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Ice Bear Japanese polishing stone (10K)

Thanks for this clear review, it saved me from buying something that would have disappointed me.
Ice bear and Kytaiama is the same stone just rebranded,
same for Takenoko and Arashiayama both are 6k but one is rebranded and sold as 8k stone.
I had high hopes for this stone, also from Axminster tools (www.axminster.co.uk) but is hasn't really fulfilled them. It's a broad stone, over 3", so I thought it would be great, no need to do those diagonal strokes. However, I find that the diagonal strokes are the way to achieve the best edge really easily, so this is no benefit at all.

When I get a stone, I expect to lap it before use, that's normal, but this one was convex, rather tha concave. That made lapping it down to a flat surface very tricky, as it tended to "rock" while I was lapping it, and make it worse. A steady hand and patience was required. And swearing.

It annoys me having to fill it with water, just to give a blade a few strokes to refresh the edge.

I also find it challenging to put a good edge on a razor with this, for a few reasons. Firstly, you never do get a "mirror polished" edge- the scratch pattern is visible, and looks if anything, coarser than that you see on a chisel that just came off a transluscent Arkansas. The edge doesn't seem an awful lot more polished than that given by the 6K waterstone, but it is a tad bit sharper, if you use it carefully. The other problem is that it is hard to do a really light stroke without the blade seeming to "float" on the tiny ammount of water on the surface, and not make contact with the stone at all. Some pressure seems necessary at all times, making it difficult to achieve that perfect edge.

It comes with a Nagura stone, which is REALLY good- use it to clean the stone, under a running tap, it comes up like new. Don't use it to make slurry- I tried this after reading about it on a knife forum. It is seriously counterproductive, and I never managed to achieve a good edge with slurry.

All in all, It's not that great- you can hone a razor to a decent edge on it, but it is tricky, and quite inconvenient to use. It's also quite costly (£41.48), although cheaper than all the other waterstones I came across in my search.
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Efficacy
3.00 star(s)
Ease of Use
3.00 star(s)
Overall Value
3.00 star(s)
Resistance to Wear
3.00 star(s)
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