|Review by jayman7||posted 08-19-2011 04:43 AM||5543 views||0 times favorited||9 comments|
I owned a series of King waterstones previously, and while they worked well, they still didn’t perform as I would’ve liked. And that’s in addition to making sure they get a good soaking well before your sharpening session, which makes a huge wet mess.
I’ve seen the Wood Whisperer use these Shapton stones many times before, but I have always hesitated due to the high price tag. It was one of those times where I said “Oh what the heck,” and I bought a set of 1000, 5000, and 8000 grit ceramic stones as a bundle so that they were cheaper than buying them separately.
After a quick lapping to make sure they were perfectly flat, I got to work honing my brand new set of Narex chisels. The 1000 grit was great since it removed a good amount of metal pretty quickly while still leaving a decent shine. I moved up to 5000 and already got a pretty darn good polish which I would’ve been more than happy to use right on the spot. But then I proceeded to use the 8000 and got a perfect mirror . I’ve never been able to achieve that before. You can see it clear as day in the 2nd picture. And it only took a matter of minutes!! Granted, the Narex chisels seemed pretty flat to begin with, and I also didn’t bother flattening the entire back since the first 1/2” or so is the most important as everyone knows. Plus you don’t need to use a nagura stone. I used my brand new Veritas honing jig and polished up the bevel to the same mirror shine. I could pop off the hairs off my hand like I was using a shaver! And it pared through endgrain like butter. I even went on to hone my crappy old Buck Bros chisels and got the same amount of sharpness (of course the edge won’t hold up as well as my new Narex).
They come in plastic cases that were designed as well as the stones themselves. They act as both storage containers and holders while you hone because of the rubber feet on the bottom. They have built-in holes in them so that the water can dry with the case closed. And that brings me to another great feature of the stones; you just spray them with some water and off you go without any presoaking. And the cases were also designed so that they rest perfectly on top of the other cases so they stack securely. Each case as a color that corresponds to a specific grit, making it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Bottomline, don’t be too put off by the pricetag if you can afford it. I recommend just getting the 1000, 5000, and 8000 grits since I don’t think you need anything more or less than that. As a side note, Shapton does make a 30,000 grit stone but that’s ridiculously overkill (plus it costs more than twice my set of stones). I don’t think you could get a better shine than what these waterstones give you. Don’t bother with any diamond plates, sandpaper, or strops. All you need are these three stones for all your sharpening needs. They will last forever in my shop.