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Thread: Soft, medium or hard stones?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2015

    Soft, medium or hard stones?

    What difference instead of feel do you get from different hardness of waterstones?

    In terms of the type of edge (more toothy, more refine) what type of edge does a hard stone create that differs from a soft or medium stone and the other way around?

    - Soft vs hard vs medium hardness stone?

    Where does the binders in the stone and the grit type (ceramic, normal waterstone, natural, diamond waterstone) and the type of manufacturing play a part?

    - Binders make any difference? Regular waterstone, ceramic, natural, diamond waterstone on a easy to sharpen steel like white steel what type of edge does a stone of each type at 6000 grit create?

    For a softer water stone like the 6000 king stone or a harder stone like a ceramic sigma select II (I think) 6000 or Shapton pro/ glass at the same grit what are the difference in edge on white steel or blue.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    I'm not sure its the hardness that has teh impact here. On my courser stones, the grit size is clearly larger. From about 5000 upwards on the naniwa pros I mainly use, the surface feels more smooth and glass like (even after a rub with a leveller) compared with the course stones. The light blue 10,000 feels very smooth and the slurry is very fine as to all intents and purposes this is just polishing.

    These are splash and go stones, bound with magnesium. The particle binding seems tighter somehow than the other stones I have. No experience at all with diamond waterstones, but diamond plates feel very different to stones. I don't get on well with diamond sharpeners so have little experience to contribute.

    Personally I don't think you can tell any difference in feel on the stones between a white steel and a blue steel: it would amaze me if anyone could tell with high quality knives. Stainless does sharpen differently but the feel is much the same to me! Perhaps I lack sensitive fingers (I'll have to ask my wife ;-)

  3. #3
    daveb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Just outside Tampa
    Flat stones.
    Older and wider..

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Bangor Maine
    I prefer harder stones due to the fact that I sometimes run the edge into the softer stones and take a divot out.

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