Aizu is a mid-range natural stone similar to Aoto at approximately 3k to 5k grit .
I was a bit skeptical about it at first because I had never heard of one.
But, the results were great. I am actually in love with this stone now!!!! This is not a Kyoto stone, but one from Northern Japan. It was traditionally mined during the summer and then in winter the large stones were cut into smaller useable pieces in house.
However, one winter it was very cold outside, so all the windows were closed and all the workers were exposed to high levels of stone dust. This made everyone get lung disease and die around 1950, so no more of these have been made after 1950’s. Aizu was used for agriculture tools, and so was not as popular as Aoto, so it is a lot cheaper. I have compared it with my best Aoto: a stone that is very old and very fine with even grain structure.
I have found this Aizu to be considerably harder than my Aoto, so it wears much slower. It also cuts faster, but leaves a similar finish, maybe even a bit finer. This stone is most impressive on both Honyaki and SS knives. Where an Aoto cuts very slowly on these types of knives, the Aizu will grind through them very quickly.
Here are some pics.
When i looked at it i thought Aoto and i got straight answer that is not Aoto !!!!
It is Saeki, and not just reguler Saeki it is black Saeki witch is very Rare
You can stil get brown Saekis if you are lucky, but they are much much softer and very slow, also they are like Amakusa.
Not as fine or hard like black Saeki.
It hase some sparkels all over the stone, very difficult to see on the picture. But very beautiful in person.
All Lines and small inclusions is not toxic at all and even can not be field.
It took me about 1 hr to lap it with 140grit Atoma Then i just gave up and there are stil some deep lines in the stone, they will go away with time
Fines of that stone is approx same as Very fine Aoto but speed man..... !!!! I took my Honyaki witch is super hard to sharpen and it took no time to raze a burr and finish was super uniform !
Wow this is my new favored medium stone ! it cuts like 1k maybe lower but finishes like 4k with mud maybe 6k.
Here is some pictures.
Since i started to colect Jnats i have seen some huge price change on some of the stones, some is more then 100 % in 4 month.
I figured you guys will like to know what stones will rise in price in the very near future, and what stones is best to invest in !
This list can change very fast:
But her you go
Ohira Range Suita
All kiitas almost, not Ohira or Hideryama the biggest price change i have seen on very bright hard Yellow stones, Nakayama is the biggest winer.
Karasu very big price increase for the last half year but only on harder ones soft stayed at same price
All bright stones in General got up 20 or 40 % last 3 month
Suitas very big price change also all suitas soft and hard but hard is of coarse more expensive ! As woodworkers in Japan want them
Asano naguras more then 100 % Price increase in last 6 month: Botan and Koma is now very rare !! (only Naguras with red Asano stamp ) sword polishers big demand
Uchigomori finger stones or stones also sword polishers fault, almost only Ohira produce now and they are quite expensive
Okudo Suitas, Shinden the good ones almost gone (a lot of crapy ones in the marked so be careful )
Ok i think thats it for now, i will add some more later.