If you are going to buy from Maksim, get a 1000 Matukusuyama (http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com...-matukusuyama/), and pick up an inexpensive
I hope you are well.
I hate being that guy, but...
Level concrete sidewalks with plenty of water works faster than any lapping plate you can buy.
I've had knives in both the HD and HD2. If there is any difference in the steel, you'd have to have a metallurgical analysis to know. I could not tell
My first good knife was also a Hiromoto AS, which I've eventually sold. The only reason was because of the western handle. I'd echo the sentiments around