Shapton stones tick all of the boxes
Andy J, Wabi Sabi.
Shapton are widely considered to make the best ceramic whetstones in Japan. Their Glass Series is renowned for the consistency of particle size and spacing, laminated to the tempered glass backing to prevent distortion. Unlike other stones, they don't need to be throughly soaked in water - just splash before use.
Edge Freaks the world over reckon these are the best stones available for knives, chisels, planes and razors. Here's what Andrew Juniper at Wabi Sabi reckons: "Because they are fixed to a glass shelf they are easy to handle and store. Unlike water stones they do not require pre-soaking before use and unlike other softer stones they will retain their flatness far longer than any stone we have used to date. This flatness across the width is vital for wide blades such as the Japanese plane. The abrasive cutting action of the stones is faster and superior to other types of stone and we have found that with these stones the time we spend sharpening has reduced dramatically and the quality of the edge we are able to get has also improved. I would have no hesitation in recommending these to any woodworker looking to improve their tool sharpening equipment."
- #120 - very coarse (HR50201)
- #320 - coarse (HR50301)
- #500 - coarse (HR50102)
- #1000 - medium (HR50202)
- #2000 - medium (HR50302)
- #3000 - medium/fine (HR50402)
- #4000 - fine (HR50103 or HC50603 Alundum - softer binding for Japanese clad blades)
- #6000 - fine (HR50503 or HC50703 Alundum - softer binding for Japanese clad blades)
- #8000 - super fine (HR50203 or HC50803 Alundum - softer binding for Japanese clad blades)
- #10000 - super fine (HR50903)
- #16000 - macro fine, rougher particle size (HR50303)
- #30000 - uber fine HR50403)
- Diamond Glass Lapping Plate (DGLP - 50100)
- Diamond Reference Lapping Plate (DRLP -K0799)
- Set Holder - holds 3 stones, and acts as a sharpening base (50200)
- Fine set: #500, 2000, 8000, set holder (50308)
- Super Fine Set: #500, 2000, 16000, set holder (50408)
- Pond - for working in. (50000)
Niwaki Tip: For Japanese kitchen knives, you can't go wrong with a #2000 to get started.