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King brand synthetic Japanese Waterstones are made up of abrasive particles bound into a friable clay matrix. The matrix is designed to wear down, creating a paste of loose grit on the surface and ensuring that fresh, sharp new grit is continuously being exposed.
Waterstones propensity for wear can be exploited to produce a microscopic concavity in the back of a blade, thus ensuring that when you move on to a freshly flattened polishing stone, the critical area adjacent to the cutting edge makes contact with the polishing stone. When I first started using Japanese Waterstones I rubbed my fingers raw trying to flatten a blade with a 1000 grit stone because I didn—t know any different. If it is taking much longer than a minute or two on a surface, you should be probably using a coarser stone.
All of the stones in this section are wide enough to take a 2-3/8" plane iron, all except the 10,000 grit have two working faces for maximum versatility.