All I got for X’mas was some Shaptons, a DMT and a budget ass stone holder for about $240 shipped from Sharpening Supplies. They’ve got a good selection and I considered getting a combo Norton stone and a DMT for $100 less but decided not to settle for 2nd choice.

In detail,

  1. DMT Diasharp 6″ Benchstone, with a 325 Grit rating to level my other stones and do the groundwork/fix chips etc.
  2. Shapton Glass Stone 1000 Grit, as the core stone, the one I’ll use the most.
  3. Shapton Glass Stone 4000 Grit, as my “finisher”. It’s not as fine as I’d like but I chose to stick within a budget and in any case, it’ll still be the bridging stone to higher grits.
  4. Universal Stone Holder. Went for this rather than the $90 Shapton holder because I didn’t want to break the bank. I can see that if I used the stone often enough, this just won’t do but in the short term, it’s totally alright. The reason being the Shaptons are quite low, only 10mm high and there’s only a little clearance when I use this stone holder. Technically, I could still use it just fine if I prop up the stone with say, some card or a thinner plate below it.

I have to say, I am most impressed with Shapton‘s Glass Stones. First off, the packaging is really nice. It’s this black paper box that has a very nice texture and feel and it looks good. The freakin’ box for the sharpening stone. It works like a drawer or a sheathe and you pull out the stone from the cover. The stone itself is stunning. One side is white and that’s the sharpening side. The other side is frosted glass below which is printed the grits and branding and stuff. If you’re like me and you just wanna have good looking stuff, even fucking sharpening stones, Shapton is the only way to go. I’ve read on various online fora that a lot of people thought the attractive side was the sharpening side and tried to grind metal on glass to not much effect.

Of course, I didn’t buy them just because they looked good. Shapton’s got a really good rep. One big plus of the Glasstone is it’s supposed to be fast cutting and easy to use. I would say with my limited experience using some shitty Chinese stones and a combo King 1000/6000 stone, these are my favorites for sure. I definitely managed to get a sharper edge on my knives than before. Another great thing is how they’re just splash and go. You don’t have to soak, wait or whatever. Just get cranking. The swarf also builds fast and quickly plus you don’t really need to apply excessive pressure either, just let the stone do the business. Even though the useable size of the stone is about 5mm, it’s supposed to wear slowly and last pretty long unless you’re a pro sharpener. We’ll see in the future.

I think I’m sold on Shapton. I wasn’t sure because there’s really no way to tell unless you get to try it out but yea, I’m definitely gonna get a complete set this time next year, the holder, the pond, an 8000 grit and a 16000 grit plus the bloody diamond lapping plate. I like how it’s a complete, well designed system and how well it works plus how great they look. Seriously. You could put them on your coffee table. They look like Pantone color swatches.

The DMT works OK as a lapping plate but it sticks to the stone basically so it isn’t ideal in the slightest. It’s also really rough so it’s really for fix ups. Speaking of which, I just dropped my knife on the floor and it chipped in a few places plus the tip’s even slightly dented. That even happened the day after I took the knife to the new stones. I was swearing a lot.

Anyway, with the new Shaptons, I just refined my new Tojiro ITK and can say I got it almost scary sharp everywhere. Practice makes perfect!

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