Shapton Traditional, HC and HR Series Glass Stones (aka Pro, JP and “Glass” Stones)

Recently, the Shapton stones have undergone name changes, as shown on the Shapton USA website. There has been some buzz on the knife forums in the keeping sharp and in the kitchen sections over the past few weeks, and I imagine there are other forums that are having the same discussions.

In a nutshell, here’s the current terminology for the Shapton stone lineup:

Previously known as Currently known as
Professional Series Traditional Series
Glass Stones (White stones) HR, or High Rockwell
JP (Japan) Glass Stones (Gray stones) HC, or High Carbon

The differences can easily be the cause of some confusion, especially if you are like me and have known Shapton from before the glass stone days!

When Harreleson Stanley first informed me of the change from Professional to the now Traditional name, I immediately associated “traditional” with “Clay Binding” stones, such as King stones, and I thought that the term traditional was a little overkill.

To be honest, I have found the Glass Stones to be confusing from the beginning….If there were only the original white Glass stones, now known as HR (High Rockwell), I would still be disappointed in the downgraded Professional name, because when I first tried them in 2004, the Pro stones were revolutionary, much like the Glass stones are today.

However, since they addition of the gray HC, or High Carbon stones (formerly known as JP) to the lineup, the Professional stones do take a very close back seat to the glass stones for several applications, although I still reserve the now Traditional stones for other applications because of their harder binding, which keeps them flat longer.

For example, in general, I am convinced that Glass stones are better suited for straight razors and double bevel kitchen knives – especially cleavers with big bellies (try the 1K, 2K HR with the 6K HC and WOW!), while the now Traditional stones are better suited for carbon steel single bevel knives. IMO, The Traditional stones are superior for reed knife sharpening and for use in the Edge Pro exactly because of their ability to remain flat longer – provided the steel is less than Rockwell 63.

More to come on specific progressions. Right now, I need to start changing all the stone names on my website!

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2 Responses to “Shapton Traditional, HC and HR Series Glass Stones (aka Pro, JP and “Glass” Stones)”

  1. serrated knife sharpener Says:

    Great job on this post! It was quite informative. I’ve saved the link to your website and I am certain that I’m going to come back many more times in future.

  2. Shapton Glass Stone Scratch Marks | Jende Industries Blog Says:

    […] to the 4K, 6K and 8K  Gray stones, or High Carbon (HC) stones, labeled here as the JP stones (see this post that addresses the Shapton nomenclature). The Jende Reed Knife is a Medium Carbon Steel RC 60-61, […]

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