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Chosera stone and sharpening questions

Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:13 am


I purchased a set of 1k, 3k, 5k Chosera stones from a lady who purchased them from you. I'm brand new to sharpening and having nothing to compare the stones with, I love them; so much so, that I've decided to start straight razor shaving so I have more opportunities to use the stones. Which brings me to the purpose of this e-mail.

I have been considering adding a 400 and 10k Chosera to my lineup. The set that I have seems to be pretty hard and seems like it's going to last quite a long time. I've sharpened close to 20 knives in varying starting condition over the past week that I've had the stones and there is very little, almost unnoticeable wear so far. Does the 400 wear considerably faster because it's such a coarse grit? Is it worth adding to my lineup to hasten sharpening, does it reduce the additional wear to the 1k sufficiently enough to warrant the expense? I'm not a professional knife sharpener and once all of my knives and friends' knives are sharp, these will likely be used once or twice per month to clean the edges up- and that's it.

The 10k. I have been reading several shaving sites that say the 10k Chosera is phenomenal for straight razors and I haven't been able to find any reviews on the Super Stones. I've looked into it more thoroughly and see that there are also "super stones" with several thickness configurations, for considerably less money- but also available in 12k. I would like to know which stone you would recommend for what I am needing. I will be sharpening many straight razors and several knives for a long time to come. Personally, I like to stick with the same series but, getting started with straight razor shaving has turned out to be far more expensive than I had anticipated. A $60-$90 stone is far more appealing than a $260 stone right now. Finally, would you know if I would still need to strop a blade if I honed it on the 10k Chosera? If it's providing a mirror edge, it wouldn't seem that you would need to polish it further on a strop.

I sincerely appreciate your guidance.

Re: Chosera stone and sharpening questions

Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:25 am

The 400 grit dishes faster than the 1k Hulk, 3k or 5k, but it's still a fairly slow dishing stone considering it's grit size.
When restoring minor chips, a 400 grit stone is a good start and will spare the 1k a bit. Imo a good 300-500 grit stone is essential. I prefer the Shapton 320 to the 400 Chosera, but everyone has their favorite.

The 10k Chosera and 10 SS are VERY different beasts. The Chosera is harder and much faster, while still offering an edge with a nice bite which a lot of people prefer. The Super Stone is used a LOT more for straight razors, and is imo the only use for it. It polishes EXTREMELY well and the finish is just a bright mirror. Same with the 12k. They are soft and slow though and you can easily slice off a piece of the stone with a knife when you're not being careful. FWIW, I didn't like the 10k Chosera very much for razors, but some love it. Horses for courses I guess.

I feel a strop is essential and for the price, it's hard to beat. When stropping knives and razors, it's a big difference. I love 1µ boron as a finisher for knives, but for a razor it's a pretty harsh edge.

hoe this helps, if you have any more question, ask away!

Re: Chosera stone and sharpening questions

Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:58 am

There is also the Imanishi 10k for less than $100 or you could look to some natural stones. Personally I like natural stones followed by a barber strop, hard to beat IMO.

Re: Chosera stone and sharpening questions

Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:44 pm

Mark- Thank you for posting my e-mail in the forum to garner more feedback.

Michiel- You say the SS is used more for straight razors and is the only real use for it. Do you say this because the price is friendlier (vs. the Chosera) for having a specialty stone used for one application so there are more people who use this stone for razors?

I would like to have a stone that I can use for razors as well as other cutlery, are you suggesting the SS aren't suitable for knife sharpening or that it's not ideal to share stones?

I'm naturally leaning toward the Chosera 10k because I like to keep sets and I'm quite pleased with the other Chosera's. Essentially, I'm asking you to talk me out of it. I'm not good at sharpening yet- I'm able to produce very sharp knives but I attribute that to the stones and not to my skill level. Perhaps I should get a Chosera 10k and a 12k SS (eventually) for a refined edge? As I said, I've never used anything other than the Chosera's so I don't know how I feel about naturals. I know some of them are absurdly expensive and I don't feel like I'm able to know exactly what I'm getting are you are with a synthetic stone. I wish there were a place I could go to try all of the different options before I spent a bucket of money to find out I didn't get what I should have gotten.

I tried to flatten my stones using a piece of sandpaper on a piece of glass. The 1k was dished far more than I thought. After flattening, it's a solid 1/16" to 3/32" shorter than it was when new.

I need to get a flattening plate for my stones. Would you be able to use a flattening plate for chip removal instead of a 400-600 or are they too coarse and will remove too much metal so you'll be grinding away with a 1k for hours anyway?

Finally, I've ordered a strop and it should be here by the end of the week. I'm hoping it will help to get my edge to shaving sharp.

Thank you very much for your time!

Re: Chosera stone and sharpening questions

Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:32 am

The Super Stone is too soft for me when it comes to knives. For razors, it's ok since you won't be doing any heavy removal, but you'll just polish the edge up. That's what it does best. The price is of no importance here.
The Chocera is much faster, but also leaves some micro serrations I don't like in a razors edge. You can get away with it if you finish on a higher grit stone afterwards, but for me, it's not the best razor hone.

I share stones for razors and knives. As long as you lap them, there's no issue. You can use DMT or Atoma plates to set the bevel on a razor and then move to waterstones, but I don't like to go coarser than 320 grit. Make sure you spend extra time on the next stone to get out the diamond scratches.

I would actually suggest getting the 8k Snow White instead of the 10k Chosera and add a 10 or 12k super stone. You'll be in the same price range and it will work for both razors and knives. I don't know why the Snow White isn't part of the Chosera line up, but I'm not complaining! The price is good and the performance is fantastic.

Razor honing and knife sharpening are 2 very different beasts. Enjoy discovering both!

Re: Chosera stone and sharpening questions

Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:14 pm

Price is a consideration for me- unfortunately. I technically could buy all of these, but I've already spent WAY too much money on this venture and I've pretty much lost my money spending thrill. That being said, I have one last question for you. My main concern is getting a beautifully sharp razor, knife edges come second. Should I go with option:

A) 8k Snow White ($116.99), 10k Super ($95.00) = $211.99
B) 8k Snow White ($116.99), 12k Super ($123.75) = $240.74
C) 10k Imanishi (100.10) = $100.10
D) 10k Imanishi (100.10), 12k Super ($123.75) = $223.85
E) 10k Chosera ($264.95) I found another website offering this stone for $200.00 on the nose.

Mark, any interested in playing "lets make a deal"?? .... Please? :-)

Re: Chosera stone and sharpening questions

Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:59 am

I say option 1 :D
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