|Review by ColonelTravis||posted 01-08-2014 05:52 AM||3752 views||2 times favorited||13 comments|
I had polished three plane blades with this stone for the first time and was putting a little paste wax on them for rust protection with a towel, and on #3 the blade went through the towel into my thumb. HAHAHA! WELCOME TO KITAYAMA KOUNTRY, MORON!
Technically and scientifically, I can’t tell you how well this stone will polish a blade. Practically, I will say it’s damn better than I’ve ever gotten anything in my life – beautiful, death-sharp microbevel that will demand a first aid kit if you’re an idiot like me. The cut I got was not bad enough for stitches. It was probably not far from that severity, but the blade was so sharp it didn’t hurt. Had there not been a towel in the way I’m sure I would have gone to the emergency room. You need to be careful with this stuff but if you’ve gotta cut yourself bad, get a Kitayama and go pain-free! I’ll give it two thumbs up for almost losing your thumb without even knowing it.
A month or so ago I bought a Hock blade, and out of the package that thing could trim arm hair. This stone easily puts on an edge sharper than the Hock factory.
I’ve read people say that the Kitayama 8000 polishes like a 12000 stone. As far as I’m concerned, who cares. When you’re working with wood I’m struggling to see how 12000 benefits a plane or chisel blade over 8000. If that’s the case, great. To me, once you get to a certain stratosphere it becomes pointless. Again, I’m just talking wood. I know knife and straight razor people can be kinda maniacal about this stuff.
I’ve dumped the scary sharp method for:
DMT Dia-Sharp Coarse
Shapton Pro 1000
That’s all I use now, and those three have given me sharpness I never thought I could get. Absolutely outstanding. Scratch that, I’ve got a piece of leather to make a strop but geez – I haven’t bothered to make it yet because the sharpness I’ve got is ridiculous as it is. I can push the blade into paper and slice it with no tearing. With a strop I am guessing the paper would tear itself like magic before the blade even touches it since it knows what’s coming. Actually, the DMT is just to put on the primary bevel, and once that’s down there’s no reason to do it again any time soon. Otherwise it’s a flattening stone.
As for flattening, it’s not as easy to flatten as the Shapton. The vacuum between the DMT and the Kitayama forms very quickly and it’s hard to push the DMT across the entire way. I have to separate the two many times and rinse off the DMT each time. This might be because the DMT grit isn’t the best match for this one, or maybe all polishing stones are like this when flattening, or maybe it’s just a characteristic of this stone. No clue. With the edge I get, I really don’t care because you don’t have to hone the blade very long on it. I did flatten the stone once per blade to make sure I was getting the best edge possible.
The Kitayama is dense and very, very smooth – also cuts fast. I never counted how many strokes it took for a burr but I remember being surprised by how few it took. Comes attached to a wooden base, also comes with a nagura, which I haven’t used because I haven’t felt the need to. You don’t need to soak this stone, it’s a splasher like the Shapton Pros.
Got this stone for $77 at Korin and it says there that the “Kitayama stone contains Magnesium salts that makes it the softest in the market.” I would say “soft” is not the best adjective, it’s very buttery smooth. Since this is my first 8000 stone I have no other polishing stone to compare it to. I got this because of many glowing reviews at CKTG and the price is, as far as I know, impossible to beat for that grit and overall quality. I’ve read a lot of people rave about other polishing stones, I’m sure I’ll try others down the road, and I wish I had the discretionary income to test 3-4 polishing stones alongside this one. As things stand now, the Kitayama fits my needs superbly and I could not recommend it highly enough.
Knife guy on YT made a video review that’s about 15 minutes long if anyone’s interested.