You have finally got a Japanese knife & we are here to congratulate you. Hope it will perform very well. But, a Japanese knife itself is not everything, unless you have a quality whetstone or sharpening stone, which you can proudly use to sharpen your knives.
Considering these things, we are here in this guide to help you figure out the Best whetstone for Japanese knives, which is extremely worth it. Before diving into the list, let’s cover some basics.
What is a Whetstone?
Most of the time, when someone hears the term “whetstone”, he expects to sharpen a knife on some sort of stone, which is completely soaked in water or using some amount of liquid in order to sharpen the knife.
Believe me, Except for lubricating, Water or any other liquid has almost nothing to do with any Whetstone while sharpening the Japanese or other knives. This is the common myth even in some amateur chefs, which we wanted to bust. Don’t get fooled again!
Whetstone are used to sharpen your dull life to make slicing & cutting easier for you at your fingertips. Plus, whetstone is most trusted amongst the top chefs because it does not hurt your knife. Instead, it helps get a better working life.
Most common types of Whetstones:
Whetstones usually fall in three main grit sizes. Each of the grit is useful for its specific task. Using the wrong grit size with the wrong concern can result in losing your knife eventually.
If you are a commercial chef or the one, who uses his Japanese knives for hours on a daily basis, a fine grit with 4000 to 8000 is an obvious match for you. This would help you in refining your knife edge against meats.
The smaller the grit, the harder it will be to sharpen the knife. For example, whetstone with less than 1000 grit is used for grinding, repairing the knife, or removing the chips to form a new cutting edge. 1000-4000 grit is useful for sharpening & maintaining the dull knives.
Top 3 Picks of Best Whetstone for Japanese Knives
- Material: Blend
- Color: Basic pack
- Weight: 21.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 7.01 x 2.24 x 1.14 inches
- Manufacturer: Trauv
- Material: Stone
- Color: Ocean Blue
- Weight: 57.44 ounces
- Dimensions: 8 x 3.5 x 1 inches
- Manufacturer: Masuta
- Material: Stone
- Color: Gray
- Weight: 9.28 ounces
- Dimensions: 5 x 1.5 x 1 inches
- Manufacturer: Kotobuki
Quick View at Best Whetstones for Japanese Knives
Whetstone Cutlery 20-10960
Easy to Use
Diamond Whetstone Model (W6EFC)
Super Ceramic Whetstone (Japan Import)
Naniwa Chosera Grit Stone – with Base
Natural Waterstone Knife Sharpener
Mizu 1000 / 6000 Grit Premium
Ha No Kuromaku Ceramic Whetstone
Best Whetstones for Japanese Knives Detailed Review
Whetstone cutlery stores are dominating in their whetstone. Besides, their pricing & customer trust made us put this whetstone here on the list.
This comes in dual-sided, So you can use both sides to sharpen your Japanese knives along with some western knives that usually have a little more bevel. The whetstone is made up of Silicon Carbide dense coating which makes it some time-consuming while washing it.
10960 has a grit size of 400 by 1000 on both sides. You can use it for rough grinding, shaping & sharpening due to its coarse grade. Plus, due to its material, you can occasionally use it for your dull knives. However, if you are using a stainless steel knife, be careful with it.
This whetstone is relatively easy to use even if you are using it for the first time. You just have to put it inside a water bowl for 10-15 minutes to let the silicon absorb the material, which will later help you as a lubrication.
- Silicon Carbide Block
- 400 & 1000 grit size
- Entry-level whetstone
- Lightweight & easy to use
- Sharpens old/dull knives
- Doesn’t stay straight longer
- No protective case or box
Next on the list of Best whetstone for Japanese knives, we have got a sharpener from the DMT store.
This is a whetstone set, but it’s better to call them bench stones because it comes in three different & multiple whetstones, with different sizes, colors & grits along with a beautiful wooden box.
The stone is made up of conventional, ceramic & uniform particles, which allows you to work your hand run faster yet stable on each whetstone. There are three different sizes available for it, extra-fine, fine & coarse. Extra fine one has a grit size of 1200, fine comes in the size of 600, while the coarse one comes in 325 grit.
Collectively, you can use the entire set for your full suite of knives. W6-EFC allows you to manage your knives for fixing dull blades, chunks, chipping, sharpening & refining the edge even better.
- Water lubricant without oils
- Quite easy to operate & clean
- Micro Abrasive & reliable surface
- A Longer arm coverage range
- Time & effort saving whetstone
- Extremely rough wooden box
The whetstone from the store of Naniwa is relatively newer, but it has already established itself due to its branding for being a Japanese import. This also fascinates us to put this on the list, due to its Japanese origin even at a cheap price.
The whetstone is using Ceramic material, which is made up of glazed but earth material. Ceramic is quite brittle & difficult to break due to its hardness. But if stiffness got hurt, you are likely to miss its quality. Aluminum oxide is perfectly connected to a magnesium bond.
You can use it to sharpen your stainless & carbon steel knives, with decent finishes as well. This particular whetstone is using a 1000 grit size, which makes it medium grinding & finishing capable.
The whetstone can be used for sharpening the dull knives, preparing the cutting edges, polishing the stainless steel blades & making your knives worth every stroke effective.
A good thing, unlike 10960, you will not require to soak it for a specific time to get it ready. In fact, you can even use it without soaking simply making it a little bit wet. Luckily, this comes with a cleaning stone to remove the penetrated steel particles from the surface, without injuring your hands.
- Dressing stone & a stand
- Easy to use & clean stone
- Doesn’t requires soaking
- Fast material removal
- A Long-lasting whetstone
- The stand is quite slippery
Naniwa again for the second time here on the list. This time, you have got whetstone imported from Japan, with slightly higher but reasonable pricing. Just like its predecessor, it is also a demanding whetstone, which fades up sooner after restocking.
So, it’s better to check this out, right after skimming this section without missing it. Otherwise, you will have to wait for a while, or you have other choices left from this entire list. This also comes with the dressing stone & a base.
Just like the previous one, this is also a splash & go whetstone, with no soak needed in order to wake this up for work. The material is also ceramic, but this time this is more refined.
There is not as much difference between Chosera & super ceramic, except for its grit size. Chosera is using the finest stone with a 5000 grit size. You will be using it for finishing & polishing purposes, because using it for quick & more material is not possible.
If you are a commercial butcher at a restaurant, or you are responsible for sharpening tasks, this would suit you well. However, you should be some professional who knows traditional sharpening techniques & methods.
- Decent abrasive material
- An ultra-fine grit size
- Best for finishing the knives
- A wonderful feedback
- Includes base & dresser
- Time-consuming finishing
This whetstone from Masuta is quite different from the other ones on the list. To be honest, this comes with one of the most beautiful packaging experiences all over the list. I would praise Masuta’s marketing department for this element.
Hovering to the whetstone, this guy has claimed to be a Natural whetstone, but I can say it sure, that this is not. Because of its price, I am suspicious of its nature. However, this is Japanese for sure.
The whetstone is using Nagura, which creates an abrasive slurry on a whetstone surface to make it capable of sharpening & finishing the knives. This is slightly expensive though, but it’s worth buying due to its optimistic qualities & a decent life span.
This has been using a grit size of 12000, which is not the actual one, but it has decent feedback which we would get from the same size. You can use it to sharpen & finish your knives, which takes some time & patience. But you can use water in soaking the stone, for saving some time & effort.
The base which we have got here is the best one on the list, which does not cause any slipping or friction due to water or force. There are a couple of sizes available, but better to take a look at availability due to limited stock.
- A Responsive whetstone
- An Ultra Fine grit size
- Using a Nagura stones
- Good for refining & polishing
- Dedicated & practical base
- A hard stone so be careful
Mizu is an American-based Whetstone manufacturer with its headquarters in Los Angeles California. This is why their whetstones are relatively less expensive, due to no custom duties or import taxes are included.
A Japanese style whetstone for which Mizu has tried their best to integrate traditional Japanese elements & angles with success. So, if you are looking for the best whetstone for Japanese knives under 50 bucks this could be yours.
Another good thing, the whetstone is double-sided which includes a 1000 grit on one side & the 6000 grit on the other side. This makes you save some money rather than purchasing each grit separately.
Both of the sides are versatile, but I believe that it could be even better. For the price, just leave its versatility because there would be some drawbacks for being a cheap whetstone. You would also need to soak it for at least 40 minutes to let the bubbles disappear & make it ready for work.
You can use it to sharpen, reshape & refresh your blades within some time. This also comes with a wooden base & a case to protect it from the atmosphere. The base ensures stability & reduces friction only if you have some actionable skills.
- Some durable & stable
- Works with all knives
- Easy to use & clean
- Effective sharpening
- Best for beginner chefs
- Produces magnetic chips
- Not that long-lasting
Surprisingly, KItyama’s fine grain sharpening store is using a grit size of 8000, but some people claim that this is a 12000 Grit. Because the stone looks like it is using a higher grit size. If you are experienced enough, you might also find this is more than 8000 grit.
This is a splashy & some soaking whetstone which does not require soaking that much. On a side note, I would suggest not to leave this guy in the water for more than 15 minutes. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with any base. You will have to use your existing one or it is better to purchase a new one.
Otherwise, the hydrogen molecules of water will react negatively with the stone’s magnesium salt. The water will leave a negative impact on its performance. The whetstone offers an effective sharpness with some little effort.
Kitayama’s whetstone is synthetic, not a natural one. It means you are using a whetstone which is bounded through artificial adhesives like aluminum oxide, ceramic, or silicon carbide with some coating on it. The coating here is durable & if used wisely, it can last for years.
- Delivers nice finishing
- Easy to clean & use
- Some fast Refining
- Smooth & easy strokes
- No longer soakings
- Doesn’t comes with base
This is another popular Ceramic whetstone from Shapton, which is categorized as a medium grit stone. Luckily, this is the only whetstone on the list with a vast variety of sizes & the typical but attractive colors. Every single color represents a different size.
You have got access to over 10 different sizes from 120 to 30000. For a quick reference, we will be considering a 1000 size because it is widely used & available. However, there are sizes from 120, 220, 320, 1000, 1500, 2000, 5000, 8000, 12000, 20000 & 30000 respectively.
The Ceramic material is synthetic & using a coated layer of adhesive which is responsive & doing its job effectively. You have a bunch of selection options for each need.
I suggest that it would be better if they had provided a dual-sided whetstone with two different sizes on it. This would help a lot in space-saving housekeeping.
All of these stones are only splashy, so don’t dare to soak them for more than 5 minutes. Otherwise, you are lost. However, the stones are responsive & do not take a couple of minutes for sharpening. Don’t need to use flattening stone on it.
- Multiple sizes & unique color
- For every single maintenance
- Smooth & effective cuttings
- A very Less wear & tears
- Comes with stand/case
- Slightly slow cutting
Except for the brand name, this whetstone is a king in reality as well. These whetstones are relatively soft & easy to use due to their Japanese origin (or manufacturing at least) due to Nagura stone which has been used in it.
This model here (KW 65) is double with a grit size of 1000 & 6000 on each single end. However, the Nagura stone comes in a grit size of 8000. The stone has a length of a little bit more than 7-inches, a width of less than 2.5-inches & a height of 1-inch.
You can expect a long run, as compared to Mizu’s whetstone which we have already covered in the list. Nagura stone does also come out of the box, to provide a good & efficient layer of slurry on the whetstone’s surface.
Due to these characteristics, you would have a speed in turnaround time. Another thing, you have also got a stand for holding this whetstone, but they are made up of plastic. So, don’t expect a long run from it, especially if you are not well experienced.
- Speedy turnaround
- Quite Less soak time
- A Responsive whetstone
- Nagura stone with stand
- Dual Sided whetstone
- Nagora can break easily
Spyderco has reserved his spot against Best whetstone for Japanese knives. A United States brand, which was launched in the early 80s as a knife accessories manufacturer.
You can read about famous Japanese Knife Brands here.
Now, they have successfully started dominating the market a little bit. This is why the price is slightly lower than its competitors. However, the cutting is quite smooth & effortless.
This also comes in multiple sizes i.e, Medium, fine, & ultra-fine with further two sizes in it. It is using ceramic material, especially aluminum oxide & some silicon carbide in its binding.
The stone is heat resistant, & offers a decent amount of stiffness & versatility as per Spyderco’s claims. But it depends on your hand expertise & housekeeping skills.
They are subjected to air dry when washed, to retain their shape & performance. Drying them through heat, fire, and blowers will affect their productivity. There’s a great chance of cracks & losing stiffness.
- Leather sleeve protector
- Offers Multi-colors & sizes
- Up to 8000 grit size stone
- No lubrication/soak needed
- Easy to clean & maintain
- Hardstone with less durability
Another Japanese manufacturer & distributor that has successfully captured the attention of professional chefs, now taking steps toward success. This is a brand with multiple catalogs & stock gets limited in stock every month.
At the time of writing this review, the store has already been suffering from limited stock except for the one size. Currently, there are 05 multiple sizes available in the store.
These are double-sided whetstone & their sizes are listed as:
- 400 & 1000 grit
- 600 & 3000 grit
- 1000 & 6000 grit
- 2000 & 5000 grit
- 3000 & 8000 grit
To be honest, I always like the whetstones with double sides & different grits on each of them. It not only saves your money, but it also helps a lot in space-saving. Because you (as a commercial chef) are limited to one or max two cabinets for your stuff.
The whetstone (600/3000 grit) is using a coarse grit on one side to remove any rusts, or corrosion from the high carbon steel blade, while the other side is fine which would be assisting in sharpening the dull blade. For polishing & finishing, use more refined grits.
A good thing for Kota Japan, they are offering a wooden base for every single version available. Although the bass is not that durable (because you can never expect it for this price), it does prevent friction & slipping while sharpening only if you have a good grip on sharpening the tools.
- Multiple sizes & grades
- Water Sprinkle stones
- Sharpening guide included
- Rubber pad & wooden base
- Best for beginner chefs
- Cheap quality bamboo bass
King is again on the list with its another flagship whetstone, to help you out in the sharpening department. This whetstone comes in a starter pack set, which includes some important stuff inside it.
The stone is ceramic but the natural one, so don’t fall into the trap. Because you can never expect a natural whetstone for this price. Although, this is a Japanese which is a good thing at such a cost.
The starter set is also double-sided which is again a good surprise for the price. You have got a grit combination of 1000 & 6000 size. Both of these sides are best at their performance & responsiveness. However, this would only be sharp at a steady speed. If you are not a stable hand, skip to the next Suehiro’s stone.
You can finish your task within a couple of minutes if you keep following a stable speed with some perfection. Otherwise, it will take some time & patience. For this reason, they have included an angle holder along with a wiping cloth.
- Angle holder & wiping cloth
- Rubber pad but plastic base
- A Decent blade guidance
- Quick & Singular soaking
- Natural Ceramic stone
- Radioactive whetstone ceramic
Look at this Vanilla sharpening stone. You will fall in love, rather than using it for your tasks. However, flip the love aside & let’s dive into it deeper.
This is another true Japanese manufacturer, based in Niigata City of Japan manufacturing since 1967. They have several trademarks, & one of their branded & most accepted is Toyo’s which we have once discussed in one of our Best Japanese knives buying guide.
This compact sharpening stone is also a double-sided stone, which is the best whetstone for Japanese knives if you are a beginner or you have just started your career. For the grits, they are listed as 1000 & 3000 on each side respectively.
Physically, this whetstone is slightly smaller. It sizes as 5-inches for length, almost 1.5-inches for its width & an entire inch of thickness even as a beginner whetstone. The stone weight hardly hits 250 grams.
For your ease while sharpening the knives, they have included a rubber base, but it’s not clear either it is a rubber pad or the entire bass is made up of plastic, which is nearly impossible for the price.
- Delivers excellent sharpness
- Need Soaking for slurry
- Portable & easy to use
- A Double-sided stone
- Lightweight & small
- Soaking requires a lot of time
Yoshihiro for the only time has captured the spot. Despite their genuine knives, most chefs don’t often prefer Yoshihiro’s whetstones due to their high prices. But, they are extremely worth it in reality.
If you have a premium budget, who doesn’t want to invest in a good sharpening tool, you can proceed to this guy. Otherwise, do follow the next whetstone from Knife Planet.
Coming back to Yoshihiro’s Pro Toishi, which also comes in multiple grits. All of the variants are singular sided, and they consists of:
- 400 grit
- 1000 grit
- 6000 grit
- 8000 grit
- 10000 grit
All of these are not lightweight, as most of these stones weigh 2lb or almost 900 grams on average. This also enhances the durability, due to good stiffness & versatility due to size & weight.
Toishi does come with a wooden base down to it which prevents slipping of stone & results in better stability while sharpening. Plus, Yoshihiro also offers a tiny Nagura block, which has a grit of 12000 & offers a premium slurry surface on stone.
- A Decent surface area
- Slurry Nagura block
- Long-lasting performance
- Japanese whetstone
- Durable stone block
- Couldn’t find one yet
Lasting our list of Best whetstone for Japanese knives, we have got a popular whetstone from Knife Planet.
These whetstones are only offered in two different grit sizes. Thankfully, both are double-sided, to make them more practical. One of these is using a 400 by 1000 grit, while the other one is using a 3000 by 8000 grit size professionally.
They are using Aluminum oxide, which is surprisingly more tough & stiff at the same time, because it has been quenched & forged for over a 1300 degree celsius at a 200 tonne of forged Chinese hammer, making its core versatile & difficult to break.
It does require soaking, but this is partial, which barely takes 10 minutes even for the very first time. This is a set of 6 members, which includes both stones (400 by 1000 & 3000 by 8000 grit size), a pair of rubber base, a wooden base along with a full-size silicon carbide powdered dressing stone.
With these 04 different grits, you will be able to maintain or repair your dull, chipped, & rusted edges to reproduce a new blade edge. This is the best whetstone for Japanese knives if you are a rush chef, who has a lot of pending work left on the table.
- Makes a sharper edge
- Easy to use & glide
- Best for experienced chefs
- Versatile & durable stone
- Safe & isolated whetstones
- Dressing stone could be better
Read More About Best Japanese Knives
Best Whetstone for Japanese Knives | Frequently Asked Questions
The Bottom Line: Best whetstone for Japanese knives
If you want to get the most out of your newly purchased Japanese knife, to maintain its sharpness & effective cuts, investing some bucks for the best whetstones is worth it.
However, Buying the best whetstone for Japanese knives is as difficult as buying a new Japanese knife set for your kitchen. You might have a bucket of options to select from, but it takes a lot of time, research & headache for finalizing the best ones.
Without a quality whetstone, you will be missing a bunch of potential output from your Japanese knife. These knives have a long & some time lifetime working capability if you can manage to get a quality whetstone for a perfect sharpening experience.