Best Japanese Sharpening Stones

Comments Off on Best Japanese Sharpening Stones | July 9, 2019

Last Updated on


Also known as water stones, Japanese sharpening stones are natural sedimentary rocks comprised of a clay matrix that supports fine particles of hard silicate. If you’re new to this type of knife sharpener though, the best Japanese sharpening stone may be a synthetic one.

Natural Waterstones are expensive, and it’s difficult to determine grit due to natural variations in composition. Still, if you’re interested in trying a natural Japanese Waterstone, don’t hesitate to give it a try!

Our Top Picks:

  • Razor sharp blade; holds its edge very well
  • Very easy cleanup
  • Good balance
  • Exceptional sharpness
  • Traditional appearance
  • Excellent sharpness
  • PRO1
  • PRO1
  • Fits right and left handed users
  • Both stylish and functional


#1 BearMoo 2 in 1 Sharpening Stone


Featuring 3000 grit on one side and 8000 grit on the other, the BearMoo 2 in 1 sharpening stone quickly creates sharp edges before finishing and polishing them to a shine. A rubber stone holder is included. This sharpening stone is made with professional-grade white corundum. It is heat and corrosion resistant, and comes with a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.


  • Good grit combination for maintaining most blades
  • Excellent quality for price.


  • Need a separate coarse grit stone to remove any chips or nicks.

This Japanese Sharpening Stone is Ideal For:

People who love to cook and enjoy maintaining their blades will probably like this Japanese sharpening stone for its ability to provide a quick edge as well as a mirror-bright finish. While you’ll need a separate stone to remove any chips, no sharpening stone can be all things to everyone!

#2 Kota Japan Premium Knife Sharpening Stone


The Kota Japan Premium Knife Sharpening Stone comes with a secure, non-slip bamboo base, a helpful blade angle guide, and an ebook with helpful tips for getting a razor-sharp edge on knives of all kinds.

This dual-sided water stone features a coarse 2000 grit for basic sharpening, along with a fine-finishing 5000 grit side to provide a sharp working edge. The base accommodates all brands of Waterstones measuring 7 ¼” x 2 ¼”. A 30-day money back guarantee is included.


  • Budget-friendly choice
  • Brings out a sharp edge, especially if you strop afterward


  • Kanji lettering on stone surface gets in the way of sharpening
  • A few reports of defects with wood base

This Japanese Sharpening Stone is Ideal For:

People who want to test the waters and see if a Japanese sharpening stone is the right choice might like to give this one a try. At just a little over $20, it offers a fairly reliable performance. Most users are satisfied with the way this double-sided whetstone works, often mentioning that old knives are revived quickly with a minimal amount of effort.

#3 Love This Kitchen Premium Japanese Knife Sharpening Stones


With an 800 grit side and a 3000 grit side, the Love This Kitchen Premium Japanese Sharpening Stones Set includes a durable non-slip case that can be placed at an angle for easier sharpening, along with a 400-grit lapping stone to help remove nicks from blades and smooth the sharpening stones after each use.

An online video tutorial is included, along with a 60-day money-back guarantee.


  • Larger surface than most competitors
  • Convenient base/storage box combination provides numerous benefits
  • Creates long-lasting edge on knives that see heavy use


  • A few reports of rapid wear

This Japanese Sharpening Stone is Ideal For:

This set is designed for kitchen knives as well as hunting knives and meat cutting knives that require sharp, long-lasting edges. The case has drainage holes in the bottom, allowing users to store the stone safely without worries about damage, and it can be set up to a 15-degree angle for effortless sharpening.

While this set costs a little more than some others, it’s among the best Japanese sharpening stones available at the mid-price range. Most users are thrilled with its performance, and thoughtful extras, larger sizing, and a robust guarantee inspire confidence in the manufacturer.

#4 Sharp Pebble Premium Knife Sharpening Stone


The Sharp Pebble 2-Sided Premium Knife Sharpening Stone features 1,000 grit on one side and 6,000 grit on the other, allowing for easy knife maintenance and sharp edges. This set includes a bamboo base with a non-slip bottom and a silicone liner for a secure grip, an angle guide, and a useful knife sharpening guide.


  • Easily restores dull edges
  • Beginner-friendly package


  • No storage box

This Japanese Sharpening Stone is Ideal For:

If you’ve got old knives that need to be sharpened, or if you’re interested in maintaining truly sharp edges on expensive knives, then you’re likely to appreciate this sharpening stone. Thanks to the many useful extras as well as the overall quality and moderate price point, it’s our top pick for best Japanese sharpening stone overall.

#5 Sharp Pebble Premium Whetstone with Non-Slip Rubber Base and Flattening Stone


With coarse 400 grit on one side and medium 1000 grit on the other, this Japanese sharpening stone is ideal for removing nicks from blades as well as beginning the process of restoring dull blades.

A rubber base provides stability while you work, and a flattening stone maintains the surface, ensuring the best possible performance. An ebook provides guidance for beginners.


  • Rubber base provides a stable feel
  • Works even on old, beat-up knives


  • Can some time to get an edge
  • No angle guide

This Japanese Sharpening Stone is Ideal For:

People who want to restore dull, damaged knives will appreciate the Sharp Pebble 400/1000 grit sharpening stone. While this set isn’t going to bring up a bright finish, it will transform old knives into useable kitchen tools so long as you are patient with the process. The rubber base and the flattening stone are nice extras to have on hand.

Key Considerations: Best Japanese Sharpening Stones

Japanese sharpening stones come in a variety of shapes, sizes and grits. Consider a combination stone if you don’t sharpen knives often; you’ll get good results without spending much. If you enjoy sharpening knives and find yourself handling this task often though, you’re going to want the best Japanese sharpening stones you can find. A few things to keep in mind as you shop:

  • Natural vs. Synthetic – While synthetic Japanese Waterstones cost less than their natural counterparts, they do a fine job of sharpening blades.
  • Size – Larger stones cost more, but they work more efficiently. If you need to sharpen knives on a regular basis, it’s best to go for a larger stone that will take less time to use.
  • Grit – One advantage of synthetic Japanese sharpening stones is that users can choose specific grits and get predictable results. While there are no “grit” counts in natural Japanese Waterstones, synthetic ones do come with grit sizes assigned. Here are basic guidelines for choosing the best Japanese sharpening stones in different grades, whether natural or synthetic:
    • Ara-to rough stone – approximately 500-1000 grit; ideal for chip removal and dull blade restoration. Lower grit starting at 120 is a good choice as well.
    • Naka-to medium stone – approximately 3000-5000 grit; best for normal sharpening. Lower grit beginning around 700 will work for basic sharpening, too.
    • Shiage-to finishing stone – usually grit higher than 7000; ideal for finishing, honing, and polishing. Stones starting around 2000 grit can be used for polishing but the best results will be obtained at 8000 grit or higher.
  • Cost – Although the best Japanese sharpening stones come at a higher price than some other sharpeners, they’re often less expensive than diamond sharpening stones. You can purchase a nice starter set for well under $40. If you’re in the market for a set of professional Japanese sharpening stones, you can expect to spend quite a bit more.

With these considerations in mind, we’ve assembled this list of five outstanding options in hopes that you’ll find it easier to select the best Japanese sharpening stone for your needs.

Using and Caring for Your New Japanese Sharpening Stone

Now that you’ve chosen the best Japanese sharpening stone for your needs; take a moment to review these quick tips for using it and caring for it.

  • Never use oil: Oil ruins Japanese sharpening stones. Lubricate your stones with water only.
  • Prepare natural Japanese water stones carefully: Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for caring for Japanese water stones. Without proper care, these stones are subject to fracturing.
  • Soak your stones in water just before use: Give your Waterstones a good soaking before you start sharpening knives. Some people like to add a drop of dish soap to the soaking water as it makes the stones a bit more slippery. Soak your stone for about five minutes, or until no more bubbles come to the surface.
  • Watch a tutorial or two before you get started: Really, there’s no need to wing it and risk damaging your blade or your stones. YouTube offers tons of useful tutorials, and you’ll feel more confident with the process after you’ve spent a little time seeing how it’s done. If you’re not into videos, you might like this helpful guide to using Japanese water stones.
  • Allow the stone to dry before storage: Depending on humidity levels, it can take up to 48 hours for a Japanese sharpening stone to dry. Storing when wet can lead to unpleasant odors, mildew, and damage, so ensure that your stone is completely moisture-free before hiding it away.

With high-quality blades and the best Japanese sharpening stone to keep them sharp, you’ll enjoy your time in the kitchen more than ever before – and you’ll love your food’s appearance as well as the way it cooks evenly when it’s perfectly sliced. We wish you success in your next culinary adventure!

Best Japanese Sharpening Stones Summed Up:

BrandModelGritAccessories Included?RatingPrice
BearMooSS023000 / 8000Yes4.3/5 starsCheck
Kota JapanKJ2000B2000/5000Yes4.6/5 starsCheck
Love This KitchenLTK-SHARP-8-30800 / 3000Yes4.6/5 starsCheck
Sharp Pebble549161000/6000Yes4.8/5 starsCheck
Sharp PebbleSP_400400/1000Yes4.6/5 starsCheck