Whether you are a professional chef, or just fond of cooking in general, you must have an idea about the importance of kitchen tools in our everyday culinary lives. Without the proper sharp edge of a knife, a decent meal would take hours to make. So what happens when we do not take care of these tools properly?
Fortunately, this is where Japanese water stones come in. Designed to get your knives back to their initial good form, these tools come in many varieties. Therefore, we have made a list for you about the best Japanese water stones to choose from and also created a buying guide. So read on, and find the right water stone for you!
What to Look for before Buying
These are the things you should consider before buying a Japanese water stone.
You should choose the size of the whetstone, depending on the size of your tools. If you need the whetstone to only sharpen small or medium knives, a small whetstone should suffice. But if your tools are large in size, go for a bigger sized whetstone.
Japanese water stones can be graded into 3 different types: rough, medium, and smooth. Each grade has a different sized grit particle.
The rough grade has large grit particles, and are sized at 120 to 140 grits. Medium grade water stones have around 700 to 3000 grits, while smooth grade water stones have 3000 to 10000 grits. You should buy the stones depending on what kind of grit you are looking for.
Some water stones are dual-sided, so you have two kinds of grits on the same stone. You can also opt for a set that has stones of different grades in it.
Different graded water stones have different kinds of usage. Have a look at all your tools and decide what you want to achieve through using the water stone first.
If your knives need serious repairing, then you should go for the rough water stones. And if they only require some sharpening, medium water stones will be the best choice. For polishing and buffing, always go with smooth water stones.
The price of the stone will depend on various factors. If you need multiple grits, you are probably better off buying a dual surface stone or a set rather than individual different grade stones. Look into the brand, the grade of stone you need, and then make a decision.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Best Japanese Water Stones
5 Best Japanese Water Stones Review
Below we are going to introduce the products that we think are the finest in the market:
1. Norton Abrasives – St. Gobain 24336 Japanese-Style Combination Sharpening Waterstone
In the world of water stones. The Norton Abrasives one is quite popular for its many different qualities. One thing that sets this sharpening tool apart from oilstones is that it requires significantly less pressure, hence not being a strenuous job at all.
This product has 2 different surfaces. While one surface has 4000 grits and is mainly used for refining tools, the other side has 8000 grits, which are good for polishing. Therefore, you can get a variety of jobs done using this product.
Cleaning this tool does not require much hassle, only some plain old water will do the job. However, all the soaking and cleaning can often lead to a little mess in the kitchen, which is nothing that can’t be fixed easily.
One of the great things about this tool is that it doubles up as a bench stone. It is also equipped with a plastic box that has rubbers attached to it so it can hold the stone when you are using it to sharpen your tools.
- Requires less pressure than oilstones
- Has 2 different surfaces for 2 kinds of jobs
- Can be cleaned easily with water
- Can be used as a bench for tools
- Contains blue plastic box that can be used as a holder too
- The whole process is a bit messy
2. Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone
If you are looking for the best Japanese water stones for the money, then this product is the right choice for you. Equipped with an easy-to-follow manual, a knife angling guide, a detailed eBook with lots of tips and some excellent features, this product is worth the hustle.
This product comes with 2 different surfaces, one with 1000 grits and the other with 6000 grits to cater to all your tools. It is known for its ability to work with almost any tools that can be sharpened by different whetstones.
Equipped with a no-slip bamboo base that has a silicone pocket in it, this tool is completely safe to use for beginners. The base also gives some height to the tool, making the process relatively easy.
Another advantage of this product is that it is quite hassle-free to clean, and does not require any oil lubricants. All these features make it an excellent tool, indeed.
- Ideal for beginners
- Great value for money
- Contains 2 different surfaces
- Works with any tools
- Ensures safety
- Easy to clean
- Might be a little complex for some
3. Norton 7660787943 Waterstone Starter Kit
The Norton Waterstone starter kit is ideal for those who need quite a lot of sharpening equipment in their daily kitchen endeavors. Equipped with 2 different water stones, it can fulfill various needs of your kitchen tools.
One of the stones has 4000 grits on one surface and 8000 on the other, and it is mainly used for refining or polishing. The other has a coarse 220 grits on one side and 1000 grits on others. And the coarse side is used for severe repairing.
Each of the stones can be used as a bench stone alone, minimizing the clutter in your kitchen. They also come with no-slip based boxes that help to keep the tools safe, even at the hands of beginners.
This kit also contains a flattening stone, which is great for maintaining both the stones. This way, you do not have to invest in other equipment to keep your stones in good shape.
- Contains 2 different water stones
- Can be used for refining and polishing, or repairing and establishing
- Each stone works well as benches
- Contains box with a no-slip rubber base to ensure safety
- Includes a flattening stone for maintenance of the water stones
- The cleaning process is a bit messy
4. Kota Japan Combination Dual Sided 3000-8000 Grit Whetstone Set
The Kota Japan dual-sided whetstone comes with two different surfaces. One has 3000 grits and is the coarser side, mainly used for sharpening tools. The fine side has 8000 grits and used for polishing.
One of the best things about this product is that it is quite affordable. So you do not have to spend a lot just to get your culinary equipment back to their initial shape, while it will be worth the little extra money spent.
This product, along with being affordable, is also quite stylish and acts as a nice element in the kitchen. It has a pink side and a white side, which also allows you to remember which side is used for what purpose.
Equipped with a bamboo box, this tool doubles as a holder for your equipment. It also has a rubber base, which makes sure that the stone does not slip and cause an accident while you are sharpening your tools.
- Has 2 different grit surfaces
- Can be used for polishing and sharpening
- Stylish looking
- Has box to protect the stone from damage
- Ensures safety
- Not durable enough
5. KING KW65 1000/6000 Grit Combination Whetstone
The King KW65 whetstone is known for its comparatively larger size and ease of use. It is also quite affordable. Hence, you do not have to spend tons to get your tools sharpened and back to their initial form.
This product has two different surfaces on it. While the 1000 grit is good for sharpening, the 6000 grit is good for polishing the tools. So, you can get both jobs done well with one whetstone.
Although mainly designed for carbon and stainless steel knives, this sharpener can also work with other tools, but the job might not be as accurate and precise as it is with the ones mentioned.
Equipped with a sturdy base, this tool ensures that it does not move around while you are working with it. This way, you can be completely sure that there is no danger in using it to sharpen your knives.
- Large size
- Has two different grits
- Good for carbon and stainless steel knives
- The plastic base ensures safety
- Instructions are written in Japanese
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the best Japanese water stones:
How do you store a Japanese water stone?
Store Japanese water stones in clean water. Try to keep stones of different grids in separate containers and close the lid.
How do you sharpen a Japanese wet stone knife?
Use the manual on different whetstones to understand how to use those.
What wet stone should I get?
What kind of whetstone you should get depends on what kind of tools you have, and also your expertise regarding this matter.
Is 1000 grit whetstone enough?
A 1000 grit whetstone might be too coarse for mere polishing of the tools. Try to get one with dual surfaces which have a finer grit on the other side.
Now that you have read this article about the best Japanese water stones, you must have a clear view regarding what kind of water stone would suit your needs. So do not wait any more, buy one for yourself, and get all your kitchen tools back in shape in no time!