Excellent for general use, Bester/Imanishi stones have a moderately strong bond that allows abrasive particles to release quickly enough to maintain a fast cutting rate, yet wear well. In our tests, they abrade O1, A2, and M2 steels at a speed second only to the Sigma Select II stones (our #60K82.01+), but remain flat as long as slow-cutting stones with much stronger bonds.
Bester 700x, 1000x, and 2000x stones have a vitrified bond and should be soaked for about 15 minutes before use. The fine 4000x and 8000x resin-bonded Imanishi stones need just a spritz. Best used in progression, the 700x stone grinds a primary bevel, the 1000x stone establishes a basic edge, the 2000x is an intermediate stone for use prior to honing with the 4000x, and the 8000x polishes to a mirror finish.
Overall dimensions are 205mm x 75mm x 25mm (about 8" x 2-15/16" x 1").
To read a comparison of our water stones, click the "Tech" link below.