Japanese Natural: Hones, and Naguras.

Discussion in 'Straight Razors' started by DaltonGang, Jun 3, 2019.

  1. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    I've just dipped my toes, into the rabbit hole of Japanese Stones. I've had very good success with some Naguras and a Hone, supplied by @Steve56 .
    I would like to pick the brains of everyone here, regarding their experiences with JNATS and Naguras. Offer advise regarding stones that are posted, or mentioned. Show them, if you got them. Please give the name, if possible, hardness, as well as any other information if you have it.
    We have a wealth of information from members here, so lets try to share.
    Pics are very welcome.
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  2. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Some recently acquired.

    Soft, Medium, and Hard. From left to right. 1-2 inches, around.
    I use a diamond plate to make the slurry faster. These definitely speed the honing process up, and polish the bevel better, when combined with a hard smooth Hone.


    Unknown grey JNAT
    Very hard, and fine particulate. It will produce some slurry, on its own, just very little. A slow cutter. But faster than the Welsh Slate Stones.

  3. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Here is one, on order, a Nagura.
    I don't know much about it, just what the seller said. If you know more, such as good, bad, or tendencies? Please fill in the blanks.

    Sellers info: Mikawa Nagura. Mined at Aichi Prefecture,Kitashidara gun, Miwa village, about 55 years ago. Dead stock.

    No idea what that means.
    32 g.


  4. Jamie Mahoney

    Jamie Mahoney Well-Known Member

    The market at this very time as never been more fraught with danger, so many sellers out there selling stones that have some very dubious history and claims, Nakayama hones selling for more £600 or even a £1000 is not unusual, I certainly wouldn't pay it, even though If I were to own a Japanese stone those would be the stones I would want 5+ super fine finishers, I know where I could pick a genuine 5+ super finisher stone up, but as I said there is no way I would ever hand over that kind of cash for one.
  5. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Jamie is correct, but the rule on eBay has always been caveat emptor on everything, jnats no exception. Sigh - now I am going to have to describe what makes them expensive and what does not, or even makes them bargains.

    But for the record, my cheapest super finisher cost $26. I was the only bidder and the shipping cost me that much. Of course, I didn’t know that when I bought it!

    More later, but how about some eye candy?
  6. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    62523E21-8782-44F4-B0BF-D0A214A6AD4F.jpeg 9B031B30-1550-4455-90BB-43DEE36B0D29.jpeg

    How about a murasaki (strawberry color). Yep it’s really that color. Looks like a little confection. The sides are dull because they have lacquer on them.
  7. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member


    This is a small piece of (almost) shiro uchigumori, a sword polishing stone. Shiro just means white, usually these are all grey like the small patches, but a white layer existed. I use it dry for ‘de-burring’ after final finishing. The red artifacts are called renge in Japanese, which means lotus. They are the skeletons of ancient sea creatures, and stones like this slurry pink because of them.
  8. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member


    A very pretty kiita (means ‘yellow board’ in Japanese) with a blush of rouge in it.

    Most kiita are yellower than this, and the name ‘yellow board’ came from the sight of several laid out for display, and they looked like pieces of yellow pine or such.
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  9. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    734B9A9F-4C3A-4C76-B37C-B80B9B9E5EFD.jpeg 9018824B-7387-423C-970D-BB421FBB7AB0.jpeg

    The grand prismatic Nakayama. Yep, it’s that color, but the stone is wet in these images to show off the range of color, dry it’s less dramatic. Usually colorful stones like this are soft, and not razor hones. This one is hard and can hone a razor, but it’s really not the best, but the colors are just stunning. It has a Hatanaka stamp and a razor stamp.
  10. basil

    basil Well-Known Member


    Here’s a picture of my nagura.

    Botan, tenjyou, mejiro and a large koma.

    The koma produces a finer edge than any tomo nagura I have so I use it as a final step in my razor honing.
  11. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    That’s a good finishing koma @basil !
  12. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Some nice looking stones guys. I Must Resist!!!!!
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  13. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Anyone have knowledge or experience with the Black Nagura Stones, called a Kura Nagura???
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  14. basil

    basil Well-Known Member

    I’ve only tested a couple tomo so far, but I plan on grabbing some more to try and find the perfect one.

    Is it different than the Tsushima Black? I have one of those I’ve yet to really experiment with it though.
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  15. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Yes, the kuro nagura are Tsushima nagura. Usually they’re fairly coarse, low-medium to medium grit. So e folks say the slurry takes longer to break. These stones are also fairly common in bench stone sizes. There was also a hard version which Takeshi at AFramesTokyo sold as a koma substitute snd it worked for that, a pre-finisher nagura.
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  16. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member


    About 300g of vintage koma Mikawa nagura. They used to trim this stuff up with a hatchet or machete like tool, it was soft enough. I sometimes use it as a prefinisher, especially if I have a little burr after the synthetics.
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  17. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    Now, question:
    Can the bevel be set on the super hard JNAT??
    If so, what process is needed??
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  18. DaltonGang

    DaltonGang Ol' Itchy Whiskers

    That's a freakin baseball. Nice!!
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  19. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member


    I’ve posted this one before, but here’s a nice piece of karasu. Almost all the colors and patterns in jnats were named after things in natire, and karasu means ‘crow’. The pattern reminded them of crows flying against a grey sky.

    Karasy prices have skyrocketed in the past two years, and Alex says that the Japanese don’t care for them that much; they believe that the black areas do not have grit in them. The pattern is also many times very shallow, so after a few lappings your expensive karasu is just a grey stone.
  20. Steve56

    Steve56 Well-Known Member

    Yes if the bevel doesn’t need a lot of work and the stone is reasonably fast. Straight diamond plate slurry would likely work. A good botan (coarsest) Mikawa nagura could also work but likely slower unless you have one with a lot of grit. I did a bevel set on a glassed edge with a fast stone in the honing thread, using diamond plate slurry.

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