Maintaining your knives, keeping them sharp is probably one of the most important things you can do. This is, not only true in terms of knife safety, but also in terms of their usability. If you are just starting to think about this practice, then these King whetstones with their #1000/#6000 grit combination is a cost effective, high quality option.
As you progress in terms of knife sharpening skill you may want to expand your collection of stones to include #200, #400 and even #800 grit stones that allow you to repair chips in the blades of your knives. However, to get started a #1000 grit is perfect for refreshing the burr on your knives and the #6000 grit is a good starting point for polishing or stropping the blade.
Made in Japan, King sharpening stones have a reputation for being high quality cost effective synthetic whetstones. This entry level combination stone, while cheap is certainly not cheap in terms of quality. After a few strokes of the blade across the #1000 grit side you will notice that the edge develops a solid burr even on the hardest of steels and the #6000 grit polishing side of the stone quickly gives the blade edge a refined mirror shine.
Briefly describing the more technical characteristics of these King whetstones, we found that it has good level of tactile feedback allowing the user to get a sense of how well the stone is cutting away material. The stone is densely packed with high quality abrasive material and minimum of bonding agent, which results in very little loading and wearing.
The width of the stone is by no means a professional width, but it is wide enough to allow for an efficient stroke pattern and the depth of each side is certainly reasonable considering the price. We feel that the stone should remain thick enough to use many years under typical home use.
These King whetstones are soaking stones and require around 15-minute soaking time in water before use as well as an occasional splash during use. The stones come with a removable base, but can also be used on a wet tea towel or sink bridge.