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Dec 1, 2011 06:42 PM

Ceramic 1000 Vs other 1000 grit stone. japanese Knife store said Ceramic better

I just went to the only true japanese knife store in Vancouver Canada to look at they're sharpening stones, after looking at his selection of knife i ask about what stones he has for sale. He had only two in stock because he was waiting on a shipment of more.The two he had 1000 ceramic and 1000 whetstone with $30 price difference. He started to tell me that most pro chefs only use a 1000 grit stone plus anything higher is not really for long time sharpness or holding the edge longer. Then he said the ceramic stone would cut the sharpening time of a knife by haft that of a whetstone. The ceramic stone was way smother the other looked nicer. So is what he said hold any truth? what are the benefits to a ceramic stone?

Your input please.

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  1. ukjason,

    "1000 ceramic and 1000 whetstone with $30 price difference"

    I love you, man. You know it, but the information here do not tell us too much. Any sharpening stone is a whetstone. As for ceramic stone, it is a narrower definition stone, but still covers a lot. Both aluminum oxide and silicon carbide stones can be considered as ceramic stones, along with others. Both oil stones and water stones can be called ceramic stones. Do you remember the names of those stones? Probably not, huh? How about the link to that knife store and then tell us which stones you saw.

    "He started to tell me that most pro chefs only use a 1000 grit stone plus anything higher is not really for long time sharpness or holding the edge longer."

    A big yes to the first part of the statement, and a no for the second half. I have suggested you to get a 1000 grit stone instead of a combination stone.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I not the sharpest tool in shed when its come to the finer details about knifes, buy I'm learning. the white one

      1. re: ukjason

        "I not the sharpest tool in shed when its come to the finer details about knifes"

        That is not what I meant. All of us born to this world knowing nothing, and we slowly gather information as time passes. Each of us gathers different types of information as we learn, so it is not about being sharpest or not. I just wanted to said that the earlier information was insufficient for most people to give a good answer.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Im not bashing you, maybe I should have said I'm on my learning curve journey up. Anyway did you look at the link.

          1. re: ukjason

            Yes, I am still typing my response. I have heard of the CERAX stone (the white color one, right?), but I have not used one. It is a hard waterstone made by Suehiro. It requires very little water soaking, but nonetheless is a waterstone. You can read a bit more here:


            You can also see the massive list of stones made by Suehiro. The CERAX is on page 5.

            I don't know the other whetstone... so I cannot say how I feel between the CERAX stone and the other whetstone.

            The CERAX is a good stone based on reputation, but my gut feeling is that you don't need to spend this much for the first stone.

            *Edited* Opps.... here is the list:


            *Edited again* Is the other whetstone you spoke of is the greenish one next to the CERAX stone in the photo?

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              On his web site he does not have a picture of the stone I saw in his store. The stone had a brownish colour much grittier feeling than ceramic 1000.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  yep thats the one, Got to love out canadian Prices.

                  1. re: ukjason

                    The Canadian prices are always something I don't understand.

                    The Naniwa stone above should work just fine. It will dish out faster, but it will work fine. To be really honest, I don't known which is a better deal for you because both prices look a bit higher than it should be.


                    Can you just buy one online?

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      yes i could just buy it from they are a canadian store with lots of choices.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        I could use a post box service in blaine Washington, only 30- 40 mins drive.

                        1. re: ukjason

                          Nah, it is not worth to drive 30-40 min one way (60-80 min roundtip) for a few dollars.

                          The two Naniwa 1000 grit stone from the knifewear stores look a lot more affordable.



                          Paulfinest also has reasonably priced Naniwa super stones:


                            1. re: ukjason

                              "how come your up so late"

                              Because I am thinking about you? :P

                              By the way, all three stones above look alright.

                              The so called soft Naniwa stone will give you consistent grinding and it is most affordable, but you will have to lap/flatten the stone more often. Many people love soft stone.

                              The hard Naniwa stone will hold up better and require less frequent lapping. A hard stone is better if you think you will quite a bit of edge reprofilng in the future.

                              Naniwa Super 1000 grit from Paulfinest will give you the most polished and shiny finish, and require no soaking. I have two Naniwa super stones, just not the 1000 grit.

                              Here is what I think. If you still don't know and want to just pick one, then I will take the soft one. It is cheapest, and many people love the way a soft stone feels. It is also bigger. I said it before and I will say it again. Make sure you have a way to lap/flatting your stones.

      2. I haven't used either. From the links you and Chem have posted, both appear to be synthetic waterstones.

        A note about terminology - 'ceramic' isn't a particularly useful term for sharpening stones. I guess it tells you that you're not looking at a diamond stone, but that's pretty obvious usually.

        Whetstone - refers to any sharpening stone. Most major types have their own grit systems - 1000 grit Japanese waterstone is NOT the same as 1000 grit oilstone

        Here are the major classes of whetstones:

        Synthetic Waterstone - I recommend these. They are generally aluminum oxide abrasives set in some kind of matrix. The matrix varies from brand to brand, and is often sort of a trade secret. There may even be some that don't use aluminum oxide. The important thing is that they are lubricated by water and that they slowly wear away as you sharpen revealing new abrasive surface. They usually sharpen fast, but need occasional flattening.

        Natural waterstone - naturally forming Japanese sharpening stone. Works similarly to synthetic waterstones. Can be VERY expensive. Sort of a collectors' item. Grit scaling is not as precise.

        Oilstone/carborundum stone - generally cheap hardware store type stones. They can be lubricated by oil or water (but only one or the other). They are harder and don't wear away as you use them. They don't grind as fast as waterstones and they can get clogged up. Not necessarily bad, but they don't seem to work as well on harder steels as waterstones.

        Diamond stones/DMT - diamond abrasives set on a hard flat surface. Typically lubricate with water or not at all. These ostensibly don't wear away, but can wear down over time, especially if you use much pressure. Seem to sharpen comparably fast to waterstones, faster with some metals.

        Arkansas stones - whetstones made of novaculite. Usually natural forming (though I believe there are synthetic Arkansas stones also). Most often, you lubricate these with oil. I haven't tried these, but they are said to perform very similarly to oilstones - they're hard; they don't wear away. They are said not to work very well on hard Japanese knives.

        Other terms like 'ceramic' or 'glass stone' are usually brand descriptors and don't necessarily tell you very much.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cowboyardee

          Holy crap. I should have answered more like you did. An excellent and comprehensive response.

          1. re: cowboyardee

            Thanks for break down on stones, very informative.

            1. re: ukjason

              Here is a more straightforward answer to your question:

              For the time being I recommend you buy one of the cheaper 1000 grit (800 or 1200 is fine too) synthetic waterstones. This will get you started. It will serve a Japanese knife well. It will get you used to using waterstones and their particular feel and maintenance. Don't be upsold by a store telling you that one stone is better than another. Not yet.

              Once you get your feet whet (ha!) and start to develop a routine, then you'll have some decisions to make. You will be able to make do with what you have and not go any further if you like. Or you can start putting together a set of waterstones, which is a little more complicated than just picking out whichever stone looks good at a given grit. You may decide that convenience is particularly important to you (say, you like to be able to just pull out a stone and sharpen on the fly), in which case no-soak stones would be a good idea. Or maybe you wait till your knives are quite dull and sharpen a bunch at a time, in which case the Bester stones might be better. Or maybe you're a feel guy, so you want particularly hard or soft stones depending on your preference. Or maybe you want to chase the perfect edge, in which case a set designed to be particularly synergistic would be ideal (choseras and a lot of the knifeforums recommendations come into play here).

              Depends on your knives, and on your habits... which you haven't formed yet. So just get a nice, functional, affordable 1k synthetic waterstone. There are very few true duds on the market, and none that I know of are 1000 grit.

          2. Jason

            My suggestion is buy cheap stones in Chinatown, think 5 bucks or so, and practice on knives that you no longer care about. Then, as you acquire experience and feel, look to better stones. I see no point in taking inexperience to an expensive blade.

            1. what is the difference between hard type and soft type water stone? and what are they'er uses?

              1 Reply
              1. re: ukjason

                The main difference is hardness/softness.

                I know that's a dumb answer.

                But the main difference is really how hard or soft a stone feels as you use it. Soft stones tend to wear faster and need more flattening. Hard stones more often than not abrade faster, but there are definitely exceptions. Soft stones can more easily be gouged if you are sloppy with your hands (this can be a good or a bad thing - you can ugly up your stones, but you'll also learn to hold a steadier angle with that kind of feedback). Hard stones have a little more of a nails-on-chalkboard type feel to them. Some people feel they get better feedback from harder stones and some people feel they get better feedback from softer stones - IMO it seems to depend on what you're most used to.

                There are good hard stones and good soft stones out there. One isn't necessarily any better than the other.

              2. Thanks for all your input, this talk will help me very much in my decision

                1 Reply
                1. re: ukjason

                  Happy journey, no matter what you choose.