I just wanted to thank you again for the advice on the kiita stone I purchased from you a couple
weeks ago. It is a world of difference from that Okudo suita I have been using with a significantly
smoother honing experience and a drastically better shave. I suspect that the "grit" on the suita
was much too low (6kish or so as these things go), and the new kiita must be pushing at least
double that from how the edges behave!
Interestingly enough, I have found that the suita is a fair bit harder than the kiita, which is
fascinating to me, since you had rated it as being at the 5+++ range there. I've actually used the
kiita as a giant tomo once or twice on the suita when doing some kitchen knives, and the slurry is
all kiita. I guess that goes to show that hardness really isn't the be-all and end-all for JNATs!
Such a strange suita, too, I wonder if I just need to try and get a thick slurry and let it break down
for a while and see what happens with a razor?
Anyway, thank you so much again!
Travis W. Wilsonville, OR
The stone came today, got to say really happy with my Toishi. Sharpened this straight razor that I
have never gotten right, have run it through all the grits before, worked it stropped it, tried so
hard. Put it on this stone with a super light rubbing of the nagura you supplied. Let me stop here
to tell you thank you also for that Nagura. it is so handsome, perfect for my stone, I appreciate it
so much!!! Thank you! it is so fine and hard.
Any way worked the razor around the stone real light, checked it with some arm hair, it was so
sharp. touched it around the stone again, stropped it on my hand and WOW!!! what a nice
shave. I was so happy to have that razor working. Its an old Alex Jaquez, from before he got
famous and I couldnt afford his razors, and I have wanted so bad for it to shave, and now it does!
Im new to Japanese Naturals, but i can just feel how good this stone really is, i am not new to
stones and i can see them, and I am just so happy with this one.
I also dont think ive ever sharpened with such technique. I really love the shape, it lets me work
all over and makes me think and feel it. I guess im a real fan of Koppas.
I will certainly have to watch your website for the odd shapes in the future, if i ever feel i need
more stones. prolly wouldnt hurt to have more in softer for knives, and some harder for fun,
hahaha. One day I suppose.
So, in conclusion thank you so much for the super awesome stone and nagura with it. I think me
and my new Toishi will get along very well!
Aaron H. the state of Alabama 1/16/2018
Hope you are doing well and hope you have a great Thanksgiving.
Just wanted to let you know that I thank you for helping me . I Received the stone on Monday in
perfect condition and started playing with it with a razor that I have never been able to get where
i wanted it and it was no different with this stone either, so I dulled the edge and done your
method ( the AX method )starting with Shampton Pro 5k and then straight to the Jnat and all I can
say is wow that razor shaved like a dream couldnt believe it and it took about 30 min total...now
just to be able to duplicate it consistently..
Again just wanted to say Thank You... Hope to get another stone from you after Christmas..
Don G. Asheboro, N.C 11/22/17
I cannot recommend Alex enough.
I have never encountered a more devoted, knowledgeable yet modest vendor.
I have acquired jnats from several reputable vendors and I have to say that my experience with
Alex was spectacular.
Alex is very knowledgeable and took the time to make sure I had every question and worry
answered, according to my requests he knew exactly what stone would best suit my requirements
shipping was quick, packaging was great, I will definitely order again from his website.
Alex is a true joy to work with.
Dr. Tal Israel 9/4/17
Hello, Alex. I want to tell you thank you for Ozaki No. 325,is a unique stone. The result of
sharpening on this stone is a very, very nice and comfortable shave. This is the best stone for
razors, which I held in my hands. A special thank you from my skin.
Sincerely, Sergey. Russia 4/11/2017
Got the kiita and the two tomos. What a beautiful stone, with water on it it’s just mesmerizing.
I raised some slurry with the lighter tomo and finished a razor on it slowly diluting after the color
changed. My edge was not the sharpest I have ever had but the shave was very comfortable and
smooth. No irritation at all and I went against the grain as well. It was a golden monkey so nothing
fancy razor wise.
Thank you for this wonderful stone,
Alexander I. small town, Minnesota
i picked up the narutaki (Ed, Kiita Bench #1) at the post office yesterday morning. it
arrived in perfect condition. what a beautiful stone!
i honed a wostenholm razor, using a 1200 atoma plate to raise slurry. as
expected the stone performed like a champ, fast and extremely fine. the
size of the stone is pure luxury! i love it! needless to say that the
shave this morning was very close and very comfortable. even now, in the
evening, i can hardly feel any stubbles. this evening i used both tomo
naguras to touch up the same razor. looking forward to the shave
the price of the stone is insane (although reasonable!), but the joy of
using it is priceless! i am very happy!
hans switzerland 1/17/2017
Thank you very much for your kind communication. These Kiitas are outstanding stones, even
with a small piece like mine I can get best results.
It is interesting that some harder Kiitas seem not to be as fine as some softer examples and vice
versa. Until now I thought the harder the better.
Are there optical indices where you can see how fine a stone is or do all stones have to be
The "new" Marukas which are sold by the Japanese kniveshop in Germany are about the same
hardness and they are also very fine. It is easier to work with these slightly softer stones.
I am happy that the Koppa #28 has the right hardness, thank you very much.
Sebastian S. Germany
the stone arrived to me very quickly (only 9 days).
I have honed my razors on it and they are very sharp now, the shave is confortable and deep.
In conclusion, I am very happy of this stone
With my best reguards
Emanuele G. Strada Santa Brigida, Italy 1/5/17 #572 Okudo
Hello, Alex. The stone arrived, all is well. Stone is good, did not expect such a speed. Very quickly
sharpened three razors, and not having time to enjoy the process. Thank you for Tomo naguru, I
was not. After the holidays I want to buy you big Nerd grey, white I have, Syry have never tried.
Alex, I congratulate you on coming New Year and wish you every success, good health and long
stone nr 59 has arrived in perfect condition. i suppose i don't have to
tell you how brilliant this nakayama is. i honed one razor only, but the
results are outstanding! this stone is fast, extremely fine and so
beautiful. i can hardly wait for the bench size stones you mentioned in
your last e-mail!
hans Switzerland 11/15/17
To The JapanStone Nov 22 at 5:50 PM
I purchased an Okudo Asagi from The Japan Stone and everything about the experience has
been exceptional. I was concerned about buying a natural Japanese stone (Jnat) to finish my
straight razors because they have a reputation for being expensive, difficult to use and tricky to
select. Alex was very friendly over the phone and helped me to purchase and use this reasonably
priced and highly functional stone.
Though more expensive than most synthetic stones, I had hoped to avoid buying several less
expensive synthetic finishing stones only to eventually upgrade to a Jnat. I am very happy with my
purchase and am not tempted to buy other synthetic finishers. Therefore, this stone may end up
saving me money.
The stone was packaged well and shipped very quickly.
Though I was not searching for a stone based on its looks, I think it is beautiful and fascinating to
look at. I may even display it in the future as a conversation piece.
The stone came with a Tomo Nagura rubbing stone and, though Alex suggested I might get even
better results by generating a slurry with an either full or credit card sized diamond plate, I am
happy with the slurry and resulting edges generated by the supplied Tomo Nagura. Alex's
YouTube channel (TheJapanStone) contains many easy-to-follow and helpful videos. Though I
have been honing for less than 6 months, I can successfully finish my razors with this stone after
honing them on relatively inexpensive King stones (1k and 6k). I've shaved with edges from some
amazing honemeisters and, though they're not as good as theirs, I'm proud of the sharp yet
comfortable edges I produce and maintain with the Okudo Asagi and I think they'll get even better
In conclusion, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Alex's service. He is easy to work with, has great
tutorial videos on YouTube and found me a great stone at a price I am comfortable with.
Good day Alex,
So I received the parcel this afternoon. Firstly, that packing job must be the best one and only
one I've ever seen done. 10+ for that. Secondly, when I examined the toishi it looks as if you
already lapped it so I didn't bother.
I wanted to first try the sharpening test first with the use of Nagura. Then without. Great results!
Now I understand from experience what a nagura/slurry provides. All that useful info makes sense
Now the edge on my Wapienica Wedge is a lot sharper. I don't bother with felt nor chromium
oxide. Go to guitar strap cotton canvas then mostly leather paddle strop. Any how, I am really
impressed with this purchase Alex.
I thank you for this purchase, your time, and mostly your knowledge and technique.
Doumo arigatou gozaimashita,
L. F. Quebec, Canada
Regularly travels there to select the items he offers for sale, I believe Alex really knows through
experience what quality is and therefore can offer superior products. He is very willing to share
blog, which is something I appreciate very much. He is also a regular contributor on various
Japanese woodworking forums. I can whole-heartedly recommend him.
Steve Mitchell, Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia Canada
Hi Alex I am happy to give you a testimonial . I always enjoy going to visit your shop . i like your
knowledge , honesty and enthusiasm for the stones . I have been very pleased that you let me
try out so many different stones and I am pleased with the one that i purchased.
Thank you, Richard Mifsud
My dealings with japanblade have been very rewarding in many ways, firstly the response time by email and
or mailing of the items purchased was prompt and efficient . But I think most importantly Alex knows his
stones, from their heritage to their use. Unless you had a chance to use every kind of stone that is out there
(which few if any one in the country has) we need some one to guide us in choosing , other wise it is a
gamble , Alex has a great return policy so there is no risk. Alex gave me good advice and I chose
nakayama #9 a lovely pinkish stone that felt like I was sharpening on a pad of butter and left a far better
edge than the made mades I had been using up to that point,it even took care of a rather trouble some blade
that nothing else seemed to tame. I love it and even though it was very expensive I am happy to own it .
Also I recently purchased a suita one of the cheaper ones because of a flaw. this thing is smoother than
any 8ooo manmade and much more aggressive than a shapton 4000. try one you will love them.
Nice stuff Alex thanks. Gregore, Santa Barbara, Ca Professional Craftsman
The razor hone arrived today, safe and sound. Thank you for the care you took in packing it.
Thank you for including the written "care and handling" instructions. And a special big thank you
for the qualities of the stone itself. I immediately rehoned a Dovo 6/8 razor according to your
recommendations. And of course I shaved with it immediately.
If I had not experienced it physically, I would have been loath to believe that this
hone could make such a difference on an already sharp blade.
Regards Vince M. Labrador, Queensland Australia
Alex loves these stones, their history, beauty, capacity for exceptional work. I know Alex through our
correspondence around the purchase of several stones, and I've come to regard him as a man deeply
involved in the art of living, generous and intelligent. The awase toishi I've bought from him are the finest
Michael Miller. Ellsworth, Maine professional woodworker
I do like the stone very much. As a very long time user of man made stones, this opens an
interesting new window on sharpening. It's obvious that I have a lot to learn. After a little more
time with this stone that I have, I would like to experiment with a different one, just to compare
notes. I can tell you that the stone that I have makes it possible to see details in the blade that I
have never seen before, and the blades may be sharper than they have ever been, cool.
Mike L. San Mateo, California professional woodworker.
It's funny, I was pretty certain (before their arrival) #205 and #219 would be staying. I tried #202
first, to get it out of the way, but once the steel hit the stone....it was all over!:) I put water on the
Nakayama's surface...... here too it was all over instantly!!! I just went; "oh my God". It's beauty
is just remarkable. I had a tough time at first with the Nakayama, my blade would stick sooooo
tight. I have a worn out Atoma 400g I keep for just such stones. After that.... ahhhhh, all three of
us were very happy campers!:)
Nakayama; Truthfully, I have never been a big fan of Nakayama stones, their qualities, are
undeniable, but I've just never been crazy about them, hard ones, or soft. I just don't like the way
they "feel". Here again #12 is absolutely the best one I have, it's so uniform, and creamy feeling,
not hard, not soft, perfect density, extraordinary cutting power!!!
Thank you for the update!! 202; After a week of use, and getting the entire surface dead flat, I
can say this has got to be the finest stone in my collection. Having the surface perfectly
prepared, the stone is harder, and finer, than I previously thought. The entire surface feels
exactly the same, I've never experienced that before, always there's a little variation, not on 202!
The only exception is the spot of Renge that was below the stamp in the corner....that little patch
produces black like I have never seen.... it is just out of this world!! The whole stone is actually.
At $1100.00, it was more of a gift, than a purchase!! Thank you!!!!
Always redundant; I can not thank you enough for the Awase stones. A month ago there was an
army of natural stones around me when I sharpened. Now, there's an Iyo, (about 3500g) a
Tsushima, #202, #12, and a huge Okudo Tomae, for ura oshi and that's it! I've had/have great
stones, but all of them were the slightest bit off, in one way or another. As you know sharpening
is all about feel, I knew exactly the feel I wanted, but just couldn't find it...close, but not quite right.
Yours are perfect in everyway!!!! Thank you!!
If my reputation proceeds me; then you know then I can be very blunt too, I am as tight as the
bark on a tree when it comes to spending money on stones, to complicate that, I have ridiculously
high expectations for a stones performance. You can quote me if you like; "these are two of the
finest stones I have ever used, or seen! Dollar for dollar, pound for pound, this transaction with
you, tops my stone buying experience".
Scott N. Townshead, VT professional woodworker
the nakayama stone arrived yesterday in perfect condition. i used an old
swiss razor to test it. first, i had it on the naniwa 5k to get nice
striae. then i raised a slurry on the nakayama with a well worn atoma
1200. the striae were gone after only a minute or so, the sound and
feeling while honing are spectacular! you can almost feel the steel
particles fall off the blade! since the surface of the stone does not
feel super smooth to the touch i wondered if i should further refine the
edge on my velvety narutaki. i decided to skip the narutaki and shaved
with the razor this morning: very close and comfortable, very smooth, no
irritation at all (i have a sensitive skin)! just great! this stone rocks!
with synthetic stones you'd expect that the coarser the grit the faster
the stone and the toothier the resulting edge. i find it amazing that
this nakayama stone is super fast and produces a fine edge that does not
need to be further refined with smoother stones to get an excellent shave.
i honed a second razor on the nakayama, this time with the naguras that
came with the stone. i cut the white one in two pieces with a hand saw
and found it to be quite soft. i first thought that it might be a botan
nagura, so i used it first to raise a slurry. to my surprise the slurry
was not white but medium light brown. maybe the nakayama is softer than
i thought... so i used my own asano botan, and the slurry was white with
just a hint of brown. strange! so what is that misterious white nagura
you sent me? however, honing with that mistery slurry was quite
impressive, it seems rather coarse and cuts fast. i then used the tomo
nagura (nice one, also pretty soft), diluted the slurry until it was
almost gone. stropped, and the razor easily passes HT5. i'll know
tomorrow how it shaves, but i expect an excellent shave again.
bottom line: this is an extraordinary stone, easy to work with,
extremely fast yet smooth enough to get an edge perfect for a very
comfortable shave. and it is much nicer than i expected. the surface
seems to be a bit translucent (it is not) due to the embedded
ironoxyde(?)-particles that shimmer like gold or copper. when you slowly
tilt the stone, the brightness and the colour of the surface changes.
that is beautiful and something that i have not known before.
best regards and many thanks from a happy honer,
Wow! What an experience. I spent a majority of my day hovering over my kitchen sink trying my way through all the
stone you mailed me. The first thing I noticed was that they give off a slight smell. Earthy, but pleasant. (Either
that or I've been sharpening too much and have gone crazy.)
It was most interesting to experience the differences between the stones and I could immediately understand
why you recommend a side by side comparison. While they all left a fine edge I felt some did better than others
and the results completely varied with different steel types. More importantly (I think) the feelings/feedback each
stone gave were completely unique and this I believe will play a major role in my decision.
For comparison I used two different types of chisels with two different steels. Looking back at my notes #441 and
#446 both did way better with my western chisels than with my Japanese chisels. While they both left a fine edge
I found my western chisels were sharpened much smoother and faster on these stones. The opposite was true
for the suitas (369 & 281) I tried. They both did much better on my Japanese chisels and both did not require an
additional slurry to produce swarf as they did on my western chisels.
The only stone I was not particularly fond of was the karasu looking #632. I could not get it to refine the edge on
my western chisels what so ever, even with a few different slurries. It was, in my opinion, a fairly slow cutting
stone. It did leave a nice edge on my Japanese chisels however even when clear it gave off a sort of "glazed"
feeling which I did not like.
I couldn't believe how different each and every one of the stones were and even how differently they preformed
when a slurry was involved.
So far #369 has been my favorite followed by #446.
was however curious if it would be possible to try out two more stones I noticed on your website. The stones I'm
interested in are numbers 472 and 245.
I know it's a bit of late notice but if you're going to be around tomorrow am I happy to drive the stones I currently
have over to you in exchange for the other two listed above.
I believe after trying the other two I will feel confident enough to make a decision based on my experiences.
Thank you so much for allowing me this opportunity, it has been a real eye opener. I'm hoping to be able to learn
much more as time goes on.