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kazeryu
03-07-2012, 04:46 PM
In the past I've used a diamond pocket stone, a ceramic rod, and the sandpaper-on-mousepad trick to keep my pocketknives and khukuris sharp. Now that I'm spending some more money on kitchen knives, I am looking to "upgrade" to stones and plates. The fact that I've moved across the country and left my old sharpening materials behind is also a factor.


At the moment, all I have is a 180#/300# mystery stone from the local asian grocery store. I think it was less than $10, which seems ominous, but it does have some katakana (suggesting japanese origin) on it. It's not particularly flat, which is something I'm looking to correct.

Anyways, I'm thinking of buying two combination stones/plates:

8" Diamond plate 600#/1200#
King 1000#/4000#


Should I get a Nagura stone? Is 600# too fine of a diamond plate for flattening stones?

Thanks.

Marko Tsourkan
03-07-2012, 04:47 PM
For flattening, you should get DMT or Atoma in 120-140 grit.

boar_d_laze
03-07-2012, 05:17 PM
Don't buy anything shorter than 8" for kitchen knives.

If you're serious about sharpening, the drawbacks of combination stones soon outweigh their lower price. As a generic kit recommendation: Beston 500, Bester 1200 and Suehiro Rika or Takenoko. Beston 500 for profile/repair is an excellent coarse stone. Bester 1200 is excellent for initial sharpening. Suehiro Rika or Takenoko are both very good choices for final sharpening/polish -- if your blades have enough scratch hardness to hold a polish. None of these stones are particularly inexpensive, but they are all extremely high quality and high value.

Some blades and edge types do better on specific stones -- so consider that a provisional recommendation.

FWIW, I favor a four stone kit -- one stone for profile/repair, two for drawing a burr, chasing it and deburring, and one for final polishing -- over three stones. But it depends as much at how you look at the sharpening processes as anything else. If you want to talk about it, I'm open.

If you're going to use a "steel" for truing, the Idahone 12" fine ceramic is as good an all around rod as you can get.

If you absolutely, positively must flatten on a diamond plate, but don't plan on using it for sharpening get the DMT XXC. If you'll be sharpening on your diamond plates, spring for Atomas. Eventually, their longer lasting and replaceable "tops" will pay for themselves many times over. If you can spare a little time, you can flatten just as effectively on drywall screen -- a lifetime supply of screen will run you well under $30.

BDL

Shinob1
03-07-2012, 05:30 PM
I'm in a similar boat myself and the Beston 500 and Bester 1200 from what I have read are good stones. Another stone that seems to be popular that's a bit on the lower end is the King 1000. It's a good beginner stone and I'm planning on picking one up myself. I've also read that the combo stones while attractive, are not the greatest in the long run.

http://www.japaneseknifesharpeningstore.com/ & http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/sharpening-supplies.html are a couple of good places to start your shopping.

slowtyper
03-07-2012, 05:38 PM
For flattening, you should get DMT or Atoma in 120-140 grit.

JKI has a cheaper one. For some reason I haven't heard any reviews of them but I'd wager Jon wouldn't stock them if he didn't test them out thoroughly and approve of them.

Personally I use Atoma and am very happy with it. Its pricey though but should last you forever (I hope)

Marko Tsourkan
03-07-2012, 05:41 PM
I have tried a few stones, but I keep coming back to Beston 500. It's a fantastic stone, though dishes pretty fast. I need to get myself a good supply of those.

Bester 1200 is one of the best 1K range stones if you like softer stones. One of my favorites.

Rika 5000 is one of the best finishing stones as well.

All these are budged stones.

Add a strop with a 1-2 micron diamond spray (read post on cheap sprays Dave posted recently) and you will get your knives razor sharp with this setup. XXC or Atoma 140 you will need to flattening.

M

mhlee
03-07-2012, 05:44 PM
JKI has a cheaper one. For some reason I haven't heard any reviews of them but I'd wager Jon wouldn't stock them if he didn't test them out thoroughly and approve of them.

Personally I use Atoma and am very happy with it. Its pricey though but should last you forever (I hope)

+1

Although I've never used a DMT, I have an Atoma and it works great.

slowtyper
03-07-2012, 05:54 PM
I question if a 500 stone is really necessary for some people. If you are really into knives then yes, its useful because you are often changing bevels, getting new knives and putting new edges on, etc. But if you just want to maintain a small set of home knives, I think just a 1000 and a 4/5k would be good enough. What do you think?

And if you really did want to do some major face beveling or profiling or something, couldn't you just use your flattening plate as a stone?

DanB
03-07-2012, 05:59 PM
I question if a 500 stone is really necessary for some people. If you are really into knives then yes, its useful because you are often changing bevels, getting new knives and putting new edges on, etc. But if you just want to maintain a small set of home knives, I think just a 1000 and a 4/5k would be good enough. What do you think?

And if you really did want to do some major face beveling or profiling or something, couldn't you just use your flattening plate as a stone?

I'm still relatively new to serious sharpening, but I've been using a combo 1000/4000 King with great results. Combined with Idahone ceramic rod. Will probably start stropping on newspaper as suggested elsewhere.

Marko Tsourkan
03-07-2012, 06:03 PM
You can find use for 500 on more than one occasion, and since it is a relatively inexpensive stone, I'd say get it. Sooner or later you will have a need for it.

M

stevenStefano
03-07-2012, 06:06 PM
Whether or not someone new to sharpening needs a 500 grit stone is an interesting question. Something I found when I started off was that I was so unused to sharp knives that I let mine get pretty blunt before I resharpened them, therefore it took me ages on a 100 grit stone to sharpen the knife again and I'd have liked something coarser. For new people I'd say start of with a 1000 and see how it goes before you get anything coarser. Saying that, I guess all knives need thinning eventually.

DeepCSweede
03-07-2012, 06:31 PM
I have been going from a JNS1000 to a Rika 5000 for most of my sharpening but after seeing my brothers knives a couple of weeks ago that hadn't been sharpened in 15 years and how blunt they are, I am thinking a 400 or 500 grit stone would be really nice to have around. I am considering the Beston 500 or a Sigma Power 400. I am hoping I can talk my brother into getting it since it's his knives that really need the work and then I can use it on the rare occasion that I would need it for thinning.

ThEoRy
03-07-2012, 06:40 PM
My current lineup includes the Gesshin 400, Bester 1200, Rika 5k. For Yanagi or uraoshi sharpening I'll bust out the Kitiyama 8-12k.

mhlee
03-07-2012, 07:08 PM
I would say a 1000 and a flattening stone are enough for most people who are starting. I did not flatten my stones for years (frankly, because I didn't know better and didn't realize stone flatteners even existed until I started reading the various forums). Flattening my stones has made such a tremendous difference in sharpening. Personally, I'm trying to go with a three stone set up for the knives I have (double bevel and single bevel) because I prefer toothy edges and don't need or really want to have too many stones or super fine stones, but if I had to identify an item that made the biggest improvement in my sharpening, it would be my Suehiro stone holder. That alone has made me more confident when I sharpen because I no longer worry about the stone sliding around, I can see what I'm doing better (I put the stones at a downward angle away from me) and sharpening is much more comfortable so that I can concentrate more on the actual sharpening.

K-Fed
03-07-2012, 07:22 PM
I would like to say that I've got one of the lapping plates that Jon carries at jki and like it a lot. It cuts aggressively,And the surface is densely packed with abrasive. The only thing I can not comment on is it's longevity as I haven't had it too long.

slowtyper
03-07-2012, 07:43 PM
I recently got a stone holder (came with atoma plate) but haven't used it yet, but I found the easiest way to stop stones from sliding is to lay out newspaper and wet it and do all the sharpening on top. Never had a stone move on me, very sturdy that way.

Pensacola Tiger
03-07-2012, 07:50 PM
Whether or not someone new to sharpening needs a 500 grit stone is an interesting question. Something I found when I started off was that I was so unused to sharp knives that I let mine get pretty blunt before I resharpened them, therefore it took me ages on a 100 grit stone to sharpen the knife again and I'd have liked something coarser. For new people I'd say start of with a 1000 and see how it goes before you get anything coarser. Saying that, I guess all knives need thinning eventually.

I think the problem with someone new to sharpening and a 500 grit stone is that they may think they need to use it, when really all that is needed is some work with a 1000 grit, or maybe just a touchup with a 5000. If you don't know what you are doing, you can do a lot of damage with a 500 grit.

So, I'd agree with your recommendation.

skewed
03-07-2012, 08:03 PM
I do not use my 500 Beston very often at all but when you need it, it saves a lot of time. For home use you probably could skip it but then again if you need it just once a year it seems like it pays for itself quickly (time is money). The 1200 Bester does cut pretty darn fast and can be used for more significant work in a pinch but be ready to flatten it.

If you are into knives, you have to be into sharpening them. Might as well have a nice full set (my 2 cents).

Cheers,
rj

UCChemE05
03-08-2012, 11:44 AM
Personally, i did not bother with a 400-500 grit stone yet I bought a DMT XC plate to use for any bevel setting, thinning and flatting. Been working great so far. Every so often I get the "bug" to buy a Beston or Gesshin even though I can't justify it at this time. (that's what I get for haning out here ;) )

kazeryu
03-08-2012, 12:22 PM
If you're serious about sharpening, the drawbacks of combination stones soon outweigh their lower price.


I've also read that the combo stones while attractive, are not the greatest in the long run.

What's the issue? Is it just that you're getting two thin stones instead of one thick stone?

mhlee
03-08-2012, 04:15 PM
I think the problem with someone new to sharpening and a 500 grit stone is that they may think they need to use it, when really all that is needed is some work with a 1000 grit, or maybe just a touchup with a 5000. If you don't know what you are doing, you can do a lot of damage with a 500 grit.

So, I'd agree with your recommendation.

+1

I got a combo 400/1000 King stone as a starter. Not good. I used the 400 a few times on an old 6 inch (or so) Wusthof chef's knife. I ruined the original profile by taking off too much steel.

Duckfat
03-08-2012, 08:33 PM
I think the problem with someone new to sharpening and a 500 grit stone is that they may think they need to use it, when really all that is needed is some work with a 1000 grit, or maybe just a touchup with a 5000. If you don't know what you are doing, you can do a lot of damage with a 500 grit.


Have to add a +2 to this. If I have to break out the 1K Chosera I know I haven't been keeping my blades up. The vast majority of the time I use a 5K Naniwa SS.
Ordered a Kitayama today.

kazeryu
03-09-2012, 11:58 AM
I decided to get just a King 1000x/4000x combo stone for now. At $38 it seemed like the best way to (cheaply) decide if I was ready to spend more money on fancier waterstones.

I sharpened my $20 mystery metal CCK last night with the stone and some cardboard stropping. I got it shaving sharp in no time at all!

My housemates have a bunch of crummy dull knives - I already touched them up with the 180/300 stone and they seemed to approve. I'll probably be able to practice on those a bit more.

There is also a local hardware/woodworking store which stocks a $25 folding "Japanese Carpenter's Knife" with an Rc60 "laminated carbon-steel blade". It sounds like it should be a great scaled-down replica of my gyuto to practice on.