Whetstone Grit 1000/6000 Review
A simple sharpening stone set that gets the job done without motors or noise
Sharpening Stone Review: We purchased the Whetstone Grit 1000/6000 so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen.
Keeping your knives fresh and sharp is great practice for any kitchen. Not only will it make tasks like chopping, dicing, and slicing run more smoothly, but it’s also safer to use sharp knives over dull ones. That’s why it’s so important to invest in a quality sharpener or whetstone to maintain your knives.
I’ve sharpened knives using a variety of methods and gadgets, so I was ready to give all my knives some extra care when the Whetstone Grit 1000/6000 arrived. I pulled out the plastic-handled cafeteria-grade knives, the expensive Shun knives, the Wusthof and Calphalon and Sabatier knives—and for a final flourish, the handmade knife that’s been in my family kitchens for generations. Keep reading for my honest thoughts.
The simple, clean design of this whetstone would look good sitting on an open shelf, but it’s certainly small enough to tuck into a drawer—of course taking care not to chip or damage it. While it can be stored in its box, I would have loved a storage case to keep it clean and undamaged.
The stone itself is two-sided, with a coarser-grit blue side and a finer-grit white side. The stone nestles into a silicone holder and then onto the wooden base with a nonslip bottom. While the nonslip is a good idea, it sometimes slipped a bit on a wood surface. I sometimes worked on a cloth, which also gave me a place to wipe the blade.
A small guide is included that keeps the knife at a 20-degree angle, which is desirable for Western-style knives. I tried the guide and found it most useful on midsized knives, but it was just silly with my large Tuo chopping knife.
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Material: Sapphires and rubies?
The stones are made from aluminum oxide. In its gem state, this material is a sapphire or ruby, but in this case, it’s an abrasive material that’s hard enough to wear away at the metal. It’s not as hard as diamond stones, but hard enough for my steel knives.
This includes a double-sided sharpening stone, a silicone holder, a wooden base, and a 20-degree sharpening guide.
Once I’d done my sharpening, I moved to the finer 6000 grit side for a finer finish. I also used it for knives that didn’t need actual sharpening.
Performance: Needs the right technique
I’ve never used a whetstone with a guide before, so I was curious. It slips over the knife’s back and keeps the blade at a 20-degree angle during sharpening when the guide rests on the stone.
It wasn’t perfect. It was too tight to fit on some of my knives. It was too large to make sense for my smallest knives. And with my largest knives, it didn’t always make contact with the stone. Still, it’s not a bad idea. I prefer to think of it as training wheels for people who haven’t sharpened knives before, or for those who are out of practice. It shows what a 20-degree angle feels like, so the user can practice until it feels comfortable. Then, the guide can be set aside. Once the user gets the feel of the 20-degree angle, they can estimate a 15-degree angle for Eastern-style knives.
When I ran my fingers over each side of the stone, I couldn’t feel a difference, but when I started sharpening, I could feel it. The 1000-grit blue side was the coarser of the two, while the 6000-grit was finer.
The instructions that came with the stone were minimal but there are plenty of videos with even more help. Still, I’ve found that people tend to develop their own style over time. I started my sharpening education watching Dad sharpen the entire kitchen arsenal with precision and patience. But even with years of watching, my method isn’t exactly the same as his.
The simple, clean design of this whetstone would look good sitting on an open shelf, but it’s certainly small enough to tuck into a drawer—of course taking care not to chip or damage it.
Before sharpening started, I soaked the stone in water for 20 minutes.
Then I grabbed my less-expensive and less-important knives. I kept water nearby to keep re-wet the stone wet. As I worked, the stone acquired some dark grit from the metal from the knives, as well as some slurry from the stones themselves. While you may get an urge to clean things up during sharpening, that loose material actually plays a part in the sharpening process. It’s simple to clean up afterward.
The is a budget-friendly option for beginners.
This double-sided stone comes with commonly used grits of 1000 and 6000, a base, and an angle guide. You sharpen your knife on the coarse side and hone it on the fine side. The stone fits into the base for a snug fit and the angle guide helps you practice how to correctly hold the knife while sharpening. This is a water stone that requires soaking in water for at least 10 to 15 minutes before you can use it.
I started most of my knives on the coarser blue side, sharpening them to a fine edge. None of my knives were so dull that they needed an even coarser grit, so the stone did a fine job. My Misen knife, with a softer blade than most I have, sharpened the fastest. Other knives needed a bit more time.
I tried the guide and found it most useful on midsized knives, but it was just silly with my large chopping knife. On the other hand, it covered too much of the blade when I attached it to my favorite boning knife. Still, it’s good training for holding knives at the proper angle.
Some reviewers online noted that the stone developed a bowl shape in the center, but I didn’t have that issue, perhaps because I was careful to use the entire surface of the stone rather than concentrating on the center.
Whetstone Grit 1000/6000: Retailing around $38, this is an affordable stone.
The grit selections are sufficient for home cooks who want to learn how to use a whetstone and who haven’t let their blades get too dull. There are more expensive stones, as well as kits that include more stones with more grit variety, but I like this as a starter.