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Waterstones - What Grits?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by JSMcustoms, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. JSMcustoms


    Feb 2, 2012
    I've been looking into getting some Japanese Waterstones for sharpening my knives, but I'm uncertain as to the grits that I need. For example, if I have a 220 grit stone, do I need the 400 grit one or jump to the 1,000 grit stone? Right now the set I have in my head is 220, 1000 and 5000 grit stones.
  2. bpeezer


    Jan 27, 2013
    I'd say you're fine with that, the size of the jump depends on how willing you are to spend more time on each stone
  3. JSMcustoms


    Feb 2, 2012
    I find sharpening knives to be rather relaxing, so I'm fine with spending 15 - 20 minutes on a single stone. Sometimes more depending on the mood I'm in.
  4. somber


    Nov 9, 2009
    You probably don't need to go as low as #220 every time, unless you really need to reprofile your edge. A progression from #1000 to #5000 is great for keeping your edges sharp and similar to the setup that a lot of consumers use, such as the KING waterstones.
  5. JSMcustoms


    Feb 2, 2012
    Agreed the 220 is more for reprofiling. As to the specific stones I'm looking at, it's the Naniwa Super Stones.
  6. somber


    Nov 9, 2009
    Sounds like a good idea, do it to it.
  7. Jason B.

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

    Jun 13, 2007
    The superstones are soft and will wear quickly, if you want Naniwa stones then the chosera is a much better choice.
  8. Ben Dover

    Ben Dover

    Aug 2, 2006
    If you already have a 220, I would go 1000,c2000 and 5000.

    And if you want a really nice edge, take a look at the Naniwa 8K "Snow White."
  9. JSMcustoms


    Feb 2, 2012
    The chosera in general wear much slower than waterstones correct? And by 'wear quickly', about how fast do they wear down through normal use?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  10. Jason B.

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

    Jun 13, 2007
    The super stones will wear quickly, enough to be flattened with every use and the higher grits (above 1k) need constant lapping because they collect metal on the surface quickly clogging. Imo, they polish far too much and leave a edge that's nice and mirror polished but has poor cutting qualities.
  11. Ben Dover

    Ben Dover

    Aug 2, 2006
    The Chosera is a water stone.

    If you want slow wear and very aggressive cutting, look at Shapton Glass Stones.
  12. somber


    Nov 9, 2009

    You can achieve razor sharp edges off of anything, some are simply more effective or more forgiving than others. Purchase what you want and get to sharpening. ::thumbsup::
  13. JSMcustoms


    Feb 2, 2012
    Will do. I've never heard of them not producing razor sharp edges. Then again, there's a bit of a learning curve with them as far as sharpening technique goes.
  14. Jason B.

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

    Jun 13, 2007
    I don't think I would call experience giving guidance semantics.

    I have used all but a hand full of the stones Naniwa produces and from that experience I can tell you the super stones are good but they have better choices for knife sharpening.
  15. L2bravo


    Jun 14, 2013
    Does anybody use Norton water stones? Are they worth a crap?
  16. hkpokes_you


    Aug 29, 2008
    I like working on my Shapton glass stones (1k and 4k) because they leave very little mess, are easy to keep flat, and work well on highly wear resistant steels like s30v. Just spritz them with a spray bottle and they're good to go.

    If you're looking to go all out I like the low grit green carbide stone that nihonzashi.com stocks. I forgot what they call it -- but it's giant and it works fast. I also like having a muddier stone in the 6k+ range forvfinal sharpening. There are lots of good options for those, but I like the fine size of the generic 1k/6k stone that you find on Amazon. It might be a King? Whatever it is the coarse side is useless and the 6k side is fantastic. The only problems are that it needs a very long soak, and it's a disgusting mess to work with...will put tons of black crud under your fingernails...will stain your pants...will soak into your countertop and won't come out.

    Chefknivestogo.com has them and lots of other high end stones. I don't think anybody else is beating them price-wise, and the user feedback there is great and helpful.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013
  17. somber


    Nov 9, 2009
    Then don't take it personal. :)
  18. xuz


    Dec 27, 2011
    I have SS and chosera from 1k range to 12k range.
    Chosera's are way more expensive (and larger), which is a consideration when purchasing your first stones.

    If you are ever thinking about doing edge leading strokes at angles greater than 20 on a side,
    I would seriously consider getting the Choseras.
    SS use soft resin based binders, and you will take large chunks out inadvertently.
    If you are into straight razors, both are great and offer some unique advantages.

  19. Teton


    Jul 18, 2013
    I have them in 220, 1000 and 4000. They're decent to get a feel for freehand sharpening.

    With that said, i also have the following in my possesion or on order:

    Naniwa snow white, 8k
    Arashiyama, 6K
    Imanishi Latte, 400
    Naniwa Aotoshi, big green brick of joy, 2K
    King 1200

    Took a chance on these two, pretty cheap if they don't pan out. Amakusa red 800, Amakusa White 1000. Read mixed reviews on these two, they might end up being paperweights. ;)

    On my short list:
    Naniwa Omura 150 or the Nubatama bamboo 150
    Blue Aoto 2K
    Suehiro Rika 5K.
    Arashiyama 1k

    Eventually going to take my nortons to work to use there if needed.
  20. JSMcustoms


    Feb 2, 2012
    I've got three of the Super Stones incoming (220, 1000, 5000). For sure an improvement over my Sharpmaker (which I use on the benchstone setup). I'll let you know what I think of them once I get a chance to use them (first blade up is my Esee 4).

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