All you Stoners out there...

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Cadillac J

Founding Member
Mar 1, 2011
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My recent response to Ryan's post about his thoughts on the Naniwa SS 10K being 'garbage' got me thinking a bit about some other things and made me want to start this topic, although only partially is related to that.

This goes out to all you Stoners out there. In this case, a Stoner is someone who has a multitude of stones of similar grits across different brands, types, etc. Basically it is someone who continuously buys/collects new stones to try when they don't have a real 'need' for them (like how most of us are with knives at some point).

I've had the same stones since I started sharpening, which I've listed in the appropriate thread (600-1200-5K-10K). Over my time with these stones, I've realized I love each one and am extremely satisfied with the results I can achieve with them, that I don't see a need to ever change up (unless just out of curiosity only).

Also, in all of the knives I've sharpened, I've never had the thought that one of my stones was bad for a particular kind of steel or knife type...they've all felt and performed extremely well for everything that I've thrown at them. I am very confident in my abilities, but also humble enough to know and edge can always be improved on. However, I can't imagine adding or replacing any stones in my lineup, or using a new stropping material that will have a significant, noticable improvement on my edges, with all else being equal.

Ryan hated the Naniwa SS 10K, while I and others, think it is a brilliant stone. Just like knives, stones are about preference and styles/skills--what works for some people doesn't always seem to work for another.

My question to the Stoners is: Is this just more of a preference thing then? Are you buying a variety of stones just to see what feels better on different steels/knives because it is fun...or are you actually getting poor results from certain steel/stone combos that cause you to try new ones? I'm not trying to say one view is better than another...I'm just trying to understand this outlook. The more simplistic approach of MC appeals to me--more technique than the tools.
i can't contribute much with experience, since most stones i've used are the generic ones from random hardware stores and not the fancy japanese onces i've come to know since i joined KF and now KKF.

i just wanted to chime in on the MC approach, especially since he himself says he uses two grits of King and that's it. and apparently that's how he won the sharpening olympics, even if it was with a significant wire edge. but since one point of this thread is to talk about how well a stone works, i'd say the King definitely did its job.

this has been one reason i've stuck with my king, to push me towards learning and against using additional equipment as a crutch.
I must be the definition of a stoner :D
I have probably no need of sharpening stones beyond my first set consisting of #220, #700, #1200, #4000 and the #8000 Kitayama. However after I got my first JNAT, the Oohira Shiro Suita from Aframes, something happened. I wanted to learn more about this exciting field. The more I read about different stones and the more different steels I collect in my knives, the more stones I buy. Just to experience and learn. I have no need whatsoever for all these stones except for learning more and getting better at what I do. Personal enlightening is probably what I seek. It could have been something totally different, but I ended up collecting natural stones, and I have come to love each and every one of them like an art collector loves his pictures or whatever he or she might collect and to learn about and from them.

Two years ago I had no clue what was so special about Japanese natural stones, but I believe my blog shows in a pretty good way what passion and interest for something can lead to.


I like trying new things. Still, I have to say that I don't damage my knives much. I could honestly get by with a nice 5k stone (like the Gesshin) which I'd probably use every day and not worry about a thing but that wouldn't be much fun, would it? Anyway, so many people post such interesting experiences with their stones and strops that I feel compelled to find out if I experience the same thing. If forums such as this one weren't around, I'd probably still be happy with my Norton Crystolon combo oil stone and be a few thousand dollars richer. (My gosh, I'd never added it all up until just now...) Do I have a problem? It's the same with knives. I should be happy with my original Henckels Pro S or if not those, then my Glestain (which is awesome, btw)...
The cladding on the Shigefusa kasumi is a special steel indeed. Don't really know why he sticks to this particular steel. Word has it that the kitaeji is even more reactive than the kasumi.

The cladding on the Shigefusa kasumi is a special steel indeed. Don't really know why he sticks to this particular steel. Word has it that the kitaeji is even more reactive than the kasumi.


i think i remember post on KF alluding to that
I'm a stoner. :)

For most stones I find something to love and to hate while there are some that I love or hate more. I'm on a search for the holy grail.
I did some work on that a while ago here http://*****************.com/2011/01/forcing-patina-on-shigefusa-240-kasumi.html . In this post you'll also find a link to the Great Gyuto Shoot-out describing the reactivity of the Shigefusa in some more detail.

Yes, Shigefusa uses primarily three kinds of iron cladding. One for his better kasumi blades, like his yanagibas, the old stock iron with an almost damascus look to it. One plain looking iron for most of his kasumi or san mai blades, and of course the kitaeji.

So it's the iron that's so reactive then I would guess? I know that Watanabe's (non-kuriouchi) knives are crazy reactive, I had always assumed it was the iron cladding.
Yepp. The core steel of the Shigefusa isn't that bad at all. The Swedes can't ski, but they produce some really mean steel. :D

i just like buying stones... is something wrong with that :p

Not at all Jon! I am just trying understand when people mention a stone not doing well on a particular steel, because I've never had a problem like that.

I'll admit I've been curious about j-nats, so I'm sure I'll get at least one at some point. Looks like its more for the fun and curiosity, rather then trying to find a perfect stone setup for each knife.

I can definitely respect it, as I was the same way with 'collecting' knives not too long ago.
To me the curiousity is definately one of the main drivers behind my JNAT hoarding. However, occationally finding that perfect match between knife and stone is very satisfying and a thing of beauty. I have also found a couple of JNATs that go equally well with all steels, and that is really satisfying to discover as well. Learning about and experimenting with my stones and trying to find the right new ones is a neverending but really exciting quest that will keep me busy and very happy for a long time.