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 we offer, 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 × 75mm × 25mm (about 8" × 2 15/16" × 1").