|Atagoyama (in the middle) compared to my monster 4,5kg Aoto from Iida-tool (left)|
and my large 2,5kg Aizu from Maxim at Japanesenaturalstones (right)
|You can easily see the Kan pattern like parts of concentric circles on the stone|
The stone was even more beautiful than in the pictures. It was large and it was magnificent! In addition to the kiita color and the Kan pattern I noticed a lot of black lotus evenly scattered throughout the stone like very small vanilla seeds. On the underside the stone was covered with a beautiful skin with some scattered chisel marks. It almost looked like it is iron clad. It actually felt like it was iron clad as well. The stone also felt a lot heavier than expected judging from its size. It felt really massive.
|Here you can really see all the features of the stone. The Kiita color, the Kan pattern and the black lotus.|
|Look at that magnificent skin. I love it!|
I was really excited about this stone. To see what it could really do in a stone set up I decided to take one of my edges down a bit and resharpen it from #1500 WA stone through my hard and fine Aoto and finish off at the Atagoyama. After doing the ground and middle work on the blade moving to the Atagoyama, the first thing I noticed was the hardness of the stone. It was a lot harder than I had expected. Comparing to my other finishing stones I would rate it at Lv5(-).
Due to the hardness, the stone requires some sharpening experience with hard Japanese natural stones. I would not recommend this as a first natural stone to the fresh sharpener. The use of a Nakayama tomo nagura helped a lot. I also tried with Iyoto nagura for prepolish with great success. Without the use of a nagura, building a slurry took a little time, but as soon as the slurry built, the feel of the stone was great. It was very smooth but I could still really feel the work it did on my blade. 20-30 passes on the stone resulted in a very light slurry heavily loaded with black swarf. After 50+ passes the slurry had built to a dense dark olive slurry that really made the sharpening experience enjoyable. When raising the blade a little bit I could instantly feel when the work was done as the stone suddenly "sucked" the steel in. It was like trailing the edge on a wet rubber block that suddenly went dry. It is the exact same feel I get on my Oohira shiro suita.
|20-30 passes gave a light slurry mostly from metal swarf suspended in near clear water.|
|50+ passes on the stone resulted in a dense dark olive paste. A very efficient stone.|
I have no idea what grit this stone is. Compared to my other stones I would rate it in the #8000-#20000 range somewhere. However, the resulting edge is the absolutely sharpest and keenest edge I have ever been able to do straight off a stone. Just a few final passes on the stone to make a micro bevel until the blade was "sucked" to the stone gave me an edge that was really scary sharp, shaving hair totally without pulling. It felt like I was actually trailing the edge on my arm, but the edge was leaving a very close shave. That was just spectacular. Later tests have shown that the Atagoyama performs equally well on both carbon, honyaki as well as stainless. Especially VG-10 and my blue #1 honyakis from Takagi gets that evil edge from this stone. Global knives from Yoshkin with its CROMOVA steel also took an incredible edge straight off this stone. No need to strop. A perfect all round finisher with remarkable sharpening qualities.
|My very keenest edge to date, straight off the Atagoyama.|
Residue scratches are frome #1500 WA stone and me being lazy :o(
|A nice hazy mirror.|
That said, it will obviously not be the last finishing stone I will ever want :o) You guys know how it is... We always look for the next high ground.