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Looking for long lasting stones.

Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:22 am

Dear Mark

I recently bought a starter pack of the Bamboo Ume stones I have probable done approaching 40 or more knives with them the majority cheap knives where I have re-profiles them both to learn to use the stones and to improve the knives .
So since none of the cheap knives are not laminated the steel is often tougher than the outer steel on descent knives so ~I have done a considerable amount of work on these stones with I should add that since I am semi ambidextrous I sharpen using different hands for each side. I should add I do not mind the fact that I have used quite a bit of stone I think of it as my apprenticeship and I shall continue to try to do different grinds etc since it seems to be the way to create that muscle memory.
The point is that on both the 150 & the 1000 grit stones I have used almost as much as 10% of the stones so I have been looking carefully at getting additional stones you have a very tempting offer with the Shapton with the pack of 1k through to 16k which seems to be a very good deal the Choseras if I were to go for a similar line up would appear to be a lot more since the 10k Chosera is singularly expensive. That aside do the Shaptons outlast the Choseras for wear by a considerable measure and are they more suited say to the now legendary ~Voodoo HAP40 steel ( I think Sue has come up with a Westernised name for it that she should patent it ).
Few articles seem to be conclusive as to which is best whilst I imagine that the Choseras are the best of the two to learn on giving more feel my real question is which would last longer Shapton or Chosera?
Another question I have is are the Shapton pro series thicker or that much different to the the normal Shaptons and supposing I was to order the 1k,5k,8k &15k pro stones would you consider selling them as a pack although adding up the price of them they do not seem to be much more than the Shapton pack of four.
In any case the more I read into this the more confused I become perhaps you could enlighten me a little .

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:31 am

Hi Leo,

This is a difficult question to answer and I'm not as good of a source as some of my pro sharpening friends that use stones all day. Perhaps my pal Jason or some of the other pros can give you some real world observations about which will last longer. Part of the problem is the stones are different sizes. So for instance the shapton pros wear slowly but the choseras are thicker. I use a ton of stones to test them but I generally don't use them up before I go to the next stone.

Also, as you most likely have discovered the low grit stones wear much more quickly compared to the high grit stones. So the same size stone in 10 grit will last about 4 times as long as a 400 grit stone (that's a guess).

Also, unless you are looking for a mirror type finish, I would suggest you skip the 15K shapton pro stone. I think you can stop at 8K and get a really good edge from that point on using a couple strops. That would save you more money than putting another set together.

Now to your ultimate question. Which stones do I prefer? I think you get slightly better value with the shapton pros. On the positive side they cost less, wear more slowly and are splash and go. On the negative they are not as big, kind of hard (which I personally like but others don't) with less feedback than the choseras.

I hope that helps.

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:41 am

Is this for a home use only, or for a professional environment?

I've had the same Suehiro Rika for a REALLY long time and I'd think I'll never use it all in my home use.

Coarser stones are a different story, though. They erode faster, and for a reason/benefit.....that allows them to cut faster. That's probably also why the coarser the stone in a series, the less it costs (at least in almost every situation).

But, still, my Beston 500 has been used probably a 100 times and I'd have to measure it to see how much thinner it is. That's been 3 or 4 years of home use.

I guess, what I'm kind of saying is.....I would never buy a stone based on it's wear rate....UNLESS....I was a professional sharpener.

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:59 am

Me too...

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:00 am

The idea is to use the stones in a semi professional environment I know through experience the low grit stones wear more quickly I am interested in the Shaptons from 1k upwards I am also a little confused with the Shapton Pro stones & the others the Shapton web site talks about HR & HC which ones are the Pros ? The web site hints that possible the HR range is more suited to harder steels ! Another question are the Shapton Pros softer than the glass backed line or correct me if I am wrong are they both glass backed ?
Can anyone clarify this and once again since Choseras are considerable thicker do they last approximately the same amount of time in the +1k range of Shaptons ?

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:39 am

The Pro stones do not have glass on the back of them.

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:37 pm

I can probably shed some light on this question.

I, unlike many use a lot of pressure and speed in sharpening. I can work up a thick mud on a 150 bamboo in less than a minute, turn a latte 400 into a mini half pipe in a single sharpening, and I have worn a 1k gold bamboo down to a 1/4 inch thickness in about 3 months.

Chosera stones are the standard stones in the shop and offer excellent sharpening ability for knives. Typically we use the 400, 800, and 3k stones.

The 400 and 600 grit chosera stones however are somewhat quick to wear and are not at all what I would consider coarse stones especially compared to the 150 bamboo. When it comes to coarse stones you will have a hard time finding better or faster cutting than the Nubatama stones. The 150 and 220 pink being probably the best of the bunch. You will also be hard pressed to find coarse stones that wear slowly and cut fast, its just the nature of coarse stones.

Truthfully you could easily compare the 400 and 600 chosera to the Ume 1k in cutting speed, the chosera will feel more gritty but not remove steel much faster than a 1k Ume. I actually found out yesterday the hard hard Ume 1k will remove 120 grit belt grinder marks faster than a chosera 400 while leaving a finer finish. I was surprised to say the least.

If you grind a lot of knives a belt sanders for setting bevels is a must IMO followed by the 1k Ume double hard. Otherwise you will be wearing through coarse stones no matter which one you get.

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Sat Aug 24, 2013 12:47 pm

Jason thank you for the info it seems the more I look the more possibilities there are.
I came across this stone its a Gesshin 1k ex large 225x90x60mm have you heard anything of this?
I am new to using Japanese stones having used an Edge Pro before.
Do you strop ?
My sharpening is getting better every time I do a knife and initially I did strop but I have found that the edges are coming out just fine on the 5k Bamboo stone .
On the whole I produce to my best abilities straight bevels I do this for the discipline I did however do a Mora yesterday I put an asymetric scandi grind on it and then just convexed the edge by about 2/3˚ it came out very sharp indeed .
I work at the moment as a semi professional sharpener (servicing the luxury yachting industry) my eventual aim is to get to a level where I can be a full blown sharpener , that is why I am working hard on the Japanese stones to master them; to date the most challenging blade I have done is a small round knife used in leatherwork its a 180˚ double sided blade that I did more or less in quarters and sides its not that easy to hold for sharpening purposes .
This is why I am interested in the Shaptons although I am beginning to think that they probable do not last that much longer in battle than the thicker Choseras .
Does anyone use the Syderco bench stones since they seem to be very hard wearing ? (and seem to be a useful size).
Ultimately I feel I have some good stones - thank you Mark ! I am just looking at other possibilities since I live in Spain and there are not many stones available here so this is why firstly I am using CKTG and since I have to equate shipping it would be good to find something long wearing.

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:06 pm

Most of the stones you buy today are pretty equal as far as quality. It is a matter of deciding on hardness, feel, feedback, Splash-n-go and other qualities as such. It's hard to say one stone is better than another, just different. It's all about personal preference. As long as most stones last wear rate is way down on my list of things I'm looking at.

Re: Looking for long lasting stones.

Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:31 pm

I am beginning to see this pattern in stones I just did a ceramic blade on some DMTs( fine & ex ex fine) which I have specially for that I have to say the result was the best ever although I ended up convexing the edge since it is a slow process and although my bevels are reasonable on steel I just could not hold them enough on the ceramic so convexing seemed appropriate and probable is better for ceramics but the blade is sharper than new and shaving arm hairs having thinned from the shenogi almost to the edge( problem was the blade was a small paring knife and since it needed a lot of pressure and strokes I have holes in 4 fingers and both thumbs the first I knew was blood on the knife the plates and floor since I was using a lot of water . So I am beginning to think that the feeling in the stone is more important at first and less so the better the technique becomes since there is a minimal feel on plates but having said that I can feel it cutting when I'm on the spot(just not my finger pads!!).
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