View Full Version : Edge Pro Sharpening Progression

Mucho Bocho
02-17-2012, 11:01 AM
I'd like to get some feedback from Edge Pro (Apex) users on stone progressions. I think i'm losing the Forest for the trees. I have about 20 knives that range from fancy Konosuke HD's, Takeda to regular Shun and Mac to exotic Bob Kramer SG2. All of the Japanese traditional knives are made with Super Arogomi cores. The others are stainless. Most are double bevel knives except for one 300MM Honton Sekan Dojo Yanagiba.

I've had the EP for about two years, maybe sharped 300 knives. My technique is: hone both sides of knife with stones, flip back to first side, one light pass to remove burr, 3 passes on felt cube. I do not flip knife back over with the tapes or strops. Using the Angle cube with stop collar to maintain proper stone angle.

About my set up:

Apex Edge Pro
Stock EP stones (120, 220, 320)
Stock EP tapes (2K, 3K, 6K on glass blank)
Chocera CKTG stones (400, 800, 1K, 3K, 5K, 10K)
2" EP CKTG Kangaroo Leather strop
1" EP CKTG Felt Strop
1" EP Home-made belt-leather strop for pastes (Mothers Metal and Flitz)
1" EP Ozuku Asagi (NEW)
1" EP Ohira Tomae (NEW)

0.5 Hand American Diamond Spray
Hand America 12" Ceramic fine steel
Angle Cube, Stop Collar, Natural CKTG Nagura stone, Various magnifiers, Wine Cork...
XCourse DMT Diamond DIASHARP flattening plate

Guess i've turned into a Knife Sharpening junky. Oh well there aint no turning back now {GRIN}

All of my knives have minute micro-bevels on them approximately 5 to 7 degrees higher than the primary bevel.

I just got the Jnat stones (Ozuku and Ohira) and don't really know how I want to incorporate them into my progression. All of my knives are sharp. I define sharp as being able to hold on to a cherry tomato dropped six inches above the blade (beyond hair popping). Sharp enough to cut you by looking at them! Sure the don't stay that way. IE knives always need maintenance. Here is what I was thinking of doing is:

Starting with sharp but not cherry tomato dropping sharp, working on the micro bevel:
10 Chocera stone
Ohaira with Nagura (sharpening in both directions)
Ozuku--stropping only, unloaded (no nagura), wet
EP Stock tapes (2,3,6) (sharpening in both directions)
Felt Strop with 0.5 Diamond spray--stropping
Kangaroo Strop unloaded light strokes
Lastly put back some teeth back on the blade with a couple light strokes of the HA Steel.

I know i'm crazy, but once you have experienced a scary sharp knife there is no going back. I've been lurking for a while on these forums. Please give me your honest feedback.

02-17-2012, 12:15 PM
I used to go crazy with sharpening. These days, I generally use three stones (1k, 5k, 8k) and one strop and I still pass a tomato test such as the one you describe with ease. I can't give you advice on the natural stones but I think your experience might benefit from using some knives made from some finer-grained steels like AEB-L or maybe white #2 or 52100. They should take and hold a superfine edge better. I also think putting your finished edge to a steel is a waste. Use a stone or strop, not too fine.

02-17-2012, 03:21 PM
That seems like an overly complicated progression. I have been using one stone and newspaper strop lately, for no real reason, with results that will easily pass your tomato test. When I use a natural stone it will be the final stone the blade touches, I may strop lightly after that, but I want the edge produced by the natural. Also I agree with tk on the honing steel.

02-17-2012, 03:46 PM
Interesting test. I just tried it with my sugimoto CM, which i sharpened last week with my Takeda holding whetstone (1200 JIS) and it passed it with ease.

Eamon Burke
02-17-2012, 04:23 PM
Holy Sh*t.

That is some serious Edge-Pro-ing.

I think that it would be a great experiment for you to try dramatically REDUCING your routine. Try 1k(does NOT matter which), a good quality 5k, strop on 1micron leather. Deburr between each. You may be surprised.

Dave Martell
02-18-2012, 01:10 AM
Yikes! Looks like someone spent some time with the sales staff over at KF LOL :D

Well regardless I don't mean to make you feel bad or anything like that and in fact I want to welcome you here. Stick around and see what these guys have to say about sharpening you might find some different approaches to add to your regimen. I'd contribute something here myself but I honestly don't know where to begin.


02-18-2012, 11:49 AM
It's not an efficient regimen in the sense that you can do as well with fewer stones while taking less metal from the knife. You can only sharpen and polish an edge so fine that more becomes meaningless. And getting to those stages, only takes so much that more becomes from a practical standpoint empty repetition.

But repetition shmepitition, I'm in no position to judge. One of the nice things about an EP as opposed to sharpening freehand is that more strokes and/or more stones don't lead as inevitably to more error. So if you're enjoying yourself as the edges evolve from stone to stone, have the time and money (for wear and tear on the stones as well as on the knife) to spare, and are using the a good tool and jig like the EP, there aren't many reasons not to work your way through your current progression.

Well maybe one thing. I can only imagine what your wires and burrs are like.


02-18-2012, 12:17 PM
It is pretty cool that you have so many stones and strops and that for the EP and you probably have one of the biggest collections there are. Personally I use 2 stones for 90% of my sharpening and I like to really focus on my technique hard and see how the results change, but with the EP there is less scope for that. As others have said, perhaps you could simplify your progression a little and see how it works, I think the differences in edges with cutting out a few stones would be undetectable

02-19-2012, 07:03 PM
After thinking about it a bit, I'd put your natural stones at the end of your progression and not add any strop, etc. to the resulting edge. There really is no reason to use natural stones unless you want that type of edge.

02-19-2012, 07:22 PM
until i get my j-nat use up to par (i'm not getting a consistently good edge, and i'm sure it's a technique issue), i use two stones, and i have no trouble passing that test. i use a green brick of joy and a kitayama. the progression described is even worse than what i used to do when i first got serious about sharpening, and that is saying something.

Mucho Bocho
02-20-2012, 10:11 AM
Thanks for all your feedback. Iím honored by the presence of such knowledgeable knife aficionados. Mr Burke made me LOL for real.

BDL. Iíve been reading your posts for years, youíve cost me a fortune {GRIN}. We share the same passion for Ebony HD Konosukeís. I have the 240 Kiritsuke, 210 Suji and will have a 270 Suji when Mr Kosuke produces more. Iíve asked him to make me a custom Ebony 210 Funi. Like CKTGís 240 only in a 210. BDL, curious, what bevel angles are your Konoís set to? I have mine at 15/20. Sincerely, thank you for all your well communicated practical non-judgmental wisdom. Your feedback has been very useful to me over the years.

It seems like the general consensus from the group is that I can get to SHARP much more efficiently than just going through an endless (impractical) progression of stones and grits. I do a lot of cooking and havenít touched the knives in about a month. All were sharp, no quite hair shaving and definitely not cherry holding. Given that Iím trying to maintain a true-micro bevel ( keep the bevel about the thickness of a hair), I started the progression with Ohaira with nagura slurry, then Ozuku clean and wet, then 0.5 diamond loaded felt strop finally naked kangaroo leather strop. Four simple steps Beautiful again. I only made a ver stroked with very light passes, not even the weight of the stones/strops.

Some have noted that I should end with my Jnatís because of the finish they offer. Although this may be true, I canít tell because I can see the bevel even with my illuminated 60X scope. So Iíll have to take others word for it. I will say that if nothing else, the feel of the jnats will keep me reaching for them. The feel silky, creamy, smooth unlike anything else in my kit. Even the 6K tape on glass blank.

I guess I forgot to mention that Iíve never gone completely through all 20 mounts. I save the stock EP stones for customers and usually finish with the Chocera 10K. But might pull out the jnats not because of how the feel.

Please share more with me about the finished of jnats? Why is that desirable?

02-20-2012, 10:35 AM
I too love my J-nats for the edgepro pro I have. They feel great on the devise, work really well, I like them better than my choseras to be honest.

02-20-2012, 12:40 PM
...what bevel angles are your Kono’s set to? I have mine at 15/20. ...Some have noted that I should end with my Jnat’s because of the finish they offer. Although this may be true, I can’t tell because I can see the bevel even with my illuminated 60X scope. ...Please share more with me about the finished of jnats? Why is that desirable?If you want performance, you need to lower your bevel angles. I don't measure mine but I'd say they were closer to 15/10 (with 99:1 hamaguriba) than 15/20. That's a big difference. If you can't see the difference with 60X scope, you're either not actually getting the microbevel, missing seeing it or there is something wrong with your scope. That said, all you will see is a matte finish anyway. Scopes are really only useful to detect burrs and examine the scratch pattern, imo. J-nats are said to provide longer edge performance/retention along with smoother cutting.