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Moving from Norton to Naniwa

I got my first honing stones about 15 years ago, a Norton combo set with the following: 400/1000 and a 4000/8000. I've set bevels and honed close to 100 straights on those, some came out nicely, others not so much. After the years of honing it's time to start replacing stones, my 4000 is getting paper thin.

When I bought the Nortons they were pretty much the most recommended stones out there, for whatever reasons. I understand there are now better and less expensive stones out there. I'm currently looking at Naniwa, specifically the 1000, 3000, 8000, and a 12,000 finishing stone (I've never had a finishing stone). I really can't afford to buy all four of the Naniwa stones at this time, well, that's my wife's opinion at this time, so there's that...

I still have some life left in the Nortons so I was thinking of adding one stone at a time, starting with the Naniwa 12,000. In about a month or so, get the 8000, then the 3000, and finally the 1000. Will there be any issues with mixing the stones while and transitioning over? I can then use the Nortons for my kitchen knives.

Does this sound like a good plan?

Thanks!
 
Just follow your results is what I would do. The grit rating many times are different. So a Norton 4 may be like a nani 3k..I did the same thing about ten years ago. And then eventually sold my Nortons. I did use them side by side. The advantage for me was they don't dish as easily and they aren't soakers. The 4k and lower grits are soakers. The 8 I don't think so. But the combo stone means it's getting soaked anyway. Just have at it. You should be fine.
 
That’s exactly what I would do. I started with lapping film and slowly transitioned to actual stones. I started with the Naniwa SS 12k and gradually worked my way down, adding a Shapton Glass 8k then 3k. Never had any issues mixing stones from different manufacturers.

I still need a proper bevel setter, the 3k can get pretty tedious if the edge needs a lot of work.
 
I've always used the Norton 1k to set the bevel then moved to the 4k and 8k for the actual honing as that seemed to be the prevailing wisdom 15 years ago, and I am a creature of habit... :)
 
I've been exactly where you are now; started with a King 1000 and the Norton 4k/8k combination stone.
As time went on.
I bought the Naniwa 5k and 8k stones. King worked well enough to set a proper bevel. Later added a Naniwa 1k and 12k and a Naniwa 3k much later.
Essentially those are all the stones I used for a very long time. Truth be told they are the only hones necessary from which I can properly hone any razor I own. But, we know how that goes😉
 
So, when talking stones, “better” is a relevant term. What is it that you are looking for?

Different stones can feel different, some may be a bit more aggressive, some feel smoother, some have swarf issues, some may cut a bit finer or coarser for the grit size, but they all do the same thing at the same grits.

You can mix stone makers without issues, for a log time my favorite progression was a King 800, Nubatama 4k, Norton 8k, a pink Naniwia 12k super stone on a plastic base and finished on Jnat or Ark.

I too honed tons of razor on a straight Norton 1,4,8k progression many years ago with no issue. I recently pulled out my Nortons and honed several razors on that progression and finished on Jnats and the edges were great. The Nortons cut just fine and quick, and the finished edges felt just like my current progression. A King 1, & 6k Suehiro 10k and Jnat or Ark.

All the stones in a progression are just to get you to your finisher, be that a natural, film or paste. Most all the good makers will easily do that and you or anyone else could never tell which bevel setter or mid grit stone you used by the shave.

The stone that makes the biggest difference for me is the pre-finisher, I like to go to a natural finisher with a pristine, near mirror bevel and super straight, keen edge, a Naniwia 8k Fuji, Snow White, or Suehiro 10 will get me there easily.

You do not need to buy a whole new progression or all stones from the same maker. We are living in the heyday of quality stone production with lots of great stones, with a ton of range, which was not available 15-20 years ago.

So, a lot depends on what you are after, what you are finishing on and what your definition of “Better” is.

What are you finishing on?
 
I would get some shapton stones in the rock star series, 4k and 10k.
For bevel work I would get the 1.5k pro stone.
The 10k will get you a better edge then the Naniwa 12k. They don't warp and they don’t feel like honing on wet plastic.
From where I am shopping they are also much cheaper.
These stones also cut carbide rich stainless steel much better then any of the Naniwa stones.
 
So, when talking stones, “better” is a relevant term. What is it that you are looking for?


What are you finishing on?
I do not have a finishing stone, my final stone is the Norton 8k. I then strop on canvas then finish my stropping on leather, that's it. I've had some very nice shavers like this, and some were not so nice. I figure a nice finishing stone would make an improvement. I'm in no big rush to swap out the Nortons but as my Norton 4k is getting rather thin, the time is coming and I didn't want to replace them with other Nortons simply because that's what I've always used. I really only used them because at that time that's all there was. If there's something better out there at a competitive price then I certainly want to consider it.

I'm looking at the Naniwa 12k as a finishing stone, then replace the other Norton stones as needed.
 
Personally, there are more comfortable shaving edges, than a Norton 8k, as I said look at the Naniwa 8k Fuji, Snow White or the Suehiro 10k, or just some paste. Any good pure Chromium Oxide on a piece of cardboard, inside of a cereal box will improve the edge for keeness and comfort for about $10.

I shaved off a Norton 8k edge, pasted on Chrome Oxide for many years, just fine. .50um pure Chrome Oxide is 20-50K depending on which chart you read.

There is a great finisher that pops up on eBay every so often usually about $15-20. It is a Vintage King S-3, 6K, that I believe was a composite of synthetic and Jnat grit. They will make a near mirror bevel and keen edge. It performs at a much higher level than the 6k grit, more like a very good 8k.

Improving your finisher is where you should be looking, if you are looking for a keener and more comfortable edge.

There are several version of the King, S-3 in the wild, but the best performers are the ones on the wooden base in the Green or Grey original box. The Grey boxed ones with the white plastic label are smaller, thinner but may be a bit finer.

The 12k Super Stone is a good stone, just don't buy the thin 10mm one.
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There is one of the grey boxed stones on eBay now at $23 Buy Now, $8.90 shipping.

I an not the seller. For info only.

BTW the plastic base stones are not the same, you want the wooden base stone, also they are splash and go, very nice stone. The plastic based stones I believe as pure synthetic, they are a nice 6k stone, but do not finish like the older wood based stones.
There are several green boxed stones on the bay now as much as $120.
I already have several, will not be bidding.

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Thanks everyone for your input. Lots of great information. I ordered the Naniwa S2 Advance Super Stone (12000 Grit) as my finishing stone. I'll be using this in conjunction with my Norton 1000, 4000, and 8000 stones. The 4000 will need to be replaced soon as it is getting a bit thin, the others still have lots of life left in them.
 
The grit rating many times are different. So a Norton 4 may be like a nani 3k


It’s certainly correct that they use different rating systems, though note when translating between the two - it’s the other way round.

The ANSI/CAMI ratings that Norton use are quoted a little lower than equivalent JIS. (ie a 4k Norton might be akin to a 5k Naniwa &c.).
 
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Norton 8k is about equivalent to a 5k JIS stone. They listed it as a 3 µm stone. I think current JIS table lists 8k as 1.8 µm, I'd have to go and re-check. Whatever 8000x means to anyone though, the Nani 8k proved to be finer than the Norton 8k.
Norton 4k is less than 4k JIS, and so on.

I never liked the Nortons. I transitioned from Nortons to Naniwa SS after 2 months of Norton hate. Never looked back.
Started with the Naniwa 8k SS. Then the 1k. For a while I used the N8k for midrange and then followed with the 8k SS.
That seemed to anger some people. Oh well.

The Nani SS were splash and go, more consistent, more wear resistant, finer in comparison, had a greater range.
To me that equals better.

Never really liked the SS 1k but I liked it a lot more than the N 1k.
After I was using the Super Stones for a while I felt they were too soft so I moved over to Naniwa Chosera a few months later.
The Chosera are called the Professional Series Stones now.

I've had many sets of synths. The 3 sets I have now, and use, are Shapton Pro, Shapton Glass, and a set of Naniwa that includes a 600x Professional, 1000x Professional, 4000 IE-400, and the 8000x Snow White. Any and all of them are/were well worth the price of admission and none were particularly expensive.

Nortons were 'the' stone set back in the day because the state-run-press known as 'the other forum' was selling them.
Eventually they started selling Naniwa and became their US distributor.
 
Just follow your results is what I would do. The grit rating many times are different. So a Norton 4 may be like a nani 3k..I did the same thing about ten years ago. And then eventually sold my Nortons. I did use them side by side. The advantage for me was they don't dish as easily and they aren't soakers. The 4k and lower grits are soakers. The 8 I don't think so. But the combo stone means it's getting soaked anyway. Just have at it. You should be fine.


Apologies… I stand corrected about what I said above.

I’d assumed Norton used ANSI for their waterstones as they do for their other stones. It appears not!
 
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