Recommendation? Splash and go stones: Gesshin vs Shapton Glass vs Shapton Pro vs Naniwa Professional?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by josemartinlopez, Jun 27, 2020.

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Which set of splash and go stones would you recommend as a first buy?

Poll closed Jun 29, 2020.
  1. Gesshin 1500/6000

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Shapton Glass 1000/6000

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. Shapton Pro 1000/5000

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Naniwa Professional 1000/3000

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  1. josemartinlopez

    josemartinlopez

    2
    Jun 27, 2020
    Hi there! I'm buying my first whetstones and decided to keep things simple and get splash and go. I'll be realistic and just admit I don't have a lot of patience to wait for stones to soak or dry, and don't have a lot of space to lay out soaking equipment. I want to get just a roughly 1000 and a fine grit stone and be done (and maybe a coarse stone to round out). I anticipate having 1-2 good Western and 1-2 good Japanese knives plus a couple of utility knives in each (I'm sure these are famous last words on this forum).

    I don't do heavy duty chopping but I don't mind spending a little on a couple of good stones right away instead of starting on a beginner stone then upgrading. I appreciate the artisanship in the knives and stones so would love to have a few good ones, not necessarily a collection. Researching is confusing as it's easy to find posts about people liking a certain stone, but not posts explaining why exactly and how one stone compares to another.

    I was thinking of:

    - Gesshin 1500 and 6000 - supposed to be the higher end recommendation with good feedback, available only from Japanese Knife Imports (and I'm not in the USA)

    - Shapton Glass 1000 and 6000 - sharpen fast and people say these work even on harder steels, only con is that they have a shorter lifespan (not relevant to me as I don't plan on sharpening 10 knives a month)

    - Shapton Pro 1000 and 5000 - also good, thicker than the glass and might last a bit longer?

    - Naniwa Professional 1000 and 3000 - also good but understand they are not true splash and go and need to soak a little, plus there are reported issues with cracking

    Any advice on how to choose? Also, would it make sense to get a 2000 instead of a 1000 stone, or get 1000 / 3000 / 5000 or 6000 instead of just 1000 / 5000 or 6000?
     
  2. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    Personally, I'd opt for the classic Shapton Glass 500 / 2000 combo and add whatever other stone or stones you care to.

    I didn't vote as this was not an option available.
     
    Diemaker likes this.
  3. josemartinlopez

    josemartinlopez

    2
    Jun 27, 2020
    Thanks! Why the Shapton Glass over the others, and why the 2000 in particular over the 1000?
     
  4. Blues

    Blues Lapsed SuperMod / Cattle Knife Rustler Staff Member Super Mod

    Oct 2, 1998
    I have no experience with the others. I should have said that up front. The Shaptons are very well respected and the 500 / 2000 combo, as recommended to me by @Jason B. and by many reviews online are considered classics.

    You would want to go to diamond, by and large, for steels equal to or exceeding 4% vanadium carbide. General rule, not an absolute rule.

    Others will be able to flesh this out further as my experience is nil with the other options.
     
  5. Diemaker

    Diemaker KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    607
    Apr 28, 2017
    If you try the full set those two stand out as exceptional, probably the 500 a bit more so. After that, I would think the 8000 is next in line. No experience with the other stones.
     
    Blues likes this.
  6. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    Most of my reply in bold ^


    If I don't need diamond stone due to alloy content I always reach for my Shapton Glass stones. They have shown me they can sharpen a wider range of steels without changing the end result all while staying flatter and working faster. The results are more consistent with better sharpness and easily repeatable results on many different types of cutlery. This gives you the confidence to know you are producing the intended results time and time again. The only main concerns with these stones is that you lap then before every use so they stay flat, it is a nightmare to level a Shapton that has become dished.

    The water consumption is also very low, I've literally only used a shot glass of water to sharpen before and applied it by simply dipping my fingers in the water and rubbing it on the stone. Easier to use a small spray bottle but that simply shows the minimal amounts of water actually needed to sharpen.
     
    crowley213, Eli Chaps and Blues like this.
  7. Craig James

    Craig James

    162
    Oct 30, 2018
    I love the naniwa’s, if you go that route you want the 800 over the 1000, and then the 3000 as a progression.

    I don’t have the Shapton’s so can’t give you a direct comparison, but with the naniwas you get much more stone (Jason’s point above non withstanding) but their wear rate is very low.

    I love the 800 (p308), although I have the Chosera which is the previous version. It’s hard, but doesn’t suffer from glazing and cuts extremely quickly. Feedback is great! For cutting meat I leave it at that, veggies I take further.

    I’m in the UK and your looking at £60 and £90 for the 800 and 3000 respectively.

    I should add that even tho I keep my knives sharp I still turn to a dmt coarse more that you would believe, and even a very coarse SiC stone when I sharpen friends very neglected knives
     
    David Richardson likes this.
  8. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Jason your insight is always so welcomed. Let me ask what might seem a silly question...

    I don't have a utility sink. In using water stones, is there any hesitation in pouring the water out in the kitchen sink? No garbage disposal in mine. I guess with these splash and go's there is less but still thought I'd ask.

    Is one of those sink bridges (forgive me for forgetting the name) recommended?

    The pull to this type of sharpening is increasing...
     
  9. Craig James

    Craig James

    162
    Oct 30, 2018
    Eli,

    I don’t have a water bath either. No doubt these would be ideal for regularly rinsing the stones and resulting swarf but I manage by rinsing the stones under the running kitchen tap with no ill effects. You can get by using a water bottle on a worktop; however, this tends to get messy quickly
     
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  10. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    With the SG stones its not much of an issue, the slurry is very fine and it usually seems like more metal is washing away than the stone. If you get into softer stones (most other waterstones) and especially coarser grits then I might caution washing it down the sink. A large brick 220 or 1k stone like a King or even some Naniwa stones produce lots of heavy slurry and mud that I literally have to scrape out of my Shapton pond into a trash can. That brings me to another point, Shapton products are some of the highest quality you will find in a sharpening stone and their pond and stone holder are no exception. The Pond is probably one of the greatest investments I have ever made in sharpening.
     
    Eli Chaps likes this.
  11. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    Apr 20, 2018
    Thanks Jason. That's exactly the info I was looking for.
     
    Jason B. likes this.

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