Shapton - Professional Series Waterstones (Rating: 5)

I ordered these Shapton Professional Stones from 'Tools from Japan'

I just went with the 1000 (orange) and the 8000 melon stone, as I have both a leather strop and a felt wheel for the final stropping past 8000.

Stuart's prices from Japan were much lower than what is available stateside.
My order:
1 ea. iWood sharpening stone/plate rubber base. US$18.39
1 ea. Shinto 'Saw rasp', 250mm 'rasp' style. US$19.41
1 ea. Shapton Pro orange #1000 US$36.83
1 ea. Razorsaw Dozuki, rip cut 240mm, complete saw. US$38.88
1 ea. Kozuchi Hira-nomi Chisel roll #6 weight Canvas. 10 pocket. US$16.34
1 ea. Shapton pro melon #8000 US$68.58
The stones on Amazon

Shapton 1000 Grit (Orange) Professional Series Waterstone Price: $62.95

Shapton 8000 Grit (Melon) Professional Series Waterstone Price: $122.39

THe Dozuki (the Gyochuko 372 that David Barron uses is only available at Hida tool) cost $57.90

So even though shipping was a bit more expensive - I saved 80 dollars on the two stones, and 20 on the Dozuki.

The base/stone holder is pretty basic, but I liked that it held the stone along the long edges. The rubber is (by texture and smell - - tire rubber. But it holds the stone well and doesn't slide.

As for the review!

I place the stone in a baking pan (which is not endearing to SWMBO - for her 13X9X2 cake pan. I will have to make a walmart purchase to keep the peace - but I had to try it out.

I sharpened my bevel up smoothing plane and block planes (25 degree bevel) using these stones and a Veritas first edition guide.
For the chisels, I have the Lie Nielson socket chisels, so clamping them in the Mk 1 is more challenging because of the bevel to the body of the chisel blade…. not issu with the flat plane blades.

I sharpened the chisels at 35degrees, and added a 2 degree microbevel to both chisels and plane blades.

I was thrilled, at how I just needed to get the stones wet, and not soak them, and how rapidly they removed material.
Before this I used the scary sharp sandpaper method, then went to my felt wheel with flexcut yellow compound on it.

Now the 8000 grit was sharp, but not quite enough to shave with. But a few passes on the leather strop and I was trimming follicles, like the Barber of Seville.

The shapton stones are terrific. I cannot say they are better than King, or some of the other names, as I was using sandpaper and glass before. Assuming you are not in a big hurry, I definitely recommend Tools from Japan. It takes several weeks vs 3 day free amazon shipping, but he is plugged into the source.

Notice, you do not get instructions in English… But I can live with that, there are enough Youtube videos on care and feeding of sharpening stones.