Both natural sharpening stones and manmade water stones consist of partcles of hard crystal abrasive bonded together in a matrix. In manmade water stones (non organic composites) the abrasive particles and bonding agents are selected independently for optimal performance. The natural stone (organic composite) is dependent on the whim of nature. The cutting particles in composite abrasives break away readily exposing new sharp cutting particles. This requires a bit of stone flattening, but that is easily accomplished with Shapton's diamond on glass technology. Furthermore, waterstones use water as the lubricant and solvent, rather than oil, which attracts debris and thickens.
Shapton engineered abrasives are available in extremely uniform particle matrices. A .92 micron (#16000) Shapton abrasive has a uniformity of +/- .01 microns. This level of uniformity does not occur in nature and is unmatched by competing products. Shapton's 29.4 micron (#500) is used to quickly form geometry. The .49 micron (#30,000), on the other hand, is used to polish surfaces to a resilient, high mirror finish. Shapton's precise uniformity insures the consistency of these scratch patterns. Natural stones and competing manmade stones do not exhibit this level of uniformity.
One micron equals .0000394 inches
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Glass Stone HR 120/ 122.5 MICRON
Glass Stone HC 4000/3.68 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 220/66.82 MICRON
Glass Stone HC 6000/2.54 MICRON
Glass Stone HC 8000/1.84 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 320/45.94 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 500/29.4 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 1000/14.7 MICRON
SHAPTON PRECISION SHARPENING PRODUCTS
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Glass Stone HR 2000/7.35 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 3000/4.4 MICRON
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Glass Stone HR 4000/3.68 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 8000/1.84 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 10000/1.74 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 16000/0.92 MICRON
Glass Stone HR 30000/0.49 MICRON
10mm Glass Stone HR 500/29.4 MICRON