Whether it is a boning knife, a hatchet, a tomahawk, a machete or an ax, every homeowner, camper, and woodworker needs an effective tool sharpener. In this review, Morninghomestead walks you through some of the best ax sharpening stones in the market. We also compare Gransfors vs. Lansky, ideally, the world’s most reputed brands.
That is no all. Also get to learn the following in this review and buying guide:
- 1 Advantages of Axe Sharpening Stone
- 2 Lansky Puck Vs. Gransfors: What Works?
- 3 Top 5 Best Axe Sharpening Stones on the Market:
- 4 Features to Look For
- 5 How to Sharpen Axe with Sharpening Stone
- 6 Types of Sharpening Stones
- 7 FAQs:
- 8 Verdict
- 9 How useful was this post?
Advantages of Axe Sharpening Stone
There are many pros of ax sharpening stones, but, their levels of effectiveness vary with the material, say ceramic or diamond.
- Fast sharpening
- You can use it dry or wet
- They are deal for carbide blades.
- They are ideal for field use because you can use them with honing oil or dry.
- Hard, long-lasting flat surface
- You realize polished and sharp edges thanks to fine grit in ceramic whetstones.
- They are easy to clean.
Lansky Puck Vs. Gransfors: What Works?
|It features two sides; medium and coarse grits||It has fine-gritted and rough surfaces on either side.|
|Versatile hence suitable for wide-ranging bladed tools.||Works best on ax blades|
|Ceramic stone||Ceramic stone|
|You need honing oil for effective sharpening.||You can use it when dry.|
Top 5 Best Axe Sharpening Stones on the Market:
Lansky Puck-Dual Grit Multi-Purpose Sharpener-Blade & Tool Sharpener 3 PACK
The popularity of Lansky Puck-Dual grit multi-purpose blade sharpening stone cannot be traded for anything, at least not now. And while it remains an excellent quality product from one of the world’s renowned tool manufacturer, you will be surprised to discover that you won’t spend a fortune on this product. On the contrary, the product is very affordable. That is not all. Here is what you get when you put your money on this product:
- It first featured on Amazon on 23rd May 2018, but, Lansky Puck-stone has quickly risen through the ranks of bestsellers and buyer reviews are very impressive.
- It is suitable for all types of blades, hence, multipurpose.
- When you buy this item, you are also signing up for durability.
- It is a pocket -size product, hence portable to every workstation.
- Apart from axes and knives, you can use it to whet machetes, hatchets, and shovels.
- It features two sides namely medium and coarse grits.
- Lansky Puck-Dual 3 pack also features a compact design.
- It comes with a limited 1-year product warranty.
- Use with Lansky’s Nathan’s Natural honing oil or any other ideal lubricant.
Gransfors Bruks Ceramic Grinding/Sharpening Stone GB 4034
The best tool sharpener is what everyone needs and with Gransfors Bruks Ceramic Grinder, you are assured of good working story. Therefore, with GB 4034 stone, you get the following:
- It is ceramic stone.
- It has both a fine and coarse side.
- You can use Gransfors Bruks GB 4034 to sharpen your ax without necessarily using water.
- It is affordable, hence a useful tool for the money this festive season.
- It weighs only 6.7 ounces (190 grams) hence portable to every workstation.
- The stone measures 2 (5cm) inches in diameter.
- You receive your purchase inside an appealing rubberized casing with features labeling for both rough and fine course sides.
Fiskars Axe and Knife Sharpener, Black, 78616984J
You must already know about Fiskars, one of the world’s most preferred excellent tool manufacturers, or, let’s say, you own a Fiskars ax. But, that is only part of the real deal. You need a good sharpener to stay on top of your game, in which case, if Fiskars Xsharp does not fit into your budget; a good sharpening stone wouldn’t be a bad choice after all. Thus, you must be wondering, what do you get with 786161964J?
Well, by putting your money on this stone, here is what you get:
- It is ideal for sharpening knives and axes.
- Fiskars 786161964J stone features ceramic wheels and leaves both sides of a blade sharpener than before.
- It comes with a lifetime manufacturer product warranty.
- It also features a safety guard to protect your hands and fingers from harm when in use.
- The tool is, nonetheless, easy on your hands, thanks to a FiberComp construction with fiberglass reinforcement.
- When you put your money on this item, you are sure of strength and durability.
Helko Werk Axe Sharpening Stone
Some of the world’s best homesteading products trace their origin to Germany, and in this review about the best ax sharpening stones, we don’t mince our words because everyone deserves supreme quality. Therefore, Morninghomestead believes Helko Werk Ax sharpening stone is without a doubt, something with which you will fall in love. It is because of the following reasons:
- It is an excellent German-made product for budget shoppers.
- It features a contoured shape for a stronger blade grip and easy sharpening.
- Its course gray side has 120-grit with 1cm thickness, while the fine-green end has up to 230-grit with 1.5 cm thickness.
- It measures 3-inches (7.5 cm) in diameter and with a height of 1-inches (2.5 cm).
- Helko Werk weighs 6.9 ounces or 195 grams.
- The body features an abrasive ceramic silicon carbide material.
- When you buy this product, it comes with a lightweight aluminum protective casing.
- Use the coarse side to restore blunt edges.
- You can use water or Guard Head Oil during sharpening.
Wetterlings Sharpening/Grinding Stone 2-sided Coarse/Fine
The fifth tool is this review is from Wetterlings. Straightaway, you would want to ask, what do you get by putting your money on this product? Well, as always, we put together full tool facts to keep you in the know, so you don’t have to worry about anything. While it costs a little more than Fiskars ax sharpening stone, yet affordable, here is what you get with this product:
- It features up to 600 grits on the smooth-gritted side, and 180 on the rough end hence ideal for fine grinding and restoring dull blades.
- It comes with a rubber sheath for safe storage when not in use.
- You can use it with water or without.
- It weighs 6.4 ounces (shipping weight).
Features to Look For
At this point, let’s take a deeper dive into one of the essential considerations every buyer must make when shopping for an ax sharpening stone. The truth is that while most people often log into their Amazon accounts with a mentality of buying cheap products, pricing is not everything. You don’t want to end up with a product that lasts only a few weeks, and the grit is no more. In this review, we sampled the following to guide your next purchase:
Course or fine: Which is your preferred option?
While most stones in this review are dual, sometimes a buyer must choose between fine and coarse grit. Well, to make it easy to understand, you should first of all, narrow down to the functionality of each grit orientation. Fine-gitted stones are ideal for refining dull edges or blades, but, they tend to wear and tear out fast when subjected to heavy-duty tasks such as correcting misaligned bevels, and removing nicks.
Moreover, you spend a lot of time using a fine-gritted stone to sharpen dull blades, arguably ten times more than you would with coarse grit. It is why, instead of making a common newbie mistake where you go for either course or a fine-gritted stone, choose a dual option. It is economically viable and provides multipurpose functionality. It is like killing two birds with one stone.
The ideal size: Do you need large or small sharpening stone?
Another vital question most buyers ask is whether they need a small or big stone. The truth is that while small variants are without a doubt portable, they do not do a good job or large-sized tools. On the flip side, small stones are, therefore, the perfect and convenient choices most of the times.
For woodworking tools, you need up to 3-inches of a sharpener, while knives require more lengthy variants than breadth. In a nutshell, and of course, as our rule of the thumb, go for stones that measure 8-inches. They are not only large enough for many different tasks but also affordable.
You will be way ahead of most professional tool sharpeners with a versatile stone. Here, it is essential to ask questions like the following:
- Is my rock limited to whetting only ax blades or I can use it to refine dull edges on my knife and machetes?
With the above question at the back of your mind, you wouldn’t regret putting your money on a dual grit stone.
There is no doubt that some homesteaders would instead settle for Lansky 8×2 inches Soft Arkansas, while to others, HTS 131A06 Doubled Sided or Gransfors sharpening stone would do the talking on a blunt ax blade. But, if you zero into these preferences, such decisions are usually premised on a brand, model or manufacturer. The catch here is that provided a brand meets your needs, go for it.
Let’s face it. Tool choices are often hard to make, especially when there are competing brands in the market. Thus, the price may be the only defining factor that makes it easy to put money on the best ax sharpening rock. And, while everyone wants something affordable, do not forget that manufacturer product warranty is equally important because it is most of the times, an assurance of quality you get with what you are willing to spend.
How to Sharpen Axe with Sharpening Stone
- For a beginner, using a sharpening stone may sound like rocket science, but, that’s far from it. The first and most important question you must ask is this: Do you need to use lubricant (water or oil)? Well, that depends on whether you are using a natural Washita stone or not. It is also advisable to avoid using non-petroleum oils, but rather, apply mineral oils and petroleum lubricants.
- Before you can start whetting your tool, soak it for up to 15 minutes, but, not less than 5 minutes. It is a sure way of realizing maximum lubrication of the blade for easy and fast sharpening. Once ready, set the stone on a board and then place the ax against either side of the grits (coarse/fine).
- Use one hand to hold down the ax handle and the other against the blade, which you then press on Wetterlings dual sharpening stone, Gransfors, Lansky or any that is preferable.
- It is important to angle the edge at about 22-degrees against a whetstone then apply moderate pressure when sliding it back and forth. At this point, it is imperative that the while blade length slides against the course or fine grit for uniform sharpness and beveling.
Types of Sharpening Stones
Dull-edged blades can deal your workday a big blow, and it could get worse if you do not have the right sharpening stone. It is why; the material with which a product is made should always come to mind. Technically, there are mainly three types of household and homesteading sharpening stones namely:
- Oil stones: Traditional variants where you have to wet the surface using water. It would interest you to note that while technology has brought to the fore, many other options, oil stones are arguably the most popular even in this age. They feature Ozark Novaculite (Silicon Quartz) and have a strong correlation with Arkansas stones.
- Water stones: These are synthetic and softer than the above variant. When you add water, you realize quick sharpening slurry. Most water sharpening stones feature Aluminum Oxide, more or less the same as Indian Oil Stones, albeit supreme in composition.
- Diamond stones: There is no doubt that diamond sharpening rocks are the best in the market, thanks to their unmatched supreme quality. With them at your workstation, you are nonetheless assured of fast blade whetting. You can use them with a lubricant or without depending on the situation. Moreover, given their quality, you would have guessed right that they not only last longer but are also costly. (more)
We know you must be itching to ask some questions, which is why, in this section, we try to cover many of them as possible.
Q: Common mistakes people make when buying whetstones?
A: While mistakes happen, even when we least expect it, that should not be the case when you have lots of information available on the web. Thus, when putting money on a sharpening, do not go for an only coarse or fine grit. You don’t want to go looking for either of the two later on when what you already own isn’t versatile enough.
Q: Is it possible to realize razor sharpness on my ax blade?
A: While ax blades are somewhat sharper than knives, it is still possible to premise everything on such a standard measurement of sharpness by doing so at the right angles. You may want to look at this grit chat for further guidance in as much as we also recommend that finer grit brings you closer to razor sharpness.
Q: Can I use a sharpening stone on a machete?
A: Of course you can. After all, you do not need a lot of effort whetting a machete’s blade. However, larger blades require handheld sharpeners and not a stone.
Q: What is the best honing oil?
A: Most people ask this question, and while the bottom line is that you need a lubricant of some kind (mineral or petroleum-based), some fluids work better than others. Oil is ideal for stones like Crystolon, India, and Arkansas. The best option should be highly refined and light lubricant because it is non-stick.
Q: What is the best fluid for diamond stones?
A: For diamond stones, water is a perfect choice, but, you can also use other lubricants, albeit not recommendable. It is because diamond stone lacks pores into which oil absorbs, and a smooth whetting experience is not only a high-risk undertaking but also ineffective.
In the end, Morninghomestead wants to remain your homesteading products reviewer of choice. Therefore, assuming you already decided on a product, but, still want to ask what we think and perhaps our verdict of the top five best ax whetstones in this review, we wouldn’t hesitate, but, advice as follows:
There are many variants in the market, and given that we factored in the issue of versatility when compiling this review, Fiskars ax and knife 786161964J carries the day. It is not only an excellent product, but it is also noteworthy that its mid-range pricing fits into the budget of many would-be buyers. Next in line is Helko Werk which equally packs some amazing features you will hardly find in most whetstones.
Finally, we are always looking forward to your opinions, suggestions, views and even questions in the comment section below. Talk to us about your experience with any of the products in this review. That notwithstanding, sharing is caring so, go right ahead and click the social media buttons to help others find the best ax sharpening stones.
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