The #5000 grit M15 Whetstone is a less common stone offered by Shapton and is only found in Japan markets. The M15 range has been compared to the Kuromaku range with regards to its size, cutting feedback and look. People often refer to the M15 range as the Kuromaku mounted to a wooden stand and offered in similar grit options.
Shapton's M15 range is available in the following grits:
#220 (Moss) Very Coarse Grit. The Moss #220 is formulated for quick steel removal in stainless and powder metals.
#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 (Deep Red) Fine Grit
The Deep Red #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.
#12,000 (Cream) Extra Fine Grit
The Cream #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.
The Shapton M15 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.
We suggest either the Jende Industries Glass Lapping Plate, Shapton Diamond Glass Lapping Plate or the Shapton NAORU cast iron lapping system for this process.
Soaking the M15 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.