Trust me - you will have hand plane razor blades

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Review by ColonelTravis posted 01-08-2014 05:52 AM 5577 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Trust me - you will have hand plane razor blades Trust me - you will have hand plane razor blades Trust me - you will have hand plane razor blades Click the pictures to enlarge them

I had polished three plane blades with this stone for the first time and was putting a little paste wax on them for rust protection with a towel, and on #3 the blade went through the towel into my thumb. HAHAHA! WELCOME TO KITAYAMA KOUNTRY, MORON!

Technically and scientifically, I can’t tell you how well this stone will polish a blade. Practically, I will say it’s damn better than I’ve ever gotten anything in my life – beautiful, death-sharp microbevel that will demand a first aid kit if you’re an idiot like me. The cut I got was not bad enough for stitches. It was probably not far from that severity, but the blade was so sharp it didn’t hurt. Had there not been a towel in the way I’m sure I would have gone to the emergency room. You need to be careful with this stuff but if you’ve gotta cut yourself bad, get a Kitayama and go pain-free! I’ll give it two thumbs up for almost losing your thumb without even knowing it.

A month or so ago I bought a Hock blade, and out of the package that thing could trim arm hair. This stone easily puts on an edge sharper than the Hock factory.

I’ve read people say that the Kitayama 8000 polishes like a 12000 stone. As far as I’m concerned, who cares. When you’re working with wood I’m struggling to see how 12000 benefits a plane or chisel blade over 8000. If that’s the case, great. To me, once you get to a certain stratosphere it becomes pointless. Again, I’m just talking wood. I know knife and straight razor people can be kinda maniacal about this stuff.

I’ve dumped the scary sharp method for:

DMT Dia-Sharp Coarse
Shapton Pro 1000
Kitayama 8000

That’s all I use now, and those three have given me sharpness I never thought I could get. Absolutely outstanding. Scratch that, I’ve got a piece of leather to make a strop but geez – I haven’t bothered to make it yet because the sharpness I’ve got is ridiculous as it is. I can push the blade into paper and slice it with no tearing. With a strop I am guessing the paper would tear itself like magic before the blade even touches it since it knows what’s coming. Actually, the DMT is just to put on the primary bevel, and once that’s down there’s no reason to do it again any time soon. Otherwise it’s a flattening stone.

As for flattening, it’s not as easy to flatten as the Shapton. The vacuum between the DMT and the Kitayama forms very quickly and it’s hard to push the DMT across the entire way. I have to separate the two many times and rinse off the DMT each time. This might be because the DMT grit isn’t the best match for this one, or maybe all polishing stones are like this when flattening, or maybe it’s just a characteristic of this stone. No clue. With the edge I get, I really don’t care because you don’t have to hone the blade very long on it. I did flatten the stone once per blade to make sure I was getting the best edge possible.

The Kitayama is dense and very, very smooth – also cuts fast. I never counted how many strokes it took for a burr but I remember being surprised by how few it took. Comes attached to a wooden base, also comes with a nagura, which I haven’t used because I haven’t felt the need to. You don’t need to soak this stone, it’s a splasher like the Shapton Pros.

Got this stone for $77 at Korin and it says there that the “Kitayama stone contains Magnesium salts that makes it the softest in the market.” I would say “soft” is not the best adjective, it’s very buttery smooth. Since this is my first 8000 stone I have no other polishing stone to compare it to. I got this because of many glowing reviews at CKTG and the price is, as far as I know, impossible to beat for that grit and overall quality. I’ve read a lot of people rave about other polishing stones, I’m sure I’ll try others down the road, and I wish I had the discretionary income to test 3-4 polishing stones alongside this one. As things stand now, the Kitayama fits my needs superbly and I could not recommend it highly enough.

Knife guy on YT made a video review that’s about 15 minutes long if anyone’s interested.

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2667 days

13 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3065 days

#1 posted 01-08-2014 01:40 PM

Nice review, thanks.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View smitdog's profile


464 posts in 2878 days

#2 posted 01-08-2014 03:58 PM

Thanks for the review, that sounds like a great price for a stone like that. Glad your battle wound didn’t send you to the medic! I’ve pulled that move with the towel before too…

-- Jarrett - Mount Vernon, Ohio

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2905 days

#3 posted 01-08-2014 04:02 PM

Very in-depth review. Thanks for your time in replying, as I am certainly planning to up grade my current sharpening station probably within the year. My current station contains 800 and 3000 Water stones purchased in 1979. DMT medium, leather strop and honing guide, Marble plate and sand paper of many grits.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4350 days

#4 posted 01-08-2014 04:20 PM

Thanks for the review.


View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2667 days

#5 posted 01-08-2014 07:24 PM

Little update – I emailed Korin about the flattening issue and they said that was normal. So I guess it’s a trait of all these high-grit stones.

View MrRon's profile


5913 posts in 4016 days

#6 posted 01-08-2014 07:36 PM

Isn’t an edge that sharp very fragile?

View bobasaurus's profile


3633 posts in 3957 days

#7 posted 01-08-2014 08:26 PM

That’s a funny review, thanks for the information. Why did you decide on the Kitayama instead of the Shapton for the fine stone? I have a 15k Shapton and like it a lot, but I’m always curious about other stone varieties.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View ColonelTravis's profile


1976 posts in 2667 days

#8 posted 01-08-2014 10:21 PM

MrRon – None of my blades are A2 and I haven’t noticed any fragility. Since you’re only shaving off a few thousands of an inch or so, plus the edge is on a microbevel, which leaves a lot of steel behind it for reinforcement, I’m a fan of this kind of sharp. Right now I’m using the standard 25 degree angle. I’ll probably experiment with the angle a little bit to see how edge retention goes, and I’ve got other blades for big angle differences for hard hardwoods. I haven’t plowed into anything very dense, but the curls are nice on the stuff that I’ve tried out:

Allen – Price was the reason. Love to try other polishing stones but at $77 I couldn’t turn down this one. Looked at all the big brands in the 8K-10K range.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3577 days

#9 posted 01-09-2014 01:09 AM

Thnx for the review, and the few links. Sharp is always better for sure. But, don’t use em on your fingers anymore. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View MacB's profile


38 posts in 2414 days

#10 posted 01-10-2014 01:50 AM

Good review, but hoping to see a pic of the cut finger :-)

View NormG's profile


6506 posts in 3777 days

#11 posted 01-10-2014 08:07 AM

Thank you, I will put chainmail around the papertowel

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Jason300b's profile


33 posts in 2396 days

#12 posted 01-11-2014 03:10 AM

Great review. Thanks for taking the time to post.

-- Jason, Colorado

View JonBikeRacer's profile


70 posts in 2375 days

#13 posted 01-11-2014 04:40 PM

Thank you for the info, and laugh!

I got my first hand plane a year ago, and now I have 4, not counting an electric Bosch, essential for end grain work. There is something scary fun about making a piece of metal perversely sharp. So far, all I have used for final honing is 2.5K grit sandpaper taped to a piece of glass. While I have a mirror finish on all of my irons, I may just give one of these stones a try.

-- Jon "That's about as close as I can eyeball it"

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