Which Edge Pro Stones – Stock, Chosera, or Shapton?

Since the introduction of the Shapton and Chosera stones for the Edge Pro, people have been asking which ones to get – the Stock, the Choseras, or the Shaptons?

As I’ve stated before, the stock stones are certainly very capable of creating an ultra sharp edge. Since it’s conception, the reputation of the EP and the stock stones has been nothing but stellar and I expect that it will always be that way. For those brand new to sharpening or sharpening with the Edge Pro, I suggest starting with the stock stones until your results consistently meet your expectations if for no other reason than the stock EP stones are cheaper to replace – like all things, there is a learning curve and you will probably mess up a stone or two along the way.

Once you are comfortable and confident using the Edge Pro or are ready for more stone options, you have 2 choices when expanding your EP stone collection. The first is to continue from where the stock EP stones leave off onto the Chosera or Shapton stones, and the second is to change out the stock EP stones for equivalent Chosera or Shapton stones. The best part is that no matter which you choose – EP, Shapton or Chosera, you will be happy – having different stones in your arsenal only makes you and your Edge Pro more versatile.

Before making any recommendations for specific stones, I think it best to first put these stones on a more even playing field since they use different, and often confusing grit measurement standards.  The chart below breaks each stone down into its abrasive particle size in microns. It is based on an existing comprehensive breakdown by others, but is by no means an exact comparison. I based the EP stones on the US ANSI standard, the Shaptons off the glass stone micron markings (probably the most exact), and the Chosera off the New JIS (Japanese) standard. To be thorough, I added the EP polishing tapes, but there seems to be a inconsistency in the math between the EP stones and the polishing tapes on the ANSI chart. (If anyone has more specific numbers for the EP stones and tapes, please let me know).

As you can see, the most common denominator is the EP stock 1k, the Shapton 2K and the Chosera 2K. If you choose to continue for more refinement after the stock 1K, the 2K Shapton or Chosera will pretty much duplicate the stock 1K as far as abrasive size is concerned.

If you choose to go with Shaptons, it is highly recommended to start with the Shapton 2K to really prepare the edge for the 5K Shapton pro. The 5K Shapton will only polish. You can skip from 2K to 8K in the Shaptons, but I personally prefer to use the 5K as the first polishing stone, then go to the 8K or even skip to the 15K.

If you start changing out the coarser EP stock stones for Shapton Professional stones, the #220 is formulated for stainless steel, and the #320 is formulated for carbon. The #120 is a hungry stone, but wears the fastest of the coarse Shaptons. The #220 is the “hardest” of the coarse stones, but any one of these stones will make quick work of profiling and removing chips. The 1K is probably the most mathematically correct intermediate Shapton stone. From there, you can go to 2K or skip to the 5K. the #1,500 stone is a little better at skipping to the 5K than the 1K. If you are going for a more cosmetic finish, 1K to 2K to 5K is best.

If you choose to go with Chosera, the 2K or 3K Chosera will set up the edge for the 5K and 10K Choseras. Since the 3K is not a polishing stone, going from the 1K stock EP to the Chosera 3K is reasonable. Skipping from 2K to 5K and 3K to 10K is also acceptable, although still using the 5K  before the 10K is probably best in the long run. Because of the close proximity of the 2K and 3K, the best option for you will depend on which stone is used before and after.

If you start changing out the coarser EP stones for Chosera stones, the #400 is not as slow as it’s grit number sounds. It can hold its own when changing the profile or removing chips. The #400, #600 and #800 Choseras are probably best for simple maintenance sharpening – the #600 is also very nice for removing coarser scratch marks before the 1K.  Like the Shaptons, the 1K Chosera is a mathematically sound stone before either the 2K or 3K Chosera.

So – What do I recommend? Get them all and find out for yourself which is best for you and your knives!  : )

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14 Responses to “Which Edge Pro Stones – Stock, Chosera, or Shapton?”

  1. Dan Says:

    I want to acknowledge the value you provided. Thank you very much. I now know, with clarity, the direction I wish to move with new purchases. Thank you again for providing clear comparisons.

  2. Tim Says:

    I also wanted to thank you for putting together this fantastic comparison. For the 2 weeks I was debating which stones to buy, I always had a window with this page open. Ended up going EP up to 1000, and then a 3000 Chosera. Next, when I can stomach spending $50+ for the 10000, (and after testing out the 3000 EP papers) I’ll jump there.

    Great job!

  3. Jende Industries Says:

    Thank you for taking the time to comment! I’m glad the comparison has helped you in your decision. FWIW, I think you’ll be quite happy with the Chosera 3K. Please feel free to keep us informed!

  4. Josey Says:

    Tom,

    It was great to speak with you. This chart is just what I needed to help chart my direction in stones. Thank you very much!

    J. M. Johnson, III

  5. Boomer bio Jordan Says:

    Thanks for the information. Although I worked for many years as a tool & cutter grinder this is my first basic kitchen knife sharpening venture. I will get the edge pro with EP stones after reading the advice that there is a learning curve so it may be best to start on less expensive stones. More choices made it more confusing and you cleared up the whole issue. Thanks again. Richard Jordan

  6. Steve Soctt Says:

    If there is one love I have on this earth it is sharpening. I have been using EP since 1998 and have been using the EP stones for 14 years, (the orginal course and mediums have been replaced many times). I can not tell you have many knives, scissors, and axes have been sharpened and my biggest complaint I receive is they are too sharp. I really appreciate the information and can not wait to expand my stone collection,
    Thank you for your input!
    Steve Scott

  7. Jacob Says:

    I too have been using the Edge Pro for quite some time (7 years). I use it almost every day and looooove it. I have always used the stock EP stones until I recently tried the choseras. After all i read online i was a little disappointed in the choseras. I think i get an equal, if not better finish using Edge Pro’s polish tapes, with the glass blank.
    If someone is just looking to expand their stone collection and price is not a factor, then choseras will satisfy that need. But I did not experience a higher finish, or a sharper edge.

    • Jende Industries Says:

      Thanks for your review and your honesty Jacob. I believe your conclusions place you in the “die hard” category (much like I’m a seriously die hard Shapton fan). You are by no means incorrect, though – the stock EP stones and tapes are certainly adequate (which we’ve said from day 1 – please read this post).

      I also recommend reading this post about the Chosera scratches under the microscope. In my experience, the edges from the EP stock/tape, Choseras, Shaptons, and all the sprays and compounds are all tangibly different.

      Thanks for reading!

  8. Jackson Hawk Says:

    I see that your Chosera 5 stone set for the Edge Pro has 600, 1K, 3K, 5K and 10K, but to me, according to your chart, a mathematically sound 5-stone set would be 400, 800, 2K, 5K and 10K, since each stone in the progression is about half the micron size as the one before it. What are your thoughts on such a progression?

    Also, what is a practical working edge for a household kitchen Japanese knife set? Would it be prudent to stop at 1 or 2K, or go all the way to 10K?

    Thanks a lot for putting this chart on your site. It is of great value.

    • Jende Industries Says:

      Thanks for reading, Jackson!
      Based on the micron rating and the grit rating, the 400, 800, 2K, 5K, 10K Chosera progression is just fine. I like to think of the 8oo more as a “coarse 1K”, and the 800 and 1K Chosera are both good single-stone solutions for a basic working edge and jump easily to the 2K.

      As for the practical working edge, there is no absolute answer. However, 800 grit is probably the minimum refinement I would recommend, and it’s a no-frills working edge. After that, it becomes a matter of preference and a delicate balance of how you use the knife, the geometry, and the steel type. For good quality Japanese knives, the Chosera 1K, 2K, and 3K are “good enough” edges that will slice and chop well and are easily maintained. The 5K is a nicely balanced edge, and the 10K+ edges are generally better for slicing (but they still chop!) :)

      The best thing to do is to start with a 1K or 2K edge the first time, and then see if you want more refinement. But if you’re reading my blog, then you probably will want more refinement :D

  9. The Wicked Edge Precision Sharpener (WEPS) Just Got Dangerous! | Jende Industries Blog Says:

    […] of where the Chosera stones may fit into your progression, there is a comparison chart on my blog here. (I hope to update it to include the WEPS stones […]

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