Nanohone impressions

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Rangen

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I decided to go all in on the Nanohone world, to see what it was all about. OK, not the mounting plates.

I have now tried every single one of their stones. Here's some impressions.

If you want the sort of "this one is good, this one is not so good" dissection that people routinely do on synthetic stone lines, I'm not your guy. I have most of the Shapton Glass stones, and with the exception of the 220 (I don't have the 120), I'd pretty much describe all of them the same way: hard, slow-wearing, really nice to use, sort of creamy for their grit, two thumbs up. I really like these stones.

Same context for the Nanohones, I have to talk about the line as a whole. They are grittier-feeling than the SG stones, which is not my favored feel, but they work really well. They are competent. I even took a razor all the way from 400 to 10,000, and had no complaints.

It'll never be my favorite line of synthetic stones, but I have no complaints. These are serious contenders in the top of the league, and it's hard to imagine a purchaser regretting the purchase. I may sell them someday, but I would never do that if I didn't have the Glass stones.

Then there's the other purchase, bought during the end-of-year MTC Kitchen sale, the NL-10 lapping stone. Wow. It's a heavy chunk of metal, a narrower than a standard bench stone, with diamond-impregnated buttons on it, for flattening stones. I've been using it a lot, especially before honing razors, when it's really useful to have a dead-flat stone. This is one impressive tool. A few diagonal strokes, a bit of small circular motion, and your stone is truly flat enough to trust to hone a razor. And no suction, which is what led me to consider a replacement for the played-out diamond stones I was using. If Nanohone had never made anything but this, I'd call their company worthwhile.

I guess it was a little frivolous, as a purchase, considering the price, even after the 20% discount. It's not for seriously flattening very worn stones (according to the instructions), and the diamond plates did work, once I got them unstuck from the stone, but it's a very serious piece of equipment that I am very glad to have in the arsenal. I wouldn't be without it now. I'd like to think it is making my stones flatter than the diamond plates (very important for razor honing), but that could be fantasy, and the really important point is that it's so easy to use that I reach for it more often, so it makes my stones flatter than they would be, anyway.
 

SolidSnake03

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Have to agree 100% on the lapping plates, managed to score a NL4 and NL5 from the last MTC sale and they are hands down the best lapping plates I’ve ever used. Honestly, no reason for Atoma or DMT or anything else, just use these they are amazing. I mostly sharpen on diamonds now or other stuff that doesn’t use a regular lapping plates but for the water stones I still have (Nanohones too and a few naturals, couple Kings too) these are outstanding. They are a great deal on sale but I’d pay full price too, worth every penny. No sticking, no suction, incredibly flat, come with verified analysis documentation on that, weighty, cut fast, durable, look cool and leave a smooth yet slightly tactile surface with no deep gouges or uneven cutting. Everything someone could want in a lapping plate and more.

alright I’m done fawning over these but seriously, they kick ass and you should buy them.
 

LewRob80

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Agree entirely on the lapping plate. Got the nl-4 a month or so ago, from Tosho during their anniversary sale. Primarily for lapping coarser stones cerax 220, nanohone 220, naniwa 400, for working on peoples cheap and damaged knives and save my atoma’s for finer stones as they were wearing too quickly. The nl-4 is everything I could want, cuts aggressively, smoothly and doesn’t wear much at all. Price point can be high but if you’re sharpening often it’s truly a dream to use
 

inferno

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I mostly sharpen on diamonds now
omg the HERESY!!

imo for flattening i use the atomas, i regard them as consumables. i also have a diaflat. also wears out!

but these days i just reach for a 100 grit black SiC stone for flattening. then i flatten that stone and do all heavy lifting with SiC powder on glass.
its so much faster. however most coarse stone i never flatten. they flatten themselves with use. i just use the parts thats sticking up until they dont anymore. so some thinning sessions are only done on the outer parts of the stone. and then when flat i start using it the regular way again.
 

SolidSnake03

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Haha!! I mean yeah for this forum it’s a bit heresy but damn I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of diamonds, verified diamond, cbn etc... and it’s honestly pretty great. For a normal home user dishing is super slow/really a non-issue assuming you aren’t a gorilla, cuts every steel fast and efficiently, little to no mess, splash and go, really bitey edges that rock for food, no issues with the edge slipping nor skidding on tomato skin or peppers. It’s honestly pretty great. Feel is of course mediocre but the benefits in every other area are pretty great and worthwhile.

currently enjoying the JKI stuff along with the Spyderco CBN plate (really good surprisingly and you get two grits for $90)

that all said, back on topic, Nanohone are some of the only water stones I still use, they are similar to shapton glass but better feeling and you get way more. Somehow feel softer and more tactile than the Shapton Glass, wear slightly faster but you get easily 2x as much so you come out ahead in my experience.
 

inferno

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can you tell me a bit more of which diamond stone you use, and which ones you think are good.

i'm thinking about getting a diamond finisher, the 6k naniwa. since these can now be had in europe under 200€
for my supersteel blades. to see if it gets better than regular stones.

lately i've been on a shopping spree for high grit synths for kasumi finishes. and i think i have found "the one"

also there is cool article on scienceofsharp, "the diamond progression" i think he found out that the dmt 325/C resulted in the best sharpest edge. quite contrary to popular belief. he could even shave with it.
 

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I decided to go all in on the Nanohone world, to see what it was all about. OK, not the mounting plates.

I have now tried every single one of their stones. Here's some impressions.

If you want the sort of "this one is good, this one is not so good" dissection that people routinely do on synthetic stone lines, I'm not your guy. I have most of the Shapton Glass stones, and with the exception of the 220 (I don't have the 120), I'd pretty much describe all of them the same way: hard, slow-wearing, really nice to use, sort of creamy for their grit, two thumbs up. I really like these stones.

Same context for the Nanohones, I have to talk about the line as a whole. They are grittier-feeling than the SG stones, which is not my favored feel, but they work really well. They are competent. I even took a razor all the way from 400 to 10,000, and had no complaints.

It'll never be my favorite line of synthetic stones, but I have no complaints. These are serious contenders in the top of the league, and it's hard to imagine a purchaser regretting the purchase. I may sell them someday, but I would never do that if I didn't have the Glass stones.

Then there's the other purchase, bought during the end-of-year MTC Kitchen sale, the NL-10 lapping stone. Wow. It's a heavy chunk of metal, a narrower than a standard bench stone, with diamond-impregnated buttons on it, for flattening stones. I've been using it a lot, especially before honing razors, when it's really useful to have a dead-flat stone. This is one impressive tool. A few diagonal strokes, a bit of small circular motion, and your stone is truly flat enough to trust to hone a razor. And no suction, which is what led me to consider a replacement for the played-out diamond stones I was using. If Nanohone had never made anything but this, I'd call their company worthwhile.

I guess it was a little frivolous, as a purchase, considering the price, even after the 20% discount. It's not for seriously flattening very worn stones (according to the instructions), and the diamond plates did work, once I got them unstuck from the stone, but it's a very serious piece of equipment that I am very glad to have in the arsenal. I wouldn't be without it now. I'd like to think it is making my stones flatter than the diamond plates (very important for razor honing), but that could be fantasy, and the really important point is that it's so easy to use that I reach for it more often, so it makes my stones flatter than they would be, anyway.
A vendor told me that the Nanohone 200 was his favorite coarse as it almost didn't dish and worked faster than average. The "doesn't dish" even comparatively of other coarse, left me doubtful. What would you say?
 

inferno

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A vendor told me that the Nanohone 200 was his favorite coarse as it almost didn't dish and worked faster than average. The "doesn't dish" even comparatively of other coarse, left me doubtful. What would you say?
i would say its bs. because if a coarse grits stone works well, it must shed grits pretty fast imo.

its like a zero sum game right. either the stone doesn't dish but then its slow. or it dishes and is fast. and then of course there is some leeway here.

my own personal fav is the shapton pro 220. because its cheap. and its fast. yet it dishes medium fast if you want to get **** done. but you can see where the dishing went. a lot of steel got removed.

i just dont believe in this "slow dish/very fast stone". it just doesn't happen. because the grits gets rounded off and then they dont cut anymore. so you need to get rid of those to expose new fresh grit all the time.

ymmv of course.
 

SolidSnake03

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I agree to an extent with inferno about the coarse stone, diamonds and vitrified diamonds and cbn are an exception to this though. Jon’s 300a and TripleB 400 super vitrified diamond both cut stupid fast, barely dish, don’t really load and can keep working all day long. Numerous folks can attest to that, I know Forty who does a ton of sharpening left a very positive review of the 300a for example.

The Nanohone 200 I have wears slightly slower than most of my other stuff in that grit range like pink brick and Suehiro 180 and my former Sigma 240 while feeling a lot better and not sounding like a screaming banshee in use. It’s no miracle stone but it’s the best traditional coarse water stone I’ve used. That said it can’t compare to like a 300a but it’s also 4-5x cheaper....

inferno I’ll pm you as not to derail this too much away from Nanohone. One quick comment is that I like the Nanohone Diamond Matrix stuff but haven’t used it nearly enough to give it a more thorough review. It does feel nicer than typical diamonds as well.
 

Barmoley

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Add to that practical sharpening 400 grid vitrified diamond, cuts very fast any steel I've tried. Doesn't dish, splash and go. Feel is not bad compared to other coarse stones. His 2000 is great too. I want to try @Deadboxhero stones too, they sound great, but having the ones I have and not being a pro sharpener just can't justify it to myself. Never stopped me with knives though...hmmm, I guess knives are a hobby and sharpening isn't for me. JKI 1K and 6K are excellent too.
 

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@SolidSnake03 what do you use spyderco CBN plate for? I've been wanting to try it as well, but again not sure for what having the other stones.
 

SolidSnake03

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Where did you get the practical sharpening ones? Interested in those myself.

I believe deadbox is triple b? Or affiliated with them in some way? Could be wrong but thought those might be the same super vitrified stones.

The Spyderco CBN is a great one stone and strop stone for stainless knives, family knives, Stuff you want to really aggressive edge on, Harder to cut steals etc. You can sharpen it on the 400 side, flip over to the 800 side, strap on some cardboard or newspaper and you’re good to go in a matter of five minutes? And it’s all on one plate. Also on stainless especially it seems to leave an absolutely wicked edge if you followed up with a 1 µm Strop or something like that. Big brown bear on YouTube has a good video on it. I’ve followed it up with green compound and white compound and it’s outstanding if you like bite and aggression. It’s the kinda edge that hurts if you know what I mean if you nick yourself. Like it really stings
 

branwell

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I got to say, and maybe I'm salty because I cant afford them, but $450 a stone seems like silly territory. Seriously, if you're a pro and need to remove tons of material on a regular basis, you'd be bonkers not to use a water cooled 2x72 or horizontal water wheel, and if you have tons of money and just want cool toys, what's more awesome? A bench stone or a super cool horizontal water wheel with a big ass motor under it?

I think I'm just jealous. Anyone want to buy me a Vitrified stone :)
 

ModRQC

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I agree to an extent with inferno about the coarse stone, diamonds and vitrified diamonds and cbn are an exception to this though. Jon’s 300a and TripleB 400 super vitrified diamond both cut stupid fast, barely dish, don’t really load and can keep working all day long. Numerous folks can attest to that, I know Forty who does a ton of sharpening left a very positive review of the 300a for example.

The Nanohone 200 I have wears slightly slower than most of my other stuff in that grit range like pink brick and Suehiro 180 and my former Sigma 240 while feeling a lot better and not sounding like a screaming banshee in use. It’s no miracle stone but it’s the best traditional coarse water stone I’ve used. That said it can’t compare to like a 300a but it’s also 4-5x cheaper....

inferno I’ll pm you as not to derail this too much away from Nanohone. One quick comment is that I like the Nanohone Diamond Matrix stuff but haven’t used it nearly enough to give it a more thorough review. It does feel nicer than typical diamonds as well.
There's still nothing out there having convinced me they would fare better than Sigma 240. Some will say Shapton 220 is faster and dishes less, but Sigma has an additional 10mm and works fast and almost doesn't dish in my use. Nanohone might wear slightly less, but there's not even half the material to go through. Otherwise the Sigma gives no trouble and no hurt to the Atoma. Once sealed it's much more behaved with water needing 5 mins soak prior, will keep some kind of watery mud for long, and in that state doesn't sound very harsh while being quite tactile for the grit. SiC gets lose profusely enough to keep cutting powers high. Scratches are workable with even a Cerax #700 without extra effort, surely because they are rather tight and well behaved with some hint of a haze. Not very expensive neither. I find it doesn't get the love it should... :)
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Where did you get the practical sharpening ones? Interested in those myself.

I believe deadbox is triple b? Or affiliated with them in some way? Could be wrong but thought those might be the same super vitrified stones.

The Spyderco CBN is a great one stone and strop stone for stainless knives, family knives, Stuff you want to really aggressive edge on, Harder to cut steals etc. You can sharpen it on the 400 side, flip over to the 800 side, strap on some cardboard or newspaper and you’re good to go in a matter of five minutes? And it’s all on one plate. Also on stainless especially it seems to leave an absolutely wicked edge if you followed up with a 1 µm Strop or something like that. Big brown bear on YouTube has a good video on it. I’ve followed it up with green compound and white compound and it’s outstanding if you like bite and aggression. It’s the kinda edge that hurts if you know what I mean if you nick yourself. Like it really stings
@Deadboxhero , Triple B Handmade, Big Brown Bear, Shawn = Same person. :)
 

SolidSnake03

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Thanks for putting those all together. Figured as much. :)

Fair point mod, the Nanohone to me is better than the Sigma 240 but honestly the Sigma 240 is a great coarse stone too. For me there is a distinct difference when you go from coarse water stones to the diamond stuff, the 300a is absolutely faster and more consistent than any coarse stone (non-diamond) I’ve ever used if you factor in cutting speed, time spent flattening, dishing, watering management etc... now that said I’m just one dude working on his knives at home.

the Nanohone 200 shines for me in being coarse but doesn’t feel like butt to use, it’s efficient and effective and doesn’t feel like garbage. That said it’s still a really coarse stone so take that for what it’s worth, its still not fun.

the vitrified diamond stones are things no normal home sharpener needs, but they work amazingly well and are fun to have. Also....I have knives that are $400-500 and don’t think poorly on it and it’s just one knife, I could buy one $450 stone and use it on every knife like in the case of the 1000. That’s how I justify it to myself at least ;)

I mean don’t get me wrong.... I have more medium stones/diamonds than one but the point is I could just use that one
 

Barmoley

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Where did you get the practical sharpening ones? Interested in those myself.
He is on instagram practical.sharpening also has a website under the same name. I believe he is here too, but I forget the username. Contact him, he is a great guy and I am very impressed with his stones. Still want to try Shawn's stones too.
 

Barmoley

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I got to say, and maybe I'm salty because I cant afford them, but $450 a stone seems like silly territory. Seriously, if you're a pro and need to remove tons of material on a regular basis, you'd be bonkers not to use a water cooled 2x72 or horizontal water wheel, and if you have tons of money and just want cool toys, what's more awesome? A bench stone or a super cool horizontal water wheel with a big ass motor under it?

I think I'm just jealous. Anyone want to buy me a Vitrified stone :)
Thing is that it depends on how you look at it. Let's say you are not a pro and you buy 2 stones for $900 and they last you for the rest of your life without needing much flattening. Let's say you never need any other stones and can use these on all and any knives, no matter the steel. You still have to be a pretty heavy user since if you are not, regular stones can last a life time too. So many knives a lot of sharpening but not pro level.
 

Rangen

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A vendor told me that the Nanohone 200 was his favorite coarse as it almost didn't dish and worked faster than average. The "doesn't dish" even comparatively of other coarse, left me doubtful. What would you say?
I would say that someday I will have enough experience with that stone to answer the question.

My perspective on stones is a bit skewed from the norm here. For me, using the knives is work, even though I am not a professional cook, and having good, sharp knives makes some of that work actually pleasant, and makes it get done faster and better. Mostly I do all that because I love eating what I cook, not because knives are awesome.

Sharpening, though, is a pleasure. How much fun a stone is to use is really important to me. That's why I will never be mostly-diamond. They're not as fun to sharpen on. I have them around, but that's because I have supersteel pocketknives, and some crappy stainless that is no fun to sharpen on anything, but which responds really well to diamonds.
 

inferno

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Thing is that it depends on how you look at it. Let's say you are not a pro and you buy 2 stones for $900 and they last you for the rest of your life without needing much flattening. Let's say you never need any other stones and can use these on all and any knives, no matter the steel. You still have to be a pretty heavy user since if you are not, regular stones can last a life time too. So many knives a lot of sharpening but not pro level.
i'd rather buy 12 stones for 900!
 

ModRQC

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Thanks for putting those all together. Figured as much. :)

Fair point mod, the Nanohone to me is better than the Sigma 240 but honestly the Sigma 240 is a great coarse stone too. For me there is a distinct difference when you go from coarse water stones to the diamond stuff, the 300a is absolutely faster and more consistent than any coarse stone (non-diamond) I’ve ever used if you factor in cutting speed, time spent flattening, dishing, watering management etc... now that said I’m just one dude working on his knives at home.

the Nanohone 200 shines for me in being coarse but doesn’t feel like butt to use, it’s efficient and effective and doesn’t feel like garbage. That said it’s still a really coarse stone so take that for what it’s worth, its still not fun.

the vitrified diamond stones are things no normal home sharpener needs, but they work amazingly well and are fun to have. Also....I have knives that are $400-500 and don’t think poorly on it and it’s just one knife, I could buy one $450 stone and use it on every knife like in the case of the 1000. That’s how I justify it to myself at least ;)

I mean don’t get me wrong.... I have more medium stones/diamonds than one but the point is I could just use that one
Perhaps the point is there though. I love using coarse stones, so I’ve never factored comfort nominally: to me comfort is no clogging and minimal water management, and feeling nice is being hard enough and un-dishy enough that I can concentrate on the work to be done rather than on the stone. Sensory speaking there’s more to the sigma than meets the eye - I do my best convexing there from feel and sound only. I’ve tried a few coarses so it’s not a first owned gets loved basis. It’s pretty much the latest. All thanks to @M1k3 for the suggestion.
 

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I like it! That is a good description of why you value the stone, I dig it and I appreciate you sharing all that man! M1k3 knows his stuff :)

Yeah diamonds are not really about the feeling so to speak but it’s a gets stuff done type thing for me. The tactile feedback on them ranges from terrible to meh but damn if they don’t cut. I have also found them to leave their best edges on stainless, semi stainless and pm or high tech steels. They really shine with those :)
 

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M1k3 is an INvaluable member around here for sure. I appreciate you taking the time to answer directly. I have nothing against trying some diamond stones - I’m all for effeciency in a given task and I bet I could love a few. It’s budget that says otherwise... Still I read avidly of all stones suggestions/appreciation no matter what it is. It’s as good raw data around here that I can wish to get short of buying one.
 
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Deadboxhero

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I like it! That is a good description of why you value the stone, I dig it and I appreciate you sharing all that man! M1k3 knows his stuff :)

Yeah diamonds are not really about the feeling so to speak but it’s a gets stuff done type thing for me. The tactile feedback on them ranges from terrible to meh but damn if they don’t cut. I have also found them to leave their best edges on stainless, semi stainless and pm or high tech steels. They really shine with those :)

That's the beauty of Vitrified Diamond Stones, they will have that feel folks crave from soaking stones but the cutting power of diamond combined with very high dishing resistance.

400 grit Latte stone was one of my favorite ceramic soaking stones in the past but when doing work on a usuba with a giant bevel the latte stone despite being a good cutter needed to be flattened in the middle of grinding sometimes since it wears away quickly and dishes out quick.

So Vitrified Diamond Waterstones are a welcome upgrade to those that are tired of stone questing and want to settle down.
 

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which is the cheapest 2-400 grit vitrified diamond stone (full size)?
also how is the speed compared to plates in the same grit range?

what about scratches? are these deep as plates or more like regular stones?
 

SolidSnake03

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Yeah the vitrified absolutely feel much better than your typical diamond plate, they give a more tactile and connected feel to me as well. This is the reason I started exploring the Nanohone diamond stuff as well, it has an almost soft feel to it. It’s very interesting

Regarding diamond pricing, previously I would say that is true but with Venev they have become much more affordable with a dual side (two different grits) plate in 8x3 sizing being like $80-90. At the point you are paying $40-45 a grit which is cheaper than a lot of water stones. That said the vitrified and others we have mentioned are quite expensive that is true :)

thanks for the pride info!
 

kayman67

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A vendor told me that the Nanohone 200 was his favorite coarse as it almost didn't dish and worked faster than average. The "doesn't dish" even comparatively of other coarse, left me doubtful. What would you say?
It's almost impossible to answer this as there was more than one type available, quite different behaviour.
 

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which is the cheapest 2-400 grit vitrified diamond stone (full size)?
also how is the speed compared to plates in the same grit range?

what about scratches? are these deep as plates or more like regular stones?
Probably practical sharpening 400 grit. It is very fast with consistent scratch pattern. Not like plates at all in feel, plates are horrible, these are like synthetic stones. They feel better than some synthetics and worse than others, in the same range though. This Is for vitrified diamond stones, there are cheaper resin diamond stones out there.
 

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