Sharpening kit designed for sharpening western style bolstered stainless knives and other softer non-Japanese stainless steel blades. It is certainly possible to sharpen softer non-Japanese stainless steel much finer than 1000 grit but from our experience sharpening thousands of knives like this a stropped medium grit edge lasts longest on softer non-Japanese stainless steels. When using benchstones softer stones adjust their corners more easily to the often difficult geometry at the heel of a bolstered knife.
The coarse 400 grit stone is capable of bringing back an edge to a dull knife and the opposite 1000 grit hones this rough edge and leaves a toothy medium grit finish when followed by the vanadium and chromium sides of the strop, this is the bench stone version of the finish that we have come to rely on for sharpening western stainless knives which we find hold an edge longer when not over-polished.
For best results keep a low angle when sharpening and maintain that same angle when stropping; draw the blade away from the edge and use low to moderate pressure over the center of the strop. Half a dozen strokes is sufficient, vanadium carbide cuts very fast. Strop compound is good for at least 50 stroppings if used correctly and can be re-charged.
Bernal Cutlery Takarazukushi ceramic stones are made in Japan with alumina and zircon abrasive particles that are baked with ceramics creating a fused porous stone. Harder Takarazukushi stones tend to cut deeper and faster than the semi-soft stones on double bevel knives made with wear resistant steels. Semi-soft Takarazukushi stones cut wide bevels very nicely and leave shallower easier to finish scratches than the harder stones however both hard and semi-soft work on both.
Ceramic stones will not come apart with longer soaking periods (although water should be changed). Resinoid stones should not be left to soak indefinitely, and both should be allowed to dry in direct sun and wind and not allowed to freeze when wet.