Questions about Naniwa superstones after some reading around here

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Garm

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Rika is the nickname for Suehiro Cerax 5K.
The Rika was actually available long before the Cerax line came along. The Cerax 5k may well be a renamed or rebranded Rika, I wouldn't know.
Great stone though!
 
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Michi

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Rika is the nickname for Suehiro Cerax 5K.
I'm not sure that's correct. Suehiro offer the 5000-grit Cerax and the 5000-grit Rika. The Rika has a softer feel. They are not the same stone.

I have the Rika 5000, and really like it. But I suspect that the Cerax will work just as well.
 

KingShapton

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Rika is the nickname for Suehiro Cerax 5K.
That is not correct. Rika 5000 belongs to the suehiro traditional line, like the Ouka 3000 and the Shiramine 6000.

The Suehiro Cerax 5000 (5050) is a different stone.
 

ModRQC

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Agreed. On their website you’ll find it under Professional Whetstones - Finishing Whetstones.
 

ModRQC

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Sorry OP.

On Suehiro’s website the actual Cerax 5K is described as one that had gained a lot of traction among professionals. That and my vendor putting all of the stones under the Cerax name put me off track.

And about the actual, true Rika, it tends to come with a base that I think sucks very much. It’s cheap, slippery, and hard to integrate with the usual stone holder. I had seen on Amazon that the Rika is supposedly also sold without the base. I thought that was the Cerax as on the website. I wouldn’t know if the standalone version exists, and if it is truly without base at all or just have a plastic plate like the Cerax. If you go for it I advise trying to find the Rika without the base.
 

Kawa

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No problem ModRQC.
I appreciate all the help, advice and input.
It makes the world bigger for me without loosing too much focus or getting lost over all the new stuff that comes by 👍
 

esoo

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Sorry OP.

On Suehiro’s website the actual Cerax 5K is described as one that had gained a lot of traction among professionals. That and my vendor putting all of the stones under the Cerax name put me off track.

And about the actual, true Rika, it tends to come with a base that I think sucks very much. It’s cheap, slippery, and hard to integrate with the usual stone holder. I had seen on Amazon that the Rika is supposedly also sold without the base. I thought that was the Cerax as on the website. I wouldn’t know if the standalone version exists, and if it is truly without base at all or just have a plastic plate like the Cerax. If you go for it I advise trying to find the Rika without the base.
Rika without Base - Suehiro PN 5000-DN. Readily available on Amazon - the one I got matches the picture from the Suehiro website perfectly.
 

mpier

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I agree with both the Rika and the Kitayama and I would throw in the Chosera 3000k because imo it’s still the best mid grit stone
 

ModRQC

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Rika without Base - Suehiro PN 5000-DN. Readily available on Amazon - the one I got matches the picture from the Suehiro website perfectly.
All white surface too for the single stone, no inscription? And does it have a plastic plate or is it truly just the stone?

In my case the Rika with base was on a deal I couldn't refuse. But I hate the base.
 

esoo

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All white surface too for the single stone, no inscription? And does it have a plastic plate or is it truly just the stone?

In my case the Rika with base was on a deal I couldn't refuse. But I hate the base.
All slightly off white, no inscription with the writing on the cellophane around the stone just as Suehiro says it would be. No Base. Picture matches the Suehiro website. Came with the nagura. Puts a wicked edge on anything I've tried it on. At this point, I've no reason to not believe I didn't get something authentic.
 

ModRQC

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Oh I'm sure you did, and I have no reason neither to doubt about mine - box, stone, papers and waxed sheet top are all authentic and as per what I could see from the website and reliable vendors.

I was wary however what it would be ordering from Amazon back then. Chose another vendor instead for the deal on the stone with base - came less expensive in the end, even saved PST. Just hate the base.
 

Kawa

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I'm noticing that the world of stones is a tricky world, especially on amazon/ebay.

If I decide to buy, Im ordering from a European vendor, who has a normal '2020 style' webshop (not the kind of 1995 windows 95 websites...).
But there arent many.
Knivesandtools.nl (.com) dont have Suehiro (5000) or Kitayama.
Meesterslijpers.nl neither...

There aren't many google hits for this subject... seems like a small world. Lo'ts of brandless stones or stones from knifemakers (Kai, Wusthof).. Im not willing to try those.

Gladly I found some vendors in Germany via old topics...

- Maksim (JNS.com / Denmark)
- Cleancut (Sweden)
- feinewerkzeuge.de (Dieter Schmid / Germany)
- Dictum



Anyone who has anything to add maybe?
Advice for or advice against one of those vendors?
 

Garm

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I'm noticing that the world of stones is a tricky world, especially on amazon/ebay.

If I decide to buy, Im ordering from a European vendor, who has a normal '2020 style' webshop (not the kind of 1995 windows 95 websites...).
But there arent many.
Knivesandtools.nl (.com) dont have Suehiro (5000) or Kitayama.
Meesterslijpers.nl neither...

There aren't many google hits for this subject... seems like a small world. Lo'ts of brandless stones or stones from knifemakers (Kai, Wusthof).. Im not willing to try those.

Gladly I found some vendors in Germany via old topics...

- Maksim (JNS.com / Denmark)
- Cleancut (Sweden)
- feinewerkzeuge.de (Dieter Schmid / Germany)
- Dictum



Anyone who has anything to add maybe?
Advice for or advice against one of those vendors?
I've had good experiences with JNS, Cleancut and feinewerkseuge.
The latter added a few packs of gummy bears with my order so all the extra dopamine release made me kinda love Dieter, while I simply like the others.
 

KingShapton

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Gladly I found some vendors in Germany via old topics...

- Maksim (JNS.com / Denmark)
- Cleancut (Sweden)
- feinewerkzeuge.de (Dieter Schmid / Germany)
- Dictum



Anyone who has anything to add maybe?
Advice for or advice against one of those vendors?
The listed vendors are all good.

If you are looking for a European vendor to buy a Kitayama, take a look at japan-messer-shop.de. But the Kitayama will be more expensive there than if you order it from japan on ebay...
 

Luftmensch

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I'll start by acknowledging you are enjoying the process of sharpening. Thats great! To that end, do what makes you happy.

I'll echo the comment that sharpening above ~4K is not necessary for kitchen knives. It is just a case of diminishing returns. A high grit edge will be taken back down a notch after every contact with the cutting board. In only a few contacts you will be back to something like a 4K finish. That is why people here generally dont bother. But if you enjoy the process of sharpening... sure... chase after it.

I have said this in the past. I'll say it again. Abrasives companies manufacture stones for different target markets. Naturally KKF tends to gravitate towards stones that are 'better' for kitchen knives. In the end all stones are just abrasives in some binding medium - so you can use any stone but may find some aspects of the stone suboptimal. And this brings us to the Naniwa Super Stones.

I use them for razors (1k, 5k, 8k, 12k). From memory, they cut well when fresh but clog up very quickly. They can also feel 'gummy' - I think this is because they have a resin binding medium, not a ceramic one? As a result they don't self-slurry particularly well. Perhaps this is part of the mechanism that provides a high polish? Without refreshing the surface, perhaps at some point they start to burnish rather than cut? Anyway, if you are finding your super stone slow, try refreshing the surface more often. Since the super stones are soft and load up quickly, I dont think they are as nice to use as other stones for kitchen knives. But you can still use them!


I'm noticing that the world of stones is a tricky world, especially on amazon/ebay.
Yes and no...

If you follow the "learn to use the tools you have" paradigm it is easy. Choose the grit you need from a reliable brand like Naniwa or Shapton. If you want to support local business buy it from a nearby store or go the other route and find the lowest price online.

It is difficult if you want to find the 'best' stone. It doesn't exist. The discussion is based on preference and perceived value which differs for everyone. You could end up with 50 stones trying to find the 'best' one. And if that is your hobby... there is nothing wrong with that either!


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.
I hate to say it... but most likely; yes. To me, the jump from blunt to a 2-4K edge is perceptually far far greater than the jump from a 2-4K edge to a 20K edge. As you go higher and higher.... our ability to detect the difference drops off. Unless you do objective tests with something like a Bess tester, it is hard to definitively say you got the best out of your 12k stone.
 

KingShapton

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It is difficult if you want to find the 'best' stone. It doesn't exist. The discussion is based on preference and perceived value which differs for everyone. You could end up with 50 stones trying to find the 'best' one. And if that is your hobby... there is nothing wrong with that either!
Totally agree!!!!!!
 

Kawa

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I'll start by acknowledging you are enjoying the process of sharpening. Thats great! To that end, do what makes you happy.

I'll echo the comment that sharpening above ~4K is not necessary for kitchen knives. It is just a case of diminishing returns. A high grit edge will be taken back down a notch after every contact with the cutting board. In only a few contacts you will be back to something like a 4K finish. That is why people here generally dont bother. But if you enjoy the process of sharpening... sure... chase after it.

I have said this in the past. I'll say it again. Abrasives companies manufacture stones for different target markets. Naturally KKF tends to gravitate towards stones that are 'better' for kitchen knives. In the end all stones are just abrasives in some binding medium - so you can use any stone but may find some aspects of the stone suboptimal. And this brings us to the Naniwa Super Stones.

I use them for razors (1k, 5k, 8k, 12k). From memory, they cut well when fresh but clog up very quickly. They can also feel 'gummy' - I think this is because they have a resin binding medium, not a ceramic one? As a result they don't self-slurry particularly well. Perhaps this is part of the mechanism that provides a high polish? Without refreshing the surface, perhaps at some point they start to burnish rather than cut? Anyway, if you are finding your super stone slow, try refreshing the surface more often. Since the super stones are soft and load up quickly, I dont think they are as nice to use as other stones for kitchen knives. But you can still use them!




Yes and no...

If you follow the "learn to use the tools you have" paradigm it is easy. Choose the grit you need from a reliable brand like Naniwa or Shapton. If you want to support local business buy it from a nearby store or go the other route and find the lowest price online.

It is difficult if you want to find the 'best' stone. It doesn't exist. The discussion is based on preference and perceived value which differs for everyone. You could end up with 50 stones trying to find the 'best' one. And if that is your hobby... there is nothing wrong with that either!




I hate to say it... but most likely; yes. To me, the jump from blunt to a 2-4K edge is perceptually far far greater than the jump from a 2-4K edge to a 20K edge. As you go higher and higher.... our ability to detect the difference drops off. Unless you do objective tests with something like a Bess tester, it is hard to definitively say you got the best out of your 12k stone.

First, thank you for your thorough answer.

To be honest, what you tell here is exactly the conclusion I made for myself after reading all the answers I was given. And I knew it before. The rational angel on my shoulder is telling me that I shouldn't buy a new stone, since I have a complete range to sharpen kitchen knives till max usability. I never thought or will think that a new stone is what makes my sharpening better.
That emotional child on my other shoulder is yelling 'yeah but, its fun to go higher / so what its of no practical use / buy a new knife aswell, its fun'
To learn (and accept) the finish my stones give my knives is a good addition for that angel side of the story. I shouldn't approach it to 'autistic', meaning gritt size is an indication and not a law about the actual shininess... If I want or need a result in between what I have now, I can look for some other stones to try, but hey I really dont need it. My stones do the job fine. It's me who is the restriction at this moment.

What you experience with the higher SS is exactly how I feel them, even though I have no actual comparisation to make.
I read a lot that the more soft stones give a slurry/mud. I wondered why my 2k and 5k SS feel very soft to me, but I dont get an actual mud. I thought I rinsed too much in between. But I guess the same rule applies here: accept the fact what the stones do and use that. No slurry, so what?
Yes, they get loaded with metal very fast. It's almost as if you color them with grey. I start with a fresh surface every knife, but I guess I should start to lap in between knifes if needed too -never done this so far, flattening/lapping is for after a knife!-. At some some point I'm starting to shave the loaded metal off the stone, which means I go way too long... See and handle, dont ignore what the facts tell you....
Also the gummy feeling I recognize. Sometimes the words 'plastic feeling' pop up in my head. Not a problem for me, just something I notice

About the SS being 'too slow'.
I'm not experiencing it as a problem. Also, I cant relate to other high gritt stones.
The slow part for me was more towards the 1000 gritt. The general opinion on this side is that a 1k should be enough to do the more better touch ups, simple repairs and so on. I feel like I want to start all my knive on atleast my 400 or 600 chosera. The 1000 SS isnt able (in my hands) to realy set or refresh the whole bevel...



More generally, I know my sharpening isnt on the best level yet. I get my knives sharp, the better ones scary sharp. But for me on a 1k gritt stone, I obviously see with a loupe whats wrong with the edge (not completely flat all over the edge), but I'm not always able to make it better.
I'm not on the level that I can hit the disired angle I want to with 100% certainty every time. Everytime I take the knife of the stone for a loupe vision, there is a chance I hit the angle a little flat or high. So I stay in this circle forever: grind, watch, adjust, watch, adjust, watch, adjust... Im not talking about an actual angle difference in a 'microbevel' way, but I see in the light that it's sliiiiightly off at some milimeter parts of the edge. Keeping adjusting the last milimeter makes a burr on the other side eventually, and so the circle continues 😂
Everytime i put a knife back on the stone, I start too flat and raise the spine till the knife bites, go a ienie mini tiny pinch back and thats my angle. I still estimate it wrong sometimes. Guys, I know this is practise and im totally fine with that.
 

mpier

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What helped me out at the beginning was finding my angle on a wood cutting board first. When it starts to shave the board drop it ever so slightly and use your thumb or pointer finger as a guide depending on which side of the knife your on, even before you switch side or stones test it again. If you are keeping a consistent angle your thumb or finger will lightly touch the stone on every pass.
 

inferno

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i have the ss12k. its the defacto standard finisher for razors. for a good reason.

its a bit slower than the shapton pro 12k.
it clogs faster than the pro (still cuts though)
it polishes slightly better than the pro.
it makes knives truly scary sharp. i mean like you get a bit intimidated when handling them because you know what could very easily happen.
 
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