This is the best sharpening stone of its kind for the money. It's conventional wisdom that proper sharpening requires starting from a coarse grit abrasive to remove blunted or mechanically fatigued metal before sharpening and polishing with progressively finer grits, however, in my experience it is generally less time consuming and more effective to use this stone for general purpose sharpening unless abnormally great care is needed. This stone is aggressive enough to produce noticeable results quickly yet it is fine enough to still be useful in refining knife edges to push cutting performance levels and polishing a knife's bevels to mirror like reflectivity (albeit deeper scratches in the metal will be visible unless you have successfully gone through the more traditional low to high progression of grit levels). This can be the only sharpening device for knives you will need unless you are in the business of making knives or sharpening large numbers of knives on other people's behalf.
MADE OF THE FINEST MATERIALS This durable knife polishing stone is a high-performing, industrial grade product designed for chefs and all of us who think we are chefs. The combination whetstone is double sided, premium quality corundum which is a rock-forming mineral derived from aluminum oxide. While most sharpening sets use bamboo or wood stands, our products comes in a slick, sturdy, aerated box with holes at the bottom so it won’t warp or crack due to moisture.
I've only used it to touch up the edge on an ESEE RB3 and a pocket folder so far, but it has done very nicely for those tasks. I found that using the rounded edge works best for me in order to be able to run the length of the blade without hitting the leather lanyard. I'll hopefully try it out soon on fish hooks, too. A worthy and handy accessory, and cool looking necklace, to boot!
We regret that due to technical challenges caused by new regulations in Europe, we can for the time being no longer accept orders from the European Union. If you reside in the UK you can continue to order from our UK websites or shop from our locations and partners. Visit West Elm at www.westelm.co.uk and Pottery Barn Kids at www.potterybarnkids.co.uk.
Heres why I wasn't impressed at first. I only used it for a few minutes on each side, which resulted in nothing. I watched a video online with a master chef using his stone, and he sharpened his knife for 10 minutes on each stone before moving up to a finer grit. I took this hint, and used sharpened my knife on each side of this stone for 10 minutes, which led to perfection.
Before you start sharpening, soak the stone in water for around five to 10 minutes, until it absorbs the water and a liquid film appears on the surface. After soaking, splash some water on top, and re-splash during the process if it ever gets too dry. You'll get a dark, splotch of steel and stone building up on the stone while you're sharpening the blade. This is totally normal so just splash the stone with some water to clean it off and allow it to perform more efficiently. 
This is a hard review to write because while the stone is great and comes perfectly flat it's too darn small. My problem is I bought one of these over fifteen years ago and after a move it suffered two cracks across the face making it unusable. That stone is about 3" x 8 1/4" x 3/4" . This new version is about 2" x 7" x 1/2". It's practically impossible to polish a knife set from a big #7 plane let alone a #4 plane. I feel cramped even using it for chisels! The thickness doesn't really bother me even though my thicker stone cracked, with reasonable care I don't expect this one to crack. So although I love the actual stone I wish they still made my old stone. I guess I should have measured my original one and then compared the description but I assumed they would be the same. So because of that I took off one star but since there's nothing wrong with the actual stone I wanted to give it three stars based on the small size but couldn't.
Very interesting. If you work flat, 45 degree is what I was taught. Love the wet stones, especially the oiled ones. The nice thing about the leather part, is the mirror finish on a razor sharp blade which is a must if doing fine wood working, carving etc. A rough blade simply does not have the fine detailed dexterity. I find that the oiled sandpaper can work great as well, but found that the refined clay bars (white refined fired clay rounds and flats etc) does a wonderful job of keeping those razor edges refined, smooth as possible and then one can high polish them for smooth cutting. Believe me, when working wood for a flute, one wants that refined edge.! Learning how to hone a blade on a flat surface teaches one to work outside without a table/wall handy too...:) But we all have to start somewhere!:) Anyway, great stuff and a great start for those who want more from their tools!:) Cheers!
Time-honored Japanese whetstone techniques mean that we use a variety of grit sizes before we finish by hand with a modified version of an old fashioned Barber’s strop. Japanese whetstones are not only the preferred sharpening medium for fine Japanese knives, but are superior for all types of cutlery. All larger scale metal removal is done with water cooled Japanese and Swedish grinders that will not burn the temper or remove unnecessary amounts of metal. We adjust edge geometry and blade thinness when necessary to provide improved geometry.
Hobby microscope view of a 220 grit diamond sharpening stone. Tiny diamonds are electroplated to a perforated metal carrier strip and bonded to a plastic backing. The feature identified with the red line across it measures about 0.08 mm across. The dark area at upper right is a void designed to allow for swarf created during sharpening to be cleared from the diamonds. This relatively coarse stone would be used to reshape a damaged blade edge which would be refined by finer grit stones.
A DUAL FUNCTIONING BLOCK This carefully designed tool is actually two stones in one. When deciding on the perfect wetstone knife sharpener, you want a rock that has a lower-numbered grit for sharpening and a higher-numbered grit for polishing. One side of our stone is #1000 and is designed to sharpen dull blades with accuracy and precision. The other side is #6000 and provides a deluxe polishing effect. Our aluminum sharpening stone ensures optimal performance of your knives.

We have been in the sharpening business since we opened our flagship location in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the Fall of 2012. Our standard wet-sharpening service provides a high quality edge using water cooled sharpening equipment. Our whetstone hand sharpening service was introduced during the Spring of 2015. See the details of each service below to determine the ideal option for your knives.
High Grit Stones: These are also known as finishing stones with the number range going up to 8000, and give you a super refined edge.  They work great with Western knives as they cutting edge resembles a “U” as opposed to a “V”. If you are using your knife to cut meat, then you can happily stop at 4000 or 6000 grit. If you are only using it for vegetables or fruit go all the way to the 8000.
The dual-sided whetstone is made from durable silicon carbide and has 400 grit on one side to sharpen the dullest blades and 1000 grit on the other side to create a nice smooth finish once the blade has been sharpened. The stone also forms a nice slurry that helps polish the blade for a superb shine. The stone is meant to be used with water, not oil and for best results, simply soak stone for 5-10 minutes before use, and lubricate with additional water as needed when sharpening.
Once the burr is removed, it's time to test the sharpness with paper. Hold a piece of newspaper at about 45°, with a bit of tension, and slash lightly with each point of the blade. If it cuts through easily, your knife's sharp. Warner speedily lacerated his newspaper, but I of course struggled. There is an element of technique involved, he reassured me. 
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