As a beginner/novice, I'm unable to evaluate stone hardness, muddiness, speed, etc. I don't understand what characteristics or properties certain sharpening stones may have, or what that means for the final edge/finish on the knife. So, my question is this: How do you select your stones and grit progression? Based on the core steel, the cladding, accepted wisdom, or something else? I understand the basic ranges (<1k for repairs, 1k-3k for sharpening, 4k+ for polishing), but how do you know when/where to make the jump? Some people go from 1k to 4k, others 1k - 3k - 6k, etc. etc. Some swear by a particular brand, while others mix and match. It's all very confusing looking from the outside in. Here is what I have... Morihei Hishiboshi (1k, 3k, 4k, 6k) Naniwa SuperStone (400, 1k/5k) Takeda Koppa (?k) Most of my knives are blue super, R2, or white 2 wrapped in stainless. What progression should I use for each, if that's a sensible question? Truthfully, I haven't put any j-knife through a full progression because (1) I lack confidence, and (2) it hasn't been necessary (frequent touch-ups). All I know is that I hate the Naniwa 5k (no bite), the Morihei are incredibly soft (without dishing), and the koppa imparts a really nice toothy edge on my Takeda knives, which confuses me because it's supposed to be a high grit finishing stone. Help?