View Full Version : Cheap sharpening setup?

07-14-2013, 12:56 AM
The title hopefully says it all. I really want to take better care of my knives, but at the moment only have a school issued honing rod, and a $5 water stone from some internet shop. Unfortunately, I'm also stuck on college kid budget and sharp knives won't do me much good if I'm stuck eating ramen. What do I need to get incredibly sharp knives like those touted by those of you who frequent these forums, and what's the cheapest way to getting those?

labor of love
07-14-2013, 01:10 AM
budget? maybe a king combo stone?

07-14-2013, 01:16 AM
budget? maybe a king combo stone?


1k/6k King is a fine way to learn.
You can add some cardboard and newsprint for free and then it just comes down to technique. I highly recommend Jon's videos found here (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEBF55079F53216AB&feature=view_all).


labor of love
07-14-2013, 01:36 AM
theres also a king 800/4000 and a 800/6000. i dont have experience with either combo stone though.

07-14-2013, 02:12 AM
I use the togiharu 1k/4k from korin still actually. Nice stone and I haven't outgrown it even after 3 years. Just make sure you don't soak it

07-14-2013, 02:20 AM
All good suggestions. Sell your honing steel to offset the cost a bit. You won't be needing it anymore. :wink:

07-14-2013, 10:21 AM
Some people sharpen their carbons with sandpaper only. With stainless, expect some deburring and wire edge issues, though.

07-14-2013, 10:33 AM
Knerd has a coarse and a fine diamond plate available in his PIF stuff. For the price of a stamp they would make for a good starting point.

07-14-2013, 05:56 PM
Just get a king 1000, don't really need anything else. Finish on it by doing really light strokes, then learn to strop on cardboard.

07-15-2013, 02:05 AM
So I'm pretty much sold on the king 1k/6k due to the price and enthusiastic recommendations. Is that really all I need or are there any other pieces of equipment that would give me an even better edge, or make it easier? are there any things I should consider for particular knife types? (also, thank you for the sharpening video links, They have been quite helpful)

07-15-2013, 02:08 AM
'Better' is highly subjective...

07-15-2013, 02:10 AM
What knives do you have?

07-15-2013, 02:17 AM
What knives do you have?

a variety - mercer school issued knives I'm forced to use on occasion, 2 single beveled knives, hopefully a gyuto in the near future, a few century old carbon steel knives, and a carbon cleaver. I'm mostly concerned with getting whatever I need to make sure I can sharpen any of those.

07-15-2013, 04:02 AM
Another + for 1/6k king

labor of love
07-15-2013, 04:11 AM
a variety - mercer school issued knives I'm forced to use on occasion, 2 single beveled knives, hopefully a gyuto in the near future, a few century old carbon steel knives, and a carbon cleaver. I'm mostly concerned with getting whatever I need to make sure I can sharpen any of those.

besides the single bevels, it dosent sound like you really need a 6k at the moment....king 1k can get you by with newspaper to strop, i bought a bunch of cheap $5 balsa wood at an arts supply store and its pretty effective and easyfor stroping.

07-15-2013, 08:56 AM
I agree with Labor that the 1K is all you really need until you're comfortable with your technique, BUT:

If you do decide to buy the King combo stone, DO get the one with the 6K, and DO NOT buy one with a 4K side. The 4K king is a really glassy, unfriendly feeling stone that will frustrate you and slow your learning curve if you're just starting out with waterstones.

07-15-2013, 09:08 AM
Send me your address, I've got some stuff I'll send you.

07-15-2013, 10:09 AM
Send me your address, I've got some stuff I'll send you.

Knerd, once again--YOU ROCK!!!

07-17-2013, 06:30 AM
Great move Knerd, this forum rocks!
On another note, I own the King 1k/6k combo and I think it performs quite well. It allowed me to practice and learn while giving very good resulsts, something that's been important for me as it's always good for morale to see that your gear can deliver when you put some efforts into it. After a good year and half, I still think my technique isn't so refined that I ABSOLUTELY need another stone. After all that devil of Carter uses them to produce chirurgical level edges... just to say hat, at the end of the day, technique is everything.
That 6k side can be a bit glassy, though... :laugh:

07-17-2013, 07:51 AM
The glassy 6k side of that stone is helped along a lot by permasoaking it.

07-17-2013, 10:52 AM
For those recommending the king 1/6k stone, is it worth starting with that till skills get better. Or is it a better investment to get a better set of stone (ie Martells 500/1200/5000)?

07-17-2013, 11:07 AM
for home use, you can go straight to dave's set of stones. and not worry about it. but if you're really unsure about your skills and you might be able to give or sell that stone to someone else that can use it then get get the king first and see if sharpening is really for you.

07-17-2013, 11:13 AM
for the knives you intend to work with , that stone is fine for sure, but there's nothing wrong with indulging in others stones if you can justify the $$. Do think about how you will flatten any stones you buy.

07-17-2013, 11:57 AM
+1 to the King 1000/6000 combo stone or King 1000 as a starter. Since you have several carbon steel knives, I think the King is a good match. To this day, I still futz around with my King 1000 on nearly every carbon steel knife I get.

Perhaps its because I learned on it that I feel comfortable with it; nonetheless, I still feel that it's a good starter stone for carbon steel knives, and inexpensive stainless knives like your Mercers. It also leaves a good enough finish on carbon steel knives if you build up a little swarf/mud and lighten your pressure.

I also actually like the King 1200 which others do not; it's very similar in feel to the King 1000, but feels a little finer. It significantly less aggressive to me, but I've enjoyed using it on my cheaper carbon steel knives, a Sabatier Nogent, and for various Henckels that I've sharpened. I bring it up because it's big and it's cheap - I got mine for less than $30.

But, you'll need something to flatten any 1000 grit-ish stone as they can dish rather quickly.

07-18-2013, 12:16 AM
lots of helpful recommendations, and I'm planning to get the king 1k/6k now. I've been told sandpaper is a fine way to flatten a stone - Did I just hear incorrectly or will this work?

The Anti-Chrysler
07-18-2013, 12:58 AM
I flatten mine on a stationary belt sander.
I had a few odd stones laying around, but finally ended up springing for Martell's three stone set, and made up some strops. My technique leaves a lot to be desired, and yet with the 1200 stone and a strop I can get my Yaxell aogami santoku and Kai Tan Ren paring knives sharp enough to cut a free-standing tomato.

07-18-2013, 02:48 AM
Sandpaper, drywall screen, cinder-block, flat concrete, sidewalk or flat part of your driveway all works (I found the sidewalk outside of my house to be kind of smooth though). I've heard drywall screen clogs less than sandpaper due to the holes for grit and water to go through. Sandpaper or drywall screen needs to be on a flat surface to flatten, piece of tile or glass are good known flat surface examples. If sandpaper, be sure to get wet/dry ones, because your stone will need to be in the condition that you sharpen in, wet.

You may need to lap the polishing side of your stone after flattening, 300(+/-50) grit sandpaper would do (or another stone or nagura).

There's also $20 stone flattener/fixers that you should look into. Low priced and good alternative to sandpaper/drywall screen because it adds up if you flatten a lot. But in the super long run, a diamond plate or a good big stone flattener brick are the most economical and quick. BTW, eventually stone flatteners also need to be flattened or corrected.

Murray Carter has a Youtube video on stone maintenance that has useful tips on stone utilization, so you can flatten less often if you can make use of high spots on your stone.