In addition, there are three broad grades of Japanese Water Stones consisting of the Ara-to (rough stone), the Naka-to (middle/medium stone) and, the Shiage-to (finishing stone). However, it should be noted that the various grades of natural Japanese Water Stones vary widely in both density and grit size from stone to stone and thus, they do not translate well to American or European abrasive standards. Furthermore, because they are significantly softer than Novaculite, Japanese Water Stones must be flattened more often and do not last as long as a either Novaculite or Coticule stones. But, because they form a slurry of fine particles when used, they also do a superior job of both cutting and polishing.
As a professional culinarian who uses expensive knives and tools- even in my everyday life, this sharpening stone has become a “must have” in my arsenal. Whether I am restoring an older, well-worn blade back to its glory or simply keeping up with the everyday wear on my go-to knife, the 3000/8000 grit sharpening stone gives my knives the edge in the kitchen (all puns intended;)).
The 8,000 grit Kitayama is definitely a popular 8K stone, it is my favourite, and the feedback has much to do with that. It is silky smooth and feels creamy when you use it. When reaching refinement levels of 6k and above, polished bevels/edge are inevitable, and often sought after. The level of polish from this particular stone is very beautiful, assuming that you have done some refinement prior to this but it is a wonderful 8,000 grit stone.
In addition to some difference in apparent grit size they can vary in how well they cut, due to differences such as the grit:matrix ratio as well as in the variation of grit sizes within the stone (there is nearly always a mixture, with some or many smaller particles amongst the coarsest ones). Books going back to the 19th century mention the variability, e.g. that you might find "a quick-cutting [example]" of a finer stone.
In terms of feedback, in the eyes, and in the hands of many sharpeners, the feedback on this particular brand of stones is not to their liking and often it is enough to stop them from using them. These are thinner than other stones as well so you may get the impression that you are not getting your moneys worth. They are very hard stones, there is no soft, creamy sensation as you sharpen, there is not much feedback at all in fact.
Once the burr is removed, it's time to test the sharpness with paper. Hold a piece of newspaper at about 45°, with a bit of tension, and slash lightly with each point of the blade. If it cuts through easily, your knife's sharp. Warner speedily lacerated his newspaper, but I of course struggled. There is an element of technique involved, he reassured me.
The diamond on top of the stone ensures that the surface is very hard. As such a diamond sharpening stone remains flat and will not become hollow like a water stone. For this reason diamond sharpening stones will last a very long time and help you to quickly sharpen your knives: a blunt blade will be razor-sharp in no time, even when you are sharpening hard types of steel.
JapaneseChefsKnife.Com (JCK, Established in 2003) is the direct internet sales division of The Kencrest Corporation. We supply a wide range of top quality Japanese Chef's knives at lower than Japanese Retail Prices direct from Seki City; the Japanese cutlery capital where fine knives are produced using over 800 years of Samurai sword-making tradition and history.
Time-honored Japanese whetstone techniques mean that we use a variety of grit sizes before we finish by hand with a modified version of an old fashioned Barber’s strop. Japanese whetstones are not only the preferred sharpening medium for fine Japanese knives, but are superior for all types of cutlery. All larger scale metal removal is done with water cooled Japanese and Swedish grinders that will not burn the temper or remove unnecessary amounts of metal. We adjust edge geometry and blade thinness when necessary to provide improved geometry.
Overall I am very satisfied with this purchase, workmanship on product is very good. I have used it on several kitchen knifes and obtained a very sharp edge. But this does take quite a bit of time and effort on each knife. I did not give the product 5 stars because it is already showing a good deal of ware but still works great, and maybe my expectations are not sound. I would recommend this sharpening stone, but you must remember, using this type of stone you will send a good deal of time on each knife.