Japanese Whetstones

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Japanese Sharpening Stones

At Chubo, our selection features all styles of stones and tools you need to care for your cutlery.

Maintaining best practices for razor-sharp edges and safe handling of your Japanese-style kitchen knives is essential.

From full sharpening stone sets to singular Japanese whetstones for sale, we have something for all your knife care needs.

Please note—before purchasing one of our knife sharpening stones, it’s essential to understand which grit whetstones you need. We provide various grit sizes ranging from rough to super fine. Rough grit stones are great for quick sharpening sessions and removing nicks, medium grit stones are great for bringing back edges and sharpening, and fine grit stones are great for finishing and polishing. We recommend beginners read our complete guide on how to sharpen Japanese knives and  Japanese knife maintenance tips.

Order Whetstones Made in Japan

Contact us if you need help deciding which grit stones best fit your situation. Protect your investment and keep your knives razor-sharp by purchasing our high-quality Japanese whetstones.


Q: What is the difference between a whetstone and waterstone?

A: People often confuse whet with wet, which is understandable because the words sound the same, and many whetstones require splashing or soaking in water. But the word whet actually means to sharpen. Not all whetstones are water stones but Japanese water stones are the most common type of whetstone.

Q: Are Japanese whetstones good? 

A: Japanese knife sharpening whetstones are some of the best tools for sharpening Japanese knives. They are generally softer than other types of whetstones and can sharper edges faster.

Q: What is the difference in grit in a sharpening stone?

A: Rough or coarse grit stones are stones below #1000 grit. These are typically used for very dull or damaged blades and not for general sharpening needs. Medium stones are stones from #1000 to #3000 and are good for sharpening. #2000 grit and higher are recommended for general sharpening. Finishing stones typically range between #4000 to #8000 grit. And polishing stones typically range between #10,000 and #20,000 grit and will give you an extremely refined edge.

Q: What is a Japanese whetstone? 

A: A Japanese-made sharpening stone that tends to be softer but fast cutting to create a new edge for your blade. Most commonly made from aluminum oxide or silicon carbide ceramic with uniform particles for consistent results.

Q: What whetstone do chefs use?

A: Chefs use a variety of sharpening stones depending on their knives.  Double-sided stones are popular in professional kitchens because they are efficient in that one stone has multiple grits and is ready to go quickly.

Q: Should whetstones be soaked in water?

A: Whestones can be soaked in water until air bubbles stop rising to the surface.  Some new technology whetstones can be ready to use after splashing with water.

Q: Do you need a honing rod if you have a whetstone?

A: Each tool serves a different purpose in the maintenance of your knife. A honing rod straightens the edge of the blade by removing folds and burrs, which allows you to use a knife longer between sharpenings on the whetstone. It’s often recommended that you don’t use honing rods on Japanese knives, especially steel honings rods, although we do understand that professional chefs in high-speed kitchens sometimes use ceramic rods. Japanese knives use a stronger and more rigid steel than Western knives and the edges don’t curl as easily. And because of the rigidness, they can chip with a honing rod.