piece of paper on top of it and see if it slides. If that's the case, the base isn't flat enough.

The substrate must also be made of a non-porous material so that it does not absorb water from the stone. A good material for this is silicone or bamboo wood.

Bamboo is very popular because it is eco-friendly, sustainable and has a very low absorption rate.

The size of the base is also important. It should be big enough to fit comfortably on the grinding wheel, but not too big to make it difficult to move.

Finally, make sure the base is non-slip, as if the whetstone moves while you sharpen the knives, you risk cutting your fingers.

Once you have your japanese knife sharpened againBe sure to store it properly in a knife block or holder as well.

The best Japanese whetstones in the test

Now that you know a little more about Japanese whetstones, it's time to choose the one that best suits your needs.

We have prepared a detailed list of the best options on the market, taking into account the user's skill, use and stone material.

When making your decision, we recommend considering the type of knife you have, the sharpening you need, and your budget.

There are many great options out there, but which one is really the best for keeping your kitchen knives sharp and ready for action?

Let's find out...

Best overall Japanese whetstone: The Sharp Pebble Premium

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (11)

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  • water whetstone
  • Grain: 1000/6000
  • Base: bambu
  • Weight: 2.1 pounds

If you are looking for an authentic Japanese whetstone to sharpen all types of knives, this Sharp Pebble is your best buy.

Sharp Pebble is a well known manufacturer of knife sharpeners and this one in particular has two sides.

It is a two sided oilstone - one side 1000 grit to tackle dull and damaged blades and the other side 6000 grit for polishing and finishing.

This whetstone is best for sharpeningauthentic japanese knivesbecause it has the 1000 grit which is essential for a good sharp blade and then the 6000 grit for finishing and polishing to keep your knives like new.

This stone is for use with water only and can be safely stored when not in use.

The oil stone is made from durable aluminum oxide and comes with a non-slip bamboo base to help you keep a steady hand when sharpening your knives.

It has an overall rating of 4.6*, scoring high on durability, stability, and value for money.

Sharp's premium pebble also scored points in terms of ease of use, so many beginners were able to successfully use this whetstone knife sharpener on their first try.

What sets this whetstone apart from others is the easy-to-understand angle orientation. It shows which angle to sharpen for different types of knivesYanagiba, he must,Gyuto, etc

There are many fake whetstones like this one out there, but these just don't last as long and they get too soft, like soap!

(Video) A Guide to Choosing and Using a Whetstone or Sharpening Stone

One thing to keep in mind is that this stone wears out a little faster than those $100 whetstones.

However, it is easy to use and will not damage your blade. So once you learn how to create a burr, your knife will be razor sharp!

Check current prices here

Read too:

Best Budget Japanese Sharpening Stone: Goodjob Premium

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (12)

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  • water whetstone
  • Grit: 400/1000
  • base: rubber
  • Weight: 1.87 pounds

If you're looking for a quality whetstone but don't want to spend a lot of money, this Goodjob set is a great option.

It comes with two stones (400/1000 grit) and a rubber base for a very affordable price.

The 400 grit side is perfect for repairing damaged blades and the 1000 grit side can be used to sharpen the knife.

Unlike higher grit whetstones, this one is not recommended for finishing premium knives, so I only recommend it for regular sharpening your knives.

This sharpening stone is made of high quality white corundum and also requires a good soak in water before starting to sharpen.

Goodjob also has a great video tutorial on how to use this whetstone if you're a beginner.

Please note that the stones are quite soft and therefore wear out quickly.

But they are very affordable, so replacing them is usually not a big deal.

One drawback of this product is that it does not come with a storage box. Also, it cannot be used to sharpen serrated and ceramic knives - just use your regular Japanese knives.

The Goodjob Whetstone has a rubber base for stability. The base is also non-slip, so you don't have to worry about it moving while sharpening your knives.

This set is ideal for anyone just starting to sharpen knives as it comes with detailed instructions on how to use the stones.

It also has an angle guide so you can sharpen your knives at just the right angle.

This is the basic, no-fuss type of Japanese sharpening stone, great for basic jobs like fixing minor imperfections and keeping blades sharp.

Check current prices here

Better overall Sharp Pebble vs. Best Goodjob Budget

Sharp Pebble is best for anyone looking for a stone to use with premium knives, while Goodjob is best for anyone looking for a basic stone to sharpen their regular knives.

If you are looking for the best quality/price ratio, choose the Goodjob set. It's a great quality product that comes with two stones and a rubber base for a very affordable price.

Sharp Pebble is also a great product, but it is more expensive and comes with only one stone.

However, you can notice the difference in quality between these two right from the start. Sharp Pebble has a bamboo base while Goodjob has a rubber base.

Pebble Sharp is also double sided whereas Goodjob is single sided only.

So if you're willing to spend a little more money, Sharp Pebble is a better option.

Both stones are made of white corundum and need to be soaked well in water before use.

Now let's compare the grains. Sharp Pebble is slightly finer at 6000 grit, while Goodjob is coarser at 1000 grit.

Sharp Pebble is best for those who want a really fine finish on their knives, while Goodjob is best for those who just want to sharpen their knives and don't mind a little imperfection.

In short, if you're willing to spend a little more money and want a really nice finish on your knives, Sharp Pebble is the best stone.

Goodjob is the best stone if you are looking for an easy to use stone to sharpen your regular knives.

Best Japanese Sharpening Stones Set and Best for Beginners: KARYE Professional

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (13)

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  • water whetstone
  • Grain: 400/1000 + 3000/8000
  • Base: bambu
  • Weight: 5 pounds

If you're looking for a premium whetstone with all the necessary accessories, the Kerye set is for you.

Two whetstones with different grits are included. The first stone is 400/1000 grit, which is better for repairing and sharpening.

The second stone is 3000/8000 grit for finishing and polishing.

Chefs recommend that you use 3000 grit to sharpen your meat knives such as gyuto orSantokuwhile 8000 grit is better for sharpening the edge of your knivesUsubaor smaller knives.

This set also comes with bamboo base, smoothing stone for leveling, sharpening angle guide, leather handle, cut-resistant gloves and carrying bag.

The leather strap will help you to polish the blade and also remove burrs. The smoothing stone allows you to level the surface of the whetstone when it starts to get uneven.

The bamboo base is non-slip and also has a water reservoir to keep the stones wet. Angle guide ensures you sharpen your knives at the correct angle.

The carrying case is great for keeping everything together and preventing the bricks from chipping.

You also get cut-resistant gloves to protect your hands when sharpening.

The Kerye set is a little more expensive than the Sharp Pebble, but it's worth it because you get two stones and you can polish it finer since it has that 8000 finish.

So if you're looking for a complete set that includes everything you need to sharpen your knives, the Kerye set is for you.

The Kerye set is also ideal for anyone new to knife sharpening as it comes with detailed instructions on how to use the stones.

What people really like about this set is the added angle protection. This is a little clip that fits over the spine of your knife and holds the blade in place so you get that 18-degree angle with every stroke.

(Video) How to choose a sharpening stone, whetstone, ceramic, diamond + Grit Size

So you won't be sharpening at different angles. This feature is a must for beginners as it ensures consistent sharpness.

Some people also find kerye stones to be softer and easier to use.

One thing to note is that the Kerye set is quite large and heavy, so it might not suit anyone looking for a portable option.

Check current prices here

Make your set even more completea Japanese traditional knife sheath to protect your sharp knife

Best Japanese Whetstone for Professionals and Chefs: MITSUMOTO SAKARI

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (14)

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  • water whetstone
  • Grain: 1000/3000
  • Base: bambu
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds

This is an authentic Japanese whetstone built for chefs and professionals alike.

Mitsumoto Sakari Stone is a natural water stone quarried in Niigata Prefecture, Japan.

It has 1000/3000 grit and is one of the hardest stones on the market. It is a classic double-sided whetstone that can be used for both repair and finishing.

The 1000 grit side is for repair and the 3000 grit side is for finishing.

This type of Japanese stone ensures that your blade lasts a long time without losing its edge. Allows you to sharpen knives at an angle of 10 to 20 degrees.

This stone is perfect for anyone who wants a really sharp edge on their knives.

It's also great for anyone who sharpens knives frequently, as it doesn't wear out as quickly as other stones.

Therefore, it is best suited for chefs who need to keep sharpening their Japanese knife collection while working in a busy restaurant.

You will clearly notice a big difference between Mitsumoto and lower cost stones like Goodjob, which wear out much faster.

Furthermore, the bamboo base of this whetstone contains a rubber gasket that prevents it from slipping during use.

Some cheaper products don't have a good rubber seal, so your stone may make small movements while sharpening and that's very unsafe.

The base is also quite large, so you don't have to worry about the stone moving around while sharpening your knives.

This whetstone doesn't have the 6000 grit needed for extra fine polishing, but if you cook all the time you won't need a finer grit than 3000 because you'll need to keep sharpening your blade.

The only drawback of this stone is that it is very expensive. However, if you're looking for a quality and durable option, the Mitsumoto Sakari is your best bet.

Check current prices here

Kerye Set for Beginners vs. Mitsumoto for chefs

The Kerye set is great for beginners as it comes with detailed instructions and angle guards. Mitsumoto stone is best suited for chefs as it is a harder stone that can withstand more severe sharpening.

With the Kerye set you have 4 beans to choose from, while the Mitsumoto only has 2.

Kerye is also softer and easier to use, while Mitsumoto is harder and better for those who want a really sharp edge.

The Kerye set is big and heavy, while the Mitsumoto set is smaller and more portable.

Both whetstones have a sturdy, non-slip bamboo base, but the Mitsumoto has a better rubber seal.

If you work in a restaurant, you won't be polishing your knives as much, so you probably won't need an 8000 grit as fine.

You need a better, stronger stone that won't wear out as quickly. That's why I recommend Mitsumoto. It is made in Japan and will last a long time.

When starting out, opt for the Kerye set as it comes with helpful instructions and 4 different grains to choose from.

Finally, the Kerye set is cheaper, while the Mitsumoto is more expensive.

Bester Diamantschleifstein: Diamond Machine Technology (DMT)

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (15)

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  • Diamantschleifstein
  • Size: 45 micron / 325 mesh, 25 micron / 600 mesh, 9 micron / 1200 mesh
  • base: wood
  • Weight: 1.8 pounds

This diamond whetstone is the best choice for those who don't like traditional Japanese whetstones or find them too difficult to use.

The DMT features an easy-to-use three-stone system and a durable base that won't slip while sharpening your knives.

It also doesn't require water, making it ideal for frequent travellers.

The three grains allow you to sharpen, repair and finish your blades.

45 micron / 325 mesh is for repair, 25 micron / 600 mesh is for sharpening, and 9 micron / 1200 mesh is for finishing.

This diamond whetstone is perfect for anyone who wants a really sharp edge on their knives. It's also great for anyone who sharpens knives frequently, as it doesn't wear out as quickly as other stones.

Traditional waterstones will become chamfered and swollen over time - this is not the case with diamond stones. Therefore, many people prefer to use this material to sharpen their Japanese knives.

Another benefit of this type of whetstone is that it takes less time to use.

On average, it takes about 1/3 of the sharpening strokes and strokes to sharpen your knife compared to a regular aluminum whetstone.

One downside is that diamond stones are narrower than traditional whetstones, which takes some getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, you won't have any problems.

Also, I want to mention that you don't need to use a lot of water with them, so all you need is a light mist of water. That means less mess and no more dirty, muddy water to clean up.

This type of whetstone is a real time saver. Just note that this type of sharpening stone is much more expensive than others.

Check current prices here

(Video) Whetstone Sharpening Mistakes that Most Beginners Make

Best Ceramic Stone to Sharpen: Ha No Kuromaku Medium Grain #1000

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (16)

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  • ceramic sharpening stone
  • Grain: 1000
  • base: plastic
  • Weight: 1.5 ounces

With this sharpening stone, you don't need to soak it before use. Just splash some water and you can start sharpening in about a minute.

The Ha No Kuromaku is a great ceramic whetstone, perfect for those just starting out. It has medium grain 1000, great for sharpening and repairing your knives.

For regular home use this is the type of grit you need and this stone will keep your blades in pristine condition.

It's the kind of whetstone that gives consistent results and doesn't let you down, use after use.

What you will immediately notice is that it is very hard compared to regular water stones.

Unlike water stones, this one does not flake off and is much denser. Therefore, you can expect excellent results after using it.

However, be aware that this type of sharpening stone can chip easily, so extra care should be taken when using it. Also, it might feel a little rough on your fingers at first, but you'll get used to it after a few uses.

It's also very small and light, perfect for those who travel frequently or don't have a lot of storage space.

The only downside of this whetstone is that it doesn't come with a wooden base and many people prefer the classic bamboo base. However, the plastic is sturdy and doubles as a carrying case.

Check current prices here

Diamond vs ceramic sharpening stone

These are two different types of whetstones: diamond and ceramic. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs.

Diamond whetstones are more expensive than ceramic ones, but they are also more durable and last longer. They are also easier to use as you don't need to soak them before using them.

Ceramic whetstones are cheaper, but you'll need to let the stone soak for about a minute before starting work.

When it comes to sharpening, any type of whetstone will do the job, but diamond stones are faster.

The DMT whetstone has 3 grit that you can use, while the Ha No Kuromaku only has a 1000 grit which is medium.

Furthermore, the Ha No Kuromaku has a plastic base, which some people might not like as much as the classic bamboo base.

So it all comes down to personal preference and needs when deciding what type of whetstone to buy.

If you're looking for a quick, durable and easy-to-use sharpening stone, choose the Diamond Sharpening Stone. If you're looking for an affordable option that still gets the job done, choose the ceramic whetstone.

Electric Whetstones vs. manuals

Many people think that using a knife sharpener is easy, but there are actually a few things to consider before purchasing one. One of those considerations is whether you should buy a manual or electric whetstone.

Electric sharpeners are the fastest and easiest to use.

That's because you only need to run the blade through the sharpener a few times and it will do the rest of the work for you. Their downside is that they can be expensive.

Manual sharpeners, on the other hand, require a little more effort but are a much more cost-effective option.

To use a handheld Japanese whetstone, hold the blade at just the right angle and run it through the sharpener in one smooth motion.

The best option for you really depends on your needs.

If you're looking for a quick and easy way to sharpen your kitchen knives, an electric whetstone is the way to go.

However, if you're on a budget or simply prefer the satisfaction of sharpening your knives by hand, a hand whetstone is probably a better option.

final thoughts

Choosing the right Japanese sharpening stone is crucial to getting the most out of your knife sharpening set.

There are many different types and sizes of whetstones, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. It's important to choose the right one for your needs to get the best results.

When it comes to the top pick for the best Japanese whetstone, the award goes to the Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone Knife.

This is a universal whetstone with the most common grains you can use for sharpeningjapanese and western knivesSo you always have sharp cutlery on hand.

It can also be used to sharpen all types of knives, including pocket knives, steak knives, kitchen knives and more.

No matter your budget or skill level, there's a perfect Japanese whetstone for you. There are many great options on the market, so you're sure to find the right sharpening tool for your needs.

check it out too

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (17)

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun family recipes complete the meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it free with Kindle Unlimited:

read for free

The 6 Best Japanese Whetstones / Whetstones for Sharp Knives (18)

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun, is a content marketer, father and loves to try new foods, with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he creates in-depth blog articles to help loyal readers since 2016 recipes and cooking tips.

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