If you’d like to find out more about sharpening your own knives read on ...
Confused about which stones to buy? Here is a quick guide that will help with your choice.
Which grit should I buy?
If you are starting out fresh, we recommend buying 3 stones, a 400 grit, a 1000 or 1200 grit and a 3000 grit stone.
This will be suitable for both Japanese and European knives unless they are severely damaged or extremely worn. For convenience we have packaged up some discounted triple packs here.
Can I skip the 400 grit?
Yes and no. We find the 400 grit an essential tool for correctly setting the bevel. lf you have only recently sharpened your knife we still recommend starting on a 400 even for just a few passes to remove any imperceivable nicks or variations in the cutting edge.
If you want to jump straight onto the 1000 or 1200 grit this will mean a lot longer sharpening time.
Which range of stones should I choose?
Naniwa Super Stones
Naniwa Super Stones are excellent for beginner to intermediate sharpeners. They give superior polish compared to other ranges and they don’t need soaking.
The cutting experience is slower than the other ranges (hence cheaper) and they will wear away more quickly so will need flattening more often. The Naniwa Combo stones are made from the same material as the Super Stones.
Kaiden Ceramic Stones
Kaiden Ceramic Stones are great for anyone who is an experienced sharpener. They are the fastest of all our stone ranges and don’t need to be flattened as often as Super Stones. However, they do need a lot of soaking and constant top ups with water, that and the fact that are more ‘grippy’ than other stones is why we recommend for experienced players. The polish is more of a smoky mirror than bright polish but we feel the quality of the cutting edge produced is superior to all other ranges.
Naniwa PRO Stones
Naniwa PRO Stones are designed for knife sharpening PRO’s but can be used by intermediate sharpeners with a little practice. They are a hard compound with ample grit for faster grinding yet produce a bright polish. Soaking time is only about 10 minutes and they need less water that the Kaiden and need flattening less often that the Super Stones.
What other accessories do I need?
- A stone holder we believe is essential because it stabilizes the stone on the bench and give extra knuckle clearance when sharpening.
- A stone flattener is needed to keep you stones flat as they do dish out from the abrasion of knives against the surface of the stone.
Which accessories are not essential but will enhance my sharpening experience?
- A strop will enhance both the sharpness and edge retention of your knife.
- Nagura stones add extra grit to the surface of your stones as well as clean away any knife steel embedded in the stone surface. They help you sharpen faster and make the knife glide more easily across the stone. Both Naniwa ranges will benefit from using nagura stones.
- A ceramic steel is an excellent tool to have in the top drawer for those times you need a little extra sharpness but don’t have time or inclination to pull out a set of sharpening stones.
Is there anything I should never buy?
- Never buy a clip-on guide or angle guide for your knives. These will ruin your stone and they don’t do a great job of keeping the angle either.