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 Post subject: Re: Nubatama Ume 320 or Latte 400
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:45 am
Posts: 1421
Just getting back from a trip. So while the 400 does leave a nice finish and many of these 400 ish stones are certainly a good consideration, they aren't ideal for removing Atoma 140 scratches. Here the 150 Bamboo is a real strong choice I highly recommend.

I know it seems counterintuitive. Why such a small jump from 140 to 150? Well diamonds scratch DEEPLY and these scratches can break through the other side of an edge and give you chips. But a diamond plate gives you a flat precisely formed edge. Particularly for single bevel knives and acute angles these scratches need to be thoroughly removed. In short you want to 'convert' the scratches from a diamond plate to a 'stone scratch pattern'.
400 ish stones don't do this task efficiently. Going from a 140 Atoma scratch pattern to a 400 pattern demands a lot of work on the 400 stone. Going from a 150 Bamboo to any 400 takes very little work. Indeed for softer steels you can skip the 400 grit range entirely with a good 1k stone. Ideally a 400 inbetween is a nice step - it makes for an easier conversion to a natural stone finish too - eg a natural Ohmura stone or slightly finer amakusa or even finer binsui or ebisu, etc.

Among the 400 grit stones, my personal favorite is the 320 Bamboo - very slow wearing - thus more precisely maintains it's angles. It is a bit pricier, but a real pleasure to use giving a surprisingly nice edge for a coarse stone. The 400 Bamboo is a large stone but a bit softer generating mud more easily so it's great for single bevel knives. I do like the 400 Chocera and 320 pro in this range, but again for any of these adding a 150 Bamboo is something you won't regret. You can also add the 150 if you don't have a 1k stone with the Nubatama combo stone, getting the hard 1200 (very different than the 1200 Bamboo) as well in your kit.

---
Ken



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