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Sharpening stones are available in a wide variety of levels of abrasiveness, which are directly linked to the size of the grit particles (number of grits per cubic centimeter).
120-400 grit - grinding
These grits sizes are suitable for rough sharpening, repairing and to grind off chips when the edge of a knife or tool is damaged or unusually dull.
500-1200 grit - sharpening
Sharpening stones with a grit size between 500 and 1200 are typically used for "normal" sharpening. Stones of this grit size are used to to take a knife or tool that has been repaired towards a sharp cutting edge.
2000-6000 grit - honing
These stones have very fine grits and though they sharpen slowly, they will produce a very keen edge. They are chiefly used to remove scratches and burrs left by coarser stones and to hone blades to a very sharp edge.
8000-10000+ grit - finishing
These ultra-fine grit sharpening stones are used to finish a blade's edge to razor sharpness and a mirror polish. In practice, 6000 grit stones should be fine enough for most finishing applications.