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Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:08 pm

"I moved on to the 400 bamboo stone to refine the scratch pattern which it did quickly while producing a nice scratch-less contrast in the soft clad metal. This is deceiving because later on in the progression I found it did not remove the 220 grit marks"

JB, you're suggesting that the 400 simply temporarily masked the 220s scratch pattern, but didn't actually remove it. Interesting...I'm just trying to wrap my mind around the statement as I use the 400 fairly regularly as well...


Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:09 pm

I would like to preface this by saying my writings yesterday were partly in a fit of rage. They are truthful but backed by frustration.

Truthfully I'm not sure what fully went wrong yesterday, I again experienced this "masking" on the soft metal with another yanagi today and have a feeling I may need to be doing more flushing of the stone as the mud builds very fast which greatly decreases the cutting speed of the stone. Still kinda surprising to have it cover up the deeper grind marks though and is beyond me for explanation.

I also feel I let the 220 pink bricks grit value deceive me because in truth it cuts very deep. Deeper than my 180 bamboo. Though the 400 is just hardly double the grit so it should not be such a issue.

The bamboo 1k gold and 2k I have a feeling are slightly too hard, at least the 1k gold which I'm thinking I would be better with the Ume 1k or 1k black brick. The 2k I'm still on the fence about, maybe its me maybe its the stone but one things for sure, more testing must happen. Though I use these stones a lot, in the world of testing I have just broke the ice.

Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:02 am

Very good and honest writings Jason. To me this just kind of verifies my thinking. No one brand of stone is the end-all-beat-all but most are quality stones and it is up to you to find what works best for you and your situation. Sometimes that may mean a few of a few different brands.

Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:04 pm

I thought I'd cross post this response to the question MR posed here - and on about 10 other sites too :)

Here's the post:

I want to take this a little further and illustrate the philosophical differences we're talking about.

Here is my picture of a Damascus Yanagi after using the Nubatamas:


The philosophy used here was 100% aesthetic, and it's freakin' sexy, IMO. You can clearly see the pattern of the damascus layers and the border of the softer steel and the harder core steel is also crisply defined. These features are brought out by the stones' differential cutting rates of soft steel and hard steels. Note that I ended up returning to and spending a bit of time on the 400 Bamboo in order to remove all the residual scratches from the belt and earlier stones.

Now, let's compare that with a 16K Shapton Glass finish produced on a single bevel knife sharpened by Harrelson Stanley:


The philosophy here was 100% abrasion, and it's freakin' sexy, too, IMO! The abrasive in the Shaptons cut evenly through all layers of steel, soft and hard, thus (quickly) leaving a flawless mirror as a result. But as you can see, if there were any damascus on the blade, it is in no way accented.

So, which one is better? It Depends - on your sharpening philosophy.


Re: Nubatamas....the hype isn't hype. It's fact :)

Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:04 am

Jason B put this post in another thread, but it was too relevant to not share it on this thread too. That's one hell of a lot of knives you're sharpening!

"I would like to share my experiences as not only a user of Nubatama stones but someone that uses these stones more in a day than most will use them in 1 year.

To give a idea of just how much I use them, on a average day I will sharpen 100+ knives with about half of those done by hand. Literally I spend 8 hours a day sharpening knives. I have developed new calluses and worked my sharpening muscles to the point of cramping and next day soreness.

I use a 3 stone set-up to sharpen most knives (traditional knives are a different story) and that consist of a bamboo 180 grit, 1k gold, and 5k. These stones have proven their worth but also shown me the value of a diverse set of stones. I have learned that while these stones work extremely well for my needs the other Nubatama offerings will be able to better suite my needs and ill explain why.

Starting with the 180 bamboo,

This stone is the stone that starts the whole process, when I get a knife its in the worst possible shape 9 out of 10 times. Several chips, rounded tips, and the edge... the edge is just a rounded section where a edge was once located. I will typically go straight to the belt sanders to set a edge profile and make my work just a bit easier. A belt only gets me so far though, defining the bevel geometry and making a nice pointy tip are just part of the shaping process.

The 180 bamboo is a finer coarse stone, meaning it has a little less drag on the blade and wears a bit slower but cuts quickly and leaves a very defined bevel. It's mud production is very fine and somewhat silky. Unlike the 120 or 220 pink brick which are very aggressive and IMO more geared to single bevel knives due to how they work. I really like its feedback and how fast it cuts but with the volume of knives I sharpen my 180 stone is now half the thickness it once was and will soon be nothing more than mud in the bottom of the sink.

So, for my needs having several low grit stones to pick from is becoming a huge advantage as I figure I would wear through 3-4 180 stones per year :O

The 1k bamboo gold stone has been a awesome middle grit stone and those who have tried this stone have all been amazed by its insane cutting power. It quickly removes the coarser grind marks and establishes a 1k burr while producing a nice dark mud and not loading on the surface. While this stone is slow wearing its not slow wearing enough for me and I would guess I could consume 4+ 1k gold stones per year. Yes, you are reading that right.

So for 1k stones I have been considering the hard or x-hard Ume 1k stones.

On to the last of my progression, the 5k bamboo.

The 5k bamboo has been a bit of a trick stone for me to fully understand. It's so slow wearing yet somewhat soft that it has great feedback but is probably going to outlast all my other stones. It does not build much swarf and most of the time no mud but when you inspect the bevel its quickly removing the 1k scratches and applying a polish that at times has a hazy appearance. Besides all of the above its greatest feature IMO is the ability to make a edge that's clean and crisp with little to no burr, sometimes I don't even need to strop the finished edge thanks to this somewhat unique feature.

As a little test I used to Tojiro gyutos in a head to head race. The race consisted of two 3 stone sets, the first was the chosera stones in 400, 800, and 3000. The next set was my bamboo stones 180, 1k, and 5k described above. Using the chosera stones I completed the sharpening in 8 minutes and 1 second including stropping on 1 Micron diamond strop to remove the remaining burr. Using the Nubatama stones I completed the sharpening in 6 minutes and 49 seconds while only needing a few strops on a bare leather strop as the burr was much smaller.

I considered it a solid test with un-bias results because I was not only putting the stones to the test but also myself. Than and my boss also agreed the edge quality from the bamboo stones was noticeable better. Yeah yeah 3k vs 5k but remember one of those seen a abrasive coated strop...

Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:53 am

The way I see it is that there are IMHO way too many similar grits in variable flavors, which confuses the hell out of choosing the correct stones.

Please don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the product, I just find it confusing in making the right choice - hence my post.

Being a new kid on the block, understandably there are still way too little reviews at this stage to make a solid, informed choice prior to purchase.

Buy & try is a no go for the wallet.

I do not doubt that I will someday own some Nubatamas, even if just out of plain curiosity, but I will wait just a wee bit longer till the signs are clearer.....so until compared to readily, well documented commercial stones, I stick to it being hyped at this stage, with too little substantive facts available world wide.

The hand full of reviews is a start, but not nearly enough to convince me........


Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:49 am

I know it's a lot to take in, MR. I think your premise of 'hype' is unjustified at this point. An objective person might say they would like more data, but a pejorative label of 'hype' simply shows bias, not the objectivity we should all value.

I think it's fine for you to wait until more data comes in to better see where the value of nuance and performance comes into play between these stones. If ... and when ... you want some help optimizing your choices, just let me know. Be glad to help. We should base it on your specific needs and philosophy, given the fact that you are a double beveled, unclad, uber - steel junkie that likes bright mirror finishes :)


Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:18 am

Correct - I should have phrased it otherwise - please forgive my lack of better grammar.

No malice was intended, honestly.


Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:29 pm

Apologies accepted. Perhaps this thread here and on about 10 other forums should be renamed "Nubatamas ... More usage data please". Now we come to a point of agreement :)

Clearly grammar alone is not the problem. Your grammar is fine. It is a biased way of phrasing a question, well beyond just nuance. Honestly, I had expected more objectivity. I hope you will correct this here and elsewhere, since I honestly believe that no malice was intended. That clarification would show you as having reestablished your credibility to me as an objective observer, rather than appearing as having a negative agenda, which, as you say, surely was not your intent.


Re: Nubatamas....the hype......

Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:44 pm

Oh... semantics ;)
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