I use Japanese water stones almost exclusively. They are softer than oilstones or ceramic sticks. They do however cut a lot faster than either of the latter. Since they are soft, you must use lighter pressure than with ceramics or oil stones. If you use too much pressure the blade digs in. I use stones with grits from 250 to 4000. For light touch ups I do use a ceramic steel since it does work well for simple honing.