Discussion in 'Sharpening Station' started by Midsummer, Jul 10, 2018.
Get an aizu from Badgertooth. ( Bows low). Lol
No, don't do this. Mine was around 1000 girt, completely useless.
Seems there are mixed feelings about the Aizu. I have four of them, and as I have said in reviews in the past, they are fairly inconsistent in terms of edge refinement from one stone to the next. The whiter stones seem to be different from the green ones and then those that have loads of brown/gold mixed with loads of renge(?) seem to be different still. However, none of mine have been in the 1k range that I can recall.
My softest is probably probably around HS 20 or so (unmarked) and it is chalky in use, cuts fast, leaves the bite from a 1k stone but the refinement of a 3k stone. I think that is here everyone gets hung up and why people try not to put grit ratings on naturals. That edge can be interpreted differently from person to person.
My next hardest (2) are almost identical and are both marked at HS24. These still feel chalky but harder yet cut faster with their loads of black renge(?). Finish on the edge on these is clearly more refined. Still a bite level like a lower grit synthetic, maybe the 1200-1500 rage but the edge feels to perform beyond that, maybe somewhere in the 3-4k range.
The hardest stone is different. It does not cut near as fast and is noticeably finer. Still loads of bite for its refinement level but probably somewhere closer to a 2k in terms of bite and a 4-5k in terms of edge refinement, feel.
Now, all of these seem to bite into my nail closer to mid grit 1-2k stone but you can feel the tactile difference through food of finer or coarser finishes. This is particularly noticeable when doing something like peeling potatoes on the board with a gyuto. You can feel one bite and resist the tough potato skin but melt through the flesh. However, the harder stone leaves an edge that kind of slips through the skin with little resistance but it is still there. In stark contrast to my Yaginoshima suita, which is probably closer to something in the 8-10k range. You get no tactile feedback of any kind when going through the potatoes skin, it is as if there is no skin to begin with. Like a hot knife through butter or slicing through air etc.
That is simply one example and my take on things. As for where to put the stone in a rotation as compared to an Ikarashi, for me that is hard. Why, because I find these stones to be fairly similar. Most of my Ikarashi have been harder yet coarser than my Aizu but not by much. Say my finest Aizu is 3-5k then the finest Ikarashi is 2-4k. But the thing is, practically speaking, the two finish so closely that I would not use both in a progression. Now, my softest Ikarashi was closer to the 1500-2000 mark but even that is about in line with my softest Aizu...I know, I know, we are not talking about running them together but I am trying to get my point across.
Simply put, I agree with Otto, as per usual. I would use it in the 3-5k range to replace a synthetic. Me, I don't normally mix synthetic and natural stones after 1k. I either switch to naturals or stick with synthetic stones. Or I opt to run all synthetic and switch to a natural to finish--sometimes I even step backward from a 6-8k to an Aizu or aoto. Anyway, I find my finer Naka-to to be a good replacement for something like a Rika 5k.
Natural stones, an addiction and a curse, I tell you. Now I am going to sharpen, have fun.
Argh .... All this talk of Aizu now I must have one
Man this is definitely gonna be the next rabbit hole.
Yes it will.
Ugh i hate ikarashis
By coming here you are destined to fall down the hole with the rest of us
You can say that again. I thought I was complete done with naturals for my chisels and now I have an Ohira suita again
When you concider going natural, JNAT is not the only way:
The Khao men is a natural stone, but from Thailand.
It is smooth and nice.
You can get a full size for a fracture af the price af a good JNAT.
I have aproximately 30 naturals.
27 of these are JNATS.
3 are from Aranyik in Thailand.
They are not inferior to the JNAT´s, but the price of these are much lower.
The star of these is Khao men, but I also got 2 binsui´s I also like.
You can read much more in this thread:
Following that thread it seems 'Aranyik.com' is the site to buy these from, but if you try to access the site it just says 'closed due to a death in the family'
OP asked talked about finishes so it's worth mentioning that softer/muddier stones tend to be easier for beginners to leave an even polish on a knife bevel. If you just care about the end finish for less cost, then I might just get sandpaper and fingerstones and call it a day. Takes some elbow grease but doing a shigefusa type polish often does.
It's interesting to see the progression of the "soft" "beginner" stones over time. A few years back Hakka stones were the best, then they got really hard to find and then people found Takashima and then Hideriyama. Now Oochi seems to be a reasonable choice. They tend to be mostly soft stones so it's easier to procure. There are great softer stones from nearly every mine but it may take a bit more work. I've played with some ohira suita as well as tomae-ish stones from shobu, narautaki,, nakayama and okudo that are soft....
I got started down the rabbit hole due in part to nostalgia - the idea that this rock has been in the ground for millions of years and the Japanese have been using them for centuries to sharpen their blades makes it really cool.
There are lots of dimensions on which to evaluate stones spanning performance (grit, hardness, cutting speed, clean-ness), appearance (color, size, completeness of shape), and budget. You'll have to figure out how to prioritize what's important to you.
Then again, if you're just sharpening the edge, Aizu tends to be a good one to start with. Previous posts suggested Oochi or Aizu to start, but bear in mind they are completely different performing and feeling stones.
A good, clean aoto leaves an awesome edge as well. Kinda wish i had my old one back
True, but bench stones are WAAAAAAY more fun. And I know you will agree.
Normaly it‘s easier to access Miles thru the Aranyik Facebook profile. He is very helpful and pretty good at selling stuff, so beware!
But yes, someone of the family seems to have passed away.
Separate names with a comma.