The Suehiro Cerax whetstone #1000 XL is like the name suggests the extra-large version of the #1000 grit whetstone from the Cerax range. A stone in the range from #1000-#3000 is really the most important stone you can have and really get the most use, which is why offer this XL version of the Cerax #1000. A stone in this range is used for re-honing the edge of your blades. This stone is not really for repair work. We suggest using the #320 or #700 grit stone from the Cerax range if you are looking to repair chips or other damage on your knife edge. #1000-#3000 grit stones are primarily used to re-set and re-burr the blade, with stones towards the #3000 end also providing some polishing. These stones cut smaller amounts of material away from the knife and so they are perfect for the task of sharpening and refining an edge that is already in reasonable condition without wasting away your knives. For this reason, they tend to get a lot more use than say a #320-#800 or a #3000+ stone.
The Cerax #1000 XL grit stone from Suehiro along with a good quality repairing stone (up to about #800) and polishing stone (#5000+) is all you need to keep your knives in good condition. Modern Cooking stocks a range of Suehiro whetstones as well as some other brands to suit each of these purposes. We also recommend regularly using a honing steal to keep you burr straight and true between sharpening’s.
The Suehiro Cerax whetstone #1000 XL features are exactly the same as the standard version. These stones are fast cutting, and the tactile feedback is great. As you move the blade across the stone you quickly get a sense of how the burr is forming and how much material is being removed. The dimensions provide a good width to ensure that you can comfortably cover the full length of even the longest blades in one stroke and the XL has an added 10mm of height meaning that the stone should last you quite a few years.
This is premium stone and is designed for use in professional conditions. The stone comes with a rubber base to stop slipping, but we always recommend using a sink bridge as you get the added convenience of proximity to a tap and running water. The stones are soak stones and require about 15-20 minutes soaking before use and they do produce quite a bit of slurry. The stones are made from high quality abrasive material, which forms the bulk of this slurry and this really helps to cut away material.
We found that these stone don’t really load up very much, the slurry can become a bit dry every now and then, but this can be resolved with a splash of water. The stone also comes with a re-finishing stone, which can be used after cleaning to remove any material from the blade that has become imbedded in the stone (load).
We also have an entry level knife sharpening kit that includes a sharpening steal and sink bridge. However, we also have professional sharpening kits and whetstones for those who are really serious about knife care and maintenance.