Gradacja gradacji nierówna, czyli 3 standardy oznaczania ziarnistości kamieni

What is this gradation all about? 3 standards for determining stone grit size

Every knife user will sooner or later be faced with the need to choose a sharpener. Nothing lasts forever and even the most expensive knives made from the finest steel will become dull after a period of use. To restore the perfect sharpness of your knives, it is worth using a sharpening stone, but choosing one can be quite a problem.

Each stone sharpener is marked with numerical values that are of key importance to the user, as they tell us what a particular stone is intended for. So when it comes to choosing a sharpening stone, we are faced with a dilemma: which gradation will suit the knives we have? Before making a choice and matching the grit to our knives, we must be aware that the numerical marking on the sharpener will not always give us the effect we expect.

This is because there is no single, universal grading system. There are several standards for determining the abrasive grit of stones. The most common are

  • Japanese Industrial Standard JIS R6001,
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI),
  • European standard FEPA F and FEPA P.

The matter is complicated by the fact that most manufacturers of whetstones do not specify the standard according to which their products are marked, and in many cases the gradation marking is only an estimate. Therefore, if we want to equip ourselves with a whetstone of a certain gradation, we must make sure that the stone we are interested in is marked according to the system on the basis of which we have chosen the gradation that meets our needs. For example, if we want a very fine grit that will give us extreme sharpness and mirror smoothness, our intuition will tell us to go for a sharpener marked with a high value. In the Japanese system this is 8000, but the same effect can be achieved with a stone marked 2000 according to the European standard. As you can see, the gradation is not uniform, and before you buy, you should check which system the sharpening stone you choose is classified in.

To make it easier for you to choose the right stone, we have prepared a comparison of the gradation values in each system, shown in the table below. Our branded sharpeners are certified to the Japanese standard JIS R6001.


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