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Naniwa v Shapton Glass

I am looking to pick up my first hone series. I just received my first hone, a Naniwa 12k, and lapping plate, the DMT 8C.

I was thinking of ordering the Naniwa 1k, 5k, and 8k, which run about $140 shipped.

However, I see that there's a sale on Shapton Glass Hones, that would cost about $114 shipped.

$26 isn't that big a difference, but still I'd rather not pay if if there's no real difference, or especially if the consensus is that the Shaptons are better performers.

I won't be honing tons, but still want a very, very good set of hones.

The fact that my last hone in a series would be the Naniwa 12k shouldn't mean it's better to stay with Naniwa lower in the series, right?

What say you? Do I go Nani or Shapton?


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Wow, I actually have a couple of each of these. All of them are top notch.

The Naniwa 12K would be from their SS (super stone) series. Haven't tried it, but their 10K SS is one of the best finishing stones for knives. I've heard the 12K has a slightly different feel, but don't rely on me. Their top line is the cho-cera series. I have the 1, 3, and 5K, and they are excellent stones, albeit very pricey and hard to find. The 10K cho-cera is over $300.

Shaptons were always considered top of the line stones, but I was never fully satisfied with them until they released their GlassStone series. Even though the GS's are harder than the M15 or Pro line, they have a better feel. All Shapton's cut pretty fast, so the feel is the most important consideration, as far as I'm concerned, and I'd extend that to every brand made. My favorite GlassStones are all in lower grits- 220, 500, and 1K- so they may not be what you're looking for if you're using them solely for razors.

Hard to go wrong with any of them. The Shaptons look very high tech, but also appear very insubstantial- they're really thin. I wouldn't worry about that, though, as they wear very slowly and should last a lifetime.


the 12k naniwa is awesome but i too recently purchased a 16k Shapton, haven't used it as it's being stored at a friends place.
i was going to finish my razors off on the 16k after the 12k and thought that maybe it could be a little much since the 12k is already a finishing stone but someone suggested that it could work nicely after the naniwa.
As ouch mentioned, can't go wrong with either line but the naniwas are the best value for the price though.
I never heard anyone refer to Naniwa as a value.

+1 Lol. For that matter, the only hone I've ever heard of being a good value for the $$ is the Chinese stone. Heck, even the Spyderco is a better bang/dollar deal than the naniwa. That sucker was expensive.

That said, I finally got my 16k in earlier in the week and have been furiusly honing with it and doing crazy experiments and trying to solicit guinea pigs for testing. Anyway, getting to the point, I'm using the 16k after the nani now as part of my progression. So far the results have been very consistent. I like them. Better than before, which is the goal IMHO. Now to get it even better.....:001_rolle
What has me curious about the 16k is to hear people say they follow it with CrOx paste. I thought I saw a grit table showing that 0.5 micron paste comes out to 15k grit.
To answer some questions here,,,,

Paste grits and stone grits are not equal at all.....
Two totally different media and what you put the paste on can change that too....

I use both of the lines from 400-16000

The Naniwa SS (400 1k 3k 5k 8k 10k 12k) and the Shapton GS (1k 2k 4k 8k 16k)

One is not better than the other they are very slightly different...

The Shapton GS have a harder feel to the stone, and their feed back is fantastic they just about toss a huge flag up for you saying "Hey idiot, time to change stones"

The Naniwa SS might actually be designed for razors, they have a soft silky feel to them and I would definitely recommend them if you have razors that tend to be on the harsh side (the Bigger Friodur & Wackers come to mind)...

I personally do not mix these systems but that is just my preference...
The Shaptons other than the 16k don't seem to play well with other stones...

Either system will sharpen razors, if you do your part...
I get confused with grit sizes.
I get confused with pastes versus hones.
I get confused between Japanese v's American grit sizes.
I get confused between Japanese claims if the stone is 8K or above.

For example. So 0.5um Chromium Oxide paste is 50,000 grit or more and the best grit hone which is not 50,000 gives a better edge.

Naniwa 12K is the nicest syntheic finisher and gives the best edge. Not true, I have an 8k hone and a 10k hone both Japanese and both give me a better edge and finish.

The bottom line is only your face will tell you which hone gives you the more comfortable shave. The problem it is difficult to try before you buy.

We all hone slightly differently and the hones ratings are not accurate IMHO.

So which is the better between the Naniwa superhone 12k and the Shapton 16k. Well, no contest, the Shapton wins because it says so on the box.

My opinion is that if you have the Naniwa, stick with the range. Most people think they are pretty good hones. The difference between hones at the high end level is feel and ease of use rather then a discernable better shave.
I'm not getting into that game.
I often mention which hones I enjoy using and there are not all that many to choose from.
At the level of grit we are talking about, the differences don't really matter.
I honestly think that the quality of the hone at these levels has as much to do with the skill of the user as it is to do with the quality of the hone.
I'm not getting into that game.
I often mention which hones I enjoy using and there are not all that many to choose from.
At the level of grit we are talking about, the differences don't really matter.
I honestly think that the quality of the hone at these levels has as much to do with the skill of the user as it is to do with the quality of the hone.[/

Well said !!!!!
Can you tell us the name of the sale site? Might be interested, myself.


It's offered through another board only. The offer was /is 25% off Shapton Glass, plus free shipping. Offer good until July 13.

There's evidently some unpleasant history between this board and BB, so not sure what else to say . . . all before my time.

Since I already have the Naniwa 12k, I think I will be passing on the Shapton sale, and just buy Nanis over a period of months. Not like I am in dire need do a bunch of honing anyway. I've acquired a bunch of shave-ready straights through some swaps for some of my vintage FPs, so the 12k and paste will do me fine for some time.
There was another site that had the same offer and is not restricted to SRP members. However, I don't have the time to find the url right now. But it doesn't include the 16k

I would stick with the Naniwa stones. I know for a fact that they work well together and the feedback will be very similar for each stone and they just feel nice. Haven't tried the Shaptons, I'm sure they will placy nicely with the 12k. While different stones may cut more agreesiely and give different feedback, in the end, it all comes down to the honester. That isn't to say that some stones are better for razors than others, because there are stones that don't work as well. However, the two stones mentioned here work well with razors according to all accounts. And like Glen says, every stone has its place.
I like my Shaptons. As mentioned earlier they kick you in the backside and tell you to use the next finer hone. The feedback they give is clear when you are done. Definitely no overhoning issues.
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