Japanese water stones provide you with a tried and true, time-honored method of sharpening your blades. These Japanese stones have several advantages over harder stones, including resistance to becoming glazed or loaded with the material they are sharpening. New particles are constantly exposed as you work with them and thus they continue to cut consistently. They can be effectively lubricated with water so nothing but water is required. Finally, because they are soft, the worn material and the water form a slurry that in conjunction with the stone, sharpens and polishes the blade.