This page was created from Joel's Interactive Guide to Straight Razor Shaving and can be discussed in this threadhttp://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthread.php?t=28589.
The Kitayama stone is often advertised as a 12,000 grit water stone, but it is actually an 8,000-9,000 grit water stone. The interesting thing about the Kitayama stone however, is that while it is barely a finer grit than a Norton (if finer at all) it does a much, much better job at eliminating scratch patterns from hones, and as a result is quite a nice polishing/finishing hone, and will leave a very smooth, very nice edge on your razor. The Kitayama comes with an artificial nagura stone, which I don't recommend using when honing razors with this stone as this stone is so soft it provides outstanding feel/feedback I think the nagura ends up doing more harm than good. Speaking of feedback by the way, this stone offers AMAZING feedback, and is just about the most fun hone to use. You can really feel what's going on and you just sort of "know" when the edge is perfectly honed. I am quite fond of this hone, and it is certainly striking, as it is quite large (8-1/8 X 3 X 1)and beautifully mounted to a large piece of wood. This hone is pretty easy to use, and I've found does not need to be soaked, merely wet the top of the hone, and it should be ready to go. Great hone, but overall, I think there are better, less expensive options.
Very large/sturdy stone, does not require the "X" pattern when honing.
- Hone is ready quickly, just needs a little water on the top.
- Outstanding feedback from the hone, really fun to use.
- Exceptionally easy to use, and get good results from.
- At $70, this is a pretty expensive stone. For the money you can get a small Belgian Yellow Coticule New & Vintage, or for quite a bit less you could purchase a Chinese 12K or a spyderco ultra-fine.
- Hone is very heavy with the wooden base, a bit cumbersome to use when honing from the hand.
- This stone is very soft, and as a result will need to be lapped frequently.
- The included nagura stone is pretty useless/pointless.