Knife guide included
Only two grits
Minimal instruction included
We purchased the Sharp Pebble Whetstone Grit 1000/6000 so our reviewer could put it to the test in her kitchen. Keep reading for our full product review.
Keeping your knives fresh and sharp is great practice for any kitchen. Not only will it make tasks like chopping, dicing, and slicing run more smoothly, but it's also safer to use sharp knives over dull ones. That's why it's so important to invest in a quality sharpener or whetstone to maintain your knives.
I've sharpened knives using a variety of methods and gadgets, so I was ready to give all my knives some extra care when the Sharp Pebble Whetstone Grit 1000/6000 arrived. I pulled out the plastic-handled cafeteria-grade knives, the expensive Shun knives, the Wusthof and Calphalon and Sabatier knives—and for a final flourish, the handmade knife that’s been in my family kitchens for generations. Keep reading for my honest thoughts.
The simple, clean design of this whetstone would look good sitting on an open shelf, but it’s certainly small enough to tuck into a drawer—of course taking care not to chip or damage it. While it can be stored in its box, I would have loved a storage case to keep it clean and undamaged.
The stone itself is two-sided, with a coarser-grit blue side and a finer-grit white side. The stone nestles into a silicone holder and then onto the wooden base with a nonslip bottom. While the nonslip is a good idea, it sometimes slipped a bit on a wood surface. I sometimes worked on a cloth, which also gave me a place to wipe the blade.
I tried the guide and found it most useful on midsized knives, but it was just silly with my large Tuo chopping knife.
Material: Sapphires and rubies?
The stones are made from aluminum oxide. In its gem state, this material is a sapphire or ruby, but in this case, it’s an abrasive material that’s hard enough to wear away at the metal. It’s not as hard as diamond stones, but hard enough for my steel knives.
What’s Included: Basic things
This includes a double-sided sharpening stone, a silicone holder, a wooden base, and a 20-degree sharpening guide.
Once I’d done my sharpening, I moved to the finer 6000 grit side for a finer finish. I also used it for knives that didn’t need actual sharpening.
Performance: Needs the right technique
I've never used a whetstone with a guide before, so I was curious. It slips over the knife’s back and keeps the blade at a 20-degree angle during sharpening when the guide rests on the stone.
It wasn’t perfect. It was too tight to fit on some of my knives. It was too large to make sense for my smallest knives. And with my largest knives, it didn’t always make contact with the stone. Still, it’s not a bad idea. I prefer to think of it as training wheels for people who haven’t sharpened knives before, or for those who are out of practice. It shows what a 20-degree angle feels like, so the user can practice until it feels comfortable. Then, the guide can be set aside. Once the user gets the feel of the 20-degree angle, they can estimate a 15-degree angle for Eastern-style knives.
When I ran my fingers over each side of the stone, I couldn’t feel a difference, but when I started sharpening, I could feel it. The 1000-grit blue side was the coarser of the two, while the 6000-grit was finer.
The instructions that came with the stone were minimal but included a link to a downloadable manual, and there are plenty of videos with even more help. Still, I’ve found that people tend to develop their own style over time. I started my sharpening education watching Dad sharpen the entire kitchen arsenal with precision and patience. But even with years of watching, my method isn’t exactly the same as his.
The simple, clean design of this whetstone would look good sitting on an open shelf, but it’s certainly small enough to tuck into a drawer—of course taking care not to chip or damage it.
Before sharpening started, I soaked the stone in water for 20 minutes. Then I grabbed my less-expensive and less-important knives. I kept water nearby to keep re-wet the stone wet. As I worked, the stone acquired some dark grit from the metal from the knives, as well as some slurry from the stones themselves. While you may get an urge to clean things up during sharpening, that loose material actually plays a part in the sharpening process. It’s simple to clean up afterward.
I started most of my knives on the coarser blue side, sharpening them to a fine edge. None of my knives were so dull that they needed an even coarser grit, so the stone did a fine job. My Misen knife, with a softer blade than most I have, sharpened the fastest. Other knives needed a bit more time.
I tried the guide and found it most useful on midsized knives, but it was just silly with my large Tuo chopping knife. On the other hand, it covered too much of the blade when I attached it to my favorite boning knife. Still, it’s good training for holding knives at the proper angle.
Some reviewers online noted that the stone developed a bowl shape in the center, but I didn’t have that issue, perhaps because I was careful to use the entire surface of the stone rather than concentrating on the center.
Retailing around $41, this is an affordable stone. The grit selections are sufficient for home cooks who want to learn how to use a whetstone and who haven’t let their blades get too dull. There are more expensive stones, as well as kits that include more stones with more grit variety, but I like this as a starter.
Sharp Pebble Whetstone Grit 1000/6000 vs. UltraSharp Diamond Sharpening Stone Set
UltraSharp Diamond Sharpening Stone Set: The UltraSharp Diamond Sharpening Stone Set is a step up from the Sharp Pebble stone I reviewed. I liked using the Sharp Pebble set, and the cost makes it great for new users. However, the UltraSharp set is harder so it can even handle ceramic knives. It retails between $80 and $143 depending on where you buy it from. I’d recommend the UltraSharp when the Sharp Pebble has worn down from use.
A good beginner stone.
Overall, the Sharp Pebble Whetstone Grit 1000/6000 worked well to sharpen and hone my knives. The stone didn’t show any undue wear, so I expect that it will last long enough to be worth the purchase.
- Product Name Premium Whetstone Knife Sharpening Stone
- Product Brand Sharp Pebble
- Price $41
- Material Aluminum oxide stone; wooden base
- Warranty 30 days
- What's Included A two-sided sharpening stone, a silicone holder, a wooden base, and a sharpening guide.