Speed: 9 out of 10 / Feedback: 9 out of 10 / Wear: 8 out of 10 / Overall Performance: 9 out of 10
Quick Summary: The Naniwa Pro 800 is my go-to sharpening whetstone. I prefer it over any 1000 grit whetstone I have tested.
Importance of this whetstone: By conventional thought, the 1000 grit whetstone is standard. While I think that is good advice, this whetstone happens to be 800 grit. Naniwa could call this a 1000 grit whetstone, and it would still be my top pick for a sharpening whetstone. Naniwa does offer a 1000 grit whetstone in the Pro series, but this800 grit version is better.
Speed: 9 out of 10 – As far as sharpening whetstones go, this is as fast as they come. You can go to the Naniwa Pro 600 for faster-cutting speed, but your edge will not be as refined, and the feedback is much more aggressive than the Pro 800.
For reference, a dull knife will require an average of two to maybe three passes (watch this tutorial), while most 1000 grit sharpening whetstones will require an average of three passes to achieve similar results.
Feedback: 9 out of 10 – You know what your blade is doing on the whetstone. The stone will let you know whether you increase or decrease your sharpening angle.
Wear: 8 out of 10 – It would be unfair to give this whetstone 9s and 10 in every category. However, because it is a slower, lower grit than 1000, it does wear slightly faster.
Overall Performance: 9 out of 10 – There are no performance shortcomings with the Naniwa Pro 800.
Conclusion: Ever since I have started using the original “Chosera” version, I have been a fan. My biggest complaint with Chosera whetstones was the annoying plastic base. When Naniwa released thePro version without the plastic base, they simultaneously made me my favorite whetstone. This whetstone sets the standard for all sharpening whetstones.
Nearly four years after I named the Naniwa Pro 800 and 3,000 my favorite whetstones, Naniwa offered to make a customer series in my honor, the Naniwa Burrfection Edition. They are slightly thinner than the standard Pro version and provide substantial cost savings.