For several months I've been seeing my results from using the Spyderco fine and UF ceramic stones and the Shapton glass stones (finer grits). Coarser grits are not a part of this thought or thread. For a while now I've been using Shapton glass stones up to 8k to polish and sharpen the edge on my EDC knives. I have normally used the Spyderco fine or UF stones for touchups when no more steel removal is needed except for sharpness. No thinning of the edge or reprofiling. I have had the feeling that the Spyderco stones, especially the UF stone were leaving the edge with a crisper edge. I use the word "crisp" for when the edge is already VERY sharp but then when I use the pad of my thumb to check the edge the edge seems to reach out and grab the skin. The amount of sharpness difference is noticable when slicing phone book paper but not as noticable when using the knife for normal use. What I'm saying is the Shapton glass 8k gets the edge VERY sharp but the Spyderco CERAMIC stones seem to add the crispness to the edge I don't get with the 8k. This is MY thought on MY results. Others may have different results. Possibly those who have used the Shapton glass stones more than I have get more crispness than I do because they are more "used to" the higher grit Shapton's. That is a thought, not an opinion. But it is an issue I'd like to hear opinions on. Possibly, since I have used the Spyderco stones more for touch ups than I have the Shapton glass stones I'm more "used to" them when refining the cutting edge. Someone who always uses the Shapton glass stones (up to 8k) they might get better results than I do using those stones. This would be a matter of becoming more skilled when using a particular stone type because that type stone is used more. These are the thoughts I've had for a while now. This morning I decided to get a better opinion of this (Spyderco vs Shapton glass) issue.
I used my already very sharp D'fly (SB) and starting with a DMT fine grit stone I used it on the bevels and edge. Then I used the extra-fine DMT. Then I used the Spyderco fine grit then the UF stone. I polished the bevel and sharpened the edge as best I could. The bevel was nice and shiny but not even close to a mirror finish. The edge however was as crisp as I could get an edge. Then I wanted to compare those results to using the Shapton glass stones. I then used the 8k Shapton on the bevel and edge. The bevel became much more polished than the Spyderco UF stone can produce. There is the beginning of a mirror finish. The edge is VERY sharp but not as "crisp" as the UF stone can produce (when I'm sharpening). Then I used a Shapton glass 16k stone on bevel and edge. The bevel became mirror (naked eye). The edge became "crisper" than after using the 8k stone. It also competed with the Spyderco stones (fine & UF) regarding "crispness". It is NOT "CRISPER" than the Spyderco stones but does compete with them. For now I am done examining this and have an opinion. This is one of those opinions that can change in the future because of more experience on my part.
Shapton glass stones are head and shoulders above (better than) the Spyderco (or DMT) stones regarding bevel polish. The Spyderco (and DMT) are better than the Shapton glass stones regarding the edge apex "crispness". I am the only one that I know of who has used the word "crisp" when referring to a knife sharpness. I wanted a word to seperate describing the VERY VERY sharp edge with the one just a step sharper. I hope people can understand what I'm thinking about this. "Thoughts" a person has turn into words on paper. The words on the paper then turn into "thoughts" the reader gets. Hopefully the "thoughts of the reader are the same "thoughts" the writer had.
The "crispness" I get is not limited to the edges after using finer grit stones. Coarser grit stons can produce "crispness" also. EXCEPT the coarser grits in the Shapton glass stones. At the moment I can not get the super crisp edges from any Shapton glass stone that I get from the Spycerco ceramic stones. Or the DMT fine or extra-fine stones but these stones I didn't consider during this little examination.
So, if I want a mirror finish on my bevels and a super crisp edge on my knives I need both the Shapton glass stones and the Spyderco stones. If I don't care about the bevel finish being super nice or mirror but I want the edge apex to be as "sharp" or "crisp" as possible I can get away with only the Spyderco stones.
Personally, the sharpness or crispness is more important to me than bevel finish (if I had to choose). So, for now my opinion is the Spyderco ceramic stones are my choice for finishing the edge. That doesn't mean they are all I need however. I still need stones to use for reprofiling when more steel removal is needed. For that I will choose either DMT fine thru extra-coarse stones or the coarser grit Shapton glass stones. I don't have enough experience with the Spyderco medium stone to have an opinion of it compared to the other coarser stones I've used. I think it is good for a good toothy edge but not for quick reprofiling.
All of this is of course based on my experience and my experience lacks enough experience to be completely confident in my opinions. My thoughts and opinions may change in the future after I learn more from more experience. The only way for me to give the Shapton glass stones the opportunity to change my opinion on their capability to provide the "crisp" edge I'm used to with the Spyderco stones is to only use the Shapton glass stones for a while. This would give me time to develop the knowledge and/or skill using the Shapton glass stones. Different type stones may require a different "touch" than another type stone.
The biggest difference in the Shapton glass stones as I see it is the Shpatons are water stones of course. In addition to that is they seem to be softer than the Spyderco (or DMT) stones. If you raise the angle enough and press hard enough you can actually cut into the Shapton glass stones. You can't cut into the Spyderco or DMT stones.
I have only used Shapton glass, Spyderco and DMT stones enough to have an opinion on them. I've used other stones some (moldmasters) but not enough to have as strong an opinion of. Moldmasters are good though. I like them a lot but I don't know if they are available in sizes larger than 1"x6" (EP size).
I'd love to hear other's opinions on this subject regarding these stones as well as other water stones or other different type stones.
I meant to add a tag to this thread but forgot. I edited this post to add a tag but now I don't see the option. Are tags only possible on the initial creation of a post? Just curious.