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! : )
Tags: Chosera, Chosera Edge pro, Chosera EP Stones, Edge Pro, Edge Pro sharpening, Edge Pro stones, EP stones, jende industries, knife sharpening, Shapton, Shapton Edge Pro, sharpening, sharpening with an edge pro