Knife Sharpener Versus Whetstone.
Which One Should You Choose And Why?

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Knife Sharpener vs Whetstone

Which One Should I Choose?

Most people prefer the whetstone tool to all other forms of sharpening tools in sharpening their knives, including the knives used for carving, knives used for utility, hunting knives, as well as the pocket knives individuals carry along to picnics or recreational places.
The choice of sharpening tool that one would go for, highly depends on a person’s preference.
While some people would vouch for steel knife sharpeners or the electric knife sharpeners, other people would vouch for the whetstone-sharpening tool.
The question remains whether any of the choices that people make when it comes to knife sharpeners are better than other types of knife sharpeners.
In fact, what are the differences between a knife sharpener and a whetstone?

However, the overall truth is that there no best sharpening technique.


Nonetheless, what can be achieved by using sharpening steel is different from what can be achieved by relying on whetstones.
On numerous occasions, sharpening stones are used in a bid to restore the edges of blunt blades or knives.
Besides there being natural stones used as sharpening tools there are stones made of carborundum that are used as sharpening tools at different points in time.
Stones exist in different varieties. The diverse types of stones include the following:

  • Japanese water stones
  • Diamond stones
  • Ceramic stones

Sharpening Your Blades With A Knife Sharpener

Sharpening steels are often used in maintaining different kinds of tools used in the surrounding. The sharpening steel tools are ideal for keeping knives sharp even with it being that sharpening steel tools may not be ideal when used on knives with dull surfaces.
There are two kinds of sharpening steels:

  1. Diamond steels
  2. The traditional metal steel

 The diamond sharpening steel works more or else the same as a whetstone. Just like the whetstone, a diamond sharpening steel has both the fine and coarse edge.
Instead of realigning the edges of a knife during the process of sharpening, the diamond steel sharpening tool cuts a new edge into a knife. 

Diamond Sharpening Steel

The surface of a diamond steel sharpener is highly abrasive making it less valuable to individuals who design to realign the edges of their knives or blades.
As such, in cases whereby the diamond steel sharpening tool is used more often some of the metal that makes part of the knife wear off thus changing the shape of the knife over time.

Therefore, people who require touch-ups on the edges of their knives, for instance, carving knives should seek alternative sharpening tools other than the sharpening steels.

Using A Whetstone For Your Sharpening Needs

Whetstones work best for almost all knives people use for different purposes in their lives.
In an attempt to purchase a whetstone, individuals should make sure that the whetstone they purchase has both the fine segment as well as the coarse side as this would help cater for the varied needs of users.
In the case of the whetstone, when refining a dull knife, individuals are advised to use the coarse side of the sharpening tool after which individuals could use the fine edge to polish the knife before the final use.
Nevertheless, in the case whereby a knife may be in a good condition but only requires refining before use individuals could use the fine side of the whetstone to polish the knife before use.

Sharpening with Whetstone

Prior to using any kind of sharpening stone, it is advised that individuals soak the sharpening stone in light machine oil or household oil for at least 12 hours before being used. Before being used, it is advisable to wipe the surface of the sharpening stone to get rid of grime, grit or dirt that may have accumulated overtime during the time of storage.

Knife sharpening systems for the most part only allow users to attain consistent grind angles during use hence for people who are exceptional at sharpening tools by hand there would be no much improvement for such groups of people if they were to use the knife sharpening systems as opposed to the manual sharpening tools such as the whetstone. 

There is nothing exceptional about the angles developed as part of the knife sharpening systems. However, in as much as shallow angles may cut easier for these machines, they are much more fragile unlike the deeper angles that may be slower but they make cuts that are more durable on any blunt metal that needs refining more so the blunt knives.

For instance, it would not be advisable to sharpen an axe at the same reduced angle as the angle a person rely on while sharpening a castrating blade.

Wrapping Up

Overall, in as much as the majority of knife sharpeners used in the current society may be efficient when used, given that they are less time consuming and less tedious to use, the traditional sharpening tool, the whetstone, still holds an important part of our lives.

This is evident from the fact that the whetstone is readily accessible, portable and much more affordable compared to the majority of sharpening tools that we use today.