I bought the Shapton 1K,5K and 8K,plus the honing leather sheet to cut and glue to an EP blank. There is no doubt in my mind that the Shapton stones are a faster and more reliable way to get to shaving-sharp than the stock EP stones. I was ready to give away my EP,but the new stones have given me a renewed sense of satisfaction in what you can do with the EP. I was a "good" freehand sharpener on waterstones,but the mechanics of the EP,plus the new Shapton stones,put my freehand work to shame. The leather strop with chromium oxide paste adds an incredible finishing touch to an already very sharp edge.