Sharpening Stones

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Forum topic by Bill Hall posted 05-13-2008 08:47 PM 1711 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bill Hall

166 posts in 4409 days

05-13-2008 08:47 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpen stone

Does anyone have any recommendation for affordable water stones? I was looking at getting some decent ones to sharpen my chisels and plane irons, but the “go-to” Norton stones are pricey. Are there comparable “no-name” stones?


6 replies so far

View Ethan Sincox's profile

Ethan Sincox

767 posts in 4717 days

#1 posted 05-13-2008 09:06 PM

Cheaper water stones are most likely not going to be “pretty decent”. You get what you pay for.

My advice: Save up a bit more and buy the Nortons. You won’t be disappointed.

I think most people spend way too much on sharpening equipment, but it isn’t because they spend a lot of money on one particular system or method. It’s because they’ll buy oil stone and try them a bit, but they won’t be happy with the results so then they’ll buy water stones and try them a bit. When they aren’t happy with THOSE results, then maybe they’ll pick up some ceramic stones or go the Scary Sharp method before buying one of those expensive sharpening systems.

Try one route and stick with it for a while until you really get the hang of it. And when you get frustrated, just stick with it a while longer. It can take some time and a lot of practice to get good at sharpening. Oh, you might want to also pick up Robin Lee’s book or Thomas Lie-Nielsen’s book on sharpening – both have been rated as some of the best sharpening info you can read.

Oh, and don’t skimp on the stones. Nortons cost a littel more, but they’re consistent throughout (i.e. man-made) and worth it.

-- Ethan,

View johnjoiner's profile


160 posts in 4436 days

#2 posted 05-13-2008 09:39 PM


Are you looking at the combo Norton stones? If you go that route, it’s only two stones to buy (plus you’ll want something on which to flatten them). I’ve had those for quite a while now, and they still have a lot of life in them. They are the only thing I use to sharpen my chisels and planes.

-- johnjoiner

View Grumpy's profile


25801 posts in 4394 days

#3 posted 05-14-2008 12:32 AM

I would recommend a diamond stone, will cost more but last longer & give you better results, does for me anyway.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Paul D's profile

Paul D

2131 posts in 4292 days

#4 posted 05-14-2008 01:03 AM

I recently bought a King water stone at Woodcraft. It has 2 grits, one on each side. I’m slowly getting better with sharpening and it takes some time. I’d also suggest a honing guide (~$10-15) and a flattening stone (~$20).

-- Paul D - Lawrenceville, Georgia

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4327 days

#5 posted 05-14-2008 03:48 AM

I got the Kings from Woodcraft, same as Paul D – two-sided. One is 800/4000 and the other is 1200/8000. Also got a nagura stone which you have to have with any stones at 6000-grit or higher. And like Paul, I also got the honing guide.

-- Eric at

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 4256 days

#6 posted 05-14-2008 05:51 AM

I thought I could get a good edge on chisels, plane blades etc until I tried using the combo waterstones from LV. Man! night and day difference on the resulting edge. Imagine using a table knife and then switching to a filleting knife for filleting a fish…that kind of difference. Jenn bought me the LV sharpening guide and the 1000/4000 waterstones and I am extremely happy with them. In fact I was just working on a chisel for a buddy of mine and really enjoying what a keen edge is developing on the chisel.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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