Want to get into Natural stones

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Dear fellow knife enthusiasts.

I've been lurking on this forum for quite a while, and while doing so my knowledge on knifes, stones etc. has increased exponentially - So thanks!

I very recently bought 2 new knives - one for fun (Dao Vua Chinese cleaver) and a Munetoshi Guyotu 240mm kurouchi - and very soon i will be going to a forgeing class to try my hands at making my own knife thanks to my wife giving me this as 40th birthday present. Other knives i have worth mentioning are a Santoku Yaxell Super Gou (SG2) and a Miyabi (vg10 petty).

My sharpening setup is consisting of two combi stones from KAI (400/1000) & (3000/6000). With that combination i seem to be able to get to a level where i can pushcut newspaper, shave and even cut some food once in a while :cool: - I LOVE a knife that just glides thru newspaper without any resistance at all.

I'm the kind of person that currently try suggest dinners that makes for the highest amount of cutting needed - so vegetable Wok is often on the menu due to that! :)

I must admit that i am completely lost when it comes to Japanese stones, their names and all that - i guess having a bad memory is part of that. And in general i feel that going Japanese might be too costly for me at this stage. So instead i have been looking into the T-nats from Aranyik, and since the shipping costs a fortune i plan on getting a larger selection of stones and then give the ones away that i don't like to friends and family.

And basically what i am asking here is - Would it make more sense for me to spend my money around (350 usd) on 1 great japanese stone, or 20kg mixed bag of Binsui and Khao Men stones from Thailand? The guy from Aranyik - Miles have been super helpful so far, so i am very much inclined to go that way. I also have to say that what I am mostly looking for is a "splash and go" touchup stone that can permanently sit on my kitchen counter for a few swipes here and there. And i was hoping that a Khao Men could do that for me...

Together with this rather long story is that i am currently situated in Switzerland and soon moving back to Denmark - if that makes any difference on reccomendations...

Anyhow - Basically i hope someone out there can give some advice on if it would be a completly crap idea to get the Thai stone or not :)

Thanks a bunch for your input

/Mads
 

KingShapton

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Together with this rather long story is that i am currently situated in Switzerland and soon moving back to Denmark - if that makes any difference on reccomendations...
If you move to Denmark soon ... it would be an idea to ask Maxim from japanesenaturalstones for a suitable J-Nat. It is in Denmark, so the shipping costs will be very low.
 

childermass

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Although I know that Miles is a great guy and an even better salesman 😉 I wouldn’t go the Thai stone road as a beginner in natural stones. The Thai Binsui are really hard stones and not easy to use. The Kao men on the other hand is a very nice stone and could easily act as a touchup stone in your kitchen it is a pretty messy stone though so I wouldn’t be happy with using it on my kitchen counter.
Maybe some fast and not too fine japanese stone will be better for this task. As a cliche I would say Aizu might fit the bill without being too expensive. Other options might be a fast Suita regardless of the mine or a coarser specimen of any other finisher although those will most likely be muddier than the Aizu or Suita.

The tip to talk to Maxim or even pay a visit to him is good advice although you could maybe find some more cost effective alternatives.
 

Elliot

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Definitely the one good JNat, but I would argue that with that money, you could probably get two. I would recommend a relatively small, but bench sized Aizu (what I always recommend as a first stone) and then perhaps you may have enough cash left for a Koppa "finisher" or a less expensive finisher like a Shobu.

But, beyond all that, your first move is to message @Badgertooth for help. He's not in Europe, but whatever little bit I know about stones started with picking his over-sized brain. There are others on our forum who can also help (and save you heaps of cheddar), but I started with Otto and am thankful that I did.

Lastly, the heroin comments aren't inaccurate. Be afraid.
 

da_mich*

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Hello Mads,
if you live in Swiss you can buy in a German shop called "Japan-Messer-Shop". They have great stones for a good price. A few weeks ago I bought an Awasedo Mizukihara. It's a very very great finishing stone for knives and tools. The price is ~140€ for a full size stone.
 

GoodMagic

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The only really useful natural I have are medium grits: Aizu from Watanabe and red aoto from Maksim. I have lots of others, most more expensive, just collecting dust. I wouldn’t recommend any, but if I had to choose, Aizu is the only natural I would buy again.
 

Unstoppabo

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I got a Khao Men and Thai Binsui from Miles a few years back and it's cool having two giant stones but my Binsui isn't very beginner friendly. Low grit naturals are kind of a waste IMHO and you're better sticking to synthetics below 2-3k. I think the Khao Men is a great intro to natural stones because it behaves a lot like softer beginner jnat (like a hideryama, takashima, hakka) but isn't quite as fine. Mine starts in the mid-grit category around 3-4k but you can get it to finish finer by working the mud. It leaves a good toothy edge on double bevel knives and also a nice kasumi finish but it's a bit slow.

Team mid-grit is well represented on this post and I'm finishing most of my edges on an Aizu these days too, but the stone is quite different from other jnat's so you might be missing out on the full jnat experience if you go with one of those. I'd say get a Khao Men to start and keep an eye on the BST here for a reasonably priced suita, which should be a bit finer, harder and faster than the Khao Men. BST seems a bit slow these days but that's where I've gotten most of my favorite stones.

Natural stones can definitely be very bad for your wallet but if you can, start with one stone, figure out how to use it, share with KKF, figure out what you want to try next. No need to rush out and buy a full set or start a collection day 1.
 
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Thank's everyone for all the very useful input! Much appreciated.

I get the message about that it can be heavy on the wallet getting into this, and that is fine - It was the same getting into full frame DSLR's and their corresponding lenses...Total overkill for me and my skills, but I have not had any regrets there.

I find the
Awasedo Mizukihara
which you mention here very interresting both from a price point, but also for what i am really looking for. What do you guys think about a combination of this with say a Naniwa Chosera 3000? Then keep my two rough stones for the crappy knives that friends bring in to get sharpened :)

A quick additional question - A natural stone like this Mizukihara, it is 28mm thick. Would that be a stone that last a lifetime or would i need to get a new in 5 years? (not running a professional sharpening service here - but as an enthusiast sharpening 3-4 times a week).

Thanks again everyone chipping in! This is very exciting for me! :)
 

Marcelo Amaral

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I'm also in favor of choosing one good jnat. My advice is to choose something softer, lvl 2 up to lvl 3 for a first jnat.
JNS has some smaller Hakka Koppas that are not expensive and should help figuring jnats out.
 
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I'm also in favor of choosing one good jnat. My advice is to choose something softer, lvl 2 up to lvl 3 for a first jnat.
JNS has some smaller Hakka Koppas that are not expensive and should help figuring jnats out.
I did look at those kinds also - but with 240mm Guyto I think I would get annoyed with the small stones - and it seems that getting a big one will cost way too much.. (all is relative of course..)
 

Kawa

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Interesting topic...
Could have been me asking this question in a short while 😇😂

Look like you are one step ahead: made up your mind that you will start on JNAT...
I havent decided yet if I really want to go there.... rational vs emotional (no judgement)
I want too much new stuff, but mostly I want to become a better sharpener. But I dont need anything for that, damnit 😂 😂 😂
 

KingShapton

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I havent decided yet if I really want to go there.... rational vs emotional (no judgement)
If I can give you advice ?! Take one step at a time ... synthetic stones are easier than J-Nats .... and the time for J-Nats or other natural stones is coming anyway ... enjoy the journey and take the time you need. Master one stone at a time, it takes time, but it's worth it !!
 

da_mich*

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Thank's everyone for all the very useful input! Much appreciated.

I get the message about that it can be heavy on the wallet getting into this, and that is fine - It was the same getting into full frame DSLR's and their corresponding lenses...Total overkill for me and my skills, but I have not had any regrets there.

I find the
which you mention here very interresting both from a price point, but also for what i am really looking for. What do you guys think about a combination of this with say a Naniwa Chosera 3000? Then keep my two rough stones for the crappy knives that friends bring in to get sharpened :)

A quick additional question - A natural stone like this Mizukihara, it is 28mm thick. Would that be a stone that last a lifetime or would i need to get a new in 5 years? (not running a professional sharpening service here - but as an enthusiast sharpening 3-4 times a week).

Thanks again everyone chipping in! This is very exciting for me! :)
I use my Mizukihara after my Chosera 3k, 4k Offspec Naniwa or my Suehiro Rika 5k. The 28mm is not a stone for lifetime, it´s a stone for 3 times lifetime. To produce a nice slurry with the stone a Nagura or Diamond plate is needed. Most time i use a #400 or #1200 Atoma diamond plate. The #400 diamond plate is great for flattening too.
The Mizukihara from this shop is very big and sealed. The price of ~150€ is very good too.
 
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Btw, I loved you in Hannibal and The Hunt.
I think the name is a nice coincidence unless Mads has waited 14 years to claim his birthday gift 😊

Hehe - Yeah, not the first time I have heard this :) I've gotten fan mail in the post, got called up by a live radio show etc.. Best thing though, is getting the best seat in the restaurant when I book ahead in my name - They probably don't think its the actor...but why take the chance?...so they always reserve the best table :)

Anyhow - you guys have convinced me to stay away from the T-Nats (for now!) and I will go with a Awasedo Mizukihara Toishi stone. Now the question... Can any of you guys tell which stone is the best one out of the 5 different ones listed here? I know which one I think "looks" best... But that does probably not mean it will be the best stone... If I were to choose I would go with the MZ122 one - just based on I think it looks cool..

Would love your input! Thanks again everyone for chipping in here!
 
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I would take the MZ122 because the color is very evenly. And you remember you need a Nagura or diamond plate for the slurry.
Done :) So... Diamond plate, or Tsushima Nagura or both? I realize I can do with one or the other - but is there an advantage to either one? (guessing diamond plate is best for flattening, but if the stone doesn't dish much it's maybe overkilling unless I want to use it on my other stones too... As you can hear I'm clueless here. o_O

(Now I can't wait to get my stone!! :p).

Thanks,
Mads
 

Olsen

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Hej Mads.

Welcome to the fascinating world of Jnats. As others have pointed out it is dangerous to start with Jnats. Soon you will have a cupboard only for stones :)

It would, in theory, be possible only to settle with one or two Jnats and be satisfied and it does not have to cost you (much) more than having a set of medium/fine synthetics. Especially if you purchase koppa sized stones. Unfortunately that is not possible as the fundamental forces guiding the delicate clockwork of The Universe does not allow such extreme violations of the basic physical laws. Sorry about that 🤪

Regarding the size of a stone 2.8 cm will last you many life times. Even 1 cm is enough. Do not worry.

I would also be inclined to choose a stone by the looks and many of the (very) expensive stones are also very nice looking but actually for sharpening/honing power/qualites etc. the only way to know is to test the stone for yourself.
 

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Olsen

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Done :) So... Diamond plate, or Tsushima Nagura or both? I realize I can do with one or the other - but is there an advantage to either one? (guessing diamond plate is best for flattening, but if the stone doesn't dish much it's maybe overkilling unless I want to use it on my other stones too... As you can hear I'm clueless here. o_O

(Now I can't wait to get my stone!! :p).

Thanks,
Mads
I would choose an Atoma 140 every day for flattening purposes. The tsushima nagura works fine as a slurry stone (if you mean the small size and the full size stone🙂)
 

da_mich*

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I would choose an Atoma 140 every day for flattening purposes. The tsushima nagura works fine as a slurry stone (if you mean the small size and the full size stone🙂)
I love Atoma stones too. I have three of them #140, #400, #1200. The #400 is a good all-round stone.
The only disadvantage of diamond plates is the lifetime. After one or two years you must replace them.
 

Olsen

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I love Atoma stones too. I have three of them #140, #400, #1200. The #400 is a good all-round stone.
The only disadvantage of diamond plates is the lifetime. After one or two years you must replace them.
My Atoma 140 is 5-6 years old and still functions well. I do not flatten that often though.
 

da_mich*

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My Atoma 140 is 5-6 years old and still functions well. I do not flatten that often though.
I use them min 1x|week. I need100% flat stones for tools and single bevel knives. My #400 was done after two years and the #1200 after 2.5 years. The #140 is only 2 months old now. I used them always with low pressure
 

danemonji

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Why do you want a jnat? What would you use if for?
The best dictionary for understanding types of japanes stones , is this:
Reading this blog, you will understand what the fancy names mean: that a stone came from a specific mine( ohira, ozuku, nakayama), a specific strata( tomae, suita...) that it has a certain colour( asagi, kiita, habutae) and visual patterns( karasu, Nashiji...etc).
It will also help you read through the BS of some retailers who sell some basic stones for a lot of money just because they have a specific colour or pattern which never helps with sharpening ( unless you want to frame the stone and use it as a decoration in your home).
 
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childermass

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You should definitely get something to keep your stones flat and an Atoma is perfect for that. You can use it on any stone you have including the synthetics.

For a Nagura to complement the Mizukihara a Tsushima is not a badidea as it will be a little coarser than the stone itself. If you haven’t made a purchase already, the site should have some fine grit Nagura as well so it might be worth to try one of those too.
 
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