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It's a medium hardness, but a bit softer than the other monzento we have in stock. The mines of the Higashi-Mono and beyond, as well as some razors, traditional Japanese chisels, Kana (planes) and other wood working tools, rare razors and kamisori, asano and tomo nagura and lapping plates. Although the synthetic stones of today have made huge strides in consistency and efficacy, professional sharpeners and knife users around the world will never abandon their natural stones. Because some colors and patterns are found only in certain strata, it can be redundant to list both, so only one or the other may be listed, making things a little easier to read. I have found them to leave a slightly smoother looking finish, and a bit more contrast on kasumi finishes. The color of the finish is really nice too. Japanese Waterstones - Toishi. The mountain, or mine, along with the strata, and the subtle differences exhibited by different veins within those strata, are typically where the stones get their names. These grit ranges are ‘ara-toishi’, which we define as coarse as can be - 1000 grit; ‘‘naka-toishi,” which we define as 1000 - 5000 (some stop at 3000, but we feel this creates an imbalance in the amount of stones defined as naka-to vs shiage-to); and “shiage-toishi,” which we define as 5000+ grit. The potential finish can improve with extended sharpening, with results depending on the stone hardness, the pressure you use during sharpening, water, etc. Weights and Measures: 190x70x50; 1150g; 1.73 g/cm3, Source: Sanjo, Niigata prefecture, Chubo region, Japan. The stones are medium hardness. If you would like to learn more about specific strata, please feel free to contact us. PHONE 310-399-0300HOURS Monday-Wednesday & Friday 11:00am-6:00 pm, Saturday & Sunday 12:00pm-5:00pm, The store will remain closed to customers, but we have non-contact pickup and drop-off. Wow, isn’t that a mouthful? You can expect about an 8k finish for the most part. Atago (Atagoyama) near Kyoto. It is only with getting your hands on different stones of differing grits can you start estimating grits on natural stones. It can take some time to learn how to handle these knives correctly, but it is a rewarding experience. This stone has a little goma (sesame seeds) sprinkled throughout. Selected Japanese natural sharpening stones Toishi, Handmade by Best Blade smiths Japanese Knives, Razors and Tools Like the new Hideriyama we have introduced, these are similar to our Takashima Awasedo. Strata, which is where we take our name from, are layers of rock that contain certain ‘classes’ of stones. hon suita; hardness, eg. Naka-toishi, or medium grit stones, represent a wide range of stratas, typically within the Hon kuchi naori usually from the Tenjyou suita - Tomae. The steel was much more responsive to the stone, and I presoaked before use. I have included a short description with each stones relative hardness and best use. Since they are a top layer stone, they are quite porous, very muddy, and efficient, as well as easy to excavate and thus cheap and easily accessible to buyers. Working up a slurry with a diamond plate helps, but it too can dry out, which is why I like to saturate it before use and then whip up a slurry with a plate. There are dozens of mines just around Kyoto, not to mention the rest of Japan. In testing, I actually found these stones to be more enjoyable than the takashima awasedo I have become so used to. Aiiwatani Asagi Koppa Amukasa Binsui. You can expect about an 8k finish for the most part. It, like the other monzento we carry, is a medium grit stone. 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