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Naniwa Super Stones

Item Description

The following review is based on my experiences with the 1000 and 12000 grit stones in their line honing approximately 40 razors with them encorporated in the following sequence:

  1. Norton 325 grit diamond hone
  2. Naniwa 1000
  3. Norton 4000
  4. Norton 8000
  5. Naniwa 12000
  6. Nakayama Maruichi Stone

Both the 1000 and 12000 required lapping before use. Neither needs to be soaked before use, but I find the 12000 to be more thirsty and soaking helps this. These stones come set in a plastic base with rubber feet, making them very stable.

The 1000 Grit was very nice. It cuts reasonably fast and very evenly. It is not very porous and wears slowly, yet does not clog appreciably, even after a dozen razors. The feedback is a little muted for my liking, but I can live with it at this grit level. 1k hones can be found from a number of manufacturers, but this one is particularly well suited to razor honing.

The 12000 is probably the most effective hone in this grit range I have tried to date (I've tried a good half dozen hones in this range including the spyderco UF, Chinese 12k, Coticule, Escher and barber hones) It cuts fast and gives good feedback. It feels softer than one wood expect for a hone of this grit, but wears slowly. Forty razors later it has not needed lapping.
The scratch pattern under 500x magnification is fine and even. You could easily finish honing on the 12k and simply strop it to finish it off.

Honestly I'm not sure what else to say about these hones. I would recommend them to those who are looking for good solid set of hones or to anyone wanter to expand their collection. I still feel that the Norton 4k/8k would be a better deal than buying the seperate Naniwa equivalents, but below 4k and above 8k you're getting good performance.

Latest reviews

Pros: Great value
Cons: None
Best honing stone for beginner, as long as you can still shave with your razors this is the only stone you really need to keep the shave ready.
5.00 star(s)
5.00 star(s)
Ease of Use
5.00 star(s)
Overall Value
5.00 star(s)
Resistance to Wear
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I've only had two shaves off my new Naniwa 12000 Superstone, but it's such a straightforward stone I've got no qualms about reviewing it already.

First: Ease of use? It's a waterstone that doesn't require soaking. The only thing it loses a point for here is being pretty damned slow (probably because it glazes almost instantly).

Quality: Stone is a nice size, feels fairly sturdy, base is plastic but stable. However the surface feels like a King IceBear stone. IE, it would scrape and gouge easily if you screwed up.

Resistance to wear: Wears quite slowly, I haven't noticed any change at all in several hundred passes (see above where I mention how slow it is).

Efficacy: After two hundred passes (off an ~6k JIS (yeah I know, big jump, but Thuringians make it much faster thanks to not glazing, and I wanted to see if this was comparable) I still haven't totally polished the bevel (at 400x this stones scratch pattern is too fine to distinguish, making it a 400x polisher), but I am watching my progress and I am slowly getting there. Still, I know this is a perfectly shaveable edge, and both the shaves (different razors with different grinds, one following a Thuringian (~12k JIS+) (to prevent there being a question of underhoning, by bringing the edge BACK rather than Forward) and one following a natural stone finish (Jnat) I'd estimate around 6k JIS) were good, and left my skin smooth with minimal tricky angles. It was finer than my average Coticule finish, but not as fine as my average Thuringian finish. Definitely a stone you can go to cloth/leather off of. No need for pastes.

Value: I know of no alternative to this stone with similar fineness and size that doesn't cost much much more. It works well and is easy to use.

I lapped my stone to 3microns (4k JIS / 8k USMESH) when it arrived.
3.00 star(s)
4.00 star(s)
Ease of Use
4.00 star(s)
Overall Value
4.00 star(s)
Resistance to Wear
4.00 star(s)
As a UK buyer I just bought my Naniwa 12k superstone from Steve at The Invisible Edge (great customer service by the way!).

This was my very first edge refresh, so take my comments as you wish.

The stone looked good fresh out of the box, but I wasnt sure what to do about the sticker which is stuck right in the middle of the stone. After a bit of anxiety, I decided that it makes no sense to hone over a plastic patch. So I fiddeled for a little bit and eventually managed to carefully remove the sticker.

After that, I placed some P400 wet and dry onto an unused glass table with a bit of water. I took a pencil and lightly marked the surface of the Naniwa. I gently rubbed the stone over the wet and dry paper, using just enough pressure to ensure full contact. It was clear that my stone was ever so sightly concave, as the pencil marks were removed from the sides before the middle. However, after just a couple of minutes of very gentle rubbing, the pencil marks were completely removed. I repeated the whole process another 2 times just to make sure (this was my frst time and I had a little anxiety about the process). Anyway, after both the second and third time, the pencil marks were off within just a few seconds, and i was completely reassured that I had done everything perfectly, and that my Naniwa was now perfectly lapped.

Incidently, after I wiped the stone and let it dry, it produced a perfect mirror shine when angled in the light. Impressive.

So I took my Wapi, in need of a light edge refresh, and carefull honed following all the advice obtained on this site. I lightly wet the stone, used slow, perfect strokes...let the weight of the blade do the work etc. The process was truely a lot easier than I had anticipated. After somewhere about 15-20 strokes I noticed that the blade felt like it was being subtley 'sucked' onto the stone. From the comments of others, I took this to mean that I was done.

I cleaned up the razor, stropped about 50 times, and then proceeded to shave. It successfully brought the edge back.

Overall, I am very happy with my purchase, and look forward to many years of good use.
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