Shigefusa 270mm kasumi yanagiba with custom, by me, desert ironwood handle

15 Nov 2010

Japanese natural sharpening stones

A natural extension of my knife collection is ofcourse collecting stuff to keep the knives as sharp as possible. Thus, I have started collecting Japanese natural sharpening stones of various grits, shapes and quality. Large size, perfectly rectangular, high quality stones are usually exceedingly expensive, so I have to compromise.

A large size, perfectly rectangular, crap quality stone does no good to any knife, so I try to score the really high quality sharpeners in small, thin or odd sizes, as you will see from the pictures. Of course I have a jewel or two that took away the best part of a months salary, but they will last me a lifetime and then some.

Two of my main rocks. To the left an Oohira shiro suita #10000+++ grit, and to the right an Oohira Asagi #6-8000 grit.

Below is my wonderful Aoto. 240x95x95 mm and weighing in at 4,7kg (9 pounds). Totally homogenous and exeptionally efficient for an Aoto. The 300mm yanagiba blade from my latest project placed on top for comparison.

Below you can see the grind marks from the Aoto. Dense, shallow, homogenous grind marks easily removed by the Oohira Asagi.

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