Posted By: JayIt's impossible to review the Shapton Pond without addressing the price. I's expensive, no doubt about it. And for many that will be a dealbreaker regardless of features or quality. For those that are seriously considering a purchase, they will likely already be heavily invested in the Shapton Glass line and looking to keep within a single system.
That said, the Shapton Pond is very well made, and it works exactly as expected. The rubber base grips extremely well - it looks to be the same material as the Shapton stone holder & field holder non-slip bases. It does not move for me even on a wet countertop or similar surface, and it's heavy enough to provide a solid, stable base for sharpening. Aesthetics aside, the glass surface seems a bit of an odd choice for longevity, but it seems reasonably tough and it cleans very easily to remove swarf and grit from sharpening.
Even with liberal use of water on multiple stones in extended sharpening sessions I've not had any issues with water level getting too high, and there is a generous amount of working space so it does not feel cramped or uncomfortable to work in.
Potential drawbacks (aside from price):
Knuckle clearance - not an issue at all if you use the Shapton holders or similar which are designed accordingly. However, it can be a little tight if you use a different, shorter holder or are used to sharpening with your stone directly on a non-slip pad for example. Easily worked around by raising your stone height or sticking with the Shapton system accessories.
Cleanup - this is minor in my opinion, but here the substantial weight and size of the Pond can work against you a bit. There's no drain port or anything (I prefer it this way, since it keeps the design incredibly simple & foolproof) so to clean up you need to pick up the Pond, dump the water & swarf then rinse or wipe down the glass. If you're like me and have a relatively small sink and low clearance it can be a bit awkward. You definitely don't want to be carrying a relatively shallow Pond full of water any kind of distance trying to avoid spillage either, so make sure you're near a sink or have a bucket on hand. Again, minor issue... just bear it in mind when considering a purchase how you plan to use the Pond including cleanup and make sure it fits your workflow.
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