However, due to limited natural deposits and extensive quarrying over the centuries, true, high quality, Japanese water stones are now few and far between and are very expensive. Thus, various companies are now producing synthetic Japanese Water Stones which generally have a more consistent composition and grit size than natural stones as well as often begin somewhat harder and thus, lasting a bit longer; not to mention being cheaper to purchase.
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I'll second /u/waitfollowme and say a 1000/6000 combo stone. It works wonders for me. If you have a REALLY dull knife, you can start with something like a 600 grit...but you can screw up your blade unless you really know what you are doing because it takes off too much steel too fast (that being said, a professional can fix whatever you do to your knife, within reason of course). Even with a really dull knife you can use the 1000, it'll just take longer.
Manufacturer contacted and sent a new one for replacement. Great customer service but replacement item was nicked on the corner. It was still usable so i didn't bother to ask for another replacement. I would recommend item to be shipped in another box instead of an over-sized yellow envelop which is not adequate protection. Item sharpen my knife pretty good though..
We recommend that customers invest in Kamikoto’s Toishi Sharpening Whetstone to keep handcrafted knives sharp and ready to cut. The Toishi Sharpening Whetstone sits on a beautiful wooden bamboo stand and features two sides – one with a coarse grit to grind away any roughness, and the other with a fine grit that sharpens and polishes the edge. The finer the grit, the finer the edge on your knife. The sturdy wooden stand holds the whetstone safely in place so you can concentrate on gaining the sharpest edge possible.

Just FYI; This is the #1 problem I see with most brand new kitchen knives. A blade that gets thick quickly past the cutting edge may shave hair and still be unable to produce clean cuts on food items because the thick area acts as a wedge and starts to either bind the blade or split the food like firewood rather than cutting cleanly all the way through.

This was the first Whetstone that I've ever purchased. After reviewing several 'how-to' videos, I jumped right in to use it. I found the process nearly meditative and the BearMoo stone extremely effective! The first knife I sharpened was very dull with small, jagged edges. The 1000 grit side effectively removed the jagged indentations and created a nice cutting edge. The 4000 grit side made the knife razor sharp. The process took nearly 40-minutes.
Before you start sharpening, soak the stone in water for around five to 10 minutes, until it absorbs the water and a liquid film appears on the surface. After soaking, splash some water on top, and re-splash during the process if it ever gets too dry. You'll get a dark, splotch of steel and stone building up on the stone while you're sharpening the blade. This is totally normal so just splash the stone with some water to clean it off and allow it to perform more efficiently. 

This is an important but often confusing aspect of the sharpening process. When you sharpen knives, especially on coarser stones, you'll notice a burr form on the opposite side of the edge. It can be difficult to see, but easy to feel. Carefully feel for the burr by running your finger from the spine of the knife to the edge. The burr will jump from side to side as you sharpen each edge, and once you've felt the burr move to both sides, you can move to the next finer stone. Once you get to the finest grit, the burr will become smaller and smaller!
The goal when sharpening is to create a burr, which is a tiny whisper of metal left on one side of the blade. You'll know you have a burr when you can feel one smooth and one scratchy side to the edge. Warner's is formed in no time at all; I struggled. Nevertheless, eventually I got there. Once you've got the burr, it's time to move on to step three.
Our large selection of stones will allow both professionals and those only starting their adventure with Japanese knives to find, from among the many famous manufacturers, the ideal stone for their need. Because every manufacturer formulates their stones to emphasise a different mix of qualities, and those qualities can vary widely between the different stones, for an optimal sharpening stone set, most woodworkers need stones from several different companies. There is no correct solution for any situation: the stones must fit one’s need and work style.
From the moment I ordered the knife set, I was emailed every step of the way till they were delivered. When I opened the box I instantly knew I made the correct decision. The weight, balance and edge were perfect. A few of my friends have handled them as well and all have asked the same question. How can I get these. I highly recommend these knives.
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