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There are many types of man-made water stone, which vary primarily in the durability of the abrasive particles and the strength of the bond between them. Tough abrasives cut quickly and lose aggressiveness slowly. Less durable abrasives may cut well initially, but the rate diminishes as the particles fracture and dull. Stones with strong bonds wear slowly, releasing fresh, sharp abrasive at a slower rate than those with weak bonds, which release abrasive at a faster rate but wear more rapidly. Formulating a stone is a balancing act, since the properties of the abrasive particles and the bonds holding them together combine to affect cutting speed and wear resistance.

Selecting a stone depends on what you sharpen most often and what you are willing to spend. To help you understand the options, we have compiled our observations into the following guide.

Guide to Full-Size Water Stones



King Water Stones
 

Norton Water Stones

Bester/Imanishi Ceramic Water Stones
         

Sigma Power Select II Ceramic Water Stones
 

Accessories
         

 


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