SG320: Quick Comparison/Report

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ModRQC

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OOTBSG320.jpg



“At large” comparison:

  • SG320: true S&G, fast, tidy, precise, slow dishing for grits, good overall feedback, deburrs well with some care. Downside is that it is quite lean, feels a bit blunt, with limited versatility.
…versus:

  • SP320: bit slower and quite softer, feels nicer, correct feedback but would do better being a lighter shade. Downside: likes a short soak, not so precise, loads and dishes a fair deal, messier.

  • NP400: quite slower, a bit softer, feels very nice, good feedback and precision, great versatility. Downside: likes a short soak, loads and dishes some more than SGs so not as tidy neither.

  • SG500: true S&G, quite slower, slow dishing, tidy and precise, nice tactility and excellent feedback, good versatility. Downside: the usual critic that even the DT is not much stone.
Of course a whole lot of coarser stones could be compared here, and I could have added Cerax 320 and 700 that fit the grits/effective speed above as well, but the most interesting comparison to discuss our main contender is among more well-mannered s&g stones that occupy the more well-mannered segment of coarse grits.



IMG_1430.jpg

Aogami #2 dulled from thinning and refinishing...



A bit more about SG320...

Came glazed OOTB as all SPs and SGs I ever encountered so far. A little rubbing it together with Atoma 140 under running water made it pool it normally in no time.

For those who like SG500, but sometimes wish it would be a whole deal faster, SG320 is not only the logical step down to it, but it keeps right in its lane while giving you exactly that kind of speed.

Not that SG320 is such a likeable and versatile stone as SG500. I look at it more as an “expansion pack” of SG500 – keeping SG500’s tidy, simple, straightforward and true S&G demeanor… therefore very possibly the cleanest, most polite similarly fast stone I ever used.


IMG_1431.jpg

After cutting edge bevel, getting primary, and some initial deburring motion... See how little water in the pan, some if it from the wet rag I use to stabilize. One splash (I use a squeeze bottle) and most of the work done. Then another splash came to clean and perform some final deburring.



It sacrifices very little of what is expected to be sacrificed going lower grits: it’s blunter feeling and won’t have anybody proclaim it around like many of us do SG500, but it does its much speedier job in a similar fashion, won’t dish nor load any much, still provides excellent feedback if less of a pleasing one. It’s what I call nicely coarse – something you can also get with SP320 and Cerax 320 for that matter, perhaps even more nicely so, but in a messier, less precise, more demanding kind of way.

A remark I could make in differential appreciative attributes of both SG320 and SG500 is: just use the latter right after the former. You’d be surprise to find that going 320 to 500 in a same lineup of stones is feeling more like 500 grits apart. SG500 feels no coarser than a Cerax 700 at worse, more often like a speedy 1K stone. SG320 feels thrice as coarse if only about twice as fast. Twice SG500 speed is pretty fast for tidiness but the gist of it is SG500 is the wonder child, feeling so greatly behaved and clean for how fast it is. Yet… more a 600-700K stone, easily disputed in speed by the likes of Cerax 1K and SP1K.

SG320 to me is worth its price if you’re equipped enough, not relying on one stone doing it all, but seeking nicely speedy sharpening in monk settings. Like the home user I am, sharing kitchen counter space between preps and sharpening or refinishing knives. Less is more to me indeed – an axiom befitting Shapton Glass stones indeed.

Otherwise my usual suggestion is Cerax stones. A permasoaked Cerax 320, and short soaked Cerax 1K and Cerax 3K/Ouka (you’ll possibly want to perma these also in drier/hotter climates than… aaah… Canada…) are a ridiculous bang for bucks covering all fronts quite well. Say 150$ USD is probably common for full sized units out of any better deal. They all feel nice in use and get the work done on most steel.

God is this post about Cerax at all?

I could expand for hours about it all but... What can I say but that different stones are worth their dime where applicable... Just need to try thrice as more as you need to keep being the least to make sure, as is with knives. And then you're never really sure so just keep buying stuff.

Ok… Anything else I could add would probably be a waste of your time if this hasn’t been already. So… farewell!
 
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SG 320 is one of my favorite stones period. I am literally using it right now. I find that with light pressure I can go right from this to 1000 or even a SG2000 if I am re-establishing an edge on something that’s not too far gone. I absolutely love this stone. Also, I literally already have a SG500 in my cart… haven’t pulled the trigger yet but I just might after reading this. I can personally attest that the 320 and 2000 are fantastic stones for just about every reason. 🔪
 
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I have been slowly cozying up to my SG 320, to the point where I have started to like it a lot.

The idea of someone getting really pleased with the SG 320, while having never tried the SG 500, a stone that hits the sweet spot for just about any sharpener, definitely including me, is really enjoyable. @tylerleach, pull the trigger on that shopping cart. There's like a 0.1% chance that you would regret it, and if you did, it would be really easy to sell.
 

M1k3

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Definitely wanting to try to SG500 but so many people like it I'm afraid if I don't like it I'll be that guy standing outside in the storm.

I do like the SP220 and 320 a lot though :)
It's a great utility stone!
 

kayman67

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This is nice, but the lower Venev are simply better in any way I can imagine. I still can't believe just how slow they dish when they work so well.
 

ModRQC

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Now that does it with these Venev...

Dragon or Pheonix, and what would be a nice duo of these (so four grits total) I could try?
 

cotedupy

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Nice comparison, cheers. I think at some point I might have to try the Cerax - I'm a big fan of them too.

Have you tried the 1.5k? If anything it manages to feel even nicer that the Ouka. Very much recommend.
 

M1k3

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Now that does it with these Venev...

Dragon or Pheonix, and what would be a nice duo of these (so four grits total) I could try?
I'd suggest the Phoenix, unless you intend to sharpen professionally.
 

ModRQC

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We discussed it already but didn’t try it no. Not surprised it would however because to date the 1K is the most impressive I tried overall IF a little aggressive. If anything in line 1500 sounds promising.

But the Ouka is Cerax true gateway and my favorite and most used by far of them all.
 

ModRQC

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I'd suggest the Phoenix, unless you intend to sharpen professionally.

Yeah it's almost as if they don't want to sell it to me. I mean I get marketing, but usually they try to use a tamer way to highlight the higher end. "Fragile" aluminum plate instead of saying "less sturdy and durable"... the diamond layer is "settled" during manufacturing, while the Dragon is glued... Whoa wait, it almost sounds like "we just put it there and hope it sticks... on that fragile plate".

But I seemed to remember that they were considered pretty non-cheap as a cheaper path to get them goodies and most usually advised.

Maniac in me is telling me "buy a coarse dual sided Dragon, and a finer Phoenix". Then the real maniac is saying "What a fag, if you're going to get a Dragon get two or cheap out and keep on poorly reviewing regular synths."

What you're saying helps... but what about if I'm hoping to one day sharpen professionally at home? Nah, just kidding, don't answer this one.

What grits combination sounds ideal to you though?
 

M1k3

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Not sure which would be ideal to me. I bought the 400/800, with the intention of buying the 1200/2000 at a later date. But Gritomatic stopped carrying the 1200/2000 one. And I've been satisfied with stone I have and a balsa strop with 1 micron diamond paste.

I'll probably get the 100/240 next.
 

ModRQC

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A nice progression indeed 100-240-400-800 FEPA covers kitchen edges neatly.

For the fabled high carbide steels 1200-2000 is sure tempting to try also.

I'd be so much more sure of where to go if they made a 400-1200 combo. It seems that to make sure with what's on offer, you really just nailed it with your initial follow-up inclination, and revised next purchase, on top of your first purchase. Three of these are bound to cost me 400$ CAD easily. I'll have to think about THAT.

My quibble being 99% of my preferred steels just don't need diamond to get right. My interest being: what if diamond is what I need to finally wedlock into settlement? On a short enough timeline 400$ I'll joyfully spend on a bunch of synths anyhow. Then again 400$ I might still spend there even after trying Venev.

Obviously, the rest of this needs to be settled silently between me, myself, and a few maniac personalities driving my wallet.
 

ModRQC

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Well looking back onto it I seemed to have completely forgotten they do make a 240-400. That and 800-1200 combo sounds like ringing all my wedding bells quite alright. Thanks for having me actually look at it properly.
 

cotedupy

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We discussed it already but didn’t try it no. Not surprised it would however because to date the 1K is the most impressive I tried overall IF a little aggressive. If anything in line 1500 sounds promising.

But the Ouka is Cerax true gateway and my favorite and most used by far of them all.

Ah yeah I thought we had, but couldn't find where.

But yep - definitely track one down at some point!
 

ModRQC

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Ah yeah I thought we had, but couldn't find where.

But yep - definitely track one down at some point!

Since I've seen it existed it was tempting. Since trying the 1K and you reporting on your liking the 1500 it was foreboding. So it moved on that list... you know the one you don't immediately seek after, but at one point it'll be there with some kind of a deal or a nice way to equalize to a free shipping of a more sought after... aaah... knife-related object, and these being so cheap to start with, I'll find myself well obliged into it.
 
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Nope sorry to disappoint.. I remembered incorrectly. It was Nano hone. They make a QUAD thick 200 grit haha. Or whatever they’re grit rating system is… I have been super super curious about them as well. If anyone here has experience with them let me know what you think…
 

ModRQC

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No you’re not disappointing just a bit off track. Which is normal. Stones offering tend to get much more complicated than knives. Most of these Japanese manufacturers problems being into ill presentation of their offerings in terms of clarity.

There is a double thickness variant of SG500. Most KKF members I believe got it if they were aware of it and righteously led into thinking SG500 was a total hit. Which it is to many extents,

While it may not be so righteous I'd tend to send you towards my review of SG500... I've bolded the most important distinctions between regular and double thick variations. Which double thick BTW my use of "even the DT is not much stone" in OP stands from. The accepted slang of double thick SG500 being indeed "DT".

Finally got hold of this "legendary" stone - it DOES get a lot of love for sure. This is the double thick version.

View attachment 129867

Being thicker this one comes in a clear Shapton Pro plastic case. There's some laminated paper flap like a Shapton Pro would have around the case too, but in this instance all B&W, with sparser instructions and diagrams - in Japanese of course. Not pictured.

View attachment 129869

The glass coating is somewhat frosted and textured. I was afraid the stone would tend to slip a bit on a wet rag, but it didn't. Same backing as the regular version but the model code: regular is 50102.

View attachment 129868

No extra generosity there like you'd tend to find on any Shapton Pro: if you count the adhesive layer (or whatever that white line is) between glass and abrasives out, you get 2 x 5mm - double thick and that's it. Don't know if it's just this one here, or a matter of how they produce the double thick, but you can clearly see a dark line on the sides, going all around the stone, that precisely demarks the additional 5mm.

View attachment 129864

After a full rinse and quick soak, the stone as new still refuses water... "Refuses" an euphemism in this case: the water pockets together in big drops that look like - well I won't say what really comes to mind - gel.

View attachment 129865

After a bit of resurfacing with Atoma 140...

View attachment 129866

And only after some more Atoma work did water finally pool normally. You don't remove much of anything to the thickness of the stone with the Atoma on the short run, or even with quite the effort, but the stone releases abrasives in more Cerax-than-SP akin quantities, although not as copiously and slickly muddy since there's no bonding matrix adding to the mix. Yet its generous slurry isn't prone to drying too fast or otherwise make water management or stone behavior a PITA in polishing. And I mean, not at all - it's quite the opposite.

After that first deglazing you're golden. The stone is S&G alright, and certainly not what I'd call dishy, but it still is a coarser stone that readily releases abrasives. Superbly behaved all the same.

In guise of test and first use for SG500, I had my Mabs out of Sigma 220 using a good deal of pressure just to make sure the SS clad would be scratchy as hell - which it was.

View attachment 129861 View attachment 129862 View attachment 129863

Note that the quadruple thick Nanohone 200 also comes with clear demarking of each additional 5mm layer. So my initial thoughts on the SG500 such demarking line wasn't so off at all.
 

M1k3

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A nice progression indeed 100-240-400-800 FEPA covers kitchen edges neatly.

For the fabled high carbide steels 1200-2000 is sure tempting to try also.

I'd be so much more sure of where to go if they made a 400-1200 combo. It seems that to make sure with what's on offer, you really just nailed it with your initial follow-up inclination, and revised next purchase, on top of your first purchase. Three of these are bound to cost me 400$ CAD easily. I'll have to think about THAT.

My quibble being 99% of my preferred steels just don't need diamond to get right. My interest being: what if diamond is what I need to finally wedlock into settlement? On a short enough timeline 400$ I'll joyfully spend on a bunch of synths anyhow. Then again 400$ I might still spend there even after trying Venev.

Obviously, the rest of this needs to be settled silently between me, myself, and a few maniac personalities driving my wallet.
Let's just say I've used my glass stones less than a handful of times since getting the Venev. The edges it leaves on simple carbon steels AND cheap stainless AND high carbide steels is just that good. To me.
 

mrmoves92

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Nope sorry to disappoint.. I remembered incorrectly. It was Nano hone. They make a QUAD thick 200 grit haha. Or whatever they’re grit rating system is… I have been super super curious about them as well. If anyone here has experience with them let me know what you think…
I have a Nano hone 200, but I don’t have the quad thick one. I love mine. My previous coarse stone was a Gesshin 220 pink brick, and I like the Nano hone 200 much more. The Gesshin 220 dished really quickly, and when thinning with more pressure, it would leave some very coarse and very deep scratches. The Gesshin 220 was a nice coarse stone (especially for the money), but these were my complaints about it. The Nanohone does not dish as quickly, and it leaves a consistent scratch pattern (not deep and not coarser than the grit rating), while working at a similarly fast rate. I do wish that it was thicker. I am about half way through the stone after repairing a large chip, thinning that knife, thinning another knife (Takefu hollow to flat), lightly thinning a knife to remove old deep scratches from the Gesshin 220, and sharpening numerous knives. I might try a Suehiro debado 180/200 or one of the Shapton 220 stones in the future to see if they are better value, but the Nanohone 200 could be the last coarse stone that I try because I like it so much. I hope that this helped.
 

daveb

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And I've been satisfied with stone I have and a balsa strop with 1 micron diamond paste.

Diamond Paste? What is this heresy??? I call for a beating with a loaded strop......


Now about that slut salt. Would that fit into my margarita progression?

:cool:
 

M1k3

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Now about that slut salt. Would that fit into my margarita progression?

:cool:
Probably.

But everyone I know that speaks Swedish seems to avoid answering. Like it's some inside joke. Maybe it's a rare commodity in Sweden? 🤷‍♂️
 
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