Questions about Naniwa superstones after some reading around here

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Kawa

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Years ago when I started sharpening I had to decide what stones to buy. Soon filtered and went for Naniwa. As I saw it back then, i thought Naniwa had a 'cheap' and a 'premium' line (according to price): superstones and chosera.
I went for the 'cheap superstones' because I didnt know if id like sharpening...
I bought the 220/1000 combo and 2000/5000 combo stone. I sharpened with those for years, but not too many knives (maybe 30-40 in 6 years time...) Only for the last 2 years I started to be more serious. Since Corona my average went up to about 2 knives a week and I guess I'm chasing that rabbit right now that will dive into it's hole... This also led me to subscribing to this forum about 2 weaks ago.

After reading here over multiple topics, I notice the general opinion(s) my questions will be about are mostly:
a) superstones are good for mirror polishing
b) superstones tend to finish on a higher gritt then the number tells you
c) high mirror polish isnt adviced for kitchen knife use. Moslty I read 3/4k max. Unless for yanagiba's and such, which superstones also seem to get related to often.
d) A good edge should be able to shave and be sharp at around 1k

Ok, so where do I start from here...
A long side i bought a chosera 600 and a naniwa professional 400 (obviously to me now one of those wasnt needed), because I wanted to try the 'premium' line, just to test out the difference.
I notice: the chosera/professional are much harder, give a very different feedback (I think its better), the sound is more obvious when Im hitting the right angle... It felt like a better quality stone.
Then I started to read some topics and soon learned that there are just different stones with different hardness, feedback and such, and one isnt better or worse per se.
The thing is, I have nothing to compare my stones to, other then 'low medium gritt chosera/professional' versus 'higher gritt superstones'

Ok, here come some questions:

1) How is the superstone 1000 being reviewed around here?
I never seem to read this one in advices towards new sharpeners...
My review: it is a very soft stone, which gives a very matte finish. But it's slow, I never start a dull knife on this stone, because I find it cant handle mini-chips or flat spots on the apex. It does feel like the turning point between the coarse and fine stones.... The chosera 600 is almost more 'mirror finished' then the superstone 1000, but the scratches are a lot deeper.
But also: I am not able to get my knives shaving sharp on this stone, which made me conclude for the last few weeks I have lots to learn... I'll come back on this later

2) Why am I liking the finish on my kitchen knives (and from relatives) from the superstone 2000 and even better the 5000?
Mostly i read that a too high finished gritt kitchen knife, about more then 4k I read, doesnt have enough teeth to cut all the food in a nice way. Slides too much etc...
I don't seem to have troubles with that on 2k or 5k. For me. For me, without reading too much in the starter years, i experienced: the higher the finish, the sharper the knife.
Ofcourse I did tomato tests. Also on newspaper tests the higher the gritt, the more silenced and smoother it glides through. Where I can't shave at 1k, I can easily shave at 2k, even smoother at 5k. Why is 1k to 2k such a difference for me?

I have made a leather strop which I applied red rouge to (Dialux bar), which in theory shouldn't be able to do much towards hard knives (since its for gold), but it does wonders for me. It makes the knives scary sharp: easily push cut through newspaper, hears popping. This all ofcourse, on the knives I dont fail on 😂
Does this say anything about my sharpening?



Ill stop for now, there are more sub-questions I have. But I'd like to see some input and eye-openers maybe... I'll jump onto the answers when the raise new questions..

Thanks for reading so far, you earned a break now! o_O
 

kayman67

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Starting with softer stones was a plus, in my experience, for anyone.

I'll try to put some things into perspective.

This "high" grit polished edge that's not able to cut anything is a myth. It's just that most people don't have enough practice with them and the edges are changed by sharpening more than grit.

At some point, higher grit stones can deliver shaving edges while lower ones never do. This is because higher grit stones will deal with burr in a more polite manner. This is also a matter of sharpening rather than grit alone. 100 grit of any kind should deliver a shaving edge just fine.
This also transfers into stropping. I know guys that can never get a clean edge without stropping and this even developed into a connection between stropping and the ability to get a clean edge (as in there's no way to have one without the other).

While 400 and 600 are very close numbers, for some applications they behave very differently. But I imagine that you don't have to make new bevels for a lot of different knives and will never benefit from these. Just pick one, sell the other. Maybe replace it with Professional 800.
 

Kawa

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Starting with softer stones was a plus, in my experience, for anyone.

I'll try to put some things into perspective.

This "high" grit polished edge that's not able to cut anything is a myth. It's just that most people don't have enough practice with them and the edges are changed by sharpening more than grit.

At some point, higher grit stones can deliver shaving edges while lower ones never do. This is because higher grit stones will deal with burr in a more polite manner. This is also a matter of sharpening rather than grit alone. 100 grit of any kind should deliver a shaving edge just fine.
This also transfers into stropping. I know guys that can never get a clean edge without stropping and this even developed into a connection between stropping and the ability to get a clean edge (as in there's no way to have one without the other).

While 400 and 600 are very close numbers, for some applications they behave very differently. But I imagine that you don't have to make new bevels for a lot of different knives and will never benefit from these. Just pick one, sell the other. Maybe replace it with Professional 800.
Thx.
So to summarize your view, finishing a knife at a very high grit doesn't have to be a problem for kitchen application, but it takes practise to get it done right.




This brings me close to a question my whole OP should lead to..
I'm more into sharpening knives then i'm into using knives. The wife cooks everyday and uses sharp made cheap knives. She doesn't want to be really carefull and such. Sometimes she calls me while cooking, and she lets me do the vegetables, cause I do enjoy cutting vegetables really fine... Then I take my better knives. I'm taking the knife I feel like using that time and don't care for good cutting technique and such. Not saying I'm chopping cartoonstyle or doing bones and things. I'm carefull, but dont ask me what grip im holding or tell me that Im using the wrong knife for this job...

I'm saying this to nuance my next statement a bit, wich may sound strange or plain wrong:
My goal is to get knives as sharp as possible. That's what I like doing. If that may go against what's best for food prep or practical use, I can live with that. No, I will not thin the knives all the way, because the knives still have to be usable for the silly amateur homecook... I dont sacrifice everything for pure sharpness. But under normal 'sharpening rules' I like to go as high as possible on gritt size...

That's why I'm always watching those 10k or 12k stones, but always thought they were a little expensive, but damn one foot is already stuck in the rabbits hole...
My highest stone is the 5k superstone right now.

Will I be dissapointed when I buy a chosera/Shaptonpro/glass in those finishing range compared to a superstone 5000?
I expect them to mirror finish higher and give me an even smoother edge, because of the gritt number. But will they? Since I read superstones finish really high.

So, how does the finish of a superstone 5000 compare to some other 10k/12k stones?
 
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Kawa

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Perhaps you should try the Superstone 12K?
That is a stone which is on my list for a while...

Not too expensive to give it a try.
I was under the assumption for a while that the superstones are the 'cheaper line' of Naniwa.. Guess this isnt so, but that their usability/goal/target (dunno the exact word im looking for) is just different...

True or not?

Still makes me wonder, why ever buy a 10k Chosera for 240,- while you can have a 12k superstone for 80,-?

What makes them differ, how do they compare?
 

Kawa

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I know its a bookwork of text, but its in there:
I dont care for the optimal usability of kitchen knives. My wife and I can't even be called amateur cooks. We prep food everyday, thats about it.
(just to make an impression, I exaggerate a bit)

I'm more into sharpening then I'm into cooking (or using knives).
The thing I like about sharpening is to get the thing as sharp as possible.

That doesn't mean I want to prep food with stanley knives or scalpels or such...It's all within perspective.
'Take the knife for what it is, a little thinning if needed is fine, and make it as sharp as possible' That is close to my approach... But im describing a feeling here in a language which is not my main. So it's hard to give the right nuance...
 

kayman67

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Why 12k? Just because :D

But, I'd say don't ever buy the 12k, get the 10k Super Stone. I think this has everything you want and does it better.

You might also like Shapton Glass 6k HC and even skip both Super Stones (5+10).
 

Kawa

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Ill check on those, superstone 10k and sigma 13k. Thanks to you both....

I know I am a little bit a toddler in the 'why why why' fase, but you are all grown ups so you can decide if you want to answer or not 😂 😂
It's not that I am stubborn in this way, I just like to know why things are happening or how it works.


Kayman: Why are you suggesting the 10k over a 12k? Price vs performance? Does the 12k finish less then 10k? Could you explain, just because I'm curious?


And I still don't get why a professional/chosera 10k is about 240,- and a superstone in this grit is 80,-.
 

kayman67

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While Chosera 10k performs great, diminishing returns are terrible (I mean more than one would expect anyway).
Very expensive problematic stone, with some serious usage problems (same goes for Kramer 10000, even with the base thing going on). It's just prone to shatter.

At that price point, my choice would be, without thinking twice, one of Suehiro 10k stones.

But these aren't really needed either.

Okay, why SS 10k and not 12k. 10k has a much better balance of performance/behaviour for knives. At least for me. I have all 3 finishers (8, 10, 12).
 

KingShapton

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Unfortunately I can't write much at the moment .. I had surgery on my shoulder and typing on a keyboard still causes pain.

Chosera / Professional is the top line from Naniwa .. and the rest is free market economy. The Chosera are good, but I find every stone from the series overpriced after the 1000!
 

PappaG

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I really can't help you otherwise to say that sometime I too enjoy sharpening more then the knives themselves.
I have two suggestions: If your going to be practical - Master the stones that you have. Then experiment with different stones to your hearts content; OR just buy all the stones you want. That is what many people on this forum do, me included. I will say that jumping to ultra fine stones if probably not the best idea if you are current a novice at sharpening (I pass no judgment on your skill level!).
 

KingShapton

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I will say that jumping to ultra fine stones if probably not the best idea if you are current a novice at sharpening (I pass
Sharpening is a long journey ... the more experienced a sharpener gets, the less he needs high grits ... with enough experience you can get your knives with less high grits scary sharp .... but it takes time ... I'm talking about Years ..
 

KingShapton

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I have to add something:


I understand the desire to get a knife as sharp as possible ... and the approach to using the finest stone with the highest possible grit ... it was the same with me ... and I still do today it every now and then ... just for fun .. and because I also want to use my fine stones every now and then.
 

Benuser

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As long as you're dealing with double-bevelled blades in the Western cuisine, with quite a lot of board contact, going beyond 4k makes no sense, and might even be counterproductive. The Naniwa Pro 3k is equivalent to the Japanese JIS standard of 4k. Hard to get any better.
A finer grit can be useful for deburring in a few difficult cases, and for maintenance, by refreshing an edge. No need for a large high-grit waterstone, though. You may achieve the same with an unexpensive piece of Belgian Blue, Coticule, or Hard Arkansas, as you're not going to polish entire bevels if not entire blades, but only performing a few edge leading strokes.
 

Kawa

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I think a few who replied here get what I'm saying and understand why I'd like to try a higher finish then 5k. Thx for feedback on stone advice. Once I thought 'the sharper, the better'. I truly understand that is not the case. For me, it's a matter of fun, trying and 'why? just because'.. nothing rational

I also want to thank the other side who are warning me for overpolishing and the fact that I could ruin my kitchenknifes performance, I will keep this in mind.
I will not open a topic 'my new high grit stones make my knife perform worse, help!' ;)





Which stones to check on is clear for me now.

I'm still wondering why I don't read that much about the 1k superstone? 'Because there are better ones' might be the obvious answer.... but, why why why ? 😅
 

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OP, as much as I understand your commitment to ultimate sharpness no matter what's good for kitchen, in the end how are you going to enjoy the result if you don't have something to cut with it that it enhances, or don't even know what you could cut that makes a difference going up there. Except straight razors - that could be your thing, though sharpening small blades in my experience is boring.

If not I'd just recommend buying a good, versatile, not too expensive finisher like the Rika 5000. I've had joy using it and had it for so little time. It may surprise you - much better and somewhat way nicer to use than my Shapton Pro 5K... but not only that... it does "scary sharp" even with my still limited skills, and not too many effort involved.

Edit: I especially used it on SS knives so far... I seem to read your wife use a lot of cheap made sharp knives. Probably SS. You could have some fun and have some of her feedback too. Perhaps some of your own knives will fit that bill too. The Rika also made Blue #2 scary sharp but I couldn't verify this with many different blades.
 

ModRQC

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And BTW Naniwa SS are soakers, Naniwa Pro are S n' Gs. Not the same material used nor binder. Professional are also more resistant than the old line Chosera.
 

Kawa

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OP, as much as I understand your commitment to ultimate sharpness no matter what's good for kitchen, in the end how are you going to enjoy the result if you don't have something to cut with it that it enhances, or don't even know what you could cut that makes a difference going up there. Except straight razors - that could be your thing, though sharpening small blades in my experience is boring.

If not I'd just recommend buying a good, versatile, not too expensive finisher like the Rika 5000. I've had joy using it and had it for so little time. It may surprise you - much better and somewhat way nicer to use than my Shapton Pro 5K... but not only that... it does "scary sharp" even with my still limited skills, and not too many effort involved.

Edit: I especially used it on SS knives so far... I seem to read your wife use a lot of cheap made sharp knives. Probably SS. You could have some fun and have some of her feedback too. Perhaps some of your own knives will fit that bill too. The Rika also made Blue #2 scary sharp but I couldn't verify this with many different blades.
Haha, you hit the spot. That's why I sharpen for friends and family more then for myself. I'm running out of knives. The ones of my own stay sharp because I dont use them often.
Yes, the wife uses mostly cheap SS knives, and a Kai Shun office knife. Lately she told me she likes the Kai Shun office knife a little 'less sharp' because it glides through a potato to much while peeling of the skin. From this, I think she means she want the knife with a little toothier edge for more feedback and control while peeling through a wet potato skin...


On the other hand, why do people collect stamps, or other stupid stuff they will never use 🤷‍♂️
 

Qapla'

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Here's another possibility: Since you're in Europe, JNS Matsukusuyama stones could be another alternative.
 

ModRQC

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Haha, you hit the spot. That's why I sharpen for friends and family more then for myself. I'm running out of knives. The ones of my own stay sharp because I dont use them often.
Yes, the wife uses mostly cheap SS knives, and a Kai Shun office knife. Lately she told me she likes the Kai Shun office knife a little 'less sharp' because it glides through a potato to much while peeling of the skin. From this, I think she means she want the knife with a little toothier edge for more feedback and control while peeling through a wet potato skin...


On the other hand, why do people collect stamps, or other stupid stuff they will never use 🤷‍♂️
It is probably for best since I used it on hard SS and I do not believe it'll do much good out of soft. Soft gets scary sharp out of Naniwa Pro 800. VG-10, 13C26 as well as Ginsan were sharpened with the Rika - seems a match made in heaven for hard SS.
 

Unstoppabo

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1 vote for Kitayama as a high grit option. Reportedly finishes somewhere between 8-12k with natural stone particles mixed in so it behaves a bit like a jnat. Very reasonably priced and widely used by smiths in Japan for a reason.
 

Kawa

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Thx, I will investigate the rika 5000 (i'm not formiliar with Rika) and the Kitayama aswell.

I can't keep up with all the Japanese words i'm seeing: smiths, mines, knifebrands, stonenames, knifeparts... o_O 😅

8.37 a.m. long nightshift. off to bed now
 
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