Japanese Water Stones, What They Are And What We Have


What are Japanese Water Stones?

We carry a wide selection of Japanese water stones.

Historically, Japan was famous for its natural sharpening stones. That tradition of quality sharpening stones continues today with the synthetic stones produced in Japan. We will look into the general features of these man-stones, what makes them popular and the products we carry from some of Japan's best stone manufacturers.

Japanese water stones are generally softer than other sharpening stones and are used with water. They are known for sharpening quickly and producing highly refined edges. Users of Japanese knives or woodworking tools find them a natural fit for sharpening. Their ability to cut fast and polish well has led to Japanese water stones being widely embraced by sharpeners of all tools and knives.

Water stones develop a slurry in use.

When water stones break down, they expose fresh abrasive particles that promote fast cutting and reduce clogging of the stone. The slurry created is effective at creating a polish when using fine stones.

Because of the faster wear rate, water stones should be regularly resurfaced to keep them flat. Flattening a water stone is easily accomplished with a Flattening Stone.

See our article How To Flatten A Water Stone for more information.

Broadly speaking, there are two main types of water stones: Soaking and Splash and Go. Soaking stones need to be submerged in water until saturated before use. Splash and Go stones only need some water to be applied to their surface. Splash and Go stones are considered desirable because of the convenience of not having to soak them before use.

Popular Japanese Water Stone Brands

We carry a wide range of quality Japanese water stones. Below we've created an overview of our most popular Japanese Water Stones so you can find a line that meets your needs.

Naniwa

Naniwa produces a wide range of water stones that will fit any need or budget.

Naniwa has several different lines to choose from, with options for the beginner looking for a basic set up at a good price, to premium stones for the demanding sharpener.

Whether it is the work horse value of soaking stones like the Traditional Stones, the splash and go convenience of the the S1 or the thicker S2 Super Stones, the premium quality Professional Stones, or specialty stones like the Jyunpaku "Snow White" or the Aotoish "Green Brick of Joy", there is a Naniwa stone worth considering.

Naniwa also has great accessories such as Nagura Stones, a Sink Bridge and even a line of Diamond Stones.

Shapton

Shapton offers Splash and Go stones popular with demanding sharpeners.

Shapton brand Water Stones include the Kuromaku Professional Stones, the HR Series and HC Series Glass Stones and the compact G7 Series. All are top quality, Splash and Go, and each of these lines goes up to a 30,000 grit stone.

Shapton also has a selection of excellent accessories including a Stone Holder, a Field Holder that offers working support and stone storage, a Sharpening Pond, a Flattening Stone and more.

Suehiro

Suehiro has unique soaking and splash and go lines.

Suehiro brand Water Stones include the Cerax line of soaking stones which have developed a reputation as good performers, comparable to more expensive options, particularly the 1000 grit. The Debado SNE line has splash and go stones mounted to bases that work as storage and working holders. The Debado MD line has stones almost 9" long and 3 1/2" wide for those who need more surface area.

There is a Japanese Water Stone for You

Japanese Water Stones are very effective sharpeners. Their softness and use of water sets them apart from other stone types. Their fast cutting and fine polishing have made them popular with sharpeners of all types. There is a wide variety of options to choose from, from Soaking to Splash and Go, economical to premium. We're proud to offer options for all your needs.