Support BladeForums! Paid memberships don't see ads! Okay guys, I want to share my experience with the Naniwa Economical stones. I took pictures, but they provided nothing useful to the reader. Short answers: Are they good? - Yes, their quality is high. Would I recommend the set? - What I would recommend is a 6” DMT coarse and the 1K and 3K Economicals—this would be an incredible pocket/small knife sharpening set for any steel, PM’s included. However, I do not recommend the Economical 120. What is this set good at? - This set is for the person who wants to get into a real waterstone experience for as cheap as possible. This set will allow you to make your mind up about whether or not you like sharpening with waterstones better than the classic King 1K/6K combo stone; that being said, the learning curve is a little higher because the Naniwa Economical 120 requires the user to work with mud. What does this set offer the user? - This is meant to be the cheapest possible entry into a “complete” waterstone lineup, without being low quality. Coming from a large company like Naniwa, you will be able to experience actual quality for much cheaper, because the company can support it. This set is designed to suck new users down the rabbit hole of sharpening stones. All 3 stones and a universal stone holder can be had for as low as 50USD The 120 – This stone wears fast. You are able to build an awesome mud quickly, and it should definitely be utilized. This means you can use the stone effectively for single and wide bevel knives (largely relating to those who use Japanese chef knives, but then again, if you are using those types of knives, you probably have a larger budget than 50USD for stones). If you do not utilize the mud for standard narrow bevel knives like those on our beloved pocket knives, you will burn up the stone fast enough for me to not recommend the stone, especially if you hit it with a powdered steel. The mud will also scratch the shit out of your bevel, making it ugly. My Shun utility knife looks hideous. It’s sharp. But hideous. I will never use a muddy low grit stone again. Shapton Glass 220, or bust. Conclusion: This stone fills a perfectly wrong niche. Although the general quality of the stone is great, it is a small-sized stone that would be most effective on larger knives, i.e. cooking knives, which is an antithetical proposition. It handled my 6” Shun fine enough, but I’d consider that a maximum for comfortable sharpening. Ultimately, however, the stone is cheap and it will get the job done. On the whole, I do not recommend this stone, unless you just want to keep your one or two soft carbon steel knives sharp and do not care about the aesthetics of the blade. If it was just me and my ESEE 3, I this would be the only stone set I would buy. The 1K – This stone is pretty hard. It does build some mud, and does not load up. It is softer than a Shapton Glass stone, and the mud you build will help to polish your bevel. It is considerably harder than the King 1K. It cuts faster than the King, and has a visibly higher polish. I enjoy the Naniwa Economical 1000, and if you have used and like the King 1K, I think you will likely consider this stone simply a better version of it. The 3K – This is the first step, in my opinion, into what people consider “the polished edge.” I consider the 1K to 2K edge to be in a kind of transition realm—not that I think a 2K edge is incomplete, or anything. I regularly run a 2K edge on my EDC’s. But the 3000 is with out a doubt, a polished edge. The Naniwa Econ. 3K will produce a shiny, clean edge, though not a complete mirror. It will be a shiny haze, if you will. This stone is also hard, and does not build up a mud so much as just black swarf. There is minor minor surface loading, but it does not impinge cutting speed. The final result is an attractive edge that will easily shave hair, especially after a loaded strop. I use a simple strop (I am by no means a strop enthusiast) of leather loaded with some green CrOx. This edge should permit one fantastic cutting performance in everything but shaving their face. If you want to grant yourself a “true” waterstone experience for as little dollar risk as possible, this set can be had for 50USD including a universal stone holder. If you have a small collection of, say, one to three knives of softer steels, this set will provide you with a complete and satisfying sharpening solution, as opposed to the likely competition: the King 1K/6K combo, which offers higher finishing grit (though, I think the grain control is considerably higher in the Naniwa 3K as it provides a far more uniform scratch pattern), but offers no means for reprofiling. I consider that a yawning gap, as if one is new to sharpening, it is likely their edges are in the most dire need of some heavy coarse stone work. If you do not enjoy your experience with these stones, you can be certain you will not like sharpening on any better waterstones either and can feel assured that your sharpening solution is elsewhere, thus the set accomplishes exactly what it has set out to do. That being said, I think an amazing full-range sharpening solution would be a 6” DMT coarse, and the 1k/3k combo Economical stone—I believe this would provide an excellent pocket knife sharpening setup, and I would not be afraid to tackle powdered steels with it because the diamonds would handle the brutal work, and the combo stone would have little issue cleaning up the edge. This revised intro set would be a little more expensive at approximately 60USD, but I think the value earned by replacing the coarse stone is well worth the bump in cost--not only would it provide the user with a better low grit stone, it would also offer a means to flatten the other two stones.