(For TL;DR scroll to the bottom. I know not everyone has the time and/or is in the mood to read my ramblings. I've used the search function, as I'm aware this type of question has been posed before, but am left somewhat nonplussed nonetheless. I apologize for grammatical mistakes and typos. English is my third language and as such, if anything I've written appears incoherent, I am not at all offended if, or rather I hope that, you'll point it out, so that I may elaborate on anything that appears unclear) I'll not pretend to have any idea about sharpening beyond the theoretical. I've done a lot of reading and I've got the Playlist from John of Japanese Knive Imports boomarked to rewatch. Because I don't want to ruin my Shirogami #2 or Aogami Super knives (all around 240mm, the Supers at 63 HRC + ) straight away, I've got two banged up old Zwilling (X50CrMoV15 steel) knives, as well as a VG10 petit to practice on - even if I scratch them to hell and back while losing half the blade height, that's alright. Preface: I do not mind soaking time at all. If it needs to take a bath for half an hour (or longer), rather than being splash and go, thats fine. After a lot of reading, I'm stuck with the usual suspects. King, Suehiro Rika / Cerax, Shapton and Naniwa Chosera (I can even get the big round chosera disks here, though I've read that they're closer to the old superstones rather than the new professionals) - this of course is a rather wide range, especially price wise. If I'm mainly looking for utility to euro ratio - utility meaning getting a sharp, tomato skin murdering (carbon steel) knife in a reasonable (doesn't have to be short) amount of time followed by some polishing for a nice finish (with aesthetics and comfort taking an overall backseat so to speak), would I be correct in assuming that the king 1000, which is also produced in a stupidly huge 80mm version, followed by any of the major players' 5000 - 6000 grid stones would do just fine? I am intersted in the stupidly huge king mostly because I assume that I'd probably still have quite a lot of stone left to use after I've retired (for reference: I am currently in my late 20s), so that I might hurl it at my grandchildren if they try to touch my Kiritsuke. For the go to 800-1000 range ("main sharpening") my candidates are currently Cerax 1000 - 205 x 73 x 27 - 45€ King Deluxe 1000 - 230x 100 x !!80!! mm - 60€; But also exists 1/3 of height and slightly smaller overall for just over 20€ Chosera 800 or 1000 210 x 70 x 25 mm ~70€ Is the "premium" (if we're just going by stone size. Though mind you I'm aware that they'll get worn down at differing speeds) of the Cerax or Chosera worth it over the King 1000 (if not, I'll grab the triple size and leave it at that)? Is the Cerax a huge step up over the king, in which case I'd be willing to spend the extra 20? If so, is the Chosera a huge step up over the Cerax, in which case I'd be willing to spend the extra 25? For the 5000 range ("Main polishing and upkeep") the main candidates are currently: King 6000 210 mm x 73 mm x 22 mm at 44€ Rika 5000 205mm x 73mm x 23mm at 55€ Shapton 5000 210mm x 70mm x 15mm - 70€ Chosera 5000 210mm x 70mm x 25mm at 133€ Same concept as above. I am absolutely willing to spend more cash, because I consider this a one time investment. I'm aware that collecting stones and sharpening on many different kinds of stones is a hobby one can "slip into" and enjoy. The people that do have my sincere respect and admiration for their craft, but I know that I'm not the kind of person that's prone to develop such a habit. For this reason, I wish to make a sound investment once, from a pragmatic perspective rather than a perfectionist one, and then never have to "look back with regret" so to speak. Note: For thinning and basic shaping, I'm pretty much set on a 320 / 400 Chosera or Cerax, because I've got really good deals lined up for at least one of them, which is why I'm not asking about that range. TL;DR: Me wants 1000 and 5000 stone. Me pragmatic person with patience. What I buy for not be sad later?