Norton knife sharpeners are primarily high quality knife sharpening stones
Norton knife sharpeners are made by a company which advertises itself as manufacturing “the world’s most comprehensive line of sharpening stones”.
So as you’d expect most Norton knife sharpening tools consist of stones. Notwithstanding Norton also offer some manual knife sharpeners for those looking for a cheap, simple and easy way to sharpen a knife.
Let’s begin with the Norton sharpening stones. The sharpening stones industry has a long history, dating right back to 1823 when a farmer in a small village in New Hampshire discovered that he was able to sharpen scythes and axes with stones found in on his property. These Mica Schist stones formed the foundation of products for the first supplier of natural sharpening stones in America, the Pike company.
The Pike company began distributing sharpening stones in North America and eventually throughout the world, and quarried a number of different types of stone including Arkansas stone in various places. These Arkansas stones are still considered one of the finest, if not the finest sharpening stones available.
In 1932 the Norton company purchased the Pike company, and now manufactures both natural and synthetic sharpening stones throughout the world, for both sharpening knives and a range of other tools.
Their natural stones are quarried from Ozark Novaculite (silicon quartz) deposits and finished off to extremely exacting standards, and whilst there are no specific industry standards for classifying natural stones Norton is able to produce Arkansas stones of a common standard and superior quality. One of the major advantages of natural knife sharpening stones is that they do not remove as much metal from the knife as man-made stones and so your knives will last.
They also polish beautifully giving you a lovely smooth edge.
As well as the natural stones Norton offers synthetic knife sharpening oil stones. These stones should be used with an oil lubricant.
If you’re interested in finding out technical details of all the Norton knife sharpener stones, along with detailed instructions for use then click here. Bear in mind however that this is extensive and very technical information, only for the brave.
So let’s look at some of the knife sharpening stones, and then some of their cheaper manual knife sharpening tools.
Norton knife sharpening stones come in a wide variety of options, from single stones, kits that include 3 or 4 stones right up to complete knife sharpening kits. In fact the range of options available from Norton can make your head spin.
And of course much depends on your budget, you can spend up to $500 on Norton knife sharpening stones if you wish. And whilst they are high-quality there is no doubt that they are not cheap.
Experts will know exactly what they want. For beginners who are new to using knife sharpening stones but who would like to learn how to sharpen a knife properly with a stone a good place to start would be the Norton Waterstone Starter Kit
This features a 220 and 1000 grit combination stone for basic repair work on an edge or for establishing a good bevel as well as a 4000 and 8000 grit combination for refining and polishing the edge. They can be used for sharpening knives as well as other tools so are quite versatile, which can be handy if you’re both looking to sharpen knives as well as other tools.
They come with a hinged box with rubber feet which should grip a smooth surface so that the stone should be held securely while sharpening.
They also come with a silicon carbide flattening stone. This is used to maintain your sharpening stone if the surface becomes uneven.
Of particular benefit to beginners is an instructional DVD to get you started on the basics of sharpening with a stone, taking you step-by-step through how to hand sharpen.
The stones are waterstones, meaning that they are lubricated with water rather than oil.
As usual, to judge the quality of the product, we turn to Amazon to the user reviews. And of 69 reviews at the time of writing the Norton Waterstone Starter Kit received 4.2 out of 5 stars. We consider anything over 4 to be good.
Several users commented about the value of the DVD teaching beginners how to hand sharpen, and that the learning process was not as steep as they expected.
If you’re considering purchasing this Norton knife sharpening kit it is well worth reading the reviews before doing so to get some sense of how people have found the product as a beginner.
Other options include the B000XK4MYW which is a set of 3 oil stones, in 100 grit, 150 grit and 320 grit, as well as a can of stone oil for lubrication. This kit however does not include the beginners instruction DVD, which is very useful if you’re just starting out with a sharpening stone. This kit also receives a 4 point 2 out of 5 stars, including the review from a professional chef who was very impressed.
Norton do also offer several cheap manual knife sharpeners, including the very unusual lookingNorton 26160 Rolling Wheel Handheld Knife Sharpener which gets a 3.9 from 5, not bad for a knife sharpener for well under $20.
For a (long) video showing the use of a Norton sharpening oil stone see below.