View Full Version : Shingata Akamon 1k or Red brick 1k experiences?

08-13-2012, 04:25 PM
My Bester 1200 is ready to be replaced and I'm considering the Shingata Akamon 1k or red brick from ****. I like the fact that it is BIG, cheap and from the limited info I can find, well preforming in the 1k range.

Anyone here have experience with it? I'd love some personal feedback if anyone has it. Thanks in advance!

Dave Martell
08-13-2012, 04:53 PM
If the red brick is the humongous Naniwa Akamon then it's a pretty nice stone (cuts fast and wears relatively slow and is HUGE!) but if it's the orange(ish) Imanishi stone then it's not so good. Depends what you like though, if you're into fast wearing, sloppy bevel creating and lots of mud making then the Imanishi stone will fit the bill. Just my opinion though....

08-13-2012, 05:07 PM
Dave! Thanks so much for the reply. Great getting feedback personally from you, feels like a honor. I have not yet confirmed, but I believe it's the Imanishi stone as that is the manufacturer it's listed under. I'll probably just stick with the Bester 1200 as I know it's a great stone. I just sharpen a lot of knives and the pure size of the thing really entices me.

Thanks for the info Dave, greatly appreciated.

08-13-2012, 10:46 PM
If you're looking for a XL 1k stone the naniwa akamon is pretty sweet. I love the tactile feed back and the edges it helps produce, and the size.... oooooh the size.

here's a link to a review I did of it. http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/4937-Naniwa-akamon-1k-extra-large?highlight=akamon

I know Jon used to carry it but I don't see it on the site though you could always pm or call him and see if he still has any in stock.

08-14-2012, 09:41 AM
And a review Mr. Martell wrote up a couple years ago on the "other" forum.

When I heard that Jon was getting in these stones I just had to get one to try since it's been on my list of must haves for a very long time. As luck would have it, one of the stones Jon received had a corner broken off of it so he swung me a deal that I couldn't refuse.

Jon told me that he started sharpening on this stone when he was in Japan working and is partial to it and he mentioned one of the things he liked was using it on single bevels both in flattening the back side and for the blade road mist. With this info I decided to use it for these tasks to begin with and see where it took me from there so into the bucket it went.

After having for awhile now (maybe 1-2 month - is that right Jon?) I actually haven;t initially had a huge amount of single bevel work in to use this on. This is very unusual for me since about 50% of the sharpening I do is single bevels but as things go this is normal when you want to try something out. Recently though things have swung back around and I've had the chance to really use this a lot and get a good feeling for some initial impressions.

First off is it's size - WHAT A MONSTER!

This stone is just slightly bigger than my King XL bricks (800 & 1200x) and they're HUGE! Yes it's that big. For good reasons I could see why the size wouldn't be for everyone simply because some people couldn't store it and because it's heavy, especially when wet. If, however, a person wanted a stone that they could go to town on with the biggest baddest knife they might own then this size is a major plus. For those of you who have never used an XL stone like this you're really missing out - it's pure luxury to do full swipes and still have stone left over.

So this is a good point to mention it's best use I have found and that's working the back side of single bevel knives. This is a task that I tackle directly after making sure the blade is straight and that it doesn't need any additional repairs. I start by making "my zero degree bevel" and I do this because I have no idea what the state of the back side is when I get a knife and I don;t leave 1/2 of the knife's edge to chance. I want to know that I have brought the bevel all the way to the extreme edge and one of the easiest ways to do this is to use a stone that provides contrast to the existing polished edge, that is a stone that makes a dull/matte appearance so that you can see where you are touching the knife to the stones and also where you need to go. I prefer a 1k(ish) stone for this task, preferably a white colored stone that I can "read" as well. This Akamon stone isn't white or even light colored so I was concerned that I'd be giving up something on that count, and I did, but I was pleasantly surprised by some cool features that this stone possesses that others don't which to me made up for the color issue.

The thing that made this stone so cool was that it cut super fast yet not coarse at all. This allows for me to use a very light touch yet it cuts the bevel flat quick. I found time and time again that I was able to spend very little time on the back yet get perfect results with little metal removed. To me less time on the back side means more life for the knife. I could write a book on how many over polished back sides I've seen. People just polish away figuring that there's no harm in using a polishing stone but guess what? More harm comes from doing that than using a 1k stone to make the bevel and get off of it. From that point on it only takes a few swipes on a polishing stone and you're at a mirror bevel. Having a stone that can cut a flat bevel quick without deep scratching is a super big plus here. Not to mention that the loose grit (mud/slurry/whatever) doesn't scratch the back side at all - not even the patina - again a major plus in my book.

So onto the blade road....

I love the feeling this stone provides on the blade road and the contrast that it brings out between jigane and hagane is awesome. I had trouble getting a perfect scratch free surface on all knives I tried it on but I think this might be that I need to use it more to get the feel of it. This same thing used to be true of the Kings for me too and I mastered them so there's no reason to think this might be the case here as well.

On creating an edge, I'm not in love with it here but I don't like almost any 1k stone for this so no surprise for me. I like fast cutting flat bevel making and 1k just doesn't do this well. (Yes the back side is different)

So the thing is that the size of this stone makes a lot of these positive things happen. A smaller version likely won't work half as good and I say this because that's how it has been for the Kings I've used - the XL stones just kick more butt.

I know that Jon stocks these because he likes them. Certainly he knows that these stones are large and not for everyone but he still spent his money to bring them in based on his personal feelings for them. I respect him for this.

So if you're looking for a cool XL stone (brick) to try out you might want to give this one a try.

Naniwa Akamon 1000x XL


PS - Thanks for hooking me up with this one Jon. It's going to stay in my bucket, it's made the grade.

08-14-2012, 12:11 PM
Jon has a new monster 1k stone on his site. I would look into that.

08-15-2012, 11:00 AM
Thanks for all the feedback. I'll probably contact Jon and see if he has anymore of the Naniwa Akamons. I just hope they are not too $, as I probably can't afford it is. It was a combo of the size/price($50) that caught my eye. I love big stones.