Once sufficiently wet, it's time to position the stone on something solid, so it doesn't move about during sharpening. Many come with holders, but you can just place it on a slightly damp tea towel on the table. The stone should be roughly perpendicular to your body, though Warner told me it is sometimes easier to angle it ever so slightly to the right (if you're right handed). 
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.

You’ll know you’re reached a stopping point when you can feel the slight catch of the bevel on the edge of the blade, by carefully running your finger in the direction of the blade, or by cutting through a sheet of paper. When the knife cuts cleanly through the paper, it’s time to hone the blade. Read our guide for more information about honing vs sharpening.
They are now offered in a very wide range of grits from extra, extra coarse 120g – 120 micron up to extra extra fine 8,000g – 3 micron. The initial cut with diamond stones is very aggressive but this disappears after a while as the stone ‘beds’ in. Some types of stone have a pattern of circular or oval holes across the surface and this is intended to carry away the sharpening swarf more easily. A little more care should be taken with continuous diamond stones, particularly the finer grits as the surface is liable to clog more quickly. Diamond stones can be used without any lubrication, but it’s generally recommended to use either water (make sure to clean and dry it afterwards), a light machine oil or WD40.
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They are now offered in a very wide range of grits from extra, extra coarse 120g – 120 micron up to extra extra fine 8,000g – 3 micron. The initial cut with diamond stones is very aggressive but this disappears after a while as the stone ‘beds’ in. Some types of stone have a pattern of circular or oval holes across the surface and this is intended to carry away the sharpening swarf more easily. A little more care should be taken with continuous diamond stones, particularly the finer grits as the surface is liable to clog more quickly. Diamond stones can be used without any lubrication, but it’s generally recommended to use either water (make sure to clean and dry it afterwards), a light machine oil or WD40.

Aluminum Oxide stones range from 150 grit to 280 grit and cut aggressively but not quite so much as Silicon Carbide. The medium (240 grit) would be considered "coarse" for sharpening kitchen knives, and the fine would be considered "medium". They are considered an "oil stone" but work just fine with water, Unfortunately Norton's stones come pre-oiled so I'd scrub it well with a strong kitchen cleanser before each use until the oil is mostly gone.


Whichever method you choose, be it a waterstone (also known as a whetstone), or a pull-through (either V-shaped or ceramic wheels) it's important to regularly hone your knife with a honing steel, which we'll also cover below. You'll be pleased to hear that you won't have to reach for the stones too regularly – once every two or three months should suffice. 

Not to be a pain, but, “it depends”. With a any grit stone you will get a “tooth” on the edge of the knife. The particles in the stone do their work by sort of gouging out some of the steel. See this excellent Electron Scanning Microscope photo from Ron Hock of Hock tools. This is from an 8,000 grit stone magnified 2,000 times. A 1,000 grit stone has particles of around 15 microns and 8,000 has around 2 microns. So your 1,000 grit edge will have larger and deeper “teeth” than this photo. So are the teeth good or bad?
I would recommend that you only purchase this product if you have lower grit stones in addition to this. 3000 and 8000 are really for honing and polishing, and it will take you a LONG time to sharpen a kitchen knife with only this combination of grits. However, once you have sharpened your knives these will be helpful for maintaining the sharp edge through regular honing.
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.
A new, or even experienced woodworker may be forgiven for finding the whole area of sharpening stones confusing. With so many different types available it becomes very difficult to know where to start. This buying guide will primarily examine the stones sold by Axminster. But, at the same time, will briefly explore some of the many alternative stones which the craftsperson might consider.
The coarse stone will cut the metal off quicker but it is going to give you a rougher edge but that way the job gets done quicker, without the oil. It is not as messy. This is just a real simple set up. If you do wood work you can make a little wooden box and rout it out. In this particular case it is just a 2x4, stone traced out, finishing nails tapped down so they are deeper than the stone so when you drop the stone in, if you are at a workbench you can C-clamp it down in place or you can hold on to it.
Sharpening stones are graded by the size of the individual particles, or grit. In an artificial stone they are all the same. The grit falls through a sieve with a predetermined mesh size. Stones are also categorised in terms of ‘microns’. The classification can be a little confusing. Generally, a 220g stone corresponds approximately to a particle size of 60-80 microns A 1,000g stone is 15-25 microns. A 1 micron is roughly equivalent to a 10,000g finishing stone.
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.
Shapton 1000 grit stone - Hard stone that cuts fast and is hard to gouge. I chose this stone specifically because its hard to gouge and because you can get some pretty awesome patterns on the stone (because of it having a white background and cutting greyish steel). I've heard that the cutting speed of the Shapton stones are comparable to the Naniwa Chosera (the line higher than the Superstones).
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You’ve probably seen a number – say 1000 – on the side or top of the Whetstone you just bought and are at a loss as to what it all means, or even worse the person who sold it to you, didn’t know or forgot to mention it. Which ever of these scenarios sounds about right, you are left with a stone and no idea how you should be using it, well let me enlighten you dear reader.
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