You probably know that sharp knives are safer than dull ones, and of course, they’re a lot nicer to use. With a great diamond sharpening stone, you can keep your favorite knives slicing and dicing effortlessly, whether you’re prepping tons of veggies, filleting fish, or slicing fresh peaches for your favorite cobbler or pie recipe.
Quick Look at Our Top Picks:
Diamond sharpening stones work quickly, often with no need for lubricant. You’ll generally pay a little more for these stones than you will for most other types, but you’ll find that they tend to last quite a bit longer.
- Grit Coarseness – Like other knife sharpeners, diamond sharpening stones are available in coarse, medium, and fine grits. It’s worth noting that coarse grits can leave deep gouges behind; if you’re fairly inexperienced with knife sharpening, you may want to take a little extra time and work with finer grits. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations before getting started so you don’t inadvertently damage your favorite kitchen knives.
- Quality – All diamonds are hard, but that doesn’t mean that all diamond sharpening stones are created the same! Some manufacturers have a great reputation for producing quality products that will give you the best results with the least effort, and at a fair price. The best diamond sharpening stones are made with blocks of steel or aluminum that have been formed around diamond chips. The second-best are made with diamond-studded steel plates glued to aluminum blocks, while the third type features plastic or metal foils studded with diamond chips, attached to a firm backing block.
- Price – While the best diamond sharpening stones tend to come at prices well over $40, you can find cheap diamond sharpening stones for less than $20. In this case, the old saying that “You get what you pay for” holds true: Cheap versions tend to deliver sub-par performances and they don’t usually last long. There are a few exceptions to this rule – for example, we really like the Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener, which is smaller than standard, but offers tons of features in a tidy, self-contained package.
With quality, coarseness, and of course your budget in mind, we hope that you’ll find it easier to select the best diamond sharpening stone for your knives. Here are our top five picks.
Using and Caring for Your Diamond Sharpening Stone
Now that you’ve chosen the best diamond sharpening stone for your knives, take advantage of these quick tips.
- Watch knife sharpening tutorials: If you’re new to the process of sharpening your own knives, consider spending a little time watching knife sharpening tutorials to see how it’s done. Practice on inexpensive knives that aren’t important to you, and once you’re confident in your knife sharpening technique, get to work on your good knives.
- Consider using water: While it’s true that diamond sharpening stones work dry, water carries debris away from the stone so you get better, cleaner results.
- A little goes a long way: Diamond sharpening stones are best for grinding out chips and getting clean edges that are ready for further sharpening or polishing. Just 5 or 6 strokes can make quite a difference – one stroke on a diamond sharpening stone is equal to at least five strokes on an Arkansas stone or a Japanese water stone. After using coarse, medium, and fine diamond sharpening stones, you may want to follow up by honing and polishing your knife’s edges with an ultra-fine sharpener. If you don’t have an ultra-fine diamond sharpening stone, you can use a different type such as a ceramic honing rod, an Arkansas stone, or a Japanese water stone.
- Use your diamond sharpening stone to maintain other sharpeners: If your water stone starts to develop a concave shape (a common issue that’s perfectly normal) you can use a diamond sharpening stone to remove the excess and flatten it back out. Manufacturers recommend using a 400-grit diamond sharpening stone for this task.
- Test your knife periodically during sharpening: If you’re new to the art of sharpening knives, you’ll want to test the blade periodically to see whether it’s sharp enough. Use a tomato or some lettuce, or try slicing through a sheet of paper. Once you like the way the knife works, you know it’s time to move on to sharpening the next one!
- Clean up and store: When you’re finished, rinse your sharpening stone with water and use a stiff brush to remove any built-up slurry. Be sure to let your stone dry completely before putting it away, and store it in a dry place out of the reach of curious children.
With a great set of knives and the best diamond sharpening stone available, you’ll reap the benefits that come with using ultra-sharp blades. Foods will be easier to cut, and they’ll be evenly sliced for an attractive appearance and even cooking. More importantly, cutting jobs will be safer and you’ll be far less frustrated. We’re confident that once you’ve become accustomed to sharp knives, you’ll never go back to dull blades again. We wish you success in your next culinary adventure!