Grit Charts

Our Grit Selection Chart

We have chosen to use effective (or actual) micron grit size as the scale by which we can compare the effective fineness of stones, understanding that particle size alone is not the only determinant of finish. Factors such as grit shape, bonding material and grit durability can all influence effective fineness. We charted five grit standards using micron grit sizes from 4125μ, down to 0.3μ, and added Shapton stones, ceramic stones, water stones, diamond stones, oil stones and specialized sheet abrasives to create a table of relative fineness.

Moving from a damaged edge to an ultimate edge involves four stages of sharpening:

  1. Shaping: establishing the basic profile of the tool, usually required only after major damage
  2. Grinding: establishing the geometry that defines the edge – bevels and relief
  3. Honing: preparing the blade for use
  4. Polishing: imparting a keener edge to a honed blade

We divided our chart into grit ranges appropriate for each sharpening stage, with the last three ranges split into three subranges (low, medium and high, designated by letters A, B and C). Grouping them together in micron-sizebased bands reduces the complexity of comparing different products. Conceptually, it makes selecting a sharpening solution for each stage easy while choosing abrasive solutions that complement what you may already own. A good general rule is that for each sharpening stage, you want to move from one range to the next, keeping two or more divisions difference between steps.



Sharpening Stage Grit Range (µ) Range Code
Shaping 30.1–150 30.1–150 1
Grinding 10.1–30 20.1–30 2A
15.1–20 2B
10.1–15 2C
Honing 3.01-10 8.01–10 3A
6.01-8 3B
3.01-6 3C
Polishing 0.25–3 1.51-3 4A
0.76-1.5 4B
0.25-0.75 4C

Condensed Grit Chart

This chart shows a selection of the sharpening media we carry. The full grit chart can be downloaded below.



Sharpening Stage Range Code Grit Range (µ) Stones
Shaping 30.1–150 1 30.1–150 EZE-Lap 150 (141), DMT 120 (120), DiaFlat 120 (120), DiaSharp 120 (120), Coarse India (102), Atoma 140 (100), 3M 100μ (100), King 250 (80), King 200 (74) Shapton Kuromaku 220 (66.82), Shapton GS (66.82), Norton 220 (65) , Sigma 240 (60), EZE-Lap 250 (60), DMT 220 (60), DiaSharp 220 (60), Pride Abrasive 220 (55), Shapton Kuromaku 320 (45.94), Shapton GS (45.94), Atoma 400 (45), DMT 325 (45), DiaSharp 325 (45) Fine India (35)
Grinding 10.1–30 2A 20.1–30 EZE-Lap 600 (30), Shapton 500 (29.4), Shapton GS7 25μ (25), DMT 600 (25), DiaSharp 600 (25), Pride Abrasive 600 (24), Soft Arkansas (22)
2B 15.1–20 King 800 (20), Bester 700 (17), King 1000 (16)
2C 10.1–15 Atoma 1200 (15), EZE-Lap 1200 (15), Shapton Kuromaku 1000 (14.7), Shapton GS 1000 (14.7), Sigma 1000 (14), Pride Abrasive 1000 (14), Norton 1000 (14) , King 1200 (13), Shapton GS7 11.5μ (11.5), Bester 1000 (11.5), Hard (Fine) Arkansas (11.5)
Honing 3.01 3A 8.01-10 Shapton Kuromaku 1500 (9.8), DMT 1200 (9.2), DiaSharp 1200 (9.2)
3B 6.01-8 Shapton Kuromaku 2000 (7.35), Shapton GS 2000 (7.35), Sigma 3000 (7), Shapton GS7 6.7μ (6.7), Bester 2000 (6.7)
3C 3.01-6 Norton 4000 (6), Hard Black Arkansas (6), Pride Abrasive 3000 (5), Shapton GS 3000 (4.9), King 4000 (4.5), Shapton GS7 4.00μ (4), Shapton GS 4000 (3.68)
Polishing 0.25-3 4A 1.51-3 Shapton GS7 3.00μ (3), Imanishi 4000 (3), Pride Abrasive 6000 (3), Norton 8000 (3), DMT 8000 (3), DiaSharp 8000 (3), Shapton Kuromaku 5000 (2.94), Shapton GS 6000 (2.45), Shapton GS7 2.00μ (2), Pride Abrasive 8000 (2), King 8000 (2), Shapton Kuromaku 8000 (1.84), Shapton GS 8000 (1.84), Sigma 10000 (1.5)
4B 0.76-1.5 Shapton GS 10000 (1.47), Shapton GS7 1.20μ (1.2), Imanishi 8000 (1.2), Pride Abrasive 10000 (1.2), Shapton Kuromaku 12000 (1), Shapton GS 16000 (0.92), Sigma 13000 (0.9), Shapton GS7 0.85μ (0.85)
4C 0.25-0.75 Shapton Kuromaku 30000 (0.49), Shapton GS 30000 (0.49), Shapton GS7 0.44μ (0.44)


Sharpening Stage Range Code Grit Range (µ) Papers / Films / Grit / Compound
Shaping 30.1–150 1 30.1–150 90x (150), 100x (141), P120 (125), 120x (116), P150 (100), 3M 100μ Film (100), 150x (93), P180 (82),  (78), P220 (68), 220x (66), P240 (58.5), 240x (53.5), P280 (52.2), P320 (46.2), 280x (44), P360 (40.5), 320x (36), P400 (35), P500 (30.2)
Grinding 10.1–30 2A 20.1–30 3M 30μ Film (30), 360x (28.8), P600 (26), P800 (21.8)
2B 15.1–20 500x (19.7), P1000 (18.3), 600x (16), P1200 (15.3)
2C 10.1–15 3M 15μ Film (15), P1500 (12.6), 800x (12.2), P2000 (10.3)
Honing 3.01 3A 8.01-10 1000x (9.2), 3M 9μ Film (9), P2500 (8.4)
3B 6.01-8 P3000 (7), 1200x (6.5)
3C 3.01-6 6μ Diamond Paste (6), 3M 5μ Film (5), P5000 (5)
Polishing 0.25-3 4A 1.51-3 3μ Diamond Paste (3), 3M 3μ Film (3)
4B 0.76-1.5 1μ Diamond Paste (1), 3M 1μ Film (1)
4C 0.25-0.75 3M 0.5μ Film (0.5), Green Compound (0.5), 3M 0.3μ Film (0.3)


Numbers in brackets are the effective particle size in microns.


FULL GRIT CHART

How Fine is "Fine"?

When it comes to grading sharpening media, there are several standards used by manufacturers. For abrasive papers, the two most common standards are the US CAMI (Coated Abrasives Manufacturers Institute) standard and the European FEPA (Federation of European Producers of Abrasives) paper standard, which prefixes paper-based grits with the letter P. Japanese manufacturers often use the JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard). Other standards include the FEPA F (for stones and wheels) and the ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards. At the low end of the scale, say 60x, the five tandards are numerically close – CAMI 60x is 268μ, FEPA P60 is 269μ, and JIS J60x is also 269μ. The scales diverge at different rates as the grits get finer: in the 5μ to 7μ range, FEPA paper is 5000x, ANSI is 1000x and FEPA F is 800x. All of this can make it difficult to compare grit sizes among manufacturers.



FEPA P FEPA F JIS
Paper Grain Japan ANSI CAMI Microns
Coarse Grits 70 288
P60 J60 269
60 268
F60 260
Fine Grits F400 17.3
J1000 500 600 16
P1200 15.3
Extra-Fine Grits F800 1200 6.5
1000 6.33
P5000 J3000 5



This full-size chart, ranging from 4125μ down to 0.3μ, contains data on five abrasive standards (FEPA-P, FEPA-F, JIS-R6001, ANSI, CAMI) as well as relative grading of the Shapton line, ceramic stones, water stones, diamond stones, oil stones and specialty sheet material.



Download the full grit chart here (PDF)


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