Quick review of the EE/Easttoolwest 100 grit ceramic flattening stone
Pictured above are the Bester 1.2k and a 100 grit ceramic flattening stone.
I tried them both out today until my sharpening session was rudely and literally cut short by a razor yanagi that slipped and bit my thumb pretty bad.
Anyway, first a few words about the Bester 1.2k. This is a nice feeling pretty fast cutting stone. I was a little surprised at how fast it seems to dish and wear though. But then, I'm coming from using a Shapton Pro 1k and one of their attributes is how slow dishing they are.
Anyway the stone is a nice big size, has a nice smooth feel, cuts fast and is fun to use. It flattened up on the pink flattener in just a couple of minutes. This stone is a very good value at it's price point of about $48, imo, and seems to be one of the nicer stones available in the ~1k grit range.
Now the big pink flattener is really really cool, imo. I flattened the following stones with it so far: Bestone 500 (super fast), Bester 1.2k (pretty fast), Shapton Pro 2k (fast), Arashiyama 6k (aka Takenoko 8k) (super fast), Naniwa SS 10k (super fast). The way I used it was to put it on my sharpening board wet with the slits facing up and just hold the stone I'm flattening in two hands and vigorously rub them back and forth against the pink flattener in a varied pattern trying to use all the stones surface. It works very quickly and is easy to use (i.e., doesn't move around on you) because of its considerable weight and size. I felt I was able to get the above listed stones flatter than usual, as well as much faster and more easily with this than with my DMTXXC, for example.
It's a luxury, no doubt, and you can get along without one, but if you're into sharpening, it is a nice tool to have. I feel it was a worthwhile investment and because it's so quick and easy, it encourages me to keep my stones flatter than I otherwise might. And that enhances my results.
This item is available on a BIN basis at ebay seller Easttoolwest for $84 with free shipping to U.S. destinations. If you buy a second item from them that has a shipping charge, they will usually give you free shipping on both items, if you ask.
Your photos make them look like candies to me. I just want to reach out and peel off the plastic and take a bite out of the Bester 1.2K. Don't know why.
Thanks for doing these reviews. I've only ever flattened on my XXC, and that's starting to wear a bit. That pink flattener looks like quite a good investment.
I wonder, how do you think this would compare in flattening vs. the ridged kanaban and powders that DrNaka found a few weeks back on ebay (and seemed similar to the ceramic flattener used by Itasan)? I'm kind of torn between the two options (for a purchase WAY WAY in the Future!)
The Bester looks good enough to eat to me too. But it stopped looking like that after 1 minute of using it.
I have no idea about the Kanaban since I never tried one so far. This looks easier and simpler to use to me. You don't have to mess with any powders. (I have a heightened fear of powders due to my having asthma. ) Also, it actually doesn't leave that bad of a surface finish on the finer stones either. I didn't bother smoothing them out with anything before I used them right off the flattener and they seemed to work fine, although you could always smooth them out more after flattening by using one of the finer DMTs or a nagura, if you prefer a smoother surface on your fine stones.
I'm not sure if this flattener is intended to be used with powdered grits, or if it is possible to use powdered grits with it, and if so whether that would even further enhance it's flattening speed.
But I'm very happy with the way it performs just by itself. Once you try it, it hard to go back to using a DMT.
Oh, one more thing I forgot to mention is that unlike the "sticktion" problems that you usually get when using most DMTs for flattening, there is absolutely none of that with this flattening stone.
Peter - should I immerse the Bester 1200 in water and if yes how long a soak?
Just got mine
Hey, I'm no expert with it yet. I just sharpened one knife with it so far. But yes, I think it likes to be at least wet. Probably anywhere from a couple of minutes to 10-15 minutes would be my guess. I think it's also the kind of stone you could probably just wet and go, if you were in a hurry, but probably works a little better if soaked for 5-10 minutes.
Don't forget to flatten it before you use it for the first time.
for the ppl who don't want to soak, give naniwa SS a shot it's what Shapton pro/GS dreams of being, but isn't. Naniwa are just better than Shaptons.
i would say that shaptons are better stones for tool, that's true vs the SS, but chocera beats the Shapton there too.
Thanks - will soak Bester 1200 for 5-10 minutes, flatten and use it to give some of my knives a treat this weekend.
try longer too bester can use good soaking. i let mine soak for quite a while and i like them better that way
OK, Bester will soak during breakfast and put to work promptly after breakfast.
You don't soak the Naniwa SS but you du soak the Shapton GS?