The 'Professional' stones are sold by Niwaki as well; see here - https://www.niwaki.com/store/shapton-gl ... whetstone/D_W":309j9uqb said:Basically the same stone as the professional stones, but at a higher price and with less material. The 1000 grit stone in glasstones is 1/3rd of the thickness of the professional stone material, but it's softer and wears through quickly.
Not sure if you can ship from japan right now, but, generally, a 1,5 and 12k shapton professional stone is probably about $125 for all three (I see the shapton cream on yahoo japan now at $61 including the japanese consumption tax (their VAT) - that's the 12000 stone. The 5k is probably about $50 and the 1k about $35.
The trick is shipping.
At any rate, those are the stones I'd have if I were buying anything shapton (I have two of them, still) and glue them to a wooden or glass base that you make. They'll probably last you a lifetime, but the glasstones (especially the medium stones) will not. And they are horribly marked up by distribution when sold (I see the cosman 16k glasstone is $150 USD. the cream stone is about 1 or 1.1 micron, the glasstone is just over 0.9 - no practical difference).
As far as I know, the shaptons have never really been a premium stone in japan, it's just playing a joke on westerners (by distributors in the west) that's made the stones more than twice as expensive in the states and probably in England.
Ignore any commentary by anyone that there's any significant difference between stones sold in various regions - there isn't. That's just a ploy to keep you directed to distribution in your geography when it's marked up a lot.
I left a message yesterday with Niwaki on their website so a short time afterwards a chap rang me up and we had a very informative conversation on the dog n'bone. He mentioned that I'd be very welcome to go over to the shop and try them out on the bench, once lockdown has been eased a little more here in the UK - RobD_W":2dsi406o said:I am an absolute stone nut of all types. I don't use many synthetics any longer, but the fact that the 10 and 16k glasstones are twice as expensive as a slab of pure abrasive that's 3x as thick is just bonkers!!
The glasstones have a bit of a more dry feeling when used than the pro stones, but no worries if you can go there and try them out - I can give you pointers to eliminate the stiction - they are hard, and like a natural stone, there may be a learning curve, but it's very short.
Of everything i ever tried (I think I said this already) in synthetic stones, which must've been 100 or more, they are my favorite. I had some of the glasstones, too, just none of the fine ones, and got wise and sold them quickly before they had much wear. with the 1000 grit glasstone, you can practically hear your money crackling as it burns. The 1000 grit pro stone is a treat.