Suehiro Sharpening Pond: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nuba15gr.html
Suehiro 2-piece Stone Holder: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sustho1.html
I decided to put both of these products under the same review, as they can be used in concert or separately for a variety of purposes.The Sharpening Pond
I sharpen on my counter top versus over the sink and I find the Sharpening Pond to be a very useful accessory. I really, really like it
* It holds a fair amount of liquid and keeps most of the water and stone mud/swarf off of your work surface, depending on how you wet your stone, rinse the knife, etc.
* The material is fairly soft and provides decent grip on the few typical counter top surfaces I tested. If you get a lot of moisture under the Pond, it will reduce the traction, especially when using harder sharpening pressure. A damp paper towel under the Pond, however, locks it solidly in place.
* It's large enough to fit most standard size stones and stone holders.
* It's lightweight and compact.
* Thick stones (think Green Brick) can be used directly on the Sharpening Pond with plenty of height for hand clearance.
* The material will rapidly stain from stone mud and swarf. It cleans up easily in the sink, but the staining remains. This is not really much of a con IMO.
* If you let too much liquid accumulate, it's difficult to lift the Pond and empty it into your sink w/o spilling some on your counter top, since it's pretty flexible.
* The Sharpening Pond by itself is not thick enough to raise standard thickness sharpening stones to a good counter top clearance height IMO. Shapton Glass stones? Fugetaboutit! You'll want a stone holder of some kind on top of the Pond in these cases.The 2-Piece Stone Holder
I've been using this lately for all my sharpening, set on top of the Sharpening Pond for a great 1-2 combination.
* These are very light and compact.
* They will work on stones of any reasonable width and length.
* They grip very well when set on the Sharpening Pond.
* They raise sharpening stones higher than just setting a stone directly on the Sharpening Pond by itself. I found that for me, Shapton Glass stones and Atoma plates had an acceptable clearance, but just barely. Some might find they need an adjustable stone holder that is thicker to raise these sharpening stones/plates higher.
* These don't provide much grip when used directly on a counter top. A damp paper towel greatly helps to lock these in place.
* As indicated above, they might not raise lower thickness stones/plates enough for proper hand clearance, depending on your preferences.
* There is no middle support for stones as on an adjustable stone holder with one or two threaded rods. This could spell disaster for well worn stones that are thinner, for example, depending on how much pressure you use when sharpening.
In summary, if you already have a stone holder and you don't sharpen over a sink using a bridge of some kind, then the Suehiro Sharpening Pond might prove to be a useful accessory. It might also be great for those of you using taller stones in lieu of placing the stones directly on a work surface. If you're looking for a light wight, compact, portable stone holder/pond solution, this pair of products might be well worth a close look.
You can see the Sharpening Pond in the Suehiro 2-Piece stone holder video on that CKTG product page.