The Belgian Blue Whetstone, or BBW for short, is a premium natural stone extracted in the Belgian Ardennes since the 17th century. The BBW comes in wide vertical strata with the thin Coticule seams in between. The presence of iron oxide in the stone explains the bluish purple colour. Just like the Coticule, the extraction of the BBW is a time-consuming task that must be carried out very meticulously, without the use of machinery.
This whetstone consists of 30 to 42% of garnets that give the Belgian whetstone its exceptional sharpening characteristics. The garnets penetrate 1 to 3 microns into the metal to be sharpened resulting in a razor-sharp cut, for any object that is to be sharpened.
The smooth geometric shape of the garnets means that they sharpen the metal without leaving behind tiny burrs, which is unique to the whetstones! This results in a fine gleam without scratches on the blade, which makes the knife considerably easier and more comfortable to use.
How to use…
All that is required is to wet the BBW surface; there is no need to immerse the stone.
During the sharpening, garnets are released from the BBW surface. The more garnets are released, the more abrasive the grinding compound becomes (5-15 microns).
This method, combined with the versatility of the BBW, means that only one whetstone is needed for the entire sharpening process. No need for a bunch of different stones anymore!