1. Diamond Stones. I’ve used two, many years ago, to sharpen steel knives & found that the diamond coating wore away. They did work well at first, but then I was sharpening on the backing material. This puzzled me, because diamond is harder than steel, but have only recently read that the diamond particles are torn off the backing material because they stick to the softer steel. Diamond stones are recommended for sharpening ceramic knives only. This info about diamond stones & steel knives I got from an Edge-Pro article.
Now that you're holding the handle and the blade is in position, gently apply some pressure to the belly of the blade with your left hand fingers – "roughly the amount of pressure to semi depress a sponge," says Warner. Starting at the tip, glide the blade up and down the stone – around five strokes up and down is a good number. Then move to the middle – five more strokes. Finally five strokes up and down on the heel.
For diamond-coated lapping plates ("diamond stones"), the "grits" are technically defined in terms of mesh, or number of microns between rows of the mesh. However, the "mesh" number advertised by lapping plate manufacturers such as DMT and EZE-Lap are defined to be equivalent to sandpaper grits. It's also worth noting that the manufacturing process affects how a diamond plate will perform over time. Some plates are designed so that the microscopic crystals fracture with use, exposing new, finer abrasive over time. Others are designed so the crystals remain intact. The downside to this approach is that they can be more prone to loading, requiring more frequent cleaning. Both designs are very durable and relatively low-maintenance if used properly with lubricating fluid.
I really liked this whetstone! I had a Smith's pocket sharpener that could get my knife sharp enough for working around in the yard (I have an Opinel no.8). However, in doing a little research I found that the sharpener was only around 600 grit on the finest setting. So this BearMoo 1000/4000 grit looked like the perfect step up, and it turned out to be the perfect stone for me. The pictures are an accurate representation of what you get. The removable rubber base was helpful when switching from one side to the next, and it kept the stone from sliding around. The instructions say that the stone can work with either water or oil, but that water is preferred. It said to leave the stone soaking in water for five minutes, and the stone worked like a champ. I especially liked how the instructions gave you an approximate time of how long the stone takes to sharpen a knife -- it just helped give me an idea that it would take about 15-20 minutes on the 1000 grit side, and then another 10-15 minutes on the 4000 grit. Just turn on a TV show!
All sharpening stones can be placed into two categories. Either natural, having been quarried from the ground, or synthetic, having been been manufactured. Before the industrial age, all sharpening stones were natural by default. Simply picking up a piece of common sandstone and stroking it along a sword blade may have been enough to produce an edge. This would at least remove some of the worst nicks and gouges produced by the clash of steel.
In recent years, some whetstone manufacturers have started producing ceramic whetstones made from hard, ceramic, powders that are mixed with Aluminum Oxide and then sintered to form a solid. But, rather than using oil or water to lubricate the whetstone, ceramic whetstones are meant to be used without lubrication and thus, they provide a significant advantage for chefs who need to keep their knives sharp but, who do not have either the room or time for using a bench water stone. Thus, they are commonly available as either bench stones, pocket stones, round rods, or triangular rods.
Natural stones are quarried from deposits of a mineral called novaculite. The most available are called Arkansas Stones, and come in soft and hard grades, but Washita (coarser than soft Arkansas) and Queer Creek Blue (variable, but around hard white Arkansas) are also available. Novaculite has a mohs hardness of 6.5, equivalent to Rockwell Rc 69. Most knife blades are around 5.5 (Rc 59).
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.
After several uses the Kamikoto is proving itself to be better than expected. As a professional I use different knives all the time and in fact have several thousand dollars worth of very fine blades of various manufacture. As it stands right now, if I could pick only one knife from all of them, I would take the Kamikoto. Fish, vegetables, raw meat, cooked meat, it handles them all very well and is a pleasure to use because of excellent balance and weight. And the edge… magnificent. Care and careful sharpening will be important, but then it always is with the finest of things. I would unhesitatingly recommend this product to people who appreciate the best. This is not a knife for fools or clumsy people. Buy, use, enjoy. And to the people at Kamikoto; “Thank You for making such a beautiful thing!”
I'm not sure what the purpose of the extra white stone is - it says it is to flatten, but IMHO it is not a great idea to flatten the stones with something that small. I have a separate diamond lapping plate with a large surface area that I use to flatten the stones. It might be useful for sharpening awkward edges, like scissors and secateurs, though!