This isn't much of a review but I felt that I needed to mention how pleased I am with the red aoto that Maksim sent me awhile (almost a year?) back.
Looking back on what my experiences have been with this stone I realize that I haven't tried it on a double bevel knife yet which seems crazy for how many knives have been sharpened in this time. I have, however, used it on a whole hell of a lot of single bevel knives (yanagiba, usuba, etc) and I've been very pleased with it's performance.
I've found that it's unique in that it cuts fast for a natural yet it's not coarse at all. This means that I can use it to cross over from coarser stones to polishing stones easily which is exactly what an aoto is supposed to do.
I would imagine that this stone would be great for the person who uses single bevels professionally who wants/needs a touch up stone that's slightly more aggressive than a polishing stone. It can create a burr, albeit a very fine burr, if required.
The finish I get from this stone is almost even on most knives and near perfect on others. I have been wondering if it's my technique causing issues but I think it's just the stone liking certain steels more than others and that's not un-normal so no biggie there.
Conclusion - I would recommend to others and buy this stone again if I needed to. Now I have to test it on double bevels and straight razors too.
The mud is also awesome for polishing blades.
Thanks Dave I thought you put it away with all other stones
I definitely just love it for doable beveled to for sure you need to try it out !! I use it at home as touch up stone as it brings up the edge super fast
For razors i dont know i dont like it so much, but you are weird with your razors so you may like it haha
Some of the "red" aotos look greenish. Are they essentially the same, or is there a significant difference?
There is not a huge difference, green Aotos tend to be harder but fines is approx. the same. The green ones will where slower
So cutting speed is the same?
My stone is sort of red/green(ish) but the mud is a red/tan. Great earthy smell too!
Sad news I just got last 3 green Aoto from Japan
I still have 3 Green Online and only 1 Red that one is last
Sorry to be negative but my Red Aoto does not want to play nice!
I've got one some years ago and it's the one Jnat I can't figure out!
It takes water faster than a blotter paper and super soft, everytime it gets wet and dries it changes shape, so flat... no way!
It also gives to much slurry to have any cutting action.
Might be mine is not as they should be!
Now I only use the slurry to polish and have chopped of a piece I use as nagura on other stones.
If you guys use it for single bevel knives it can in no way behave as mine does!
Have sealed it and never soaked it for more than 5 min, splash 'n go is a no no, before you picked the knife up it's bone dry again.