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King 1200 Grit Super Ceramic
Synthetic Whetstone Review

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King 1200 Grit Synthetic Whetstones

Just like the other one, I mean Naniwa Chosera 10000 grit superstone, I got this 1200 King waterstone from Dave Martell, and by his recommendation. At that time I was looking for the additional whetstones to refine and speed up sharpening process, well and save some my existing ones too. Now, adding an extra stone to sharpening makes the process longer, but the truth is, if you want well polished, uniform edge, then at each following step you'd need to get rid of the scratches from the previous step. If you make too big of a jump between two steps, then you're spending a lot of time with the last stone to remove all the scratches from the previous one, or you give up too soon, settling for the scratched up edge. Plus, in addition to wasting more time on finer stone, you're wasting the stone itself. Which is what was happening to me. After using Bester 700 grit synthetic whetstone, I'd jump to 2000-3000 grit natural Auto whetstone. Apparently, or obviously at lower grits the grit gap makes more difference, so on harder alloys like CPM 10V or CPM-110V the difference, or the need for smaller gaps is very noticeable. Besides, Bester 700 is mainly for removing scratches left by rougher stones, like DMT XXC or even Beston(Bester) 500 grit stones. At least I use it mainly for that. It's not that good for beveling the harder blades.

General

- King 1200 grit whetstone is a baseless stone. No nagura comes with it, but in general it isn't required for low grit, rough stones anyway. For flattening as usual I use DMT XXC stone, and when I need to I'll use that for this King whetstone as well. Stone measurements are 205x66x31mm. So, it's not a small stone and because it's thick it's quite heavy too. Stone comes packed in a box with makers logo, obviously I have no idea what does it say :) As for the price, it's rather cheap, ~27$, well at least that's how much it is at Dave's place - Japanese Knife Sharpening. Cheap is good, but low grit whetstones do get worn faster. Well, it's gonna last few years if properly used, so no worries about it being gone in a few days :)

Performance

- Main test for this stone was the same troublemaker - Aritsugu Kamagata usuba, Aogami II steel, 65HRC, came from Aritsugu, so it's a hard workout for any stone or whetstone. I started wit 220 grit Shapton Glass Stone®, then Beston 500 grit and then Bester 700 grit, to get rid of the deep scratches. Before, I'd go straight to Aoto 2-3K stone, which was taking very considerable amount of time to remove all the scratches and get initial polish on the edge. This time, I've had my brand new King 1200x stone :) As far as the cutting speed goes, in my opinion is very good. It took less than 5 minutes to raise the burr on both sides of the blade, and considering that was 65HRC blade from Aritsugu, it is a good result. King has a really nice feel to it. Sure, it's not as buttery smooth as Chosera 10000 or Kitayama 12000 whetstones, but still, feels really smooth and I can really feel the metal being cut away. So, it's pretty easy to control the stone and feel how the sharpening goes. I guess, another description would be that the stone has very good feedback. Water consumption is higher compared to Aoto natural stone or Chosera and Kitayama, but again, one is a natural stone, which consume less water, and others are much higher grit. So, for what it is, I'd say water consumption is pretty good for 1200 grit stone.

Conclusions

- Very welcome and much needed addition to my sharpening stone/whetstone arsenal. Adding an extra step between the 700 grit Bester and 2-3K Aoto did make a difference. That extra step proved to be both, time and stone saving. Savings on Aoto stone that is. Water consumption is ok, not as annoying as on 500-700 grit stones. Add there real cheap price and you get a very nice stone that you really need to have if you are serious about sharpening and getting the good edges.

Last updated - 09/01/11