Comparing the Naniwa Stones
Naniwa makes several varieties of water stones. Each stone type has characteristics that make it unique. Understanding the different options can help you decide which stones are the best for you.
The Naniwa Professional Stones are fast cutting and gives excellent feedback.
The Naniwa Professional Stones have great balance of cutting speed and wear rate. They sharpen quickly, and they wear more slowly than most water stones, requiring less flattening less often. The Professional stones give excellent feedback in use, you can really feel the grit working as you sharpen. The Professional stones require a couple of splashes of water spread out over a minute or so to prepare but should not be soaked. There are eight grits to choose from: 400, 600, 800, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, and 10000. They are 8 1/4" Long x 2 3/4" Wide x 3/4" thick.
Previous editions of the Naniwa Professional stones were called the Chosera stones and they developed a devoted following. They are regarded as being among the best sharpening stones available.
The Naniwa Super Stones are fine polishing splash and go stones.
The Naniwa Super Stones offer excellent polishing in the fine grits, and are popular with knife, tool and straight razor sharpeners looking for mirror finishes.The Super Stones are true splash and go stones, just get some water on them and they're ready to sharpen. The Super Stone line has the most grit options of any of the Naniwa lines with ten: 220, 400, 800, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, 8000, 10000 and 12000.
Notice that the Super Stones are divided into the S1 and S2 variations. The S1’s and S2’s are exactly the same stones made from exactly the same material, but the S1’s at 3/8" thick are half the thickness of the S2’s which are 3/4" thick. Thinner stones provide an economical alternative for lighter users. Both the S1 and S2 stones are 8-1/4" long x 2-3/4" wide.
The Naniwa Traditional Stonesare good value traditional water stones.
The Naniwa Traditional Stones are practical for all knives and tools. They perform well all around with a good balance of cutting speed and wear rate, and they offer good feedback. They are popular with beginning sharpeners as an economical option. There are five grits: 220, 1000, 1500, 6000 and 8000. The Naniwa Traditional Stones are 8 1/4" long, 2 3/4" wide and 3/4" thick.
The Traditional Stones are aptly named, as traditionally, water stones required soaking to saturate them before use. And as the name implies, the Traditional Stones are indeed soaking stones that should be submerged in water for several minutes before use.
Snow White Jyunpaku Stone
The Naniwa Jyunpaku Snow White was brought back by popular demand.
The Naniwa Jyunpaku Snow White stone is a soaking stone that has a reputation for being harder than expected and for leaving an excellent finish on the metal. It is 8" long x 2 3/4" wide x 3/4" thick.
The Jyunpaku stone was originally part of a previous edition of the Traditional stones. Many sharpeners had grown to love this 8000 grit stone, and given it the nickname the Snow White. After the original line was discontinued, many sharpeners continued to request the Snow White, so Naniwa made it available again and produces it in small batches for the discerning sharpener.
The Naniwa Aotoishi, or the Green Brick of Joy.
The Naniwa Aotoishi is a single edition stone that has developed a following of admirers who refer to it as the Green Brick of Joy. It is a soaking stone with excellent feedback and forms a bit of a slurry in use. At 2000 grit, it is a jack-of-all-trades stone popular with knife sharpeners who prefer to work with only one or two stones in their sharpening tool kit. The Aotoishi is 8-1/4" x 2-3/4" x 2-1/8" thick, making it 2 1/2 times thicker than most other Naniwa stones and ensuring a long life of happy sharpening.
The economical Naniwa Lobster Water Stones keep things simple with three grits: 220, 1000, and 3000. They are soaking stones, soft and fast cutting with good feedback. They measure 8 1/4" long, 2 1/2" wide. The 220 and 1000 are just over and 1" thick. The 3000 is just over 3/4" thick.The 220 and 1000 grit stones are thicker to ensure a longer life in heavy use settings. They are popular with fast paced kitchens that need a simple set of stones to get a good edge on their knives quickly and economically
The Naniwa Diamond Stones offer diamond abrasive with water stone style.
The Naniwa Diamond Stones employ diamond abrasive bound in thin layer of very hard resin mounted to a sturdy metal base. They offer the cutting ability of diamonds, but their feel when sharpening is similar to that of the hardest wearing water stones, neither unduly rough nor mushy or clay-like. These splash and go stones are much harder than other water stones, and wear very slowly. There are four grits available: 600, 1000, 3000, and 6000. The Naniwa Diamond Stones are are 8-1/4" long x 2-7/8" wide x 5/8" thick. They are popular with sharpeners who work with very hard steels or ceramics.
Naniwa offers a wide variety of stones that provide options at every performance level and price. I hope that with an understanding of the characteristics of each line and individual stone, you will feel more confident choosing the right stones for your sharpening needs.
To learn more about the entire Naniwa line of Water Stones, please visit our Naniwa page.