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Thread: Shapton ceramic water stones

  1. #1
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    Shapton ceramic water stones

    Anybody else think Shapton stones are overrated? Wishing Iíd switched to all diamond stones. The Shaptons are messy and dish out nearly as much as my Norton stones did.

  2. #2
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    Really?

    I'm trying to remember what ceramic stones george wilson used to recommend. I've been keen to try them ever since he sang their praises so highly.

    I'm an oilstone guy, and I'm perfectly happy with and will probably stick with my oilstones, but I've always been keen to give ceramic stones a try, and have been eyeing Shapton's stones. If what you say is true, they might not be to my liking. I don't care for super soft / dishy / messy stones.
    *soft being relative, but, you know, my norm is oilstones... Was hoping/thinking that ceramic stones are more akin to Arks in hardness / wear resistance, but it seems that they're not?
    Last edited by Luke Dupont; 05-16-2022 at 8:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jason White View Post
    Anybody else think Shapton stones are overrated? Wishing I’d switched to all diamond stones.
    Nope. I have 5 DMT diamond "stones" in various grits. I have 3 Shaptons in comparable grits, plus a 6000 grit. The DMTs are a good product, from a company that stands behind their work - excellent customer service. But I find myself reaching for the Shaptons first, nearly every time. I like the way they cut and the results they produce for me. Of course, as you say, they dish - especially if you apply too much pressure. That's why I recently bought one of these.

    Like everything else related to sharpening, YMMV.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  4. #4
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    I have the Shapton pro stones. I donít have a problem with them dishing I keep them flat with a diamond stone and use the side sharpening technique.
    Dmt ahead of the Shapton doesnít sound right.
    Aj

  5. #5
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    Disclaimer: I am a hobbyist, not a working pro, so my stones do not get heavy use compared to some.

    A changed to the Shaptons a couple years ago as a convert to the Cosman method. Thread here: LINK. I have a trend Diamond Stone (300/1000) that I use for flattening the Shaptons (300) and establishing a primary edge (1000). I follow with a 6000 grit Shapton and then a 16000 grit Shapton and a Horse Butt Leather Strop to finish.

    I make it a point to use the whole surface area of the Shaptons and the few times I've flattened them it was clear in a very few strokes that there was little to no dishing. After a couple years of use they're still like new.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  6. #6
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    There are a number of ways to get to the same point. There is obviously a lot of personal preference. I sharpened only on oilstones for several decades, and after that started trying different things. To me, oilstones have the best feel, and the experience with them turned me into a feel sharpener. I never look, or feel for wire edges now. With that behind me, diamond stones are at the bottom of the list, ceramics and Shaptons one step up from them, and really fast water stones at the top of the list. I still use oilstones when I'm away from my sharpening sink. I do still keep a Shapton 120 because I haven't bothered to replace it in that slot.

    It's hard to know what to recommend to anyone, but the majority seem to think that what works best to them will work best to anyone else. I'm sticking to what works for me, and am happy for any individual to find something they're satisfied with.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason White View Post
    Anybody else think Shapton stones are overrated? Wishing I’d switched to all diamond stones. The Shaptons are messy and dish out nearly as much as my Norton stones did.
    Jason, you are comparing apples with oranges.

    The bottom line is that diamond stones are available in coarse grits, generally topping out at 1200 grit. There are finer stones available, such as an 8000, but even so, diamonds leave deep scratches that require much work to remove. The advantage of diamond stones is that they do not dish but, if I used them (and I do), I would play to their coarse grits for initial grinding.

    Shaptons dish because they are designed to wear and expose fresh grit. Part of sharpening with ceramic and water stones is accepting that they require flattening. Learn to hone and minimise any dishing. The advantage of ceramic stones is that they wear slowly, but also facilitate a high level of polish (= sharpness).

    The Shapton Pro 1000 is one of the best 1000 grit stones. The 12000 grit is also excellent. I think that the 5000 is a dog. The 8000 is pretty good.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  8. #8
    I think George did use the Sharpton pro stones (I miss seeing posts from him).

    I've tried a bunch of stuff and really enjoy using diamond paste on the Veritas soft steel "stones". I use the wastebasket paste from gramercy. It cuts so damned fast. 45 micron if there's a bad nick but usually, 15 micron and then the fine paste after. Razor sharp every time, in seconds. And really not that expensive at all, the paste lasts a good while.

  9. #9

    Shaptonís

    Like Rob, I too adopted the Cosman method buying the 300/1000 diamond as well as an 8k and 16k Shapton a few months back. Unlike Mr Cosman, I use the LN Honing Guide on those blades that will fit. Iím happy with the results and like the Shaptonís. I use some of my lower grit water stones below the 8k when bringing a blade up. I have a microscope I check a blade with an the Shaptonís polish blades up beautifully. There is some mess with the honing fluid, but itís part of the process.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kananis View Post
    I think George did use the Sharpton pro stones (I miss seeing posts from him)....
    George uses Spyderco Medium and Ultra Fine, finishing on green compound, as I do.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  11. #11
    My spelling is atrocious today... stuck in bed (back issue) so I'm on a mobile and autocorrect is not playing nice... and every time I try to edit a post, it gets deleted.

    Regardless, thanks for clarifying - I was going strictly off memory. I've not tried the spyderco's but do hear good things.

    I don't see a lot of people using paste on steel plates as I do (or even on mdf, maple,etc) but I've never heard anyone say anything negative about it either. If you haven't tried it, initial investment is a couple tubes of paste and a couple mdf scraps to try it out. It's a wonderful medium imho.

  12. #12
    And to be clear (sorry, can't edit above part), use the water-based product from gramercy not the oil-based (I think Lee Valley carries the oil - don't remember). I think I usually get 45 micron (not necessary if you have other course medium readily available), 15 micron for my "medium" grit and 1/2 micron for finishing.

  13. #13
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    Since I grind all my bevels, going to the stones is really just a few strokes to improve the cutting surface. For a touch up, I only make about 3 strokes and bevel is restored. So wear on a water stone is minimal. I agree whole heartily with Derek. No matter what diamond stone I try, I just don't like the scratch pattern.

  14. #14
    I tried the Spyderco ceramic stones but really didn't like them. They're sitting in a cabinet somewhere. Maybe I should pull them out and try them again.

    I use a WorkSharp and then finish with Shapton stones.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  15. #15
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    Spyderco ceramics come dished, straight from the factory; no extra charge. Finding something that will make them flat is tricky. The dishing must occur somewhere during the manufacturing process. They are effective on older style cutting tools, but seem too coarse for honing A-2 to waterstone standards. I did flatten one side of a dished Spyderco stone, using an old diamond plate. It pretty much ruined that diamond plate for any more use.

    I think I recall someone posting that Spyderco does not refund money because of dishing.

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