A whetstone is our favourite tool for sharpening knives. It can provide you with the most control over any other sharpening method, and sheds the least amount of metal from the blade. When choosing a whetstone, you have to consider the grit (the numbers denoted on the side of each stone).
For a chipped or very dull knife, you want a starting grit of less than 1000; for moderately dull knives, a grit of 1000–3000 can sharpen the blade well. Whetstones that start at a number above 1000 are generally used only for honing or maintaining sharp edges. For more on whetstones, read our guide.
However, since whetstones require at least 15 minutes of time, we understand the need for more convenient steels and pull-through sharpeners. There are even some excellent pull-though sharpeners on the market, like the Vulkanus, that are less abrasive than the standard. Steels are a great way to hone knives in between sharpening sessions too. Read about which sharpening method is right for your knives, and your habits, in this comprehensive article.