Right, so my current set up includes a breeze block, some sandpaper, an awful $10 “400/1000” and a “3000/8000” these seem to scratch the bejesus out of everything I put near them, so having finally bought a Japanese knife, it’d be nice to get something better. However not nice enough to pay the $80-$100 per stone for a full progression range ( I’d guess there’s around a 40% mark up here, so the atoma 140 is about $80 and shapton or chosera 1000 grit are about $100) . Alternatively ... there’s the Suehiro stones which are -much - cheaper, or! There are vast numbers of natural stones for sale, the courser ones being both seriously cheap and rustic (most of the reviews where shot by people without indoor plumbing) while the finer stones are a little pricer (still under $25$) and advertised at woodworkers. The difficulty of course is that the grit numbers are pulled entirely out of the air and usually inflated upwards. Chinese can also be a bit vague regarding geology: most stones are only described as being ‘green, striped or white jade’ though agate seems popular in the higher hardness range. Worth a punt you think or better to save the cash for a better Japanese synthetic? I’d like to keep total budget within $150-200. Related questions: what is the difference between the cheaper Naniwa stones and their Chosera line? Many thanks.