Answering some questions from another thread here but thought I'll make this into a new thread so people could find it easier by the Title. Original Thread: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/s...one-please-tell-me-about-this-mine#post442429 The stone was labeled as a "YAMAICHI SHOHONZAN" but Badgertooth pointed out that it's a Shoboudani which MM sells on his eBay. Link to the stone on MM: http://www.metalmaster-ww.com/product/628 Thanks, buying from MM can feel like a bit of gamble, you get a good price but he usually won't answer any questions and in this case the stone was even mislabeled. Thanks for pointing out what it really is. I pulled the trigger because of your and Asteger's comments. I would guess the hardness to be around 3, it's not very hard and produces mud quite quickly, not as much and quickly as an Aoto but much more than a Suita. It feels coarser than my Suita but definitely finer than my Khao Men so I would guess that it's around 5000 which is great for a low level fine finish. The feeling of sharpening is very nice, for me almost perfect. Smooth but not too muddy, not too soft, not sticky at all, a very nice sound, and a nice earthy smell. It is quite fast. I've test sharpened on my Herder 58 HRC Carbon knife which is probably my easiest to sharpen knife, so that take that in mind looking at my pics. But the stone is definitely faster than a lot of my other stones: After 20 seconds of sharpening: After 2 minutes After 4 minutes: Interestingly, the Shoubudani Tomaes on MMs eBay have three stamps but this one has four stamps. It's this stamp which is missing on his other Shoubus: Perhaps it's for the Namazu (Catfish) pattern. Any idea, anyone?