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Thread: Beginners (soft) Vs experienced (Hard) Jnat

  1. #1
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    Beginners (soft) Vs experienced (Hard) Jnat

    So, in my search after that beautiful (but affordable) Ohira akarenge Suita I had contacted Shinichi to buy #10
    http://watanabeblade.com/english/special/wetstone1.htm

    I was positively surprised when he kind of refused to sell it to me, yet I did not fully understand his answer, appreciate some clarification:

    See Shinichi's answer:
    Aoto is several variety grits. But I think it is normaly impossible to use Akarenge after using Aoto.
    After using Aoto, you need Kitayama #8000 before Akarenge.
    You may choice softer Akarenge. It is easier to use


    question #1 - I thought that the Akarenge was around #8000 grit (obviously its a Jnat, so there is a variety) but from the answer above it sounds to me as if its much finer (at least the harder ones), is it really, or did I miss something?
    Question #2 - OK, so I know Soft = beginners, Hard = experienced and razors, but why? is it the ability to create mud? you can always use some Nagura, Is it due to pressure control? not to put too much pressure on the thin edge?

    I have a few harder Nakayama Koppa's, and I rather like the feedback from hard stones, especially on my Kanna blade

    Appreciate your insights


  2. #2
    Senior Member DwarvenChef's Avatar
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    Been out of the game a few years but I still use my Jnats for my razors. Soft stones are more forgiving on a slip in technique where a hard stone will remove a portion of edge requiring a start over at times.

    This also translates over to synthetic stones as well. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I am not recalling this accurately. I'm also sure there is more to the questions as well.


  3. #3
    Senior Member KimBronnum's Avatar
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    Jnats work through the mud created.
    The harder the stone the harder it is to create mud. That is why a nagura is used on some stones to create mud (´get the stone started).
    It is not recommended to use nagura on suita stones as larger or less fine particles from the nagura might be caught in the little holes (su). When the stone is then used, the particles may be released and f**k up the polishing/sharpening job.
    This makes hard(er) suitas more challenging to use: as you have to work up mud using a consistent angle and so forth.
    I have a suita that is so hard I some times struggle a little bit to get it going because I put too much water on it and thus thin the aspiring mud too much. Until sufficient mud is build, the stone doesn´t do much - but it can still dull your edge - which by the time you have reached a hard suita - has taken some effort allready. My hardest suita is supposed be abel to create an almost perfect kasumi finish but I can´t make that happen... (1400 USD stone - so I suppose it is up to me).
    The pressure is definitely also an aspect. Harder stones seems in general to be less forgiving.
    - Kim

  4. #4
    Senior Member TheCaptain's Avatar
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    +1 to the above. I have a few harder stones and have yet to get a decent slurry. From a pure service perspectice Shinichi is doing you a favor with his suggestions. OTOH how can you learn if you don't try?
    Oh wait, you mean we can customize our signatures?

  5. #5
    Senior Member khashy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimBronnum View Post
    Jnats work through the mud created.
    The harder the stone the harder it is to create mud. That is why a nagura is used on some stones to create mud (´get the stone started).
    It is not recommended to use nagura on suita stones as larger or less fine particles from the nagura might be caught in the little holes (su). When the stone is then used, the particles may be released and f**k up the polishing/sharpening job.
    This makes hard(er) suitas more challenging to use: as you have to work up mud using a consistent angle and so forth.
    I have a suita that is so hard I some times struggle a little bit to get it going because I put too much water on it and thus thin the aspiring mud too much. Until sufficient mud is build, the stone doesn´t do much - but it can still dull your edge - which by the time you have reached a hard suita - has taken some effort allready. My hardest suita is supposed be abel to create an almost perfect kasumi finish but I can´t make that happen... (1400 USD stone - so I suppose it is up to me).
    The pressure is definitely also an aspect. Harder stones seems in general to be less forgiving.
    - Kim
    Would love to see a picture of your super duper uber stone

  6. #6
    Senior Member KimBronnum's Avatar
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    Senior Member foody518's Avatar
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    Does the Sunashi denote suita that do not have the 'su' holes?

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    Senior Member khashy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimBronnum View Post
    Drool worthy

  9. #9
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    I'm not sure I quite comprehend Shinichi's answer either, at least in reference to the aoto bit. The man knows what he's talking about, though I've found on rare occasions, things get lost in communication. What exactly did you ask him?

    As far as my own experience has lead me, I have used multiple ohira suitas ranging from moderate to hard levels of hardness after numerous types of mid-level stones, ie aizu, ikarashi, aoto. Not sure what he means by the statement that its not possible to use after aoto or that you would need a synthetic 8000 in between. Anybody else have any thoughts? FYI, ohira suita can be vary, but usually 5000-7000, sometimes stretching up to 8k. I have one that feels harder like an okudo and might be even finer than 8k, but I can't quite decide.

  10. #10
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    This is just a bit too confusing for me...I look at Maxims pictures of the amazing Sunashi, I see pure black swarf with no mud (you see that a lot with Suitas pictures by pros),
    so if I go back to why are hard stones for advanced users? then the ability to create mud easily -> to enhance the 'Shaping power' should not be that crucial, it seems that the pros get the swarf without any mud...

    And yet Kim, which is no beginner, finds it hard to use...so why?

    Hope my repeating question is not too much, but these stones are expensive! really dont want to pay $500 and have a pretty stone in the drawer....
    (eventually I'll just ask someone I trust to chose the stone for me, but still, would love to understand better)


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