What is your preferred stone size?

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Well-Known Member
Jul 4, 2022
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I was wondering what people's preferences were for stone size for sharpening kitchen knives, particularly stone width. I've been playing around with a few different sizes this year. Most full size bench stones tend to be 8"X3" (~205x75mm), but some as narrow as 2.5" (66mm) and others as wide as 4" (100mm). Might seem to be splitting hairs but I do think even 5mm seems to make a difference.

I'm also trying to think if there any advantages or disadvantages to having more or less width. Wider feels more comfortable for large knives but I'm thinking perhaps a narrower stone might offer more control?
I’ve used everything from 120x35 to 380x150. Personally I find 210x75 to be the sweet spot. Wide than that and I actually find it cumbersome to use, especially for polishing. Longer than 210 and I just rarely use the full length and find it unnecessary, even on longer knives. Even putting aside cost implications, I find 205x75 (type 30) more usable than 220x85 (type 24). For polishing size is even less relevant. I could comfortably polish a 360 yanagi on a 170x60 bench stone, some of the best polishing on this forum is done on stones smaller than that even.
For thinning I like a 3" * 10" stone or a 3" * 11" long strip of sandpaper. In finer grits 2.5" * 8" seems fine. I have a 2" * 6" stone the composition of which I like but I always wish it were larger.
Honestly width is more important to me than any length over maybe 170-200 mm. I've got a BBW that's 250x80 which is a great size for my 250s and larger rectangles, but I don't really use the full length honestly. My angle control starts to falter when I intentionally try to make use of full length in one stroke moving quickly.
My "big" coticule is 130x70 mm and I find that perfectly functional as well. The standard Chosera/Shapton benchstone size is fine for me, I just don't really like stones that are more narrow 60 mm for use on full size knives. This is all for sharpening only, I don't polish