We recommend using Waterstones for your day-to-day sharpening and these Ohishi Waterstones are the best we've come across. They cut quickly but are dense and hard enough that a spritz of water is all you need to get to work (do not soak these Waterstones). The 1,000 grit will establish your secondary bevel and the 10,000 grit yields a beautiful final polish.
At a wider 3" they easily accommodate the wide blades used in our larger planes, and making sharpening more pleasant.
I have been asked many times, how long I think these stones will last, given that I have been using the same stones for hand tool demonstrations, daily use and in the school now for the 2 1/2 years, and have taken 6mm of thickness off my 10,000 gritstone and 2mm off the much harder 1,000 gritstone. At this rate I suspect a further 5 years out of the 10,000 gritstone and 10 years out of the 1,000 gritstone, so, how does that relate to you?
Please excuse the precautions (after all, how long is a piece of string???) .... If you use the lapping plate as I do, and flatten the stones after each day's use, assuming unlike me you don't get out to the studio every day, I guess at the least 15 years, with the 1,000 grit still going. Please note: keeping your stones flat allows them to last longer.
1,000/8,000 combination stone
3,000/8,000 combination stone
3,000/10,000 combination stone
Dimensions are 8" long, 3" wide, and 1" thick.