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Kasumi Haze Progression

Sun Mar 10, 2013 11:23 pm

Sounds like something I saw at a San Francisco "medical" dispensary... :lol:

Ok, I have the ends of a progression and looking for a tweener (or two?). I like the hazy Kasumi finish so trying to find some stones to fill the middle out that will bring the haze to my Shirogami.

My current lineup is:
Latte 400 -> ?? -> Rika 5K -> Yaginoshima Asagi

Also have a Naniwa Aotoshi 2k that I picked up for a bunch of soft stainless steel knives that I try and keep sharp for a non-profit. I've used the Aotoshi in my lineup but the Aotoshi/Green Brick seems more on the mirror finish side than the hazy finish.

My original plan has been to get a Chosera 1K when they are restocked. Mostly because I want to try a Chosera stone and I've heard very good things about the Chosera 1K/Hulk.

But with all this time on my hands to reconsider I've started wondering if the Hulk is on the mirror side or the haze side... How about some feedback on the Hulk's finish??

The other options that have popped up while I'm waiting:
Amakusa natural
Nubatama Ume 1K large
Nubatama Bamboo 1K Gold
Nubatama Bamboo 800 -> Bamboo 1200
Maybe follow any of the above with a Bamboo 2K(although I'm not sure if I need a 2K before the RIka 5K)
Chosera 1K -> Bamboo 2K
Nubatama Ume 1K large -> Bamboo 2K
Nubatama Bamboo 1K Gold -> Bamboo 2K
Nubatama Bamboo 800 -> Bamboo 1200 -> Bamboo 2K

What else is out there that should be considered. More naturals?, another synth besides Chosera? n Nubatama?

Again this/these stone(s) will follow a latte 400 and lead into a Suehiro Rika 5K / Yaginoshima.
This progression is for white carbon knives although I do see an Aogami Super knife in my future.

Apologies for the verbose questions but want to be as clear as possible...

Peace Out! 8-)

Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:51 pm

Chosera 1K I still await you...

Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:38 am

If I had to pick a synthetic it would be the 3k bamboo.

Best choice IMO would be a natural Aoto. 400, Aoto, Asagi.

Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:25 am

Yeah, the best choice would have to be a good Aoto.....no question about that.

Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:18 am

For a kasumi finish, go with the Latte 400, King 800 and then the synthetic blue Aoto or natural Aoto. Synthetic stones don't work as well for a Kasumi finish since they are so closely graded, but the synthetic Aoto is made up of a range of grits similar to a natural stone. The Natural stones have some natural variance in the grit in the stone and they cut the different steels at different rates. Soft stones are also a good thing for a kasumi finish. The Latte and King leave the softer cladding a very dark matte grey.

Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:14 am

Softer stones do make a nice finish. Has anyone tried the nakado stones? Or the Igarashi? They don't appear to be soft and muddy. Could these be an option in this case? Interested in hearing more about these.

Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:41 am

This is a good thread to introduce some natural stones in the midrange or nakado stones as well as some aoto stones. To be clear whenever I mention aoto stones I am NOT referring to synthetic aoto or the green brick (aka aototoishi). Interesting stones in their own right but not natural stones at all.

First the Amakusa would be in the coarse category (arato) and might be a suitable choice in the 600-800 grit range. Not too aggressive, but the start of a nice finish. You do need to work the mud to get it's true effect and IMO an Amakusa tomonagura or matching slurry stone helps this along. Other arato include the Kyushu Ohmura (different than the various synthetic versions) and the extremely coarse Hirashima.

For synthetics, the 1200 Bamboo would be nice here since it is softer and the muddiness would make for a more consistent kasumi finish. Following this with the 3k bamboo would be a superb choice. You could probably retire the Rika 5k and go right to the Yaginoshima Asagi. A bit of variety is nice to have in your progressions, since not every knife reacts to any one single progression ideally.

For naturals, true aotos are quite nice. I'm really enjoying Monzen aoto. This is a type of aoto that is clay reddish in color, and pretty soft and muddy. One of my favorites. Other Aoto to consider are Aono Aoto and some of the more rare aoto such as Kouzaki, Saiechi, and Wachi Aoto. For this sequence, a Monzen Aoto would be a very nice choice. The 1200 Nubatama is somewhat similar to it, except the Monzen has the natural stone qualities where the mud continues to refine itself, so it has the capability of spanning a wider grit range than a synthetic.

Strictly speaking aoto are a separate category of their own although they overlap the mid grit stones or nakado a contraction of naka toishi. The t sound is often converted to a d sound as this is easier for Japanese to say.

So nakado vary in their characteristics. Binsui is quite hard, Igarashi not quite so hard but still on the hard side. I have an Iyoto or lyoto that is quite soft - almost crumbly. This is completely different than another vendor's lyoto - not better or worse just different. His are quite hard. Lately I've been using this stone as a type of nagura with excellent results - a topic for another day.

One of my favorite nakado is a Tajima nakado. Mark has a small Tajima on the site. I have a couple of brick sized Tajima and will be getting some more. I've been impressed with how nice of a kasumi finish it imparts and it would be the nakado of choice that I would reach for for this application. There are other nakado, but this might be too much information already. Less muddy than a Monzen or other soft aoto but still producing mud readily enough and the mud refines very nicely. A very consistent and pretty stone with a speckled appearance. Leaves a moderately toothy edge suitable as a final finish for many applications.

Finally I'd like to mention the Meara. This is not a Nakado but a polishing stone or awesado. The 'ara' part of the name - pronounced 'Meh a ra', means coarse. It actually seems to refer to a coarse polishing stone. Somewhat bizarre and IMO undersells the capabilities of this stone. I have yet to find a knife that this stone doesn't perform well on from carbon steels to stainless to M390 CPM-M4 and other highly abrasion resistant steels - steels you wouldn't expect miracles from with a natural stone. A fairly hard stone compared to a nakado - in the Binsui range but more refined. I don't have any Meara tomonagura for the moment, but have tried it with Yaginoshima Asagi tomonagura quite successfully. Recently used it on a Moritaka Aogami super nakiri with excellent results. Works nicely on double beveled knives. It is a stone with a somewhat unusual shape, approximately 4x7x1 3/4" in size - a pretty heavy stone. This will last quite a long time. I know this one will get much more popular as people discover it. A bargain for the price it is currently going for. It is black like many asagi stones and sometimes you can see extra black spots in the stones that look like karasu type markings seen in other polishing stones.


I know this is a lot to stick in one post, but if you have questions about any of these stones I mentioned, please ask.


Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:05 am

Dear Ken,

I'd really love for you to write a giant wall of text going into the nuances of Japanese natural stones, as of right now my knowledge about them is tenuous at best and I think having an essay to peruse from someone with a large knowledge base could help fix that.

Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:52 pm

I just might have to write a book on the subject :) I have several books of notes on the subject and my own experiences with them - both traditional and adding some heretical ideas of my own on how best to use them.

But in the mean time, Just send me a PM and we can always chat about it on the phone. Bring some popcorn and expect a fairly long call :)


Re: Kasumi Haze Progression

Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:26 am

Thank you for the info and the time to get into that much detail. It's interesting to find how different sources and layers produce a one of a kind finish that is specific to that particular stone. I'm not sure if I want to get into natural stones yet, but I like learning about the topic.
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