Sandpaper vs Sharpening Stone: The Battle of the Burrs
There is nothing more frustrating than having a blunt knife in the kitchen. Every knife, irrespective of its quality, gets dull over time- and you need to refine its edge. So, avoid waiting too long to sharpen your blades, and do it more often for an effortless cutting experience.
Despite knowing the importance of regular sharpening, many knife owners hesitate to invest in a knife sharpening stone. Do not fret! Even if you are hesitant to work with knife sharpening tools, you can still go for substitutes like sandpaper which will render almost as good an edge.
In this blog, I have fleshed out a detailed comparison between sandpaper vs sharpening stone. So, if you are looking for a cost-effective knife sharpener without compromising on the edge, you are in the right place.
Keep on reading!
Sandpaper Vs Sharpening Stone: Which One Is Better?
Sandpaper gives shape and polishes the blade, but sharpening stones are even better for knife-sharpening. Sandpaper is more aggressive and removes metal faster, making it better suited for heavy material removal, whereas whetstones are better suited for refining a sharp edge.
How Does Whetstone Sharpen Knives?
Whetstones are my all-time favourite tools for knife sharpening. Hands down, they provide an exceptional edge- that you can not achieve using a manual sharpener or any other tool. Sharpening stones come in various abrasive materials such as Ceramic, Arkansas, Diamond and Silicon Carbide.
Read about: Best Way To Sharpen Knife With Stone – A Complete Guide
Although you need a bit of practice before using a whetstone, the results you get are always worth it. Here’s an easy step-by-step process to sharpen knives with whetstones:
- Soak the whetstone in water for 10-15 minutes to ensure it’s fully saturated.
- Place the whetstone on a stable surface and hold the blade against the stone at a 20-degree angle.
- Using moderate pressure, slide the blade across the stone away from you by keeping the arch consistent.
- Turn the knife over and repeat the process on the other side.
- Gradually increase the angle of the knife against the stone- until you reach a 40-degree angle.
- Repeat the process on both sides of the blade, using moderate pressure.
How Does SandPaper Sharpen Knives?
Sandpaper is an easy-to-use knife-sharpening tool that is suitable for beginners. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you do the task with ease.
- Choose sandpaper with a grit appropriate for the material you want to remove.
- Cut a piece of sandpaper to an easy-to-hold size, and place it on a flat, stable surface.
- Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle and hold the blade against the sandpaper.
- Using moderate pressure, run the knife across the sandpaper away from you by maintaining a consistent angle.
- Repeat the process on the other side of the blade.
- Gradually increase the slant of the blade against the sandpaper until you reach a 40-degree angle.
- Use finer grit sandpaper or honing steel to realign the edge by removing the burr.
Sharpening Stone Grit Vs Sandpaper Grit
Grits play a significant role in the battle of the blades. Here I have mentioned the nitty-gritty about whetstone grit vs sandpaper grit.
What Grit Sharpening Stone to Sharpen Knives?
Sharpening stone grit sizes range from lower grits to remove chips and nicks to higher grits to refine and hone the edge. Here’s a general guideline to help you choose the appropriate grit for your knife.
Coarse grit is around 800 to 220. It is the most suitable for heavy material removal, fixing chips or nicks, or shaping the blade.
Medium grit is around 1000-3000. It is perfect for removing the scratches from the coarse grit stone and preparing the blade for honing.
Fine grit is around 8000. It is the best for the final polishing of the edge. It helps restore the finest edge.
I suggest you use a combination of grits- it will help you gradually sharpen and maintain a keen-edged blade. You can start with coarse grit and progress to a finer grit for a more refined edge. Moreover, the right grit will depend on the type of blade and the desired level of sharpness.
What Grit Sandpaper to Sharpen Knives?
Similar to whetstones, sandpapers also come in various grits that you choose according to the type of knife and the sharpness you want to achieve. Below I have mentioned the grits you can choose from, depending on your need.
Coarse grit sandpaper is around 60 to 120. It is appropriate for heavy material removal, fixing chips or nicks, or shaping the blade.
Medium grit sandpaper is around 150 to 220. It is suitable for removing the scratches from the coarse grit sandpaper and preparing the blade for honing.
Fine grit sandpaper is around 320 to 400. It is best for honing and refining the edge to bring out a sharp and polished edge.
Ultra-fine sandpaper grit is 600+. It is perfect for final polishing and maintaining the edge.
For More Detailed Answer, Read Our Blog: What Grit Sandpaper to Sharpen Knives? – Detailed Guide
Sharpening Stone vs Sandpaper: What’s the Difference?
The sandpaper vs knife sharpening debate would be unjustified without a solid comparison between the below-mentioned factors. So here you are!
SandPaper: If you are on a tight budget, sandpaper will be the right pick. It is relatively cheaper compared to whetstones. Sandpapers come in sheets and rolls and typically range from a few cents to a few dollars per sheet.
Sharpening Stone: Sharpening stones are more expensive as they are made of premium material. It can range in cost from around $10 to $100 or more, depending on the size, quality, and type of stone.
SandPaper: If not used properly- sandpaper can be aggressive and remove material too quickly, potentially damaging the blade or reducing its overall sharpness.
Sharpening Stone: Whetstones provide a consistent and controlled way to sharpen and maintain the edge of your knife. When used correctly- they give you the pro-quality razor-sharp edge that delivers the best cutting performance.
SandPaper: Sandpaper is not as durable as whetstone and requires constant replacement.
Sharpening Stone: Good quality sharpening stones last for decades and render pro-quality sharp edges without causing inconvenience.
Sandpaper: Sharpening knives with sandpaper is no sweat. The process doesn’t require much skill or experience, which makes it a good choice for amateurs.
Sharpening Stone: Sharpening blades using whetstones require a skill, else you won’t be able to achieve a fine edge. However, with some practice, you can become a pro at using whetstones.
Sandpaper: Sandpaper is lightweight and easy to carry, making it an ideal option for sharpening knives while camping or on the go.
Sharpening Stones: Although a bit heavier, whetstones are easy-to-carry and can be stored easily in a knife roll or bag. However, some whetstones are even designed to be portable, with a compact size and integrated base for stability.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Whetstone supremacy has sustained since the evolution of knives, yet you can use sandpaper as one of the most effective substitutes to sharpening stones. Undoubtedly sharpening stones are ideal for pro-quality sharpening- but sandpaper can also provide you with a decent, if not the same edge at an even more affordable price.
Speaking from personal experience, once you get used to working with a fine-quality whetstone, you will never be satisfied with any other tool. However, if you are on a budget, I suggest you go for sandpaper rather than a cheap sharpening stone, as it will never give you a quality edge.
I hope this blog has answered all your queries about sandpaper vs sharpening stone. If you like the article, don’t forget to read more blogs on the best knife-sharpening tools.