The 8000 grit Shapton GlassStone shapes the bevel of any plain-edged knife quickly, depending on the skill of the user for accuracy. Modern refinements set the Shapton GlassStones apart from ordinary synthetic waterstones and from natural Japanese waterstones. You’ll need more than just the stones for the best Shapton edge.
Superficially, the Shapton GlassStones work in the same way as other waterstones. Using water as a lubricant, users take knives through a series of at least three different stones of succeedingly finer grit to reach the final mirror-bright and razor-sharp cutting edge. Although waterstones cut quickly, even synthetic ceramic waterstones wear away faster than the American alternatives like carborundum or novaculite. Shapton GlassStones uses an entirely different abrasive matrix and offer longer lasting surfaces.
Precisely graded powders of diamond grit bond to glass substrates to create these unusual sharpening stones. Keeping the surface wet with water prevents metal shavings from clogging the stone. Because the diamond surface doesn’t abrade as quickly as a ceramic waterstone, the Shapton stones cut longer and with more precision. Shapton believes in precision, and even though the wear might not be noticeable to many users, the company suggests lapping the stones on diamond grit lapping plates before each use. That keeps the abrasive surface perfectly flat.
Shapton also offers sharpening stone holders and a sharpening stone “pond” as accessories to the basic stones. Place the GlassStone in its holder, inside the sharpening pond, to prevent lubricating water from carrying grit onto a countertop surface. Rubbing the countertop clean of diamond grit might leave permanent scars.
See the KAI Combination Whetstone for an alternative system in ceramic grit.
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