Shapton Glass Stones were a revolutionary sharpening tool that was introduced to the market in 2004 by Shapton Corporation. Developed by Mr. David Cowdrey, the stones were superior to existing abrasive systems of sharpening because they incorporated several features not found in any existing system. First, the stones had a higher and faster cutting action due to their increased particle size. Second, rather than being constructed with a single material like most conventional abrasives, it was made from multiple ingredients laid together like glass and ceramics. Finally, these multi-layered stones could be re-leveled simply by adding high temperatures – an incredible convenience for the average “do it yourselferâ€. They eventually developed an even faster cutting stone called “Kuromaku” which is Japanese for “black stone” due to its black color in comparison to other Shapton Glass Stones which appeared white. Sadly however, as production costs skyrocketed and profitability decreased, Shapton Corporation eventually had to discontinue their popular line of products in 2017.

Reasons for the Discontinuation of Shapton Glass Stones

Shapton Glass Stones are no longer being manufactured due to rising operational costs, changing global demand and the emergence of new synthetic stone materials. Production of Shapton Glass Stones requires finely ground glass particles that are reinforced with a proprietary bond which makes them more durable than traditional whetstones. This process is labour intensive and requires skilled manual labor, making it difficult to produce at a cost-effective price point. Furthermore, Shapton’s classic Japanese style has recently been knocked out by the emerging synthetic stone materials in the marketplace, leading to lessened demand for their product. With these factors combined, Shapton decided that the continued manufacturing of their Glass Stones was no longer feasible.

Popularity of Shapton Stones

Shapton glass stones were widely considered one of the best sharpening and honing stones on the market for many years. With their combination of reliability, affordability, gentle learning curve, and great results it’s no wonder that they were so popular among both amateurs and experienced knife sharpeners. However, in recent years these stones have been discontinued and are becoming increasingly harder to find. Their disappearance has left a void in the sharpening stone market, leaving many unsure as to where to turn next. Many miss being able to rely on Shapton stones for consistent results and are hoping to find an alternative sharpening stone that can offer similar performance. Despite their popularity, there is no clear substitute for Shapton glass stones and it remains unclear if their absence will ever be filled.

The Legacy of Shapton Quality and Identity

Shapton Glass Stones, known for being some of the most reliable and sought-after sharpening stones in the industry, were a staple in any knife-smith or anyone interested in high-performance equipment since they debuted in 1971. With a flat surface that retained consistent water levels and stayed true to their size with each usage, Shapton Glass Stones were highly valuable tools for sharpening even the toughest blades.

Unfortunately, Shapton Glass Stones have been discontinued due to production and cost issues. The discontinuation put an end to an era of stones that represented quality and precision. Those who have used them can attest to their performance, describing them with words such as consistency, reliability, accuracy and power. These character traits are what made the stone more than a tool for honing blades; it forged an identity among its users where quality was expected from any blade carried around.

Though thesestones may no longer be available on the market, their legacy lives on through the memories of each Shapton user who got to experience their unique effects on a blade’s sharpness and finish. From minding edges after days at work chopping wood or ice carving sculptures, to shaving facial hair off cleanly – Shapton has been part of many edge-tending adventures over the years. As such they will never truly be gone; unable replaced yet never forgotten.

Impact of Discontinuation on Professional and Amateur Artisans

The discontinuation of Shapton Glass Stones has been a source of frustration and disappointment for both professional and amateur artisans who have come to rely on the company’s products. Professionals in particular have felt the greatest impact because they heavily depend on sharpening stones to stay competitive within their field. This sudden discontinuation could means that they would need to take time away from their work to research alternative options, which could lead them to spend unnecessary money to find something new.

Amateurs, while now unable to purchase Shapton Glass Stones, will still find ways to maintain their tools with the shock being lessened by the lack of dependence on professional grade tools. While they now may need to look more deeply in finding a suitable replacement, this will not likely be as large an undertaking as it is for professionals who must remain precise and constantly sharpened as part of their job.

Exploring Alternatives to Shapton Glass Stones

Since the discontinuation of Shapton Glass stones, many people have been searching for an alternative to this popular sharpening stone. While it can be difficult to replace something as trusted as the Shapton stones, there are a variety of sharpening stones available on the market that provide similar performance and longevity with some unique benefits to offer. For example, Naniwa Professional Stones offer exceptional fast cutting action and longer grain sizes allowing you to hone even the toughest edges quickly. The Japanese Gator Stones feature a superior combination of traditional and modern technology that give you both fast aggressive cuts and finer finishing strokes. Lastly, King Deluxe Sharpening Stones have a special additive that helps reduce clogging making its use simpler than ever before. Ultimately, there is no definite replacement for the now-discontinued Shapton Glass Stones, but with these specific alternatives in mind one can still get comparable results and enjoy results almost comparable to those offered by the original stones.

Tips and Tricks for Finding Long-discontinued Shapton Stones

If you are looking for long-discontinued Shapton Glass stones, there are a few tips and tricks that may help you find them. First, try contacting an antique tool or knife store. They may have some old stones that have been discontinued by Shapton, but are still available. Another option is to search online auctions or classifieds websites to see if anyone is selling their old stones. Also many specialty stores such as Japanese knife makers often stock Shapton glass stones and may still have some of the discontinued models somewhere in their inventory. If all else fails, it may be worthwhile to reach out directly to the manufacturer directly, as they might be able to provide you with a customized order, even if what you’re after has been officially discontinued. Lastly, consider searching through antique shops and pawn shops; sometimes these stores can have hidden gems tucked away in the back of drawers.


Though the ending of production of Shapton Glass Stones marks a new era, it’s also a time to reflect on the decades of service and innovation these stones offered. We can take comfort knowing that although production may have ceased, their legacy will continue on in many different ways. Through the careful preservation by loyal customers, their spirit will live even after they are gone. With a renewed appreciation for the high standards provided by Shapton Glass Stones, we can ensure that their impact on stone sharpening will be remembered for centuries to come.