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  1. #1


    Just wondering... Does mud/slurry really work? Is it really that important to develop mud during sharpening?

    Does it even make any difference at all versus continuously splashing the stone with water? Is there like a study of some sort that proves that mud really aids in sharpening?

    I know some members here don't even bother with mud/slurry. I for one have been using mud cause I've read threads about it before when I was just starting up and just decided to go with it even if I really didn't understand fully why...

    I kinda get the picture a little bit, but I just wanted to really make things clearer...

    I have a hunch that it could really be that important, cause if it's not, I don't see the point of using naguras... (or does it depend if a stone is a slow cutter?)

    Followup Question:
    What's the component in waterstones that makes them slow or fast cutters?


  2. #2
    Oh my gosh yes. It is abrasives suspended in water with swarf from the knife, and you can sometimes break picked down and get a different performance.

    It is very important.

  3. #3
    I'm more experienced with razors so I have a razor example, but the general idea applies well to knives.

    A lot of people like to use a really really hard Japanese natural stone to finish their razors. The way some people do it is that they set their bevel on a 1k stone, and then they move on to the Japanese natural using different naguras (usually something like botan, to tenjyou, to meijiro, to tomonagura). I don't think you could ever get a good edge just jumping from a 1k to the finisher without those in-between steps with mud. Even with those steps, sometimes it's necessary to go back and refine the edge more before finishing on water alone.

    With knives there is also the different finish that you can get when playing with mud as opposed to just water on the stone.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    I don't have any scientific back up, but for kasumi knives, the metal swarf from jigane when it forms with particle released from stone, both natural and synthetic, as mud seems to help in sharpening and polishing. It seems that cutting rate is a bit faster when I have dark mud with metal swarf in there, and it seems to polish finer too, with natural stone in particular.

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Pensacola, FL, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by karloevaristo View Post
    Just wondering... Does mud/slurry really work? Is it really that important to develop mud during sharpening?
    With natural stones, it's very important, since the abrasive particles in the slurry will break down into smaller pieces and effectively give you a higher grit polish; with synthetic stones, not so much, since the particles are more resistant to breaking down. I flush a synthetic stone frequently to remove metal particles and expose a fresh abrasive surface.
    “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I haven't worried too much about slurry but Jon does wonders on single bevels. For the life of me, I cannot duplicate his finish.

  7. #7
    slurry is important for a few reasons... the most important for me are an even, streak free finish through curves and for filling high and low spots (yeah, i cheat like this). However, i also like it for cutting speed.

    On naturals, its necessary to build up slurry for grit refinement.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    I love me some mud on Chosera 600 and Naniwa Super Stones, and even getting a bit going with my Bester...couldn't imagine sharpening without it.

    A bit ago I decided to start using the nagura that came with my Chosera (one on the left) for all my stones including higher grits, and it quickly became my favorite for everything I have even over the specific nagura I purchased a long time ago just for polishing stones and the DMT mini snowboards in XC, C, F and EF that I got a month ago.

    (funny thing is that even though I've never used a King before, I suspect its a piece of some King stone...maybe 800?)

  9. #9
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Amstelveen, The Netherlands
    The Chosera Nagura is said to be a 600 one.

  10. #10
    Nooooo wooonnnddeeerrr!!!!

    I'm using a cheap two sided Naniwa - the 1000/3000. Doesn't have a slurry of any kind, and loads up with metal instantaneously. I always get streaks, and I thought it was super bad technique; maybe it is. I know for the most part though, the angle is relatively the same.

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