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Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:28 pm

Komitadjie wrote:Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get ANY solid information on the EdgePro grits, beyond the initial numbers the chart started out with. I've hit up Ben Dale a few times, I would honestly suspect that HE doesn't know exactly. That's good question on the Atomas, I'll see what I can dig up there and get an update put together.

I got into a conversation with Joel,aka changeofseasons at knife forums,and he told me he was quite sure the 1200 boride stone is right at 5k on the jis scale.That is on the CS-HD boride stones,maybe you can do some math with that,me and numbers just dont click.I will email boride and see if I can get any info from them.

Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:04 pm

There's a lot of useful information on that chart. So thank you.

It's important for beginners to understand there are a lot of things besides grit size which make particular stones behave in their own particular ways. Type of binding substrate, hardness, type of abrasive, all play their roles; as do a great many which fit within the label of "etc." And let's not forget the oh-so-frustrating intangibles.

In short, grits are as grits do, and one 2K is not necessarily like another. Your best resource is going to be experience, whether gained by trying or by asking. Asking costs less, but can also be less certain -- so consider the source.


Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Fri May 24, 2013 6:33 am

This is a chart I reference frequently and is probably one of the best Rosetta stones available for deciphering the tower of Babel of grit rating measurements.

I tend to use microns as the most widely consistent means of translating all of this into a common methodology across the rating systems. Because of my bias I also think in terms of Japanese rating scales, which I believe is pretty consistent across most Japanese waterstones. This includes Shapton, Naniwa stones (all series), Nubatama, etc.

My compounds are simply stated in terms of microns, as well as my diamond films, secondarily translated into grits.

It is worth noting but then ignored that Shapton GlassStones are rated not in GRIT ratings but rather MESH ratings. There is a slight difference between grit and mesh rating systems, but it will just make this discussion even more convoluted, so let it RIP. Close enough but worth noting in your travels exploring 'grits'.

As BDL notes there is more to it than just the grit value assigned to a product, noting some of the variables involved in stone selection - "Type of binding substrate, hardness, type of abrasive".

Of course there are things other than stones to consider in this discussion too - belts, compounds, sprays, films, pastes, etc. Here too other factors become relevant - belt stiffness, makeup of suspension slurry and paste components and the type of particle and particle shapes and particle friability to name but a few more.

Back to just the grit numbers. What does this number mean? Well in the best of cases, it accurately reflects the AVERAGE particle size of the stone, slurry etc. The accuracy of this value DOES vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Furthermore, it says nothing of the variance in particle size. For synthetic products, most particles should be all about the same size with a narrow variance. NO product has all particles exactly the same size. There is always some variance. Good products have narrow variances and certainly good products all vary about one particle size. So if a product has two or more particle sizes in it, this is indeed a poorly specified product. You also want your product to be a pure product - not containing unspecified stray ingredients not put there on purpose in unknown amounts. Sometimes a product for example some of the Nubatama stones will purposely add a mystery or secret ingredient to produce some of those intangible effects on purpose. Some stones - like the Han-Han are purposeful blends of natural and synthetic stone particles for instance.

Particle shape is also relevant. So if a particle is a perfect sphere, diameter is a straightforward measurement. Sometimes it is more football shaped. Do you measure the long axis short axis, or average length ignoring this variance? And so on with more and more complex shapes. Particles can be more spherical (CRO), more spherelike - dodecahedral shapes with 12 facets like coticules, etc. They can be simple shapes like a monocrystaline diamond or complex composite shapes like polycrystalline diamond with many facets providing significantly more cutting action for the same size particle. The points on a particle and their size also influence how deeply they cut, with smooth spheres cutting shallower grooves ... and so on.

Particle agglomeration is also quite important. If the particles stay separated from each other, then the particle size of each individual particle accurately reflects the effective grit of the product. But if they lump and stick together like bad gravy, these lumps act like larger particles and the result is a very inconsistent product. This lumping is called agglomeration and is to be avoided. This is relevant in slurries and I take great pains to avoid agglomeration in my CBN and diamond products. Some other manufacturers do not, either avoiding the issue or just being unaware of the issue. For this reason, home brews who just mix up some chromium oxide powder get massive agglomeration for instance, so buying powders and mixing them up yourself is going to give very poor results. One of the main causes of particle agglomeration is electrostatic forces. Think of the static cling when your socks stick to other clothes in your clothes dryer. One cause of this static buildup is the ions in your water. These charged particles increase the likelihood of agglomeration. The smaller the particle the greater the tendency to agglomerate. So if you are dealing with a 5 micron particle this tendency is low. At a quarter micron it is high. So with deionized water particle agglomeration is minimized. Particle density also increases the tendency to agglomerate. My compounds are high density preparations, but each product is analyzed for any tendency to agglomerate and carat concentration is strictly controlled.

Particle agglomeration in stones is also of concern. The development of stones like the 15k Nubatama needed to take this into account. Given it's rather unique formulation using a level of art far beyond my pay grade, I can only be amazed at the result, both comparing it to natural and synthetic stones. Stones in the 15k and above range require that particular attention be paid to this variable in their formulation are rare, for example the Shapton 15k and 30k stones. How agglomeration is controlled in synthetic stone formation is also a bit beyond me. You can also sometimes see agglomeration in stone slurries, but this is yet another topic.

Now with natural stones, things get even more complex if the particles are thin sheets or flakes like a corn flake. Do we measure length width or even thickness? And if the relevant criteria is the surface texture of the flake, now we are even in more trouble getting a meaningful measure. Now what if these flakes start breaking apart and changing as we use the product? Now we are in a near hopeless mess in terms of getting a meaningful measure. Further, the 'particles' aren't all of the same type or hardness, break down at differing rates and so on, further compounding accurate measures into something nearly useless. Please keep this in mind when asking what grit a particular natural stone is. Now if different particles cut differently the scratch pattern on softer steel will be different than on harder steel so the effective 'grit' becomes different depending on the steel that is being abraded. It is an estimate at best.

I go into more depth on the topic in a series of articles I wrote a few years ago comparing various preparations of diamond particles, showing both electron micrographs of the particles and particle size distribution data (PSD) for various products. Here's a link to this series of articles to get a more detailed understanding of what is behind just giving a number like 1/4 micron (64k grit) to a product.

http://www.precisesharpening.blogspot.c ... arter.html

http://www.precisesharpening.blogspot.c ... arter.html

http://www.precisesharpening.blogspot.c ... nning.html

Feel free to ask questions about these here.


Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Fri May 24, 2013 2:30 pm

Thanks for that ken and if I may add. Pressure applied to the blade makes a big difference also, the stones are designed to be sharpened with just the weight of the knife and the least amount of pressure applied. Now if the sharpener is a knife bender when he or she sharpens the the ratios of grits or mesh are out the window, if to much pressure is applied on a 10k then you might actually be getting 5k performance or lower god only knows. That was a great teaching lesson and i enjoyed reading it. Makes sense to me anyway and if my dum ass can understand it then the teacher becomes the master. Thank you my friend for the post. Jmbullman

Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Mon Sep 02, 2013 2:09 pm

How can I print the chart with one section per page. This is for ease of reading. Bigger print. Get it??? I'M OLD! :) I use MS Office. Old version, 2003 I think. Will it transfer to excell? Or just paste into Word? Thanks for any help.


Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:36 pm

does anyone have this in excel form? also it seems like it might need updated since it dont have the anything list for .25 micron

Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:40 pm

Great chart, thanks.

Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:25 pm

I notice what seems to be an error in the EP Stock Column. 1000 is listed as coarser than 2000. Are those just swapped, or is there a reason for that?


Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:21 pm

Goodness. Thanks for compiling, updating and posting.

Re: The Grand Unified Grit Chart

Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:16 pm

How were the grit and micron ratings derived for the Spyderco stones? As far as I know Spyderco doesn't use grit or micron ratings at all. But using the grit and micron ratings on the grit chart and putting the Spyderco stones in rotation with the DMT and Shapton glass stones I have they work great when using them in the order where they appear on the chart. I dont' have a Spyderco med. stone but after I use a DMT EF stone I use the Spyderco fine then UF then the Shapton glass 8k. Using every stone is not needed but using them in that order works great. I can use a Shapton glass 4k instead of the Spyderco stones.

I was just wondering if the ratings were determined based on scratch pattern appearance or if Spyderco provided any info.
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