The number one secret for great results in woodworking is having sharp and well maintained tools. Dull edges in your tools will just slow down your work and damage the materials of your project. On top of that, working with low quality cutting tools can be very dangerous for the woodworker.

The huge variety of cutting tools used in woodworking reflects a similar variety of sharpening techniques and tools. Most sharpening tools are created from man-made materials. These includesynthetic oil stones made, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, ceramic waterstones and diamond paste. There are exceptions like Arkansas stones and quarried stones from Japan.

The most traditional sharpening tools are sandstone or granite. However, synthetic grinding wheels and flat sharpening stones are often preferred by woodworkers as they come with precise grades of abrasiveness they can choose according to their needs.

Generally speaking, you can sharpen your smaller tools yourself. Bigger tools though, should be sharpened by a professional tool sharpener. There are many ways to sharpen a tool. tools. Here’s a list of basic sharpening tools:

Whetstone or Oil Stone

Whetstones (also called oil stones) may be natural or artificial. Artificial whetstones are usually made of bonded abrasive composed of silicon carbide (carborundum) or of aluminium oxide (corundum). Artificial stones, are typically double-sided, with a coarse grit on one side and a fine grit on the other.

Japanese Waterstone

A type of stone which consists of fine silicate particles in a clay matrix. There are 3 different types of waterstones that can be used: 1) rough, 2) middle to medium and 3) fine.

Bench Grinder

A bench grinder consists one or two motor-powered grinding wheels. It can be used to sharpen tools and also shaping metal objects.

Diamond Plate

Diamond plates are sharpening tools that are used to sharpen tools with steel blades. A diamond plate consists of a plastic base and a steel plate impregnated with diamond grit coating bonded onto the base. The diamond grit can grind away various materials from the surface of the blade. Diamond plates are available in various sizes.


Dressings are sharpening tools that are used to shape the cutting edge of a chisel so that a bevel cut can be corrected.

Dressing Stone

This is a rough stone used to sharpen other stones.

Devil Stone

The devil stone is a coarse hard dressing stone that is used to sharpen tools, grinders, and the other stones.