Naniwa Super Stone Japanese Whetstone Sharpening Stone, double-sided combination: 1000/5000 grit, 21cmx7cm surface (8.25"x2.75"), 2cm total thickness.
If you want a complete all-in-one sharpening stone solution without sacrificing quality and without breaking the bank, this is for you! You get two super high quality stones, 1cm thickness each, permanently bonded together (for strength and convenience). The 1000 is great for starting a new edge, or even for finishing/maintaining knife where you want a rougher edge (for more "micro serrations"), and the 5000 is there to finish off and polish an edge (great for Japanese knives for example) and for regular everyday maintenance of your knives (it's about the same fine grit as the fine ceramic hones I sell). I selected these grits after consulting with sharpening professionals and Japanese restaurant chefs to make sure you get the absolute best grits and stones for your knife collection. Once you're comfortable with sharpening technique, you could add a 400 grit stone -- they're inexpensive and you'll find it much quicker and easier to cut in a new edge... removing metal with the 400 grit stones is quite a bit quicker than with the 1000 grit! And if you want to finish off with a very polished edge (or if you're sharpening straight razors), you can add an 8,000, 10,000 or 12,000 grit stone for that final stropping.
The ceramic compounds used to manufacture these is also of very high quality, and so they strike a great balance between ability to cut a nice edge without too much work and still being very long-lasting and strong. These are truly excellent sharpening stones, suitable for any serious hobbyist, pro, chef, wood-worker or outdoorsman. Note the nice large size too -- most other cheaper stones you'll see around shops or mail order in North America are smaller and so are more difficult to work with (and will wear out more quickly), especially with kitchen knives where it's nice to have the extra surface area when sharpening a santoku or chef's knife. Made in Japan.
These stones are made by the Resin Bond method, which yields a higher quality stone than the old baked method used with cheaper stones, and it offers 90% of the performance of the MUCH more expensive and fragile Magnesia method stones. Also, a great benefit of this method is that the stones do NOT require soaking in water prior to use (in fact they should NOT be soaked). A quick spray or splash of water is all that is needed and you're ready to go.
Warranty: One-year warranty against manufacturing defects.