KUROMAKU is the world's first set of colour-coded sharpening stones, each colour representing a different grade of coarseness in the range. The storage case makes it easy to carry the stones, and can also be used as a sharpening base. These stones are Waterstones but can also be used as oilstones.
Every stones case can be stacked for easy storage and helps identify the grit quickly by the colours.
Rubber feet on the base of the case provide a stable working surface for mobile sharpening, the base of the case is ventilated so the stones can dry properly and prevent cracking.
#120 (White) Extremely Coarse Grit.
The White #120 is formulated for quick steel removal in stainless and powder metals and can easily set the working edge quickly.
#220 (Moss) Very Coarse Grit.
The Moss #220 is formulated for quick steel removal in stainless and powder metals.
#320 (Blue-Black) Coarse Grit.
The Blue-Black #320 is formulated for quick steel removal in stainless and powder metals, it is less aggressive than the 120 and 220 stones.
#1000 (Orange) Medium to Coarse Grit.
The Orange #1000 is a very popular intermediate stone and is great for moderate stock removal. This stone is good to use prior to polishing.
#1500 (Blue) Medium Grit.
The Blue #1500 is a slightly finer intermediate stone but It still has a reasonably fast stock removal rate yet still starts to polish the bevel.
#2000 (Green) Medium Grit.
The Green #2000 stone is a very popular finer intermediate stone and it still has a reasonably fast stock removal rate yet starts to polish the bevel.
#5000 (Wine) Fine Grit
The Wine #5000 stone is the first polishing stone. It can still remove some metal but is primarily a polishing stone. It is more dense than most other whetstones.
#8000 (Melon) Very Fine Grit
The Melon #8000 was originally designed for fine woodworking tools requiring an extremely fine edge. It will leave a light mirror finish. It is a fantastic polishing whetstone.
#12,000 (Yellow) Extra Fine Grit
The Yellow #12000 was originally designed for fine woodworking tools requiring an extremely fine edge. It will leave a bright mirror finish. It is a serious polishing whetstone.
#30,000 (Purple) Extra Micro Fine Grit
The Purple #30000 was originally designed for fine woodworking tools requiring an extremely fine edge. It will leave a bright mirror finish. It is a serious polishing whetstone, the Purple #30000 is the finest grit whetstone Shapton offers and should be used by professionals only.
the surface of the stone is smooth to the touch and has a light shine to it. The #30000 will take your blades to a whole new level of sharp.
The Shapton Kuromaku series of stones will begin to develop a dish after frequent usage, to maintain the stones a lapping plate is recommended to keep the surface flat for long life.
Soaking the Kuromaku stone is not necessary as it is a Splash & Go stone.
Once finished sharpening, clean the stone and allow it to air dry naturally in a shaded position, rapid drying can cause cracking, and leaving the stone in water can cause the stone to degrade.
Q: Which face of the KUROMAKU series sharpening stones should I use?
A: You can use either face, but we recommend that you start on the side where no letters have been printed.
Q: Recent KUROMAKU stones look different from the designs bought in the past. Is there any difference in spec?
A: No. The only change was in the printing design, not in the quality or specs of the stones.
Q: Are any of the KUROMAKU sharpening stones recommended for normal household knives?
A: We recommend the Orange Medium (1000) sharpening stone and Wine Fine (5000) finishing stone. If you intend to use only one stone, we recommend the Blue Medium (1500) sharpening stone.
Q: I want to try using "KUROMAKU Purple", but the 'Precautions' state it should be used after "KUROMAKU Melon" － would it be OK to use it for sharpening after "KUROMAKU Yellow" instead, as this is finer?
A: That would be fine with high hardness steel, but for blades made from softer materials, please do use "KUROMAKU Melon". This is due to the stones' physical characteristics.