View Full Version : For those of you using natural stones

01-28-2013, 08:16 AM
Just curious what you like about them?

I'm finding it harder and harder to justify buying new knives but I've been neglecting my sharpening set up for a while and just making do so I was thinking about picking up a natural or two to replace my mid range kit; a broken shapton 1k, a very thin shapton 4k and a king 1/6k, which I like, though it's just a little small for cleavers imo. I'll continue to use a kitayama to finish.

At the moment the work kit is a mix of stainless and carbon (white 2, blue 1, cpm 154, mizuno stainless, gin-3) and all fairly high hardness, basically all cleavers with a few single bevels in there, though I'd like to slowly replace everything in the kit with carbon. With that in mind, do naturals work better with certain steels or geometries i.e. single vs double bevel. Is there any notable difference in the end result or is it purely the aesthetics of the finish?

Cheers in advance,

01-28-2013, 11:08 AM
I find naturals cut carbon a little better but I think it's more about hardness.

I use the red aoto a lot and it cuts everything but it is a jnat so not super fast by any means.

I'd talk maxim about naturals if your interested he can point you in the right direction.

01-28-2013, 02:19 PM
I use naturals on carbons and so far no issues. I have not used with PM steels, but blue 2 white 2, SKD, Shigefusa, all work great.
I have seen claims that the edge retention is improved when using Jnats, due to impact hardening at the edge, but if that is true or not I do not know, there is some study done in japan with that claim. For me the feel of natural >>>feel of synthetic , they last lifetime(s) and with 3 stones (or 2 very good ones)you can get the results you get with s full synthetic set up, but you will need a synthetic for chip repairs. If I am to just get into naturals I'd start at low grit Red Aoto or Green Aoto and then build up after I get used to the stone.

01-28-2013, 04:11 PM
I've only started on naturals in the last few months, starting with a red aoto from maxim, and a very recently acquired takashima awasedo. These seem like good stones to start with. I've found they are better at cutting carbon (but so are synthetics) and single better more suited because sharpening from shinogi line down, works up lots of mud quickly.

For me, right now, naturals take longer to sharpen with, but its a slightly different skill set and I'm sure I'll improve.

I like the edges that I'm getting as well. People talk about a toothy an refined edge, that's what I'm feeling too, but I can't honestly comment about edge retention.

01-28-2013, 08:45 PM
What I like most about naturals as opposed to what is offered by synthetics is the feel of the edge against the stones, it's hard to put into words but it just has a different feel when sharpening. I only use naturals for the final phases on particular blades, I use synthetics for 1000 grit or coarser grits. The other reason to have them is to use on traditional single bevel Japanese blades for example deba or yanagi.

01-28-2013, 10:35 PM
Cheers for the feed back so far. Seems like one of those routes it's best to just ease into. Was thinking on picking up a cheap Aoto to have a play around, Metal master japan have some reasonably priced green aotos that I may try, was thinking on picking up one of the Tanaka debas too....


01-29-2013, 11:07 AM
Gesshin 400, red aoto and takashima have served me well can sharpen any knife extremely well with those stone and won't break the bank. The small takashima from Jon is plenty big as well.

01-29-2013, 09:55 PM
I have tried a few naturals and didn't really feel the excitement some here have for them. Synthetic just seem more efficient, cost and time wise. As a professional when you are sharpening frequently out of necessity, they make more sense. If you want to get some to experiment or for your leisurely sharpening sessions, go right ahead, but they would never replace my synthetics (for me anyway).