Japanese whetstones (also called water stones) – both natural and synthetic – are known for their quick-working qualities, not only for Japanese blades, but also for their Western equivalents. The small particles that do the cutting are loosely bound together in the stone, and so during sharpening with the whetstone, the surface particles are quickly washed out, allowing new, sharp, particles to start working on the blade. These whetstones must be lubricated only with water! Never use oil or other lubricants!
Whetstones come in a range of grits:#80 to #500 grit is typically used to repair knives with chipped edges.#600 to #2000 grit are used to sharpen dull knives.#3000 to #6000 grit are finishing stones and are used to refine your knife edge.#8000~ grit are Super finishing stone.If you are using your knife to cut meat it is best to stop at between #4000 and #6000 grit as you can bend your knife edge on the muscle.