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The Field Sharpening Kit (Standard) is a comprehensive Japanese water stone sharpening kit that has three sharpening grit sizes of Japanese Water Stones. With this sharpening kit you will be able to sharpen all of your cutting edged tools. The whole kit is enclosed in a small, compact and lightweight tough plastic watertight container. With this, well thought-out sharpening kit, you will; be able to keep all of your cutting tools, like knives, penknives, axes, machetes and woodcarving tools etc, in Razor sharp condition, whilst out in the field.
The Field Sharpening Kit (Standard) contains three top quality Japanese Water Stones that measure approximately 80mm (3 1/4-inches) long by 50mm (2-inches) wide by 13mm (1/2-inch) deep. There is one 240 grit Japanese Water Stone (green-blue), which cuts metal with amazing speed and is therefore ideal for quickly and efficiently removing metal from badly chipped and neglected blades or for reconstructing a new bevel on chisels etc. The 240 grit water stone can also be used to re-true the other grit sized water stones in this kit.
Since it is the Japanese Water Stones (brown) that are used most of the time, the Field Sharpening Kit includes two 800 grit stones. The 800 grit water stones are mainly used to flatten the backs of blades, re-establish or redefining the Relief of your blade and then establish the actual cutting edge, leaving the metal with a dull, but with a smooth surface.
Although a cutting edge that is created on an 800 grit water stone can become ‘Super Sharp’, it cannot become ‘Razor Sharp’ or even ‘Scary Sharp’, for this you will need to further refine the cutting edge on the 6,000 grit Japanese Water Stone (tan). The 6,000 grit Japanese Water Stone will bring the metal’s surface, of your blade, to a perfect mirror finish, which will enable you to transform the cutting edge from a ‘Super Sharp’ cutting edge into a ‘Razor Sharp’ or even ‘Scary Sharp’ cutting edge. The 6,000 grit stone can also be used to re-establish a cutting edge that is just slightly past its optimal cutting condition, by way of using the stone like a strop. Stropping a cutting edge on a Water Stone or a Strop is always done by dragging the cutting edge backwards along the surface of the water stone instead of pushing the cutting edge into the stone as if trying to slice off a thin layer of the stone as in the sharpening process.
In view of the fact that Japanese Water Stones require at least a 5-minute soaking, in water, before use, it makes practical sense that they be stored wet if they are to be used on a daily use. With this in mind, if they are to be kept in a pocket on your person or in a backpack etc, it is essential that they are stowed in a container that is watertight. The sturdy little plastic container, used with this sharpening kit, completely fits the necessary and stringent requirements that are essential for a container of this nature. The container is made from a very durable and tough plastic that will protect the water stones from accidental damage. It has a rubber ‘O’-ring gasket incorporated in the lid, which makes the container completely watertight, thus protecting you from the wet stones, whilst at the same time, maintaining the water stones a wet condition ready for immediate use. It also has a 90mm (3 1/2-inch) hinge and a secure front catch, so it will not open by accident. The complete Field Sharpening Kit (Standard) measures approximately 120mm (4 3/4-inches) long by 105mm (4 1/4-inches) wide by 35mm (1 3/8-inches) deep, and the weighs in at approximately 475 grams - dry weight - so it is small, and light, enough to be stored in a pocket, ‘Possibles’ pouch or a backpack.
The Field Sharpening Kit (Standard) also contains two Non-Slip Rubber mats for stabilising the wet water stones whilst sharpening is in progress. This enables you to maintain an accurate cutting angle, whilst you are sharpening, which would be virtually impossible to do if the water stones were sliding around. The mats are stored along with the water stones inside a tough plastic box. When packing the kit away after use, one of the two Non-Slip Mats is placed in the base of the box and the other Non-Slip Mat is placed in the lid. When the lid is then closed, the Non-Slip Mats sandwich the stones between them, gently but firmly cushioning them and preventing them from moving or rattling around, whilst they are being stored or transported.
It is advised, when using Japanese Water Stones, that they be frequently sprinkled with water, to remove the build up of any slurry. This will speed up the sharpening process by allowing the new sharper grit particles to come into contact with the surface that is being sharpened.
PLEASE NOTE: It is important to understand that these stones are not left in a wet condition if there is any likelihood of them becoming frozen, since this may cause them to crack.
We would also advise that if the water stones are not going to be used for any length of time or even be placed into storage, they be cleaned and allowed to thoroughly air dry, before placing them back into the watertight container. If they are in a damp or wet condition when being stored they may become mouldy. Whilst this mould will not affect the sharpening nature of the Japanese Water Stones, it is unsightly and may cause them to become permanently stained.