Completely newbie - Naniwa or Japanese natural stones?

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coparker

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Hello community, I'm from Colombia.

I want to invest my money in the most efficient way. I want to have my knives sharp always or almost always.

I have been watching YouTube videos and I think I have come to the conclusion that the best products to sharpen knives are the Naniwa Chosera 800 or 1000 and the 3000, right?.

I have the following questions:

1. I should buy a Japanese natural stone or the Naniwa sharpening stones?.
2. These Japanese natural stones last for a lifetime?, is for personal use, daily use, mostly vegetables, potatoes, meat, fish and chicken.
3. Which Japanese natural stone resembles to the Naniwa 800 (Sharpening function) and the Naniwa 3000 (Polishing function).
4. Is it necessary to have 2 stones?, one for sharpening and another stone for polishing?, if not, which Japanese natural stone or a Naniwa product fulfills the functions of sharpening and polishing at the same time?.
5. What stone should I use to have my knives sharpened daily or almost sharpened?, a polishing fulfill this function?, I think weekly I should sharpen my knives, right?.

I hope you can help to solve my doubts. Thanks.
 

daveb

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Welcome.

"Best" stones are as subjective as best automobiles.

Asking your question on the sharpening sub-forum will get you a variety of answers. (And the ones that respond Shapton are ✅)

jk - they're all good, just gotta find the ones you like.
 
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jedy617

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I would start with choseras. Natural stones are a rabbit hole. Get something coarse, medium and finer. Like a 3-400, 8-1000 and 3k+.
 
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Welcome! As others have said, sharpening stones are a rabbit hole, naturals especially. There is no one best answer and people like different stones for their own perfectly valid reasons. I personally like splash and go synthetics for anything less than 3kish, I really like the Shapton Glass stones in particular. Above that I prefer naturals, but I also have a strong interest in polishing and the enjoy the romance of using something kind rather than made some that guides my preference there.

best way to learn is to just get after it!
 

KingShapton

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Welcome,

and as others have said - there is a "Sharpening Station" subforum.

First of all, you will find literally tons of information there (the search function is your friend).

As for your question, the answer to that depends on so many factors and is impossible to answer briefly.

Mainly because stones (synths and naturals) are always a matter of personal preference, personal sharpening technique and personal feeling.

What I mean to say is that the stones from the well-known manufacturers are all good. It always depends on the person who uses it, you have to find the right stones for yourself. @daveb put it very aptly in a nutshell.

If I understand your question correctly then you can't sharpen at the moment? You have to learn it first?!

In that case, I can definitely advise you - start with one! synthetic stone and learn it first. And only if the result after this stone is really good (should shave arm hair for example) then get the next stone.

There is advice when it comes to sharpening, and that advice has a reason. "Masters of the 1000". If the work and the result of your first stone is not good, then further stones will bring you nothing.

The Naniwa Pro 800 you suggested is a good place to start, the stone is about as fine as a 1k, is in the middle of the road from the known stones in terms of hardness and properties and while not one of my own favourites, many here like him and not without reason. Plus, together with the Naniwa Pro 3000 and the Naniwa Pro 400 (which I personally really like) you have a very good setup - after mastering the 1000!

And another piece of advice, synthetic stones are much easier than natural ones. I would strongly advise you to start with synths first. Master the 1000, work on your technique and muscle memory, buy more synths, repeat that until you are really happy with the results and then, only then, start with Naturals.

In other words, you must learn to walk before you can run.

I certainly don't want to slow you down, on the contrary. I want to save you disappointments, bad purchases and frustration and try to show you how you can really have a lot of fun with this hobby in the long run.
 
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KingShapton

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Addition - after I just read again that you want to sharpen your knives daily or almost daily, at least 1x a week. In that case I might recommend the Naniwa Chosera/Pro 2000 instead of the 3000. The stone is significantly cheaper than the 3000, is as fine as the average 3000 and in my opinion better suited for everyday touch-ups. Plus, a bit more aggressive bity edge is usually an advantage in the kitchen.

But the quality of the knives (steel, HRC, etc.) also plays a role. What kind of knife do you want to sharpen?
 

timebard

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I'm not an expert, but in my experience you can get a great deal of performance out of synthetics without any need to spend the money and time finding a good natural stone. I have one jnat (an aoto) and while it's fun to use occasionally the synthetics are what I grab day to day. Starting with a 1000 and a 3000-4000 grit stone should take you a long way.

Your question of how often to sharpen is a good one--it depends on what kind of knives you're talking about, how many are in your rotation, and how much you're using them. If you have one chef's knife for everything and are prepping big meals every day you might need to sharpen more than once a week... if you have a drawer full of knives in high-end steels that you only use occasionally at home, you could go six months without needing to sharpen them.
 

sansho

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some other ideas.

getting right to the point:

option A: soaker set
and then you will also need a stone flattener. two options for this:
these are some very well regarded synthetic stones. these ones in particular have very good feel while sharpening, but like all stones, they do dish from uneven wear, so you need to use a stone fixer (aka stone flattener) to keep them flat. i suggest the atoma diamond plate as a premium option because normal stone flatteners eventually dish too. a metal plate stays flat on its own.

option B: upscale splash-and-go set
and if you need a coarse stone as well, you can consider an inexpensive ($30) india stone described in lively detail in this thread.
splash and go means it doesn't need soaking. you can store it dry, splash some water, and get sharpening right away.
i suggest this particular set because it's extremely slow wearing. for someone that doesn't sharpen professionally, you might basically never have to flatten these stones. also, those diamond stones will sharpen exotic, hard-wearing steels easily. probably doesn't matter, but if you start collecting knives, you might end up with a knife like that.
 
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sansho

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never heard of this atoma handle version.


this thing? i can't find on amazon, hm.

i don't have a problem with my handleless atoma plate, but maybe i'll epoxy a handle to it for fun, lol.
 

4phantom

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Hello community, I'm from Colombia.

I want to invest my money in the most efficient way. I want to have my knives sharp always or almost always.

I have been watching YouTube videos and I think I have come to the conclusion that the best products to sharpen knives are the Naniwa Chosera 800 or 1000 and the 3000, right?.

I have the following questions:

1. I should buy a Japanese natural stone or the Naniwa sharpening stones?.
2. These Japanese natural stones last for a lifetime?, is for personal use, daily use, mostly vegetables, potatoes, meat, fish and chicken.
3. Which Japanese natural stone resembles to the Naniwa 800 (Sharpening function) and the Naniwa 3000 (Polishing function).
4. Is it necessary to have 2 stones?, one for sharpening and another stone for polishing?, if not, which Japanese natural stone or a Naniwa product fulfills the functions of sharpening and polishing at the same time?.
5. What stone should I use to have my knives sharpened daily or almost sharpened?, a polishing fulfill this function?, I think weekly I should sharpen my knives, right?.

I hope you can help to solve my doubts. Thanks.


A lot of misconceptions here. If you want to invest your money in the most efficient way, the only thing you need to start is a #1000 grit stone. It's more than enough to get your knives shaving sharp if you're using the correct sharpening technique. The only other things I'd recommend are a stone holder and/or a rubber bar mat to hold the stone, and an atoma diamond plate to keep your 1000 grit stone flat.

If you've never sharpened before don't bother with getting natural stones yet, learn how to sharpen on synthetics first because they're much cheaper and much more efficient.

You don't *need* to have 2 stones, I actually think for beginners its much better to stick to only 1 stone, using a higher grit stone (3/4/5/6/7/8k+) can mask your poor deburring technique, so make sure you can get good edges off your 1k before refining the edge further.

If you're sharpening and apexing correctly you shouldn't need to be sharpening daily at all. The professional cooks I speak to only need to sharpen maybe 1-2 times a week and that's only because they're spending literally 8 hours a day cutting produce (think like 50+kg of produce a day) onions, . Home cooks shouldn't need to sharpen more than once a month, maybe even every 2-3 months based on how good you are at sharpening or what steel your knife is made of and how well it holds the edge.

As for stone recommendations, here are the ones I can recommend: Shapton 1k pro (also known as kuromaku), Naniwa Chosera/Professional 1k, Suehiro SNE 1k
 

Jovidah

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I think the desire to spend money efficiently almost by default excludes natural stones... :p
As others said there isn't really a 'best' stone; there's plenty of great stones and brands, they just make slightly different tradeoffs. It's all about finding the right tradeoff that matches your preferences.
 
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Addition - after I just read again that you want to sharpen your knives daily or almost daily, at least 1x a week. In that case I might recommend the Naniwa Chosera/Pro 2000 instead of the 3000. The stone is significantly cheaper than the 3000, is as fine as the average 3000 and in my opinion better suited for everyday touch-ups. Plus, a bit more aggressive bity edge is usually an advantage in the kitchen.

But the quality of the knives (steel, HRC, etc.) also plays a role. What kind of knife do you want to sharpen?
I agree with this 100%.
 

simar

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1. I should buy a Japanese natural stone or the Naniwa sharpening stones?.
2. These Japanese natural stones last for a lifetime?, is for personal use, daily use, mostly vegetables, potatoes, meat, fish and chicken.
3. Which Japanese natural stone resembles to the Naniwa 800 (Sharpening function) and the Naniwa 3000 (Polishing function).
4. Is it necessary to have 2 stones?, one for sharpening and another stone for polishing?, if not, which Japanese natural stone or a Naniwa product fulfills the functions of sharpening and polishing at the same time?.
5. What stone should I use to have my knives sharpened daily or almost sharpened?, a polishing fulfill this function?, I think weekly I should sharpen my knives, right?.
1. Yes, buy what you can afford.
2. For daily use, probably not in your coarser grits, and possibly in the finer grits.
3. The only way to know is to test them side by side.
4. Depends on what you want to achieve, can you get away with one stone? maybe, or you might end up with a few depending on what satisfies you.
5. While I don't subscribe to the sharpen daily ideology, I do subscribe to the strop often on leather.
 

enchappo

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You've got a bunch of fantastic replies in this thread, and I can't top the expertise already shared. I can just share my personal experience though: the first waterstones I bought were the Naniwa chosera 800 and 3000. Since then I've bought a bunch more stones in other grits, but those two stones are still the ones I use most often, and (along with a coarser stone if you want to do thinning) could really be the only stones you need.
 

sansho

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also depends on what he means by efficient.

if you mean cheap, then just get whatever king combo stone or something.

for me, an efficient investment could mean not being tempted to upgrade. that's what i had in mind with my reply 😎
 
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Since the opinions on this thread are so uniform, I feel the need to add a different one. Just because contrast is good, and uniformity is usually bad, not because I think you'd be making a mistake by following the advice here. You would not be.

I have Naniwa Chosera 800 and 3000, and they are great. But I prefer the Shapton Glass stones. They are harder. Creamier. I just like sharpening on them more.

I admit that the Shapton Glass 3000 is more of a perfect gateway to higher stones than a bringer of perfect toothy knife edges. So for an all-Shapton Glass sequence, I'd go 1000-4000.

But why not get the Shapton Glass 1000, a perfect sequence-starting stone if ever there was one (IMO, of course), and the Chosera Pro 3000 to finish? Then you'd get to try both worlds.
 
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Hi there.

Welcome. As others stated above stay away from naturals. You do no need jnats but they are addicting and it is indeed a rabbit hole (I am personally hopelessly lost :)) Coarse jnats are normally much slower. As a beginner a stone set consisting of a 1000 and 3000 grit synthetic stones is sufficient. If possible you can buy a small jnat (koppa size) for around 150-200$. Maksim from Japanese Natural Stones has them. For examaple this one Aiiwatani Koppa Lv 2,5 (a2695) They are soooo nice but not not in any way mandatory ;) As for your question a jnat like the one in the link will last you a life time :)
And while you are at it buy an Atoma 140 diamond plate for flatteing your stones. This is a boring but mandatory purchase IMHO :)

Kind regards,
Peter
 

coparker

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Since the opinions on this thread are so uniform, I feel the need to add a different one. Just because contrast is good, and uniformity is usually bad, not because I think you'd be making a mistake by following the advice here. You would not be.

I have Naniwa Chosera 800 and 3000, and they are great. But I prefer the Shapton Glass stones. They are harder. Creamier. I just like sharpening on them more.

I admit that the Shapton Glass 3000 is more of a perfect gateway to higher stones than a bringer of perfect toothy knife edges. So for an all-Shapton Glass sequence, I'd go 1000-4000.

But why not get the Shapton Glass 1000, a perfect sequence-starting stone if ever there was one (IMO, of course), and the Chosera Pro 3000 to finish? Then you'd get to try both worlds.

About the service life of Shapton glass and the Naniwa Chosera, which stone will lasts longer?, would I need a dressing stone to clean/polish the surface of the Shapton glass stone?
 

Pie

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You guys absolutely crushed this dude with information. 👌.
 

KingShapton

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I wouldn't worry about the service life of the stones mentioned. Both will last a good time, quite possibly longer than you think.

Don't overcomplicate it, buy a decent stone and get started, take your first steps.

That's exactly why I stuck with the stones you mentioned and didn't make any other suggestions - I didn't want to overcomplicate it.

You have to start with a stone anyway, not only to learn how to sharpen, but also to determine what qualities you like and dislike in a stone.

My advice would still be buy your first stone, start sharpening, learn and then take the next step. Keep is simple and start practicing!

Btw, the Shapton doesn't necessarily need a dressing stone. As so often and with many things - you can do it, but you don't have to.
 
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Don't overcomplicate it, buy a decent stone and get started, take your first steps.

100%

I want to invest my money in the most efficient way.

Then synthetics are the answer and there is no "best".

"Best" is YOU learning to make the most of the tools you have. Basically that means any well known brand will do what is promises - abrade steel. Don't over complicate it.

You have to understand... this forum is full of people who sharpening because it is required... and people who sharpen because they enjoy it. If you are just sharpening because it is required, then simplify.... any well known brand will do. If you sharpen because you enjoy it... your original question is ill-posed... you will likely end up buying multiple overlapping stones just so you can experience what others are talking about.

Buy the Naniwa.... for a one stone purchase I would choose the 800**. For a two stone set I would choose 400 and 1000. For a three stone set I would choose the 400, 1000 and 3000.

As others have said. Get an Atoma flattening plate....


** Actually... I would choose the 400 but I wouldn't recommend that to a beginner.
 

KingShapton

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100%



Then synthetics are the answer and there is no "best".

"Best" is YOU learning to make the most of the tools you have. Basically that means any well known brand will do what is promises - abrade steel. Don't over complicate it.

You have to understand... this forum is full of people who sharpening because it is required... and people who sharpen because they enjoy it. If you are just sharpening because it is required, then simplify.... any well known brand will do. If you sharpen because you enjoy it... your original question is ill-posed... you will likely end up buying multiple overlapping stones just so you can experience what others are talking about.

Buy the Naniwa.... for a one stone purchase I would choose the 800**. For a two stone set I would choose 400 and 1000. For a three stone set I would choose the 400, 1000 and 3000.

As others have said. Get an Atoma flattening plate....


** Actually... I would choose the 400 but I wouldn't recommend that to a beginner.
100%!! Nothing more to add!
 
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One more obligatory dissent: The Atoma diamond plates are really good, but also really expensive. You don't need something that good just for flattening stones. A cheaper diamond plate will do.
 

KingShapton

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One more obligatory dissent: The Atoma diamond plates are really good, but also really expensive. You don't need something that good just for flattening stones. A cheaper diamond plate will do.
100% correct, but if you buy cheap, you usually buy twice... and since it's about a reasonable starter kit, I recommended the Atoma. One purchase and the issue is settled for a long time.

Alternatively, you can start with sandpaper on glass as an inexpensive solution. But I'm a fan of buying quality from the start. Especially when it comes to tools.

This has been tried and tested throughout my life and has always paid off.
 

KingShapton

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The media can be peeled and replaced, when needed?
Without any problem


The link is just an example, with a little search you can find these plates with attached handle much cheaper in Japanese online shops.
 
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100% correct, but if you buy cheap, you usually buy twice... and since it's about a reasonable starter kit, I recommended the Atoma. One purchase and the issue is settled for a long time.

Alternatively, you can start with sandpaper on glass as an inexpensive solution. But I'm a fan of buying quality from the start. Especially when it comes to tools.

This has been tried and tested throughout my life and has always paid off.

Well, that's fair. The question in my mind is whether using an Atoma to flatten stones would render it less good at its other jobs. If so, then one might be buying twice for a purpose.

I used to use some otherwise played-out diamond plates to flatten, and they worked fine for that, except for the sticking. Now I use a Nanohone NL-10, which is more about keeping stones flat through consistent use, than about flattening unflat stones. Talk about quality!
 

MattPike4President

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100% correct, but if you buy cheap, you usually buy twice... and since it's about a reasonable starter kit, I recommended the Atoma. One purchase and the issue is settled for a long time.

I certainly agree with the philosophy behind this, but CKTG sells a diamond flattening plate for $30. I personally have a hard time justifying a 2-3x price increase for the Atoma. Atoma's are definitely a nicer user experience, less sticky and gritty, but I'd be stunned if they lasted even close to twice as long as a CKTG plate before needing to be replaced.

Flattening even with an Atoma is a bit of a chore, and not one that I find I need to do particularly often for my everyday double bevel sharpening on hard(ish) synthetics (Naniwa Pros). I suspect a lot of users, especially home cooks who don't need to sharpen or flatten particularly often, would prefer to save the money rather than pay for the Atoma upgrade over CKTG.

That handle is pretty nifty though
 
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