Mastering the Edge: A Guide to Shapton's Premier Sharpening Stones

Welcome to the world of precision blade sharpening with Shapton, a renowned name in the realm of high-quality whetstones. Whether you're a professional chef, a woodworking enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the art of maintaining a sharp edge, Shapton's range of sharpening stones offers unparalleled quality and performance. In this article, we'll delve into two of Shapton's most acclaimed series: the GLASS STONE and KUROMAKU, and answer some common questions to help you choose the perfect stone for your needs.
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Shapton 'GLASS STONE' Series


The GLASS STONE series by Shapton stands out for its distinctive combination of durability and precision. These stones, encased in a layer of tempered glass, not only provide a stable sharpening surface but also add a touch of elegance to your toolkit. Here are five top picks from the GLASS STONE series:


- Glass Stone #500:

Ideal for restoring and reshaping dull blades, the #500 grit stone is your first step towards a renewed edge. Its coarse grit efficiently removes material, setting the stage for finer sharpening.

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- Glass Stone #1000:

A versatile choice for everyday sharpening, the #1000 grit stone balances coarseness for material removal with enough fineness for a sharp, usable edge. It's perfect for maintaining knives that are used regularly.

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- Glass Stone #2000:

Stepping up the refinement, the #2000 grit stone is excellent for honing a sharper edge on blades that have already been shaped with coarser stones. It's ideal for fine-tuning kitchen knives and tools.

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- Glass Stone #6000:

For those seeking a razor-sharp finish, the #6000 grit stone delivers. This fine stone polishes the edge to a mirror-like sharpness, suitable for precision cutting tasks.

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- Glass Stone #8000:

The epitome of fine sharpening, the #8000 grit stone is for enthusiasts who demand the sharpest possible edge. It's perfect for finishing and polishing high-quality blades.

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Shapton 'KUROMAKU' Series

The KUROMAKU series, also known as the Professional Series, is designed for those who demand professional-grade sharpening. These stones offer a wide range of grits to cater to various sharpening stages:

- Professional Series #320:

This coarse stone is excellent for repairing chips and reshaping very dull blades. It's the foundation stone for severely blunted edges.

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- Professional Series #1000:

A great all-rounder, the #1000 grit stone is ideal for regular sharpening of kitchen knives, chisels, and other tools.

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- Professional Series #1500:

Slightly finer than the #1000, this stone provides a sharper edge while still being versatile for various sharpening needs.

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- Professional Series #2000:

This stone strikes a balance between sharpening and honing, making it a great choice for maintaining a sharp edge with a bit more polish.

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- Professional Series #5000:

Moving into the realm of fine sharpening, the #5000 grit stone is perfect for achieving a highly refined edge on your favorite blades.

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- Professional Series #12000:

For the ultimate polished edge, the #12000 grit stone is unparalleled. It's ideal for finishing touches on high-end knives and tools.

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Q & A about the Sharpening Stones

In this section, we'll address some common questions about Shapton's sharpening stones, helping you make an informed decision for your sharpening needs.

Q: Are any of the KUROMAKU sharpening stones recommended for normal household knives?

A: We recommend the Orange Medium (1000) sharpening stone and Wine Fine (5000) finishing stone. If you intend to use only one stone, we recommend the Blue Medium (1500) sharpening stone.


Q: Do Shapton stones need to be soaked in water before use?

A: No, Shapton stones do not need to be soaked except the very first time after purchase. We do recommend that on first use, you pre-soak the stone in water for five to six minutes to secure even smoother sharpening.


Q: Are there any blade materials that cannot be sharpened?

A: All blade materials can be sharpened except ceramics and superalloys.


Q: Is it possible to sharpen a kitchen knife with a nicked edge?

A: If the nick is large, remove it using a coarse stone of 40 micro and above (320 or below), then sharpen it using a succession of stones, moving from coarse to fine.


Q: Should sharpening stones be used in a particular order?

A: The usual order is to start with coarser stones having larger abrasive grains, then move to finer stones with smaller grains.


Q: How often should blades be sharpened?

A: That depends on the blade's material, purpose and frequency of use, as well as the level of cut you are seeking. Our recommendation is to sharpen a blade whenever you feel its cutting ability has declined.


Q: The GlassStone series includes two types each of the 4000, 6000 and 8000 sharpening stones. What are the differences between them?

A: They use different abrasive agents. GlassStone series 50603, 50703 and 50803 are recommended for sharpening composite steel blades, where steel has been forge welded with another metal.


By understanding the unique qualities and uses of each series and grit level, you can select the Shapton stone that best suits your sharpening requirements. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned sharpener, Shapton offers the precision and quality to keep your blades in top condition.



Care Tips for Your Sharpening Stones

Proper maintenance of your sharpening stones is crucial for their longevity and effectiveness. Here are some key care tips:


- Avoid Prolonged Soaking: Do not soak your stones in water for more than 30 minutes. Extended soaking can soften the stone, compromising its structure.

- No Hot Water: Applying hot water can cause extreme temperature changes, leading to cracks. Avoid using hot water on your stones.

- Skip the Detergent: Using detergent on your stones can alter their quality. It's best to avoid any cleaning agents.

- Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Keep your stones in an indoor environment away from direct sunlight. A consistent, room-temperature setting is ideal.

- Gentle Drying: Avoid rapid drying methods, such as direct blowing of air, as they can cause cracking. Let the stones dry naturally and gradually.

source:  SHAPTON CO., LTD