To take off the fine scratches and burrs left by coarser stones, and to polish the surface, you can use stones starting at around 2000 grit. There is theoretically no upper limit, but stones above about 10000 grit achieve practically no measurable improvement in the edge. It is also interesting to note that above 8000 grit, there is no Japanese measurement standard. For stones labelled as having a finer grit, you simply have to take the manufacturer's word for it.

I really appreciate that it comes with the rubber bases! I am beginning my own woodworking shop after graduating from woodworking school and having sharpening stones is important as a first step. These are not the highest quality stones out there, but they are great value - reasonably high quality for a good price. In addition to this 3000/8000 stone I have a 250/1000 stone from Lee Valley. Together with these I've sharpened all the plain-edged knives in the house and will soon be moving on to the chisels and plane blades after I put a hollow grind on them with the bench grinder.
I really appreciate that it comes with the rubber bases! I am beginning my own woodworking shop after graduating from woodworking school and having sharpening stones is important as a first step. These are not the highest quality stones out there, but they are great value - reasonably high quality for a good price. In addition to this 3000/8000 stone I have a 250/1000 stone from Lee Valley. Together with these I've sharpened all the plain-edged knives in the house and will soon be moving on to the chisels and plane blades after I put a hollow grind on them with the bench grinder.
Aluminum-Oxide oil stones are very popular man-made sharpening stones produced by an abrasives company called Norton and which are commonly called India Stones. Generally less expensive than Arkansas stones (aka Novaculite), these stones are graded coarse, medium, and fine and are designed for fast cutting. Yet, when the fine grit is used, they can also produce a relatively fine edge. Also, because India Oil Stones are both softer and coarser than Arkansas Stones, they are commonly used in conjunction with Novaculite to cut the initial edge bevels or, repair extremely dull or damaged edges before refining and polishing the bevel with an Arkansas Stone.
For instance, American Novaculite (aka Washita and Arkansas Stones) is a form of metamorphic Chert that produces some of the best known and best loved natural whetstones in existence. Then, there is a form of Belgian Coticule which has been known for providing extra-keen edges since Roman times and, there is a Japanese Siliciclastic sedimentary stone (aka Japanese Water Stones) which consist of a fine silicate particles suspended in a clay matrix. Plus, there are also various types of man-made whetstones available such as Silicon Carbide (aka Crystalon) stones and Aluminum Oxide (aka India Stones) as well as a synthetic Corundum (aka Ruby) rod and Aluminum Oxide impregnated ceramic rods as well as several different types of diamond hones.
When a whetstone is used to cut metal, it acts like sandpaper by removing small particles of metal (aka “swarf”) with each pass of the blade over the stone. Therefore, whetstones with more coarse grits cut faster than those with finer grits and, at the same time, soft whetstones cut faster than hard whetstones because each pass of the blade over both types of whetstones not only removes fine particles of metal from the blade, it also removes fine particles from the surface of the whetstone (aka “slurry”) which continuously exposes new cutting crystals. However, if the swarf is allowed to build up on the surface of the whetstone during sharpening, it will clog the stone and drastically diminish its effectiveness. Therefore, some whetstones require water to lubricate the stone and suspend the swarf whereas, other whetstones require oil to lubricate the stone and suspend the swarf.
To be honest, sharpening blades is more of an art form than anything. There is a reason why there are so many online tutorials and guides that explain how to do it. The most important thing to remember is this; you can incorrectly sharpen a blade. Doing so can damage the blade and leave you in a worse spot than what you were initially. Unless you have experience doing this and really have a knack for it, you will most certainly want to look for models that include instructions or access to online guides (or an eBook).
Cerax and Suehiro stones from Suehiro are a little harder, and as such do not wear down as quickly as the classic Japanese water stones. The 8000 grit stone will perhaps give you the best cutting edge with a mirror polish on chisels and similar blades. Suehiro also makes a small combination stone for those who do not sharpen tools all that often and are reluctant to spend extra for a Cerax stone.
The Juuma sharpening and honing stones offer a simplified working principle while at the same time ensuring the highest possible quality in the offered grits. Juuma Cobalt Blue stones are made of an aluminium oxide and a bonding agent. Adding cobalt serves to slow stone abrasion and increase the speed of sharpening. The speed bonus is especially marked when stoning blue steel (blue paper steel that is often used for Japanese planes and chisels). The cobalt gives the stones their blue colour. Juuma is our proprietary brand. Juuma sharpening stones are produced by a renowned Japanese whetstone manufacturer.
The DuoSharp Plus stones are nicely sized at 8” long by 2 5/8” wide and have two grits on each stone to maximize value. The Plus in the name refers to an area of continuous grit in the otherwise interrupted grit surface of the stone. This area is for sharpening edges with fine points that might be difficult on the interrupted surface. A coarse/fine DuoSharp Plus stone is a good single stone to start a sharpening toolkit.
My order came in incomplete. I contacted the company and had a response within a couple hours. They immediately responded, researched and started the replacement process. I had my order replacement within 1 week or so. Every email was answered the same day. I so highly recommend this company. LOVE MY PRODUCT AND LOVE THE SERVICE MORE. GREAT COMPANY.
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