A Waterstone is an economical answer to sharpening chisels and blades. The combination Waterstone with 1000 grit on one side and 4000 grit on the other is a self-contained sharpening system. It combines the two most useful grits. If you have a coarse diamond stone for restoring an edge, then this stone may be all you need.
The Norton 8000 grit finishing stone puts a mirror edge on chisels and blades. Start with diamond stones or Norton 1000/4000 grit combination stone to raise a wire edge and get a good polish. Switch to the 8000 grit stone to remove the wire edge and to add a micro bevel and mirror edge.
The Norton Abrasives line of Waterstones is harder than Japanese Waterstones, so they will wear more slowly and should require less frequent flattening than their Japanese equivalents. Large 8" x 3" x 1" size is convenient for wide plane irons. Shipped in a stackable plastic case with rubber feet that serves as a mini sharpening station.
For comparison, a 1000 grit Norton Waterstone is equivalent to about 14-micron diamond paste, a 4000 grit is equivalent to about 6 microns, and an 8000 grit is equal to about 3 microns.
The 8000 grit stones do not require a presoak. They can be used immediately with only a splashing.