Sharpal 178N TRANSFORMAN 3-In-1 Diamond Round and Tapered Sharpal 178N TRANSFORMAN 3-In-1 Diamond Round and Tapered Rod Sharpener makes it easy to sharpen all kinds of knives including those with serrations gut hooks fishhooks and pointed tools. Industrial monocrystalline diamond is electroplated in nickel onto a steel base. Sharpen dry. No messy oil needed. Fine 600 grit (25 ...  More + Product Details Close
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.
This is a good sharpening stone. However, it is not Japanese . It is made in China. The feel of the grit on the 1000 side is similar to an actual Japanese stone of 200 grit. The base is of good bamboo construction and it comes with 2 rubber nonslip perimeter protectors. You can agarpeen a knife properly with this stone but the stated grit rating may be off.
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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.

You might suspect this is an example of "You can't trust stuff on the Internet" but unfortunately it's more pervasive than that as this is also true of guides published in print, including those from the manufacturers themselves. So one has to be very careful about accepting any comparative information as definitive, although the defined grit size for any given product is more trustworthy (but not entirely reliable either).
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.
The Whetstone comes in a small paper box with instructions. I checked the surface of the stone for flatness and it's about as flat as you can get so a check there. The stone seemed to be overstating the grit but after trying it out and giving it a few runs, the shaved material will actually fill in the gaps and give a good grit on which to sharpen knives on. The rubber feet are nice to have but I place a small mat or board under the stone to keep all the shavings from spilling.
Oilstones, like the Norton whetstone, can be made out of natural or synthetic material like Novaculite, Aluminium Oxide, or Silicon Carbide. As per the name, oilstones require the use of oil as you sharpen your knife's blade. This type of stone is slower at sharpening or honing a blade and it can be messy and you need to always have some oil on hand but it creates a nice sharp edge and a beautiful polish.