Grain Size (Grit)
The grain size of Japanese grindstones is expressed in a grit number. The higher the number, the finer the grain and the sharper the result. In principle there are 3 types of stones:
- Grinding stones (Japanese grain size 80-400)
- Whet stones (400-3000)
- Polishing stones (3000-30,000)
Which stone you start with depends on the time you have and the state of the knife. If the knife is really dull or damaged, you start with a rough grinding stone (#120-400). With a less dull or undamaged blade you can start immediately with a whet stone (for example a 1000 or 1200 stone). It is essential to finish with a polishing stone (usually between 4000 and 8000 grit), which is intended to get the blade razor sharp. The combination of a whet stone (1000 to 3000) with a 4000-8000 polishing stone is, in our opinion, an ideal starting package. Polishing stones above 8000 grit do not always produce a sharper result, this is mainly depending on the steel quality.