No kitchen can function properly without the right set of tools. And, while a variety makes up the whole tool arsenal, if we had to single out that one particular design that truly makes a difference, then it would have to be a knife – and a sharp one at that. When you know you can count on a reliable blade, then you can excel in your food prep and cooking skills.
Why is It Important to Use Good Quality Kitchen Knives?
As long as you properly care for and maintain them, they will serve you with outstanding efficiency, making for quick and easy complete cuts in no time. This would significantly reduce your prep and cooking time too, so you won’t get to spend that much of your precious day over the countertop and stove. Don’t be surprised if you end up loving cooking even more!
A knife that has your back no matter what you have on the menu enables you to get exceptional results with the food’s aesthetic too, so if you strive for perfection as you hone your knife chopping and cutting skills, just get the sharpest tool and you’re good. Yes, it’s this easy to wow your loved ones with delicious food that’s just as perfect on the outside with impeccable presentation.
All this while ensuring you have utmost safety as you don’t have to do repetitive movements or apply pressure to make the cuts where and how you need them. When it comes to the choice of blade, it’s no secret the Japanese are among the best because of their lightness, balance, and the thinner yet stronger steel that lasts a long time.
But, even if you choose your blade well, you’d still need one more tool in the arsenal to be able to reap all the aforementioned benefits, and that is the knife sharpener. Despite there being a vast array of options to choose from, it’s the Naniwa knife sharpening stones that are worthy of your attention if it’s more of the Japanese quality you’re after. The durable design, the sheer variety of cutting speed, wear rate, and hardness, the balance and ease of use make this brand’s products sought after worldwide.
Are Naniwa Stones Good?
The fact that the company has been operating since 1941 is a good indicator of the standard of the stones they produce to this day. If you’re after Waterstones that stand up to the job you put them through, no matter what type of blade you’re honing (could be knives of all sorts or even tools like chisels and plane irons), without requiring that much care, then this is the brand for you.
Although known to be of the ceramic type, these stones are better than their regular competition because Naniwa prides itself on a special chemical reaction bonding to create products that aren’t typically too hard or soft like the rest, which makes them good for preventing slippage of the blade, and durable as they don’t wear off that soon (they last twice as long as the regular alternative).
The great news is you won’t have to pay a fortune to get this reliability. Depending on the type of knife sharpening stones you’re after for the kind of practicality you want, as much as the grit, you can choose from the different stone lines from this brand available at different yet convenient prices.
Naniwa Traditional Stones
If you’re looking for a true laborer that can stand up to anything you put it through, while counting on a balance between cutting speed and wear rate, then you need to look through this range of Naniwa honing stone models. Available in several grit options, from the 220, 1000, 1500, to 2000, 4000, 6000 and 8000, you’ve got lots to choose from, and you’re going to like them for the average pricing.
If this wasn’t enough, you also get to pick from special knives sharpening stone designs like the 220-grit pink alumina stone, the 1000-grit for very hard steels, and the 8000-grit snow white jyunpaku stone. There’s another option of 2000 though it serves as its design, and it’s the single edition Aotoishi. Despite the somewhat softer design than the pricier Super and Professional lines, and the necessity to soak them for some time before using them, they still are widely accepted by users. They also promise durability as they’re hard and slow wearing.
Naniwa Super Stones
If you’re looking for truly exceptional stones that deliver on the hard and slow wearing, then you need to take a look at the Super options by Naniwa, specifically the S2. With way more grit options (even fine) than the rest of the lines, going up to 10000 and 12000, reliability is what you can count on with these.
They don’t deliver that much on the cutting speed, but they’re also great for the quick rinse design so you won’t get to spend much time prepping them before sharpening a blade. They cost more than the Traditional line, but less than the Professional, and are great if you like to have a smoother feel when sharpening. Another in the line is the S1 design, but stones such as this are thinner than the S2 and are best left for lighter use.
Naniwa Professional Stones
If you want to get the best of the best, as considered by many, then what you require is one of the Professional knife sharpening stones of this brand. Despite the somewhat slower prep time than the S2, they guarantee a fast-cutting result, and offer an array of grits, going up to 1000.
With a fast prep time, and a hard and slow wearing efficiency, you can get a remarkable stone out of this line. In case you’re looking for these Japanese whetstones but at a somewhat lower price, and a more lightweight design, you’re in luck as the brand also has a Pocket Pro line that’s the same but in a smaller version.
Naniwa Multi Stones
If you’re after more efficiency and value, yet in the form of a smaller stone, this is the line to choose from. These stones are designed to be a combination of grits, and you get to pick from the 220/1000 and 1000/3000 versions. Although they wear out faster as they’re softer, you can still make the most of their cutting speed and relatively quick prep time.
Naniwa Lobster Stones
These are the perfect stones for a busy commercial kitchen where every minute counts for utmost efficiency. They may be softer and faster wearing than the rest of the Naniwa products, but they’re as good as the Traditional when it comes to cutting speed, and happen to be inexpensive.
Naniwa Diamond Stones
If you’ve ever wanted to make the most of both diamond and water stone worlds, then prepare to be amazed by the Diamond line. With the cutting ability of the diamond and the hardwearing of the water stone, you get a slow-wearing sharpening tool perfect for work with hard steels. You may get to pay more than the rest of the Waterstone options, but it’s truly worth it. They promise quick preparation, cutting speed, and grit options going up to 6000.