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Reviewed: Norton 3 Stone Sharpening System

The 3 stone sharpening system from Norton is one of the top knife sharpeners on the market, and is a fantastic product for those that are comfortable using a tradition stone-based system.  Norton’s Japanese water stones are large enough to allow for easy sharpening of any sized knife.  The oil reservoir beneath the stones keeps them well saturated  before each use.

The ergonomic design allows for quick switching between stones of varying grit.  The kit comes with 100, 150, and 350 grit stones which are perfect for any task from repairing a damaged blade to honing it back to factory sharpness.

Here’s a quick video demonstration on how to use the 3 stone system.

Our Norton 3 Stone Sharpening System Review

Pros:

  • three stage sharpening system
  • quick changes between varying grit stones
  • large surface for sharpening any sized knife
  • built in oil reservoir means you don’t have to oil the stones each time

Cons:

  • difficult to use for those not accustomed to using sharpening stones
  • large and bulky, not great for storing in the kitchen
  • requires careful handling so as not to spill oil reservoir

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a system that allows you to sharpen a wide variety of knives this is a great investment.  You can literally sharpen anything from the smallest pocket knife to the largest chefs knife or cleaver on these stones.  It is great for custom knives, or if the SHTF. If you’re not comfortable with using a stone based system or you’re not willing to put in the time to learn, one of the other guided knife sharpening systems we’ve reviewed might be a better fit.

Otherwise the Norton is a high quality product that should last you years and years.

Another great product in this category is the Tri Hone Diamond Sharpener.

Specifications

This Norton knife sharpening system has dimensions of 0.5″ x11.5″ x 2.5″ and weighs about 9.2 pounds. It is a complete tri-stone sharpening system combined into a little compact unit with a plastic case. The system is ready to return sharp edges to straight-edge tools that include chef knives, plane blades, precision instruments, chisels, and more.

The three-stage sharpening system comes with 100- and 150-grit silicon carbide stones and one 350-grit aluminum oxide stone. The bench unit comes with no-slip rubber feet, a lid, a reservoir, a bottle of stone oil (16. oz.), and an angle guide. The top of the unit has a rotating axis that keeps the stones firmly in place and easily brings the desired stone to the front.

The base has a reservoir for oil that keeps unused stones saturated and clean. The sharpening oil is an FDA-approved approved blade lubricant that can be used near food. It prevents the metal from bonding to abrasives by flushing the metal chips and dislodged abrasives away. Each stone is pre-filled with oil to save time on pre-soaking.

The silicon carbide stones offer fast cutting and effective sharpening no matter how light the pressure is. The aluminum oxide stone has a tough wear and fracture resistant grit that can sharpen to incredibly close tolerances. Its 100-grit stone is for repairing the cutting edge, its 150-grit stone is for sharpening and maintaining the edge, and its 320-grit stone is for creating a honed edge for cutting.

Performance

The operation of the sharpener is simple since the user just needs to rotate the handle to obtain their desired stone, and then use the angle guide to sharpen the blade. Regardless, some users feel that this sharpener is not that easy for people to use that are new to stone sharpening.

Following instructions can rectify this. This product can create razor sharp blades, so the user needs to exercise caution when handling the blades after use. The plastic housing on the unit is claimed to not be as sturdy as the old metal casing.