Dieter Schmid's Fine Tools
Japanese water stones: King and Sun Tiger

Japanese water stones: King and Sun Tiger

The Japanese sharpening stone manufacturer Matsunaga, in Osaka, with King and Sun Tiger among its brands, is the oldest and best-known maker of Japanese water stones in the West.

King stones are relatively soft and pleasant to use, because one can see and feel how the stone cuts the surface. This type of soft stone must be flattened relatively frequently, however, as it quickly becomes dished.

The 240 grit whetstone from Sun Tiger is also quite soft and will also become dished fairly quickly. But it makes up for this by cutting very quickly and by proving useful for removing chips and nicks in the blades of chisels and knives. You can remove a chip in a knife within a few minutes, but with chisels or plane blades it is best to check often whether you haven’t dished the relatively soft stone. When you sharpen a knife, you will help the stone to stay flat for longer if you move the blade evenly over the whole stone. But if you need to sharpen a whole bunch of chisels, the stone may start out flat, cutting a nice even bevel on the first chisel, but be so dished by the last chisel that you would have to flatten the stone once more and start all over again. The softer the stone, the more it needs to be watched, and the more frequently it needs to be flattened. This is not everyone's cup of tea, but if you accept the need for this, you will enjoy the services of a wonderfully quick-working stone. The Sun Tiger 240 also needs much less pressure than, say, the Shapton 120. The softer stone simply grips and starts cutting from the first stroke.

Water stones become concave with use and require periodic flattening. Our flattening stones will do this job. A flat stone is indispensable for effective sharpening, especially of flat chisel and plane blades.

Note: All grit grade specifications refer to the Japanese JIS norm.
Sun Tiger 240 roughing stone 240 grit grade whetstone for
  • grinding down notches
  • removing substantial amounts of metal
  • restoring damaged edges of tools
  • changing bevels on blades
Size 205 mm x 75 mm x 50 mm

This stone is liked for its extremely high removal rate and loathed for the propensity of the sharpening surface to become dished. You’ll need to dress the stone more frequently, but it’s a quick job on this stone.

Code 309371CartPrice € 38.90
King 300 roughing stone 300 grit grade whetstone for
  • grinding down notches
  • removing substantial amounts of metal
  • restoring damaged edges of tools
  • changing bevels on blades
Size 207 mm x 66 mm x 32 mm
Note: Use this stone for carbon steel blades only. Alloyed steel will clog up the sharpening surface.
Code 309372CartPrice € 27.50
King 800 sharpening stone 800 grit grade whetstone for
  • general-purpose sharpening
Size 207 mm x 66 mm x 34 mm
Code 309352CartPrice € 22.50
King 1000 sharpening stone 1000 grit grade whetstone for
  • general-purpose sharpening
Size 207 mm x 66 mm x 34 mm
Code 309351CartPrice € 22.50
King 1200 sharpening stone 1200 grit grade whetstone for
  • general-purpose sharpening
Size 207 mm x 66 mm x 34 mm
Code 309350CartPrice € 22.50
King 800 wide sharpening stone 800 grit grade wide whetstone
Size 205 mm x 75 mm x 36 mm
At 75 mm across, this water stone is a lot wider than standard stones.
Code 313607CartPrice € 25.00
King 1000 wide sharpening stone 1000 grit grade wide whetstone
Size 205 mm x 75 mm x 36 mm
At 75 mm across, this water stone is a lot wider than standard stones.
Code 313608CartPrice € 25.00
King Hyper Standard 1000 sharpening stone Hyper Standard 1000 grit grade whetstone for
  • faster grinding than with standard stones
Size 205 mm x 70 mm x 34 mm
Code 313603CartPrice € 52.90

The King 1000 Hyper Standard and King Hyper Soft 1000 are quite similar in colour. Moreover, the packaging and the labelling on both the packaging and the stone itself are virtually the same so that they are difficult to keep apart. Here are some tips on how to differentiate between the stones. In any case, it’s a good idea to mark the face of the stone with a waterproof pen.

KING HYPER Verpackung

Hyper Standard packaging
(excerpt)
Character left: Kodo = hardness
Character right: Hyojun = standard

HYPER Soft packaging
(excerpt)
Character left: Kodo = hardness
Character right: Nanko = soft


KING HYPER Text auf Steinoberfläche

Text on HYPER Standard stone:
characters as on packaging, see image above left

Text on HYPER Soft stone:
characters left as on packaging, see image above right.
Character centre: Nanko = soft
Character right: Hocho-yo = for kitchen knives

King Hyper Soft 1000 sharpening stone 1000 grit grade whetstone for
  • faster grinding than with standard stones
Size 205 mm x 70 mm x 34 mm
Even more effective than the King Hyper Standard. On the downside, this stone tends to dish faster. But like other King stones with a relatively loose grit bond, this stone is quickly dressed again by conventional methods.
Code 313604CartPrice € 52.90
King Hyper 2000 sharpening stone 2000 grit grade whetstone for
  • fine grinding
  • use as starter stone for honing
Size 205 mm x 70 mm x 25 mm
Results achievable with this stone are often perfectly adequate for woodworking tools. A beginner or someone who only rarely turns his hand to sharpening tools may struggle to see a satisfactory result with a 6000 grit stone and will be very much better served by this stone for honing and finishing.
Code 313605CartPrice € 62.90
King giant stones Get your money’s worth with these large general-purpose water stones. You save about 40 % by volume compared with standard-sized stones. Recommended for anybody with a lot of tools to sharpen.
Compare with standard size
Size 230 mm x 100 mm x 80 mm (9 x 4 x 3 inch)
Weight 4 kg (9 lb)!

King 800 giant stone
800 grit grade whetstone
Size 230 mm x 100 mm x 80 mm
Weight 4 kg!
Code 313615CartPrice € 65.00

King 1000 giant stone
1000 grit grade whetstone
Size 230 mm x 100 mm x 80 mm
Weight 4 kg!
Code 313616CartPrice € 65.00

King 1200 giant stone
1200 grit grade whetstone
Size 230 mm x 100 mm x 80 mm
Weight 4 kg!
Code 313617CartPrice € 65.00
King 4000 small honing stone 4000 grit grade whetstone for
  • honing and removing burrs after sharpening
Size 176 mm x 52 mm x 15 mm
Fixed on plastic base for honing
Code 309359CartPrice € 21.90
King 6000 small honing stone 6000 grit grade whetstone for
  • honing and removing burrs after sharpening
Size 185 mm x 62 mm x 19 mm
Code 313610CartPrice € 24.90
King 6000 wide honing stone 6000 grit grade whetstone for
  • honing and removing burrs after sharpening
Size 210 mm x 73 mm x 22 mm
Fixed on plastic base for honing
Code 309356CartPrice € 43.90
King 8000 wide honing stone (gold) 8000 grit grade whetstone for
  • fine honing
  • removing burrs after sharpening
Size 185 mm x 62 mm x 19 mm
Code 313611CartPrice € 49.90
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