Posted By: JamesGiving it three stars mainly for the system. I got the combo thinking it would be a great one piece solution, and was thinking of recommending it to a friend just starting out.
My main issue with it is the plastic that separates the grits sticks out too far. This impedes your hands, in my view. I just donít want it there. The setup seems to be great on paper as it holds the stone, has a top, can hold water in the bottom to soak the other side, holds a small dressing stone in bottom, and has feet for the counter. The plastic sticking out is kind of integral to keep the prodigious amount of slurry from getting to the other side. But it interferes.
The other thing about the system is the plastic seems quite brittle. The top is also loose. The stone does sit pretty securely on a surface for sharpening with the rubber feet. But I wouldnít count on it to be put in a tool box unless you protect it and rubber band the top. The plastic is not like the Shapton Pro boxes, which can take some impact and are not going to crack with a little jostling in a tool box. Those little boxes make better sharpening stands too imo. Part of the reason theyíre popular with woodworkers.
The other thing you is these are very messy stones. Whether thatís good or bad is up to your preference. It does mean you really want to use it over a sink or a container where thereís lots of water available. This is where the combo system just seems to make it harder on a table. Because you have to pick up the whole thing with itís nearly 1/2 inch lip around the stone and rinse it under a faucet.
That plastic lip also makes it impossible to lay the stone on its side to dry. On one end thereís a hole to hang it, but youíre going to need a thin hook that sticks out from the wall a bit. A thin metal coat hanger upside down would work.
If you want to try the Cerax stones you can get the small 1000/3000 combo that comes with a minimal rubber base. Itís $20-30 depending whoís selling it. I didnít realize it was the Cerax till i got this large combo. I really like that little one for pocket knives, and omg, you can get right up to the side.
I donít recommend this setup for beginners. Before getting it I thought it would be near perfect. Plus the Cerax needs attention with the included dressing stone, and then the flattening. Youíre going to go through some stone on the 1k because itís relatively soft.
Experienced people know enough to either be bothered by the system and move it on, or theyíre not bothered. They get lots of stones. To me itís like when you sharpen and thereís something on the counter that you donít hit with your hand, but itís close enough to annoy you so you have to move it. With this Cerax combo system youíre stuck with it.
Get the separate stones, itís a more enjoyable experience.
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