Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I've posted much of this on SMC but here it is in Blog form.

After all these years of always going back to Ark Oil Stones as my goto honing and finishing stones. These times they are a-changin', I've mostly made the transition to Jnats for honing and finishing. As with all things wood and especially with all things sharpening....YMMV.

When sharpening I try to look past shinny and instead look at the final scratch pattern and the edge produced. Honing and finishing on Jnats give me the best I've been able to see of both and I've been like a country song with sharpening stones, I've danced with most of the pretty girls.

Japanese Natural Stones in addition to having an organic beauty can be very easy to use with less mess and they tend to not be "fussy", not needing flatting as often as synthetic water stones. The biggest problem with Jnats is they can become an addiction with the user always wanting just one more stone...."life would be perfect if only I had that Nakayama Asagi I saw on So's web site". BTW, the Nakayama Asagi from So is in the mail.

My Sharpening Bench set up with Jnats:

From left to right. In the stone pond is a Karashi set up stone. If I had to guess it is about equivalent to a 1000 to 2000 synthetic stone. On the Karashi's right is a Takashima Ooban finish stone. The Takashima is not a very hard stone, from Lv 3.5, but produces a beautiful slightly hazy finish with a very attractive Jigane (the soft iron backing the hard steel). To the right on the bench are two more Jnats. the first on a holder that says 1200 is a Aiiwatani Kiita finish stone that is a little harder than the Takashima. Both the Takashima and the Aiiwatani give a finish much like a 8K to 10K synthetic stone. The last stone is a Tsushima Nagura, it has been painted with a traditional black Cashew Lacquer on all sides and the bottom. Again this is just a WAG, as it is on all the stones, the Tsushima is about a 5K to 8K stone.

The following photo is of three chisels, the two outer chisels were honed and finished on Jnats, the middle chisel was honed and finished on Sigma Power Ceramic stones. You may be able to see the difference in the Jigane between the chisels. The light on the left chisel obscured the Jigane but it is almost exactly the same as the chisel on the right. What you can not see is the scratch pattern, while the Power Ceramic sharpened chisel out shines the Jnats it does not have as fine a scratch pattern.

The Jnats work beautifully on Western chisels as well, here is a AI chisel next to a Japanese chisel both finished on Jnats. IIRC the finish stone was the Takashima Ooban.

As always....Click 'em to big 'em.



  1. Nice levels of sharpness...

  2. Bob,


    It is good to hear from you, remember anytime you need to thaw out there is always a spare bed here at Casa Chaos. Of course Sam the Wonder Dog and/or Sweet Maggie Dog might want to share.

    Take care,