First ~3 synthetic stones

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Dec 31, 2023
Messages
667
Reaction score
523
Location
Sydney
I have caved to pressure from forum members to sharpen my own knives (in truth, I have been encouraged by kind members who messaged me with guidance and supportive words).

I know that 'recommend me beginner stones' has been done to death, and that nobody wants to rehash what has already been discussed. I am hoping to avoid a drawn out recitation of what has been said before and the complaints that it would elicit. My issue is that I am indecisive about several decent quality stones at the same grit and that all have been recommended by trusted members of KKF in the past ... I have seen a fair bit of advice that 'any of these would serve you well'. The indecision is crippling and I would appreciate a guiding hand!

I have fished through old threads to get a better understanding of what's popular and appropriate for beginners. I have narrowed it down to a number of stones recommended by (at least some degree of) consensus amongst members of KKF and have found each of them at attractive prices, but they overlap in terms of grit and purpose. I have only included options below that are listed at attractive prices (for Australian consumers, taking shipping into account) and that are currently available. Thus, I am eager to ask for your view on which stones at which grit levels / which combination you think would be optimal. Most of my knives are new or relatively new and have a decent edge, so no super low grits are presently necessary. I am not looking to polish or achieve a hair-popping edge, although paper and paper towel cutting sharpness are the objective (with plenty of practice, of course).

OPTIONS:

I have tried to stick to a 3 stone combination but have the funds to get more if you think it would be beneficial. Options below.

Low grit: Shapton Glass 320, 500; Shapton Rockstar 320, 500.

Medium grit: Shapton Rockstar 1000 (much cheaper than others); Shapton Glass 1000; Shapton Kuromaku 1000; Naniwa Pro 1000; Suehiro Cerax 1500

High(er) grit: Shapton Rockstar 2000; Shapton Kuromaku 2000; Naniwa Pro 2000; Suehiro Cerax 3000; Shapton Rockstar 3000, 6000; Shapton Glass 4000

Will I also need (or would it be desirable to get) a lapping stone / plate and leather strop?

Really appreciate any guidance and happy for people to direct message if they prefer. Thank you!
 
Glass/Rockstar 500 will cover most of your bases. I'd definitely recommend one.

In addition to that stone, the options are pretty open. Out of all your options, I'd pick either the Shapton 2k or Glass 4k.

But this is with the idea of just edge sharpening. If you want to polish also, I'll leave that to the other members.

A lapping plate isn't totally necessary to buy right away. I would definitely recommend getting one though, especially to take off the outside layer of the stone, that hides how the stone really works and feels.
 
Last edited:
@JPAU good for you! Learning to sharpen isn't just rewarding, I believe it is essential and really opens up the knife world to you. Also, don't be afraid to rehash "beginner" questions at all. Ask away. Set yourself up for success as much as you think you need to.

Even before I came to KKF, the Shapton Glass series was recommended to me by sharpeners I respected. While I had a lot of experience with other types of stones, water stones were new to me at the time. I went with their recommendation and have ZERO regrets.

I will strongly echo the praise for the Shapton Glass 500. It is an awesome stone and I think has probably secured my spot for "if only one stone" slot. It can handle a lot of tasks.

I think pairing it with a SG2k is an outstanding combo and what I use extensively.

Before going to a third sharpening stone, I would recommend a stone flattener and very much encourage just biting the bullet and getting a diamond flattening stone. A good one will last a long time and help you get the most of your stones.

Those three things will carry you a long, long way.

From there, for a third sharpening stone, I'd recommend going coarser for thinning, repairs, etc. I have the Shapton Pro (kuromaku) in 220 and 320 and probably would go with the 320. The 220 does remove serious metal but it also glazes and dishes faster. I have a Nanohone diamond I like for this work but I could get by with one of my Shapton Pro's too.
 
for splash and go I do

Synthetic Aoto -> Chosera 1k -> Moreihei 4k or 6k

Soaking I do

Bester/imanishi 400 -> King 1k / Imanishi 2k -> Ouka/Rika

But the true winner I'm finding is the

Venev 400->800... takes like 2 min done...
 
Last edited:
A lapping plate isn't totally necessary to buy right away. I would definitely recommend getting one though, especially to take off the outside layer of the stone, that hides how the stone really works and feels.
My Rockstars were a little ragged ootb ngl, I sprang for an Atoma the next day just to clean them up. Definitely not necessary though.
 
Intrigued to see what people recommend as well! I'm really pleased with the SG500 recommendation and was fantastic in cleaning up chips I discovered in my older knives. Still haven't been able to get it as sharp as knives I got from Tokushu or B/S/T, but I'm working my way there.
 
Cant go wrong with Shapton 500/1k/2k. Each one has its own role, though if you're a home user, you probably would rarely need to drop down to 500 again after initial sharpening.
 
Thank you, everyone, for your input. I have found all of the advice (and the relative consensus) very helpful.

@JPAU good for you! Learning to sharpen isn't just rewarding, I believe it is essential and really opens up the knife world to you. Also, don't be afraid to rehash "beginner" questions at all. Ask away. Set yourself up for success as much as you think you need to.

@HumbleHomeCook you are especially kind!

From what I can tell from reading other threads, Shapton Glass and Rockstar are almost substitutable but for the backing. When selecting between them, do you have a preference one way or the other for the sake of proficiency and value?

Cant go wrong with Shapton 500/1k/2k. Each one has its own role, though if you're a home user, you probably would rarely need to drop down to 500 again after initial sharpening.

Thanks, I thought this too. Not much love for the ~1000 grit range so far. As I said, most of my knives are brand new - I am hoping to maintain them well such that they don’t get too dull. Assuming that 1000+ grits can be used for this purpose. I think I saw a really attractive deal in a Shapton Rockstar 1000, so perhaps can get that as my in between stone?

At this stage, I am thinking:

1. Shapton Glass / Rockstar 320 - will get in a couple of months / when I need it. Almost all of my knives are brand new (I moved back to Sydney from overseas, so started again in many respects) or lightly used.

2. Shapton Glass / Rockstar 500. No debate there.

3. Shapton Glass / Rockstar 1000 - in between stone for touch ups and maintenance of knives don’t get too dull.

4. Shapton Pro 2000 for finishing.

5. A diamond lapping plate / lapping stone and some sort of stone holder.

I’ll probably also get a kangaroo leather bench strop, for good measure, unless folks think it’s a waste of money. I’d rather maintain my edges with higher grit stones and stropping regularly than go through a full sharpening sequence once every x months (for context, I am the kind of person who cleans my dishes as I go rather than leaving a big pile for later etc.).

Thanks again!
 
Thank you, everyone, for your input. I have found all of the advice (and the relative consensus) very helpful.



@HumbleHomeCook you are especially kind!

From what I can tell from reading other threads, Shapton Glass and Rockstar are almost substitutable but for the backing. When selecting between them, do you have a preference one way or the other for the sake of proficiency and value?



Thanks, I thought this too. Not much love for the ~1000 grit range so far. As I said, most of my knives are brand new - I am hoping to maintain them well such that they don’t get too dull. Assuming that 1000+ grits can be used for this purpose. I think I saw a really attractive deal in a Shapton Rockstar 1000, so perhaps can get that as my in between stone?

At this stage, I am thinking:

1. Shapton Glass / Rockstar 320 - will get in a couple of months / when I need it. Almost all of my knives are brand new (I moved back to Sydney from overseas, so started again in many respects) or lightly used.

2. Shapton Glass / Rockstar 500. No debate there.

3. Shapton Glass / Rockstar 1000 - in between stone for touch ups and maintenance of knives don’t get too dull.

4. Shapton Pro 2000 for finishing.

5. A diamond lapping plate / lapping stone and some sort of stone holder.

I’ll probably also get a kangaroo leather bench strop, for good measure, unless folks think it’s a waste of money. I’d rather maintain my edges with higher grit stones and stropping regularly than go through a full sharpening sequence once every x months (for context, I am the kind of person who cleans my dishes as I go rather than leaving a big pile for later etc.).

Thanks again!

Never used the Rockstars but yeah, it would seem they are the same medium.
 
Based on my experience, and suitable for beginners (high performance but not too expensive).

1. Low grit: Atoma 400, for repairing or creating new bevel and lapping stone.
2. Medium grit: Suehiro Cerax 1000 (soaking), or SP/Kuromaku 2000 (splash and go).
3. High grit: Suehiro Ouka 3000 (soaking).
 
for splash and go I do

Synthetic Aoto -> Chosera 1k -> Moreihei 4k or 6k

Soaking I do

Bester/imanishi 400 -> King 1k / Imanishi 2k -> Ouka/Rika

But the true winner I'm finding is the

Venev 400->800... takes like 2 min done...
Chosera 1000 noticeably > Shapton Glass / Rockstar / Professional 1000? I have read that the Shaptons do not feel like a true 1000 grit (more like 600 according to James from KNS).

If so, line up is looking like Shapton Glass / Rockstar 500 > Chosera 1000 > Shapton Pro 2000

… with a 320 grit and diamond plate to follow.

Schrödinger’s Stone: the box, when opened, contains both the Shapton and the Chosera

Funny you say that… I am considering this for the 1000 stone, just to experiment. The Rockstar range is pretty cheap.
 
Chosera 1000 noticeably > Shapton Glass / Rockstar / Professional 1000? I have read that the Shaptons do not feel like a true 1000 grit (more like 600 according to James from KNS).

If so, line up is looking like Shapton Glass / Rockstar 500 > Chosera 1000 > Shapton Pro 2000

… with a 320 grit and diamond plate to follow.



Funny you say that… I am considering this for the 1000 stone, just to experiment. The Rockstar range is pretty cheap.

Skip the 1k and get a diamond plate.

I prefer Glass to Pro.
 
Frankly if you have the 500 and the 2000 I don’t see the point of also having a 1000… put that money toward an Atoma 140 instead?
I see! So a 2000 is sufficient to maintain an edge that has not dulled too much? I had thought that 1000 might be a good ‘maintenance’ stone but I’m speculating, as a novice does.

I can still get a diamond plate and a third stone, but I don’t want to get a superfluous too and am happy to buy another stone that serves a different function. I’m happy to get several stones to play around with and still get an atoma.

Atoma 140/400, Shapton 500, Shapton 2000 all locked in.
 
Last edited:
I see! So a 2000 is sufficient to maintain an edge that has not dulled too much? I had thought that 1000 might be a good ‘maintenance’ stone but I’m speculating, as a novice does.

I can still get a diamond plate and a third stone, but I don’t want to get a superfluous too and am happy to buy another stone that serves a different function. I’m happy to get several stones to play around with and still get an atoma.

Atoma 140/400, Shapton 500, Shapton 2000 all locked in.
Yes, a 2000 is great for general stropping between full sharpening ssessions.

I also advocate you can jump from 500 to 2000
 
Thanks, understood re glass > pro. What’s the difference / distinction that leads you to that view?

There no need to substitute diamond plate for stone. My budget can accommodate both.
Just to be clear, Shapton Glass is not better than the Pro. This is all just personal preference.

All of the stones you have listed are very well regarded. Some people prefer splash and go. Some prefer soakers. Etc etc.

You could pick any two or three stones from your list and be perfectly happy. Basically you want a stone in the 1-2K class for a general sharpening/touch up stone and maybe a coarser stone for dull knives or minor damage plus maybe a finer stone 3K+ for your preferred finish if you want to go finer than 1 or 2K.

I would say don't over think it.
 
Chosera 1000 noticeably > Shapton Glass / Rockstar / Professional 1000? I have read that the Shaptons do not feel like a true 1000 grit (more like 600 according to James from KNS).

If so, line up is looking like Shapton Glass / Rockstar 500 > Chosera 1000 > Shapton Pro 2000

… with a 320 grit and diamond plate to follow.



Funny you say that… I am considering this for the 1000 stone, just to experiment. The Rockstar range is pretty cheap.
I havent used my SG 1k in a while… so trying to remember… but at the time i think i felt the chosera had better feedback.

I would say water management is a thing for splash and go… i think sg are easier than chosera on this… chosera is thirstier.

If ur getting a 2k dont really need 1k. Would rather spend moneys on nicer stone holder or decent lapping plate.
 
Thanks, understood re glass > pro. What’s the difference / distinction that leads you to that view?

There no need to substitute diamond plate for stone. My budget can accommodate both.

Mostly personal preference really. I have Shapton Pro's/Kuromaku's and they are indeed very good stones, no disparagement there. I just like the performance of my Glasss stones a little more. I think it wears nicely and provides a really nice edge across a lot of different knives. But if there's a compelling reason for you to get a Pro, by all means, go for it.

If you're okay on budget then I'm going to adjust my original suggestion a bit:

1. Diamond stone flattener
2. Shapton Kuromaku 220 or 320
2. SG500
3. SG2k (or Kuromaku if you prefer)
4. Belgian Blue Whetstone with small slurry stone

The finished edge off a BBW is really nice. You'll find they are a forum favorite and for good reason. I keep one out right by my cutting board for edge touch-ups.
 
Back
Top