first time buying a sharping stone. i bought this because i wanted to sharpen kitchen knives. you have to practice to get good at it, use a knife you don't care about because you might mess it up. there is some conflicting instructions online on how to use, water or no water. read as much as you can about using stones and practice, practice , practice. look up videos on youtube and internet. i had fun using it, BUY IF YOU WANT TO LEARN here is some stuff i found, they all sound like professionals http://video.about.com/culinaryarts/Sharpen-Knives-With-a-Whetston.htm?rd=1 http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/knivescutlery/ht/whetstone.htm this is a video that says don't use water http://video.about.com/culinaryarts/Sharpen-Knives-With-a-Whetston.htm?rd=1 this is a youtube video that i watched that uses water. *informative http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFIg9Cm-nJg

However, it should also be noted that “water stones” are generally significantly softer than oil stones and thus, water stones generally cut faster than oil stones but, they also have to be flattened more often that oil stones do. Furthermore, it should be noted that some water stones must be soaked in water for several hours prior to use whereas, others are of the “splash and sharpen” variety and thus, they only need to be soaked for a few minutes before use and then wetted down occasionally during sharpening process. Diamond hones on the other hand are more durable than either water stones or oil stones and, because they generally have a more coarse grit, they cut faster than natural whetstones. Plus, due to their construction, they never need truing and, in fact, coarse diamond hones are often used to flatten both natural and synthetic whetstones.
Medium grit stone works as well as some of the more expensive ones. Perhaps it doesn't cut as fast as a shapton or norton, but it builds up a nice mud leaves a pretty refined edge. Of course you could improve with a 4k-6k stone, but many would be happy with the edge this 1k leaves. I sharpened 3 knives in my set in about an hour. My slicer needed quite a bit of metal removed to fix some edge chipping and this stone did the job, although it took 15-20 minutes of work.
Diamond sharpening stones are becoming really popular because of their ability to cut fast. We tend not to recommend diamond sharpening stones/plates because a lot of damage can be done very quickly. Also diamonds are pretty sharp and at arato level they leave deep scratches in the blade that need to be polished out quite aggressively. Diamond stones can be used with and without lubricant.
I had wanted a pair of sharpening stones for a while, so was enthused to get this last week. I watched a bunch of YouTube videos on how to use them and a deburring strop I also bought and wow, my kitchen and pocket knives are now wicked sharp. Pro tip: if you post anything about it on social media, family and friends will almost surely volunteer their knives for more practice...
The video above, from the How To You YouTube channel, explains everything you need to sharpen with a whetstone at home, and the best methods for doing so. Obviously, you’ll need a whetstone (as well as a few other things), and you’ll want to work near your sink or a bucket so you have easy access to water. Fill a container with water, then soak the whetstone in it until it stops bubbling. Inspect your blades for any trouble spots, and get to sharpening using the methods and motions described in the video; making sure to check your progress as you go. We’ve talked about sharpening knives with whetstones before, but this guide is a bit more thorough and the old video has since been removed.

The answer to the question of how to choose a single whetstone from among the many is actually one of both purpose and expense. Indeed, as the old adage says: “You get what you pay for” – This is certainly the case with sharpening stones. In fact, as a general rule, a high quality, natural, whetstone is significantly more expensive than a man-made whetstone but, they also tend to produce a noticeably finer edge than man-made stones do. On the other hand, man-made whetstones (with the exception of diamond hones) are very affordable and, just like natural whetstones, they too are available in different grits for different stages in the sharpening process from cutting the initial edge bevel to polishing a finely honed edge.


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Suehiro is a smaller Japanese company which has been producing sharpening stones for three generations. Kenkichi Okumura, who founded the company, began with selling stones from his own natural stone deposit, which gained high recognition in the whole of Japan. These many years of experience in the field of natural stones enable Suehiro to successfully produce synthetic sharpening stones since 1964.
Lots of good information here. A few questions, though. Is the particle size the average or the maximum? Does anyone have any information on particle size distributions? There’s no way to get every single particle the exact same size, so the best you can hope for is a tight range of sizes. But the tighter that range, the higher the level of quality control you need (and therefore the higher the cost). For instance, I’m guessing that the cheaper sandpapers have a larger range of particle sizes for a given grit. It’s probably an academic argument, but I was curious.
Good hard stone on a plastic base. People pontificate about whetstones, and there is a difference between high grade and cheap-o stones. But, the more meaningful difference is practice and technique. I've seen a skilled hand put a very sharp edge on with a 600 grit. This 1000 grit is forgiving yet effective. Keep it wet, lock your wrists, and don't rush it - you'll get your knives sharper than you could with a draw-through sharpener.
Synthetic water stones are relatively new in the West. But natural ones have been the main choice of sharpening media in the Far East for centuries, particularly in Japan. This particular type of stone consists of abrasive particles which are sintered together using a very friable clay material. In use, the clay starts to disintegrate which produces a thin, slushy surface on top of the stone which is saturated with sharp particles; new abrasive grit is continually produced as the sharpening process takes place.
I really like this stone. The 1000/4000 grit combination is perfect for my needs. I'm a woodturner, and belong to a club that brings in professional turners from around the world. One had an eye opening test of sharpness. He stacked around 25 new razor blades in a box with one open side. The box assured that the blades were in perfect alignment. If you looked at the blades' sharp ends head on, all you saw was black. His point was that if you can see the edge, the blade is not sharp. Any reflection from the edge, again, facing it head on, is a dull spot. My long story leads to the fact that I was able to sharpen several knives to the point of not seeing the edge. This is not the stone to use if you are trying to remove nicks from a blade. A lower grit will do that job. This is for putting a fine, "invisible" edge on the blade, and with the right technique, that's what it will do. Another thing to consider is the fact that these stones are "sacrificial" A stone wears because it is deliberately giving up dull surface particles to expose the sharp ones below them. Anyone expecting a stone to last forever is mistaken. Bottom line? I think this is a great stone that takes my knives to the level of sharpness I need in both woodworking and cooking. I also like the rubber frame it sits in, giving you much better control over the stone. Your efforts can go into sharpening without having to steady the stone on your workbench or countertop.
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.
One other thing is something as a strop. Kitchen knives sometimes form a wire edge as you sharpen them. The wire edge is a thin feather of steel that stays attached to the real edge of the blade as you sharpen it. It will usually break off on the first thing you cut. Dragging the edge backwards on a small piece of leather, canvas or even cardboard can take that weak wire edge off and leave the edge sharper and stronger.

The recent introduction of the Axminster Rider Sharpening Station utilises the Axminster Rider Double Sided Diamond Bench Stone and a top quality Connel leather strop, both set in a phenolic plastic board. There’s a ‘step like’ area at each end that’s been machined out of the phenolic surface. Each step has been engraved 25°, 30° and 45°. They’re intended to be used with the Rider Honing Guide to ensure that the correct, repeatable honing or grinding angle is achieved every time the blade is sharpened. You can watch Jason Breach take you through sharpening with the Axminster Rider Sharpening Station, along with other sharpening methods.
The abrasive particles in the Shapton stones are very consistently graded for optimal performance. In some grits, the particles are within .01 micron of one another. In other words, each particle is the same size. This uniform size allows the stone to sharpen faster and create a better finish. If a stone is inconsistently graded some particles are larger (thus providing a coarser edge) while some are smaller (slowing down the sharpening process). In usage we've found Shapton Stones to be very consistent and true to the specified grits.
As opposed to water whetstones that require you to pre-soak the stone, the Norton oil stone is pre-filled with oil to save time and eliminate the need to pre-soak it prior to use and the lubricant stays on the surface during sharpening.  The oil also prevents metal from bonding with the abrasive surface by flushing away dislodged abrasive and metal chips.
A 1000 grit wet stone is going to be plenty fine enough for most knives in a ‘typical' home kitchen. Finer hones are going to be used a lot less but will be useful useful for getting a super fine edge, on a fillet knife for example. (They are essential for a professional chef because the sharper blade will leave a slightly cleaner cut for visual appeal.)

Good hard stone on a plastic base. People pontificate about whetstones, and there is a difference between high grade and cheap-o stones. But, the more meaningful difference is practice and technique. I've seen a skilled hand put a very sharp edge on with a 600 grit. This 1000 grit is forgiving yet effective. Keep it wet, lock your wrists, and don't rush it - you'll get your knives sharper than you could with a draw-through sharpener.
When sharpening a knife, you're actually grinding away the existing blade to create a new edge. This is evidenced by the fact that upon completion, you can find tiny metal filings, called swarf, when wiping down the stone. Because the metal blade is actually being ground away, a high importance is placed on the technique and consistency of drawing a knife over the stone.
It’s a decent stone, especially at this price point. I like generally like King stones. Works fast and wears fairly well. The slurry isn’t as lush and thick as I’m accustomed to but no biggie, and the upside is that I can see my work and am less likely to scratch my blade surface. It’s still aggressive and a little less slurry and pressure seems to make a finer edge on this 1k. I’m no expert but it could be that technique is just improving. Makes a nice bevel. Also, it flattens quickly and isn’t too soft. The unfortunate thing is that it is glued to a cheap hard plastic base and you can’t access both sides of stone. Nonsensical design, but would be tolerable if the base itself were slip resistant. It’s annoying when working on larger and/or heavy blades, thus the lower rating. I had no problems when honing a straight razor or pocket knife. Again, I do like the stone, and it’s inexpensive.
If in doubt or just learning, a safe bet is a set of quality synthetic stones. They’re the easiest to use, require the least maintenance and are the most forgiving. If you’re just starting out we highly recommend the Naniwa Sharpening Stones. They’re excellent quality, reliable, durable and no soaking time is required. For advanced users we recommend the Naniwa Pro sharpening stones or Kaiden Ceramics.
Lots of good information here. A few questions, though. Is the particle size the average or the maximum? Does anyone have any information on particle size distributions? There’s no way to get every single particle the exact same size, so the best you can hope for is a tight range of sizes. But the tighter that range, the higher the level of quality control you need (and therefore the higher the cost). For instance, I’m guessing that the cheaper sandpapers have a larger range of particle sizes for a given grit. It’s probably an academic argument, but I was curious.
I would recommend getting a stone with a lower grit (less than 800) after you get a polishing stone, as the main uses of a lower grit stone would be to take off a lot of metal very quickly (removing chips). Its better to get a bit of experience on something a bit slower (1000 grit) and learn to hold a steady angle before diving deep into lower grits. The only time I could have used a stone lower than 800 grit (I used a 500 grit) was when I was completely changing the edge on a Kasumi (59-60HRC) knife.
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