Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:36 pm
May seem a dumb question but could someone tell me the advantages/disadvantages of hard stones vs soft and vice versa?
Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:49 am
All stones are different and that is why experimenting with a combination that works for you is really the only way to determine what is best (for you). Hard stones and soft stones too have different characteristics and therefore the hardness really boils down to personal preference.
I don't believe that you can really list the pros/cons related to the general category of stone hardness except to say that it is easier to gouge a softer stone than a hard stone. That said it may be better for a beginner to start with harder stones until they build the muscle memory to assure good technique before moving to a soft stone.
There are typical characteristics that differ so looking at those may be better than advantages/disadvantages. For example GENERALLY a harder stone will wear slower, cut faster, be more difficult to raise mud, may be able to sharpen harder steel and may not polish as well as a softer stone. But keep in mind that these characteristics are very general and you likely could find a specific hard stone that has none of the characteristics mentioned.
Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:14 am
More forgiveness if you wobble
Easier to raise a slurry
Easier to gouge
Harder to gouge
Easier to destroy an edge if you wobble
Hard to raise a slurry
These are the only one's I think are fairly universal.
Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:15 pm
I know the Naniwa SS is a softer stone. Reading it seems that it polishes above it's grit though perhaps a bit slowly...
What about my King Ice Bears, what do people think about those? How would those compare to some of the manufactures?
Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:25 pm
Around here they will most likely get some bad press. Although I have a 6K ice bear and it works just fine. Slower than my Gesshin 5K, and doesnt leave as nice of a finish, but leaves a nice edge and provides a pretty good contrast for clad blades.
Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:54 pm
The king 800, 1000 and 1200 grit stones are not the fastest stones in the world, but do have a great feel and are very easy to use well.
The king 4k and 6k are pretty fast and work very well for their respective grit rating. I like the feel of them as well.
I think most of the complaint about the king stones, perticuarly the mid grit stones, is that they just aren't that fast.
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