Shapton Ha No Kuromaku whetstones have some strong points.
It has a high grinding power, so you can save sharpening time.
The surface of the stone has a nice texture,
So you can feel good while you are using the whetstones.
It stays flat relatively longer than whetstones from other competitors.
You don’t need to soak this for a long time before using it.
And It doesn’t have any smell,
So you can keep your knives odourless.
Having nice flat whetstones is something like…
1. Keeping senzu beans in your pocket in Dragonball
Because they turn a worn dull knife into a razor sharp knife again in a moment.
My highschool friend Daisuke is a chef. So I would ask about kitchen knives and whetstone when we talk.
Do you have someone who you usually ask questions to about a category that you are interested in?
Like your go-to person for some category?
He said Shapton whetstones are really good, because you don’t have to soak them in the water.
2. A mastermind of the blade
This is a direct translation of Ha No Kuromaku.
As a native Japanese speaker, this naming is impactful.
It has a mysterious feeling and something powerful.
3. Fineness of this series is…
#120, #220, #320, #1000, #1500, #2000, #5000, #8000, #12000, and #30000.
And they are categorized like this…
Coarse stone: #120, #220, #320
Medium stone: #1000, #1500, #2000
Fine stone: #5000, #8000, #12000, #30000
Coarse stones are for fixing chipped knives, medium stones are for maintenance of knives used during regular routines,
And fine stones are for increasing sharpness after using a middle stone.
I will explain each fineness in detail in this article.
Keep reading and you will find out…
4. Shapton is a Japanese company
It is located in Tochigi Prefecture, and it makes tools for polishing and grinding knives.
Their whetstones are used by a lot of professional chefs.
This is because…
The grinding power is high, so you can save time and the whetstone stays flat for a long time,
You don’t need to soak these stones before using them,
And this company has so many whetstone variations,
So you can pick sharpening stones based on your knife shapes and materials.
5. Ha no Kuromaku is a magnesia whetstone
Magnesia whetstones have a good balance of grinding power and polishing ability.
Magnesia whetstones are solidified by drying
This is made of abrasives and cement like magnesia oxychloride.
After kneading them, you make a shape of a whetstone and dry it.
6. Pros of magnesia whetstones are usability and grinding power
You don’t need to soak this kind of whetstone in water.
Magnesia whetstones have a good amount of grinding power.
In terms of grinding power, it comes next to vitrified whetstones.
Magnesia whetstones have a large variety of finesse.
It also gives your knife a smooth feeling when you use it.
7. A con of magnesia whetstones is degradation over time
This is because magnesia whetstones are not sintered during the production process.
It might have cracks if you use it for a long time.
8. Each fineness of Ha No Kuromaku has a color code
These colors make your sharpening work a little less confusing.
Shapton came up with this idea of changing color of the whetstone by fineness for the first time in the world
The colors go like below…
Blue Black #320
9. The size of this whetstone is 210 x 70 x 15mm
And each whetstone comes with a box and you can turn this box into a sharpening stand.
If you don’t have a real sharpening stand, it will come in handy.
Because it has non-slip rubber on the bottom of the stand.
This whetstone has almost the same grinding power as diamond sharpening tools that have the same grit numbers.
However, this stone makes a cleaner surface on the knife blade.
So a cleaner surface makes sharpening work easier.
The con of this whetstone is it gets clogged easily.
You need to keep the stone clean by running water or a sponge frequently.
It would be nicer if it is twice thicker.
You can also use this stone to flatten other whetstones.
This is a great option for fixing the chipped edge of your knife. It has a lot higher grinding power compared to Orange #1000.
It grinds the blade so fast.
Just keep in mind to check the shape of your blede frequently.
And not to grind too much in order for your knife blade to have the right shape.
You might feel this stone is a little soft, and it also gets clogged easily.
So you need to flatten this stone each time you use it.
But usually, you don’t use this kind of stone frequently, and because it has really high grinding power,
Having this moss #200 will make you satisfied for sure.
Blue Black #320
Personally, you don’t need to have this Blue Black #320.
This is because having White #120 or Moss #220 is enough and they can do better work than Blue Black #320.
Blue Black #320 is a coarse stone that is made for fixing chips on the blade edge.
You can easily fix small chips with this Blue Black #320.
If the chip is large, this Blue Black #320 might not be enough.
It will take a lot of time to fix the blade,
In addition, this stone will wear out very quickly for the task.
This Orange #1000 is the most popular line of this Ha No Kuromaku series.
If you don’t have any whetstone and are thinking of buying one from the Ha No Kuromaku series,
This middle whetstone should be your first choice.
Usually, if you have this one, it is enough for the average homecook.
It is easy to use for beginners.
This whetstone has similar performance to Orange #1000.
If the Orange #1000 is out of stock or too expensive compared to Blue #1500,
I recommend getting this one.
It might take a few extra seconds to sharpen your kitchen knife since it is finer stone,
But this stone will make your knife very sharp.
This is a very useful and great product.
As you read, having one Orange #1000 sharpening stones is more than enough for your kitchen.
However, if you think you need more nice and smooth cutting ability,
I recommend getting this Green #2000.
This stone pushes up the quality of your knife edge.
You can also get rid of some scratches from the Orange #1000 whetstone.
Enji #5000 is the most practical fine stone of this Ha No Kuromaku series.
Any number higher than this is considered a whetstone for a hobbyist.
Using this whetstone makes your knife edge very smooth.
And you can also mirror polish your knife with this stone.
This Enji #5000 stays flat for a long time,
So it is really useful.
Compared to Orange #1000 or Green #2000, this whetstone feels really hard.
It is hard to explain, but it has a slimy and greasy feeling when you are using it.
While you are sharpening with this stone,
Don’t put too much pressure on your knife.
You can make your kitchen knife really sharp and mirror-like looking.
This is a very good whetstone especially for a stainless steel knife. It will sharpen your knife pretty well.
And this Cream #12000 gives you a nice feeling while you are using it.
You can finish your sharpening really quickly without any stress.
The sharpness of the knife that is sharpened by this stone is very similar to a razor blade.
It doesn’t feel like it is a kitchen knife anymore.
If you sharpen your kitchen knife with this Murasaki #30000, the taste of the food feels really different.
Vegetables stay fresh for a longer period of time.
Taste of sashimi feels really enhanced.
If you think you want to eat something really good at home, and
You have skills of sharpening a knife with a whetstone,
I really recommend getting this Murasaki #30000.
Compared to #12000, the knife edge feels a tiny little bit nicer and sharper.
Also, this #30000 makes a lot better mirror polished surface than #12000.
The con of this whetstone is the price.
It is expensive.
It is almost the same as a natural whetstone.
However, the quality of this murasaki #30000 is guaranteed and constant.