I often get questions on why and how to correctly use Japanese Natural Stones. I’ve also recently noticed that many of my reviews and guides have been lost in my subforum as new threads have been created. So, I decided to make a “Guides Compilation” and post it as a sticky here in my subforum!
After testing more than a thousand Natural stones from Japan, Europe, and the US. I’ve developed some methods which I feel work the best.
Some of my information on the subject comes directly from Iwasaki san, Shigefusa, stone miners, and even a few highly respected sellers in Japan.
I’ve also personally tested all of my stones and methods on a number of blade and steel types, including: Razors, Japanese tools, Western tools, Swords and Kitchen knives.
I took all of this information/experience and used it to make many guides on my website. You can find them in the new Wiki section! (see below)
These methods, although not the easiest to learn, are the most correct way of using your Japanese Natural Stones, and when used properly are the best way of bringing each stone to its full potential!
It’s true, there are easier and less traditional ways of using J-nats. You can call me a purist, but I do not see why anyone would want to learn the wrong way first! A traditional blacksmith does not start out experimenting, he starts out learning what has already been tested and proven effective. The after he has learned the correct and traditional artform does the student begin experimentation and changing methods.
Traditional methods have been used for centuries, and for good reason. They have been developed by masters, much more skillful and knowledgeable than many alive today. They discovered over lifetimes, not days/months, or even a few years what works best for each stone. They developed these methods for many reasons. Not only do they provide the best results, but they allow you to use your stones for lifetimes, not years. The current and non-traditional methods I have seen showing up lately will not help you or your Natural stone at all!
Remember, sharpening with Japanese Natural Stones isn’t just about making sharp knives or tools, itís about preserving some of the tradition currently being lost through the impatience of the new age. It’s true, everyone wants to achieve the best finish and most sharp tools possible, but we should also want to preserve our piece of stone history as long as possible, if for no other reason than they are very expensive.
Here are links to some of my guides:)
How to use Guide.
Why you should Not use diamond plates as slurry stones!
General Info about Jnats.
About Asano Naguras
Fingerstones and how to use them:
Kasumi finish on double beveled knives!
About mines and Stratas:
Medium stone Test:
Big test , includes western and Japanese natural stones:
You Tube playlists:
Hamaguriba edge on single Beveled
Flattening Jnats (how to lap)
Microbevel on singlebeveled knives
Polishing blade from start to finish ( long)
Links To Customer Stone Reviews
WOW!!! What a great one stop shop for all things Jnat.
What is best for polishing Kateiji? After reading the unpleasant thread in the other forum and Dr. Naka's blog I am still a little confused about the best way to polish this knife. Do you agree with Dr. N. who ends up with Hakka finger stones as the best? And, would you know what Shigefusa folks have to say about maintaining this finish?
Shigefusa say the best way is Uchigomori Fingerstones and i agree :D
Great Idea of the sticky. Many times as I am sharpening I have thoughts and questions. This is most helpful for many newbies and I'm sure this will be most beneficial. I try to go looking at the back postings but after a year of them it can be a little confusing, even daunting.
Ok since i started to colect Jnats i have seen some huge price change on some of the stones, some is more then 100 % in 4 month.
I figured you guys will like to know what stones will rise in price in the very near future, and what stones is best to invest in !
This list can change very fast:
But her you go :)
Ohira Range Suita
All kiitas almost, not Ohira or Hideryama the biggest price change i have seen on very bright hard Yellow stones, Nakayama is the biggest winer.
Karasu very big price increase for the last half year but only on harder ones soft stayed at same price
All bright stones in General got up 20 or 40 % last 3 month
Suitas very big price change also all suitas soft and hard but hard is of coarse more expensive ! As woodworkers in Japan want them
Asano naguras more then 100 % Price increase in last 6 month: Botan and Koma is now very rare !! (only Naguras with red Asano stamp ) sword polishers big demand
Uchigomori finger stones or stones also sword polishers fault, almost only Ohira produce now and they are quite expensive
Okudo Suitas, Shinden the good ones almost gone :( (a lot of crapy ones in the marked so be careful )
Ok i think thats it for now, i will add some more later.
This will not go in my WiKi as it is quite unstable stuff
Thanks for the tips, Maxim. Damn those sword polishers.
You should add at least one good video with sharpening double-bevel gyuto knife =)
I have many Just look around on my you tube channel :D