Whetstones - Which grit do I need?

You’ve got your knives, and now you need to keep them in good condition. After all, even the sharpest knife made from a durable material will dull over time, so you need the right tools to sharpen yours. Learn more about what whetstones are and the grits that you need to keep your knife in the best condition for the long term.

What are whetstones?

Whetstones are some of the best tools available for sharpening your knives. These sharpening stones are designed to help you to resharpen your blades and prevent them from becoming dull in the first place. A dull blade can lead to poorer results and accidents, so a whetstone is the ideal tool. To get the best results from knife sharpening, you need to make sure that your whetstone has the right grit.

What is a whetstone’s grit?

A whetstone’s grit is like the grade of sandpaper and refers to how coarse the stone is, or specifically the space between the particles. For example, a lower grit number refers to the whetstone having larger particles in the rock, which wear down the surface of your knife more than the smaller particles of higher grit whetstones.

What whetstone grits do I need?

Each whetstone grit does something slightly different for your blade. Some common whetstone grits, and the reasons that cooks use them, include:

1000 or less

A whetstone of 1000 or less is a very coarse whetstone, with some of the biggest particles available. This means that it takes metal off the blade more quickly than any other whetstone, as the larger particles have more of an impact. Use a coarse whetstone when your knife is extremely dull and you need to completely renew the edge of the blade.

1000 to 3000

Whetstones in this range are useful for sharpening your blade on a more regular basis. This specifically includes Japanese blades such as a Santoku, as these blades are far thinner than Western alternatives and require more permanent attention than the likes of a chef's knife.

Over 3000

Stones with a grit of over 3000 are specifically for finishing your knife, rather than sharpening a dull blade. This adds a better edge to your knife and provides a more precise cut for harder-to-get-through ingredients, such as sinewy meat.

Try Chefs Edge

If you’re looking for a new knife or equipment to help you to look after your existing knife, take a look at the Chefs Edge range today. We offer a wide range of knives that chefs and home cooks alike can rely on and all the tools you need to look after your new blade.