Japanese Waterstones

Japanese waterstones are essential sharpening tools in woodworking. They are natural or synthetic abrasive stones used to sharpen blades and tools. To use them, woodworkers soak the stone in water, creating a slurry on the surface. With gentle circular motions, the blade is sharpened against the stone, utilizing the abrasive properties of water. This process maintains the tool's edge, ensuring precision and efficiency in woodworking tasks, while the water prevents overheating and helps create a keen, polished edge.

Waterstones propensity for wear can be exploited to produce a microscopic concavity in the back of a blade, thus ensuring that when you move on to a freshly flattened polishing stone, the critical area adjacent to the cutting edge makes contact with the polishing stone. When I first started using Japanese Waterstones I rubbed my fingers raw trying to flatten a blade with a 1000 grit stone because I didn—t know any different. If it is taking much longer than a minute or two on a surface, you should be probably using a coarser stone.

All of the stones in this section are wide enough to take a 2-3/8" plane iron, all except the 10,000 grit have two working faces for maximum versatility.