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If you are relying on your kitchen sink and countertop as your sharpening station then you know how messy things can get. Stones, even those with rubber feet move on you, water migrates all around, and then if you leave behind wet or slurried surfaces your spouse will definitely express their discontent. 

A few months ago I searched the web for a good and inexpensive solution to all the above. I wanted to get some sort of liner to place on the countertop which could accommodate the diamond stones and Japanese water stone that I have. Woodcraft had just released its WoodRiver non-skid silicon sharpening mat and Norton has their product, called Norton Non-Slip Silicone Sharpening Stone Mat. Both these rugged liners seem promising but at around $19 they are not entirely inexpensive. However, during my online search on Amazon, I saw a product that captured my eye. This rudimentary liner should be a no brainer to every parent of an infant – in fact, you might already have it at home. I am talking about those silicone liners that we put under the plates of our young and messy babies and toddlers. The product that I decided to try is called Munchkin Silicone Placemats for Kids.

It includes two mats that incorporate a raised rim to prevent water from spilling over the surface. The mat does not ensure a total shift-free sharpening but it does keep your stone from moving most of the time, plus it keeps the water inside the placemat’s surface. After working with this product for some time I am quite impressed by its overall advantages. I am still looking forward to comparing it to the Woodriver and Norton products but at $4 apiece this little helper is godsent.

This thin silicon mat does a good job yet under extreme conditions can skid or fold too.

It is very easy to dry out and clean the mat.

The raised rims are very practical in preventing water from spilling over.

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