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This Professional grade Course 400 grit Japanese Water Stone is used in Phase Two of the sharpening process to re-establish a Razor Sharp Cutting Edge on any cutting tool that needs a major overhaul. It is excellent for reforming the cutting edge of a Knife Blade, Axe, Chisel or Plane Iron that has become dull or worn, and also at refining an edge that has been ground on the Extra Course 240 grit Japanese Water Stone. The 400 grit Water Stone would also be used to remove the deep, heavier, scratches that the courser 240 grit stone would make; each, successively finer and finer Japanese Water Stone grit size, being used to remove the scratches of the previous, courser Water Stone.
All Japanese Water Stones cut at an incredible rate, since any grit particles that become dull with wear will simply fall off the surface of the Water Stone and be replaced by the new, sharp, grit that lies beneath. Since Japanese Water Stones work so quickly, it is in the nature of them to wear somewhat quicker than an ordinary oilstone. This natural wearing of the Japanese Water Stone may produce a hollowing or concave effect on the surface of the stone, however, it can easily be re-trued using a Ceramic Flattening Stone. Re-truing the stone will allow very accurate honing to be achieved, and in the sharpening game accuracy equals increased sharpness. For those of you who may be a tad concerned by how the stone wears, we will waylay your concerns by saying that this 400 grit Japanese Water Stone is a substantial 205mm long by 77mm wide by 50mm high size so is going to last a long, long time.
Since all of the Japanese Water Stones are liable to slide around when you apply working pressure on the stone, we strongly advise serious Japanese Water Stone users to invest in the Non-Skid Water Stone Holder, which will prevent damage to your Japanese Water Stones and any work surface you might use it on. The base of the stone will just as easily, if not more easily, wear away your kitchen sink draining board as your knife blade!
As is usual with Japanese Water Stones they need to be saturated and the constantly doused with water if maximum performance is to be achieved whilst they are in use. To do this, simply place your Japanese Water Stones in a bucket of water and leave them there to soak for about 5 to 10 minutes before you start to use them. Then, whilst in use, Keep sprinkling the surface of the stone with clean water and or when it becomes dry. It is important to note, however, that you should never leave Japanese Water Stones in water if there is the remotest chance that the water they are in will freeze, since there is a strong possibility that this may crack your stone.
Phase One to achieving a truly Razor Sharp Cutting Edge, if your knife blade has become excessively dull, damaged or chipped, is to re-establish a proper cutting edge and remove all of the damage. To do this efficiently and in minimal time you should use the 240 grit (Extra-Course) Japanese Water Stone or a good quality Extra-Course Diamond Whetstone.
This 240 grit (Extra-Course) Japanese Water Stone cuts steel with amazing speed, but as is the nature of these stones they wear somewhat quicker than would an oilstone so when these fast cutting stones eventually do become hollowed, or concave, in the use, they can easily be re-trued using the Ceramic Flattening Stone. This massive Water Stone measures 205mm long by 75mm wide by 50mm high so this massive lump of stone is going to last a long time.
Phase Two is to use the 400 grit and then the 800 grit Japanese Water Stones. These two Course water stones are used to flatten the backs of blades and form the cutting edge; they leave the metal dull but smooth.
Phase Three to achieving a Razor Sharp and highly polished blade is to follow on from Phase Two with either a 1000 or a 1200 grit Japanese Water Stones, which will further refine, partially polish and remove scratches from your knife blade that previous grit sizes create.
Phase Four to achieving a Razor Sharp excellence is to bring your knife blade edge to a near mirror and then a mirror finish; this is done on the 4000 grit, the 6000 grit, 8000 grit and the ultimate 10,000 grit Japanese Water Stones, which is helped along with the additional use of a Japanese Nagura Stone.
Phase Five, the final Phase, to achieving a Razor Sharp perfection is to is to Strop the knife edge with a good quality leather strop such as the Shark Designs - Field Razor Strop (Deluxe) or Hand Razor Strop. Stropping a cutting edge helps to further polish the edge and if done often enough constantly realigns any curling that might be taking place. There are two main types of strop; one is just a simple strop that has no abrasive properties whatsoever and is basically used to polish and realign the blades cutting edge as already mentioned, the second is what is known as a Honing Strop. The Honing Strop is a basic strop that has been impregnated with a honing compound such as White Jewellers Rouge or something like Tormec’s Honing Paste. Honing will abrade the blades cutting edge, all be it at a very low level, making it absolutely ideal for resetting a cutting edge that is just beginning to dull, back to a Razor sharp state, thereby prolonging the periods between re-sharpening.