Looking for a muddy 4k-5k stone to fit into a 1200 -> 4-5k -> 8k progression

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Jun 8, 2015
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I've recently gotten into the wonderful world of Japanese synthetic abrasives and have bought a few stones, my current progression is Bester 1200 -> Suehiro Rika 5k -> Naniwa Junpaku/Snow White 8k followed by applying a micro bevel using solid sintered ceramic abrasives (Spyderco F sharpening rods).

Because I use a microscopic apex bevel on my knives (kitchen and pocket) I have slightly different preferences than others might with stones. I prefer stones that can be made to develop a thick, creamy slurry that you can more or less surf with the knife to automatically eliminate burr formation and keep a clean apex line for applying a micro-bevel too. I really like the Naniwa Aotoshi 2k for this, and if you use an Atoma 1200 to lap it fairly aggressively, the Naniwa Junpaku 8k can be made to do the same thing.

On the other hand, the Suehiro Rika 5k seems to insist on only forming a thin, watery slurry, that doesn't really suit what I'm looking for. Does anyone know of some stones in the 4-5k range that an be made to form a thick slurry but that still cut relatively quickly (i.e. priorities are muddiness, speed, polish, dish resistance, sharpness in that order)?

My rika is muddy as all get out. Have you tried lapping it first with a diamond plate?
Have you also tried keeping your Rika permanently submerged in water? I find that makes a big difference
I don't permasoak my Rika, but I do throw it in water in the morning if I think I'm going to be sharpening in the afternoon. It does seem to produce more mud that way.
When my Rika was new it seemed very hard, no mud. After flattening, (lapping?) with a diamond plate it improved and after a few sessions it got happy. I kept it perm-soaked then, now it goes in at the start of a session. It's fairly muddy, creamy. It may just need to be "broken in".
Keep working with your rika, if somebody asks me for a stone that produces a thick creamy slurry in that grit range, it would be my very first thought. As said above, lap and permasoak.
Thanks for the feedback,

As it turns out, I was severely underestimating how much water the Suehiro Rika 5k retains if permasoaked. Once you form a thick creamy mud on it with a diamond plate there's basically no further need to add water, unlike most other Japanese synthetic stones I've dealt with.