Shapton Glass Stones are known for their exceptional quality, durability and ease of use. Unlike other waterstones, Shapton Glass Stones do not need to be soaked in water before use - simply wet the surface and begin honing your blade. Shapton sharpening stones are made with finely graded ceramic cutting media that requires less flattening and lasts 4-5 times longer than most water stones. The abrasives in Shapton Glass Stones are also extremely uniform, meaning the abrasive encountered with the first pass of a blade will be the same as the 5000th pass. The #500 grit stone has a particle size of 29.4 microns and isn't required for routine sharpening - it's intended for setting a bevel or fixing a small chip in the blade of a straight razor. We recommend using the Shapton Stone Holder to hold the stone in place when in use. Made in Japan.