View Full Version : Sharp enough?

08-29-2011, 02:48 PM
I have a Kikuichi TKC 240mm. The only stone I have is a Bester 1200 that Dave recommended to me. I just started learning how to sharpen knives this past year. With my stone I can get it sharp enough to go through paper without ripping/tearing and shave hair off of my arm. Is this sharp enough?

I mean I want another stone. However, I have a hard time convincing the wife to let me get another one. I never hide the fact from her that my knives are sharp ( and cut paper in front of her after every sharpening session :happy2:) but that I want it sharper. I end up losing. Any of you go through this?

08-29-2011, 03:16 PM
Well sharpness differs from person to person. Some like a love of toothy edge while some love full on polish. If you are happy with the edge you get, and it lasts long enough then no need. Speaking for myself I have the same knife and I'll take it all the way to a Kitayama 8-12K and it holds up good in a pro kitchen. But if you are looking for an inexpensive higher grit stone Arashiyama 6k I've heard is a good one, King 6k (used for many years works very well) Sanyo is my current 6k and also a great buy or a Rika 5k. Hope this helps and others will chime in as well.

08-29-2011, 03:48 PM
+1 that sharpness differs from person to person. I think it also depends on what you're cutting as well.

For example, I just sharpened by Dexter Carbon Chinese Cleaver on Saturday to break down a 5 pound H&G Coho Salmon. I sharpened the edge on a King 1000 stone, deburred on hard felt block, felt pad, and finished by stropping on a leather strop with Dave's Diamond Spray. The edge was almost too agressive for the salmon. It had absolutely no trouble going through the belly bones where they attached to the spine, and I felt that I didn't have enough feel because with a slight amount of pressure, it would cut too far - I paid for my little mistakes. It would also just cut right through smaller bones. But, on the other hand, the aggressive edge made it effortless in cutting through the skin, pin bones, and cartilage around the collar area. I probably won't strop this knife the next time I sharpen it for butchering fish (which might be today - I have a 5+ pound whole, gutted Albacore waiting at home). For me, a toothy 1000 edge is just fine for butchering fish.

However, I certainly prefer a sharper knife for vegetables. A sharper knife is essential, IMHO, for cutting hard vegetables like carrots, celery, potatoes, etc.

08-29-2011, 03:52 PM
Yeah, buying a 4k, 5k, or 6k would be a great idea if you want a finer edge... and i would also recommend buying something to use for deburring, like a felt pad or something... I realized this (thanks to the forums) to be really important if you want and edge that would last longer...

You can get combination stones... they're cheaper and works pretty well.... King has an 800/4000 grit combination... and I think it's around $30+ if I'm not mistaken....

08-29-2011, 04:03 PM
You need another stone (4-8k) or at least a strop. Tell her that using them to touch-up your edges will increase the life of your knife. :groucho:

Cadillac J
08-29-2011, 04:27 PM
If your asking if you knife still has much sharpness potential, then the answer is a definite yes.

Agreed with others...get a 5-6K stone and some leather with diamond spray (0.5 micron) and you should be set. I don't go higher than my 5K Naniwa SS for 95% of purposes, and my edges cut amazingly and will pass all of the tests shown in vids by other members.

08-29-2011, 04:33 PM
You do need a higher grit stone like 4-6k and a leather or felt strop loaded with diamond. Level up!!

Cadillac J
08-29-2011, 04:37 PM
forgot to add...

Wives/girlfriends do not understand our sick minds...do yourself a favor and do your sharpening when they are not home, and if you can, try not to let them know when you order something new.

My girlfriend has known my hobby for the last 2.5 years, yet she still gets annoyed with it. She is a nurse and works nights, so there are times when we don't see each other for a few days each week ---a month ago she had to work four consecutive nights, so the next day when I finally got to see her for the first time, you could imagine the look and verbal attack I got when I decided it was a good time to bust out the stones and go to work, rather than spend time with her. I'm sure we all know this quite well.

08-29-2011, 04:54 PM
Thanks everyone!
tk59 - I have to use that one and see if she bites on making the knife last longer. It was her Christmas gift to me. Her first knife to ever buy for me too.
Cadillac J - Good advice, I do get the verbal attacks when she feels my hobby interferes with "her time."

Right now I don't have the luxury to buy many knives :( So I mainly use my Forschner paring knife, my TKC, and my Tojiro Honesuki. Next I'm looking to get the Tojiro ITK bread knife (its your fault Theory!!!) and I have to prioritize with either that or another stone.

08-29-2011, 04:57 PM
If there is no way she's letting you get another stone, just do what I used to do. Take a few flat pieces of scrap lumber, some two sided tape and 800, 1500 and 2100 (or 2500) grit wet/dry paper. Make some stones and have at it. It works almost too well. (Just don't let her know, because eventually she'll cave and let you get a stone).

Eamon Burke
08-29-2011, 05:45 PM
You can get it sharp as hell, but you can't polish with it. Polished edges are good for certain tasks, like carrots, melon rinds, fish meat, herbs, etc. But a 1200 grit finish will do most tasks just fine. If I can't shave arm hair with my 1k finish, I know I'm not done on it yet(though it won't shave politely).

You should consider getting some stropping compound($15-$30) and spending $10 at a Hobby/Craft store buying a piece of balsa and some smooth 'tooling' leather. Cut it, glue it up, load it carefully. I know it's not exactly kosher to go from 1200-> homemade strop, but the difference will seriously surprise you. I worked with a 2k and a single strop for over a year and it worked great.

08-29-2011, 06:29 PM
Bester 1200 may be all you need for your cooking life.
But if you so much depend on your wife's opinion, boy... you're already done.

08-29-2011, 09:03 PM
does your wife have a job? cause i ALWAYS play that card with my fiancee. but incase she does, then go to a wood working store and get a pack of micro-mesh, its like $25 and goes from 1500-12000 grit. its no replacement for stones, but they work decently well for polishing if you use them like a strop. and since its sandpaper, its cuts pretty well and you can polish it as much as you like (and 12000 is a mirror finish, so theres really no higher).

08-29-2011, 09:09 PM
I am married to my job and she doesn't seem to mind me buying new knives, stones, gear or when I spend extra time sharpening.

08-29-2011, 09:32 PM
My wife was kind of the same way, but then she bought me a J knife, my first waterstone, a Sab parer, and actuslly accepts that I will get another Rodrigue and Carter pretty soon. You just have to make it seem normal...or buy her a Coach purse.
Luckily, I'm the one with the odd hours at work, so I get to sharpen, thin, make stuff, when she's at work and I'm off.
Women are more accepting f our hobbies if they don't get in the way of them. It's understandable, really.

08-29-2011, 09:40 PM
Somebody oughta start up a Toishi Stone Rental Library...

08-29-2011, 11:01 PM
Thanks everyone! Now I have a lot more options to work with :)

Ordo- its not her opinion it's her permission lol
My wife just stopped working. We're expecting a boy within the next 2-3 weeks!

08-30-2011, 01:04 PM
Boy Howdy, that provides a whole different perspective on the situation, doesn't it?
Congrats and good luck!

sachem allison
08-30-2011, 07:31 PM

08-30-2011, 08:29 PM
Thanks everyone! Now I have a lot more options to work with :)

Ordo- its not her opinion it's her permission lol
My wife just stopped working. We're expecting a boy within the next 2-3 weeks!

Trust your wife then. She's bringing all of us new life.

08-31-2011, 12:26 AM
Thanks everyone!!

We were surprised today. its a boy!! his name is Alexander!!

sachem allison
08-31-2011, 02:00 AM
Thanks everyone!!

We were surprised today. its a boy!! his name is Alexander!!
Congratulations on your new addition!!!!!!

08-31-2011, 04:00 AM
Wow amazing, congratulations!!
You don't need to spend a fortune on an intermediate stone. I have a cheap 1K and follow it with a slate "dragon hone from Inigo Jones. With slurry it takes the 1k to a nice hazy finish. I often use a cheap nagura on it after the slate slurry, which takes it a bit further and gives the stone a bit more bite. I'm after a 10K now to finish on, but a hand made strop will do from here. The slate was 7 uk, so even with u.s. delivery its gona be cheap. Need to flat the stone first though.

08-31-2011, 08:32 AM
Congratulations! Surprises rule!! :D

08-31-2011, 08:59 AM
Congrats on the new addition! Another knife nut into the world.

08-31-2011, 09:45 AM
Take it easy, he's a newborn, you don't have to worry yet if he's sharp enough....

Oops, sorry, I must've skipped some posts. CONGRATS!

Dave Martell
08-31-2011, 10:54 AM
Thanks everyone!!

We were surprised today. its a boy!! his name is Alexander!!


08-31-2011, 10:58 AM
AWESOME. Congrats, man!

08-31-2011, 04:49 PM
Thanks everyone! Will be able to take him home this Friday
7 lbs 10 ounces 19 inches

Eamon Burke
08-31-2011, 10:27 PM
:thumbsup: Congrats!

09-01-2011, 03:09 AM
Congratulations to both you and your whife, good stuff ahead =)

Citizen Snips
09-01-2011, 10:40 AM
congratulations to both of you...

now its just the waiting game til your son is old enough to learn to sharpen :D