As most of you know, I bought this Shapton M5 12,000 grit water stone a little over 2 months ago off Amazon. I have a slight amount of buyer's remorse but not a lot because it's still a great finishing stone especially for those whom are just getting started honing their own straights. But in my humble opinion, the grit rating is wrong. This stone feels more like it should be rated between 8 and 10K. It's a bit more keen than a Norton 8K is, but not quite close enough to be a 10K:
Other than that, it's rock hard and stupid easy to clean:
It's also an extremely fast cutter and it also acts like a Japanese natural stone does. When you've gotten all you are going to get from this stone, the razor acts like glue and sticks to the stone. I've never ever seen a synthetic stone do that before, quite the opposite in fact. Another thing I've noticed is that the feedback is not quite as smooth as I would like. In fact it feels a bit rough while you are using it. So if I can get it, I'm going with a Shoubandini Japanese natural stone for a finisher. I've already got a full progression which is a Naniwa Professional 600 grit, A Suehrio 1/3K combo stone, a Norton 8K and then the Jnat. That will be my full progression. I can swing $90 dollars shipped for a Shoubandini type 100, it's just a matter of it being in stock. The other razors I want to get can wait until next year. I'm in no real rush.