Polishing grit - 6000 vs 8000 grit

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Forum topic by paxorion posted 12-06-2015 03:58 PM 1898 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1107 posts in 2038 days

12-06-2015 03:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question sharpening

I currently use a mix of water and diamond stones for sharpening. DMT Dia-Sharp (extra-coarse ~ 220grit and extra-fine ~1200 grit) and 2 King waterstones (1000 and 6000 grit). I am curious if I am missing out by not finishing with 8000 grits rather than 6000 grit (I bought the 6000 rather than 8000 because of the $40+ cost difference at Woodcraft).

Without a frame or reference, I am curious if it makes sense to invest in an 8000 grit waterstone? I’m curious because I am planning on investing in more high end joinery planes from either Lie-Nielsen or Veritas and am curious how much of a difference finishing at 6000 to 8000 grit would make. As far as I can, most arguments for finishing at higher grits is for polishing which promotes edge retention?

PS: I’ve already considered honing compounds and my question is NOT about adding honing compounds into the regiment.

-- paxorion

8 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile


3050 posts in 2250 days

#1 posted 12-06-2015 11:09 PM

Hey, Pax, I can’t say whether you are missing out or not, but I went to the LN event at CP Johnson’s and they were recommending this 1000/8000 stone. However, if I were in the market I would go for the Shapton stones. :)

-- Art

View Loren's profile


10371 posts in 3641 days

#2 posted 12-06-2015 11:30 PM

I believe, based on experience with water stones,
that they cut the same but a fine iron sharpened
to a finer level of polish will hold its edge longer.

In this way, if you get really good at sharpening,
an 8000 grit polish can save the artisan some
time. As a practical matter you may want to
consider that modern honing guides permit
hard pressure not usable when sharpening by
hand in the traditional manner. Japan irons are
about 1/4” thick and it is comparably easy
to balance the bevel on the stone and a micro-bevel
is seldom used. With thinner western style irons
balancing the bevel is a lot trickier and the use
of a guide becomes even more sensible. Guides
that ride on the stone result in uneven stone
wear. Unfortunately not many guides that do
not ride the stone are available.

View TheFridge's profile


9435 posts in 1479 days

#3 posted 12-06-2015 11:43 PM

Do what you want. An 8000g stone isn’t a strop and will never be.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Julian's profile


1325 posts in 2683 days

#4 posted 12-07-2015 01:41 AM

I doubt you would see any difference in performance on a edge cut between 6000 and 8000. How far you sharpen is all a personal preference. I sharpened my plane blades to 4000 (waterstone) and sometime use polishing compound and I can get a shaving at .002”.

-- Julian

View GregTP's profile


62 posts in 936 days

#5 posted 12-07-2015 08:41 PM

Rob Cosman has a good tutorial on you tube about using waterstones and I believe he speaks to which grits he uses. I happen to have a 12000/15000 waterstone (I dont know who makes it but I was told it comes from a lake in England), but I got it for free from a guy who didnt use it anymore. If I was buying it new I wouldnt have bothered to go that high, but it does put a mirror polish on irons.

-- From exercise machine warning label: "Step ladders can cause injury and even death; the ROM machine is more dangerous than a stepladder"

View jmartel's profile


7877 posts in 2143 days

#6 posted 12-07-2015 09:12 PM

My 8000 grit stone doesn’t quite leave a polish. My 13000 ceramic stone does, however. I have a 400 Atoma diamond stone, 1000, 8000, and 13000 ceramic stones.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View rwe2156's profile


2916 posts in 1473 days

#7 posted 12-08-2015 01:17 PM

I doubt you’ll see much difference.
My highest stone is an 8000 and unlike, the previous poster, I think it polishes the edge quite nicely.
I can go right from the 8000 to work and I am quite pleased with it.

I don’t see any point in going over 12,000 because it means more stones and more expense its much cheaper to just use a strop.

I personally know people who use the Shapton stones they seem to be the pinnacle of sharpening stones but IMO, I can’t see justification for the expense. In the end, you still have to flatten them like a water stone.

I would go with what you have and with some added stropping you will get a very good edge.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View toddbeaulieu's profile


814 posts in 2997 days

#8 posted 12-08-2015 01:47 PM

I go to 8,000 and think that it puts a really nice edge on it. Any higher I would be overkill IMO. I use a hand held loupe to inspect the edge as I’m sharpening and found 8,000 to get a really nice polished surface.

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