View Full Version : Seeking advice on new 2 stone combo...

08-24-2012, 12:16 PM
I'll try to keep this as short and simple as I can.
I've read through tons of similar old threads looking for info on this, and have found what I think is a good idea of what I'm looking for. But I know there are always new products and methods so before I spend my cash I thought I should ask for some final guidance.

I currently use shapton glass 1 & 4k stones, with a DMT-c for rough work and flattening. My previous stones were a few of the king 800/4k & 1k-6k, which always gave me edges that I was perfectly happy with and felt pretty good (maybe except the 4k which feels greasy to me). I bought the Shaptons as an upgrade to "better" stones. Turns out I just don't like the feel of them at all (although the +/-4k range is where i like to stop). Way too hard for my taste. Last week I actually pulled out my last King and tried to eek another use out of the last mm because it feels so much more natural.

I'm looking to find two stones to be a quick and efficient sharpening lineup. I've got a couple simple carbons, a couple vg-1, a new Kono HD, and a few old Germans to sharpen, no single bevels or need for serious polish. I like the 4k finish as it leaves a good balance of clean/toothy for my taste.

My idea is to replace the typical 500/1k/6k setup with just two stones and a 1 mic strop for the knives that can use it. I think I'm looking for something about 7/800 to start (or maybe a really aggressive 1k) followed by something in the 3-5 range (maybe synthetic aoto or Rika?) that will be both a good stopping point and a good step before the strop.
I like the splash and go, but if a soaker gives the feel and combo I'm looking for, so be it.

So much for short and simple, but I look forward to some educated advice.

08-24-2012, 12:24 PM
Jon ( of JKI ) has something in the works that will probably suit this perfectly. Might want to get in touch with him and get a little more info.

Keith Sinclair
08-24-2012, 02:24 PM
Yes talk to Jon,for a trained blade 2 stone setup works well.The 2K gesshin is one of the best medium I have used.Then perhaps the 4K soaker or the 5K splash & go.

The Gesshin's are good for Carbon & Quality alloy Stainless.

08-24-2012, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the input so far guys, and I look forward to more suggestions as well.

Eamon Burke
08-24-2012, 03:36 PM
So you want a softer stone with better feel, fairly fast, and a good bitey edge, in the 1k & 4k range, sharpening mostly stainless.

I'm going to turn blue in the face here on this one, it's like a tired refrain, since they are recommended so often by everyone for everything, but...

Bester 1200, Suehiro Rika 5000.

I wish I could give more creative suggestions, but those two are exactly what you are looking for. They wouldn't be so loved if they weren't awesome.

08-24-2012, 03:57 PM
So you want a softer stone with better feel, fairly fast, and a good bitey edge, in the 1k & 4k range, sharpening mostly stainless.

I'm going to turn blue in the face here on this one, it's like a tired refrain, since they are recommended so often by everyone for everything, but...

Bester 1200, Suehiro Rika 5000.

I wish I could give more creative suggestions, but those two are exactly what you are looking for. They wouldn't be so loved if they weren't awesome.

I did notice those coming up often in the older threads too, gotta be something to it. Does the bester 1200 cut aggressively enough to be the coarsest stone in the lineup? Better first stone than say, the 700?

I do have the DMT-c, but only use it for extreme cases.


Eamon Burke
08-24-2012, 05:28 PM
It will remove all the scratches from the DMT-C without a problem. It's fast enough, and leaves a pretty fine finish. The Rika is a 5k stone that seems to have oddball abrasives in it or something, and it leaves a nice grabby edge.

They both feel great, too, so you probably won't mind spending more time on them if you had to. They will both work faster than the Kings, but slower than the Shaptons.

08-24-2012, 06:20 PM
Thanks for the follow up. LOoks like most people think 1k is a better place to start for regular maintanence sharpening than 7-800??? I thought I'd get more people recommending something a little more coarse as a place to begin.

08-24-2012, 07:14 PM
7-800 is more for repair than maintenance.

Eamon Burke
08-24-2012, 07:23 PM
Maintenance happens for me on 4-6k stones. ~1k is for thinning and cleaning up, sub 1k is for repairs.

You don't have to go to the 1k stone every time you sharpen, unless you are the kind of person who doesn't mow until your grass is 2 feet tall.

08-24-2012, 07:35 PM
If you don't feel the need to go all the way down to 1000, but like an edge around the +/- 4000 range, give the Gesshin 2000 a try. It cuts fast, leaves a very nice toothy edge (althought it does dish a little easier than some stones) and has good feedback.

I've never used a 4000 stone, so I can't say that the Gesshin 2000 is close to it. But, if you don't really need such a refined edge, this may be enough.

You can also go from the Gesshin 2000 to the King 6000 - no problem. I've done that with my single bevel knives.

08-24-2012, 07:40 PM
I guess my distaste for the feel of the Shaptons has led to more time in between sharpenings, which necessitates extra time and effort spent on the 1K.
I appreciate the input guys.

08-24-2012, 08:45 PM
Jon has pretty awesome 600 and 1k stones in the works. May be just what you're looking for in that range.

Citizen Snips
08-24-2012, 09:01 PM
i tried this about a year ago and worked it for a few months. i love the idea of using a 4-5k to polish the teeth of a 400-1000k edge.

my problem was i was trying to be a minimalist too much. i really feel now that a three stone setup is the way to go. i was using the gesshin 400 and the gesshin 4k and got some great results. after a few months though, i realized that i could spend a lot less time on the 4k if i added either my bester 1200 or blue aoto 2k to this lineup. as much as i like the 4k, i personally prefer the rika 5ks finish. the 4k works great on my deba and as a bridge to a kitayama or something finer but i just wasn't getting the edge i prefer for a lot of kitchen tasks.

to sum this up, if you are looking for a 2 stone set, you would be fine with the bester 1200 and rika 5k or the gesshin 400 and gesshin 4k but to reduce your time, you might think about sticking with a three stone setup. if you were to add the gesshin 4k to the bester and rika to use when you need serious maintaining, you would be on the right track

08-25-2012, 12:41 AM
I have a King 1000/6000 stone (my first stone) and it was OK, but I never really liked it. Now I use the Beston 1200/Rika 5K combo quite often. I may throw in an Aoto in between to refine the edge a bit and make sure my edge bevels are meeting properly when the burr is removed before I go to the finer stones, but I don't have an issue jumping 1200-5k with this combo. So much nicer than the King 1000/6000 combo stone!! The Rika 5K leaves a nice, bitey edge. If I want to go to a higher grit, I break out the Shobu and Ozuka Asagi J Nats. The Rika 5K gets used for touch ups, too.

Both stones work quickly and efficiently and really seem to compliment each other.

Keith Sinclair
08-26-2012, 03:23 AM
For the money like the 1000 bester & 5K Rika.Little need to go below 1K unless reprofiling or repairing a blade.Then I use atoma plate & bester 700 to take out scratches.I agree the Rika is a good touchup stone esp.JSB.The Gesshen 2K & Rika is another good two stone set.

08-26-2012, 04:10 AM
JKI 600 followed by the 6k. Both splash and go. They work very well together and I would highly roccomend then.


08-26-2012, 07:05 PM
First, thanks for all the info and suggestions.
Now a little update.
I spent almost an hour on Saturday on the stones with a trio of knives. One
stainless gyuto, a carbon yo-deba, and a stainless clad aogami petty. I tried to really pay attention to each stone so can identify what I like and don't like about them.

First, I despise the DMT-c. I did a little thinning of the gyuto and might as well have been sharpening on the curb. I know I can't expect anything from a solid piece of steel, but the thing doesnt even seem to cut nearly as fast as it should. I made the decision to get a new coarse stone.

Second, I might just keep the 1k glass stone. That thing seems like it cuts faster than the DMT-c. Didn't notice any appreciable difference in feel (what little there is) between the three steels, except maybe for a little "slipperiness" with the cladding on the petty while thinning (not a big deal, my only laminated blade). For a stone that just needs to get the job done as efficiently as possible and leave a clean bevel, it rocks. Didn't spend much time on it with any of the knives because I didn't need to. It just works, so I'm going to stop bitching and use it.

The 4k was a different story though. While it cut quickly and produced good results, I didn't enjoy the process and was constantly questioning my progress. IMO at this grit, especially as the final stone, you need some degree of feel and feedback to be able to make adjustments and get an edge you like. The hardness and constant feeling of slipping or skidding didn't instill confidence (although the stone wasn't loading, just felt like it).

Anyway, looks like a Rika is on the next order, and eentually something to replace the dmt-c, probably gesshin 400 or bester 500.
Thanks again for the guidance, much appreciated

08-26-2012, 07:11 PM
Did you use the DMT wet?

08-26-2012, 07:37 PM
Did you use the DMT wet?


08-26-2012, 09:50 PM
I have a DMT-c as well, pretty useless. Worst money I have ever spent on a knife related purchase.