Jnat Scale Explained
This system of rating the Jnats explained below is matching accurately the stones tested and sold in this store! I do multiple tests in order to assign these characteristics very accurately to each individual stone.
“Jnats for razors” can be found in many places, but not everyone who sell them is honing razors regularly or actually shaves with a straight razor.
For me a good stone that is fine enough to put a sharp and comfortable edge for shaving a sensitive skin will be at level 5 fineness. Over this level the shaving comfort and sharpness of the razor only improves. Under this level are the stones more suitable for knifes than for razors.
To understanding how the Jnats in this store are described, please read below:
Level 1 Very Soft
Level 2 Soft
Level 3 Medium
Level 4 Hard
Level 5 Very Hard
Level 5+ Super Hard
Level 5++ EXTREMELY Hard
👉Jnats can be used immediately without soaking them in water.
👉Soaking the Jnats is optional
👉Some Jnats can get a slightly softer honing feeling, easier to build slurry and to lap them after soaking in water for 15-20 minutes
Cutting power levels
Level 1 Very Weak 🚫 Not sold in this store!
Level 2 Weak 🚫 Not sold in this store!
Level 3 Good
Level 4 Very Good
Level 5 Great
Level 5+ Excellent
About cutting power:
👉Stones with level 1 and 2 of cutting power will not be found in this store!
👉The cutting power of a stone sold for razors is assigned after testing how the stone performs with its own slurry and a Friodur straight razor.
👉The cutting power of a stone sold for knives is assigned after testing how the stone performs only with water and a blue steel knife.
👉Cutting power does not look the same for all natural stones!
The higher the finesse of the stone, the less amount of steel will be removed! For example a stone for finishing razors with a 5+ fineness level will not remove the same amount of steel as a stone for finishing knives 4.5 fineness, even if they have an identical level of cutting power. The same way an artificial stone of 12.000 grit will not remove the same amount of steel like an 5000 grit stone.
➡️ Knife finishers. Under the level 5 fineness are the stones not fine enough to put a comfortable shaving edge on a razor. Such stones are more suitable for sharpening or finishing knives and tools.
➡️ Superfinishers. The stones with superior levels of fineness, suitable for finishing razors are the superfinishers and their fineness starts from level 5:
Level 5 (Good) Will put a sharp and comfortable shaving edge for shaving. Good for those with a sensitive skin, even better than that for those who doesn't have this problem. You might get few bites from alcohol aftershave or alum block.
Level 5+ (Great) Will put a sharper and more comfortable shaving edge than level 5.
Prepared properly, you won’t feel any bites when using an aftershave with alcohol or alum block. The skin will feel very smooth and pleasant to touch after the shaving.
Level 5++ (Excellent) This level is usually reached by the authentic Nakayama Maruka stones stamped by Kato-san (the owner of Nakayama mine) and some of the Nakayama stones stamped and sold by Hatanaka. Such stones were selected for their superior level of fineness, strong cutting power and highly prized in Japan. Their goodness was "like the goodness of diamonds" (quote from an old Hatahoshi leaflet).
Level 5+++ (Final level) This is the highest and final level of fineness a Jnats can reach. Slightly finer than 5++ such stones are the most rare to find. In my first 1000 stones sold I had less than a dozen stones with this fineness level.