This Ohira Tomae is one of most popular natural finishing stones on our site. We get these stones from the Imanishi stone company in Kyoto and Mr. Imanishi evaluates this stone and grades them before putting his stamp on them. This stone is fine with an aproximate grit rating of about 10K. This one will last a long time and is very thick. Cuts fast and has a nice hard feel to it. Leaves a great finish. Size is 210mm x 80mm x 35mm and weighs 2 pounds 14 ounces.
I have been a professional knife maker and polisher of blades for longer than I can remember. I specialize in Japanese style kitchen knives,and all my blades are hand sharpened and polished. I also love to shave with a straight razor. The Ohira Tomae is a great finisher. It is possibly one of the finest hones I have had the pleasure of using over the years and is guaranteed to put a wicked edge on your knife or razor. It has great slurry production and yet is consumed relatively slowly. A stone like this will probably outlast it’s owner a number of times over in a home setting - and it is a very long lasting stone even in a professional sharpening shop.
By: Roger Sutton
This is my first finishing stone. I’ve now used it on about 10 knives (mostly Japanese but including a few German) and followed it up with stropping first on a loaded leather strop and then a plain leather strop. My assessment is WOW!
I’m now able to put a super sharp,polished edge on any knife with this stone. I’ve gotten my best results on high carbon steel blades.
This stone is really HEAVY. It cuts very smoothly. I haven’t noticed any dishing of the stone,probably because its so dense and hard. I now wish I’d gotten this stone a long time ago. I don’t think you can go wrong with this one.
Great per-polisher. When my kitchen and pocket knives start to loose their keen edge I pull out this stone first to bring them back. I then like to finish the edge on the Ozuku,followed by a swipe or two on the balsa strop or smooth steel.
My Ohira Tomae (YMMV) produces mud like a King 1000 yet gives a much finer edge.
If you’re as confused as I was about Japanese water stones,remember you can trust Mark. He told me that if I was only buying one,this is the stone to buy and he was right. What has really pulled me into the culture of using these stones is not that they produce a fine edge,they do,or that the response between stone and knife is more pleasing than with man-made stones,it is how little water I need. I can sit at the kitchen table with the surface of the stone coated in water and sharpen my knife(s) without adding any additional water. It’s like having WiFi for water stones,“I’m free form standing at the sink”. Thank you Mark for importing high quality water stones.
This is a great finishing stone for both single bevel and hard steel double bevel knives. My stone gave me around 10k grit,taking Kitayama as an #8000 grit reference point. It leaves a finer edge than Kitayama,yet edge gets more aggressive and also significantly harder. The difference is very obvious,literally you feel you have a different knife,in a good sense. It looks like this is typical of natural stones. It works equally well on my yanagis and chef’s knives. I generally stop at 8k with synthetic stones,but natural stones enable you to move up by couple of thousand grits. For single bevel knives,you need to use a natural nagura to optimize this stone’s potential. Natural Nagura on a Natural Stone makes a big difference. For double bevel knives,I don’t recommend using nagura. Nagura makes double bevel edge slip rather than bite into stone. That bite is what makes you feel the narrow blade road of double bevel knives and adjust your angle in sharpening. I also recommend buying medium grade Ohira Tomae for double bevel knives. It has also good feedback and my stone was around #7000 grit,which is good as an aggressive finishing or progression stone for harder steel knives and as a finishing stone for softer steel knives.