Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:17 pm
I have a Shapton Pro 2K, Synthetic Aoto, Naniwa Aotoshi 2K and a San Aoto (3-5K J Nat). The Shapton Pro 2K is a nice stone. Hard and fast, very little wear on it, but it has a lot of swarf and removes metal quickly, even M390. The Synthetic Aoto is a bit softer and is a fairly slow stone compared to the Shapton, but most things are slow compared to the Shapton! The Synthetic Aoto is very muddy and that can be used to help polish to a higher level. The Aotoshi feels very creamy, closer to the Rika 5K than the Synthetic or Shapton 2K stones. After reading the reviews about it being chalky, I was surprised at how smooth it felt. I used it as a splash and go type stone, and didn't flatten it before use. It cuts a medium speed, a little slower than the Shapton but faster than the Synthetic Aoto on the carbon steels I used it on (Tanaka Blue #2, Tojiro White #2 and Richmond Addict 2 in 52100). If you work the mud a bit, it leaves a very polished, almost mirror edge, which is unusual for a 2K stone. The San Aoto is hard and feels most like the Shapton Pro 2K and works pretty quickly as well. It gives a bit finer finish than the Synthetic Aoto and Shapton, but not as fine as the Naniwa Aotoshi on carbon and feels more scratchy.
I haven't tried the Aotoshi on Stainless yet. My stone progression on those 2 knives was at first the Latte 400 and then the Naniwa and it gave a decent edge fairly quickly considering the hardness of those carbon steels. I don't normally stop at a 2K edge, so I went to a Shobu San and then Takashima Koppa and the edges were nice as usual. I has another knife I've been messing with, it's a blade made with Alabama Damascus (52100, 5160, E203 and 15N20) that I also sharpened; I have no idea what the hardness is on it. It worked well on the Damascus steel and left a nice shiny edge that cut decently.
I will often go with the Bester 1200, then to the San Aoto, and then Shobu San and then the Ozuka Asagi Koppa for touch ups. Many times, I just start with the San Aoto or Shobu San if I don't need to go down very far. I think with any of these for a touch up, a 2K stone is a good starting point. I have been preferring the J Nats recently for sharpening/touch ups, so that is what I have been messing with more.
I don't see the harm in using it as a pre polisher for switching over to J nats; it seems to leave a very shiny finish quickly even if the edge isn't all that great compared to the other 2K stones on hard carbon.
Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:22 pm
thanks for the info tim!
Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:24 pm
No problem! I get to sharpen my friends fillet and hunting knives, so the Aotoshi will be nice for that and as a pre polisher for my other blades.
Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:40 pm
Thank you both, and Tim, I'm curious to here how you feel about the Aotoshi on stainless - once you get there...
Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:16 am
hey tim, how does the synthetic aoto's edge giving properties compare to the naniwa aotoshi? and what about other 2k-ish stones? do you like the edge you get on that compared to say... what i've chosen? the shapton pro?
Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:10 am
The Synthetic Aoto's edge is better than the Aotoshi. The Shapton pro 2K edge is the one I like best on a 2K, but the San Aoto (3-5K) is more to my liking. I generally don't stop at a 2K edge anyway since I want a bit more refinement and prefer the edge the J Nats give, which combine polished and toothy.
Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:12 am
Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:48 am
I played with several stones and the Tanaka and ITK Kiritsuke and polishing the blade bevels. Latte 400 was smoother and gave a much nicer contrast between the cladding and core steel; the cladding took on a dark grey look and the core was shinier. The Bester 500 was more scratchy feeling and left more scratches, almost looked like I used a diamond plate on it. The cladding was slightly darker than the core steel, but there wasn't much difference. I went up to an Amakusa J Nat and tried the finish on that from the Latte 400 finish. The cladding coloring lightened up, but there was still a good contrast between the hard/soft. Tried the Synthetic Blue Aoto, best finish of the 2K's I used; it was pretty clean looking. The Aotoshi was WAY higher grit wise when I tried it, more like when I tried using the Rika 5K on a blade bevel. Any little wave was very pronounced and didn't look clean at all. I tried a San Aoto 3-5K and didn't really care for the finish; the Aoto I have is very hard and a softer stones seems to work better. I tried some finger stones at this point, but they didn't do much either. I remembered reading about the King 800 for contrast, so I soaked mine for a bit and tried it out. Bingo!! Dark grey cladding, polished core steel, nice, smooth feel and look to it!! The Latte 400 and King 800 are great for the Kasumi Haze look with darker cladding and lighter, shinier core steel. Next time I bring out the stones, I will go to the Synthetic Aoto from the King 800 and see how it looks. I know the Shapton Pro is a hard stone and will not give the look I wanted; a soft stone that makes good mud is needed for the Kasumi finish. On a side note, no overgrinds or grinding issues on the 2 blades I worked on.
Looking back when I first started using waterstones, I had the King 1000/6000 combo. The Shapton Pro 2K was my touch up stone I would use before the King 6000. Then I got the Bester 1200 and Rika 5K and stopped using the King/Shapton combo. Using the Shapton Pro 2K a bit more today, I remember how nice of an edge it left! So if you want to sharpen, Shapton Pro 2K. If you want to work on Kasumi finishes and the hazy contrast, look at the Synthetic Blue Aoto.
Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:32 pm
great review tim, exactly what i was looking for! =D
that just solidified my decision was right looking into the shapton for sharpening.
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