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View Full Version : Grits. How high, is too high?



JKerr
12-09-2012, 10:56 PM
Out of curiosity, at what point would you say "That's enough" when it comes to grits.

Example, I finish on a Kitayama and I don't see the need to go any higher than that for a kitchen knife. I've always been under the impression an edge should have (some) bite to it. After the point of, say 10k, does the sharpening (or polishing as may be the case) produce a negative result? For those of you who have used the likes of Shapton 16k or 30k stones or obscenely fine stropping compounds, do you feel it's justified in the results, or is it more to satisfy general knife nerdism?

Cheers,
Josh

EdipisReks
12-09-2012, 11:34 PM
right now i'm finishing on a naniwa green aoto followed by a couple passes on a strop. this is an experiment, but it has been a successful one, as it gives a good, easy shaving edge that lasts for a long time. i used to use a super stone 10k, and the Kit has long been my finishing stone, followed by a little stropping. the Gesshin 8k is a good stopping point if you want a more polished edge (the Gesshin gives a similar edge to the Kit, though it's more efficient and wears less, and might leave a more aggressive edge).

ThEoRy
12-09-2012, 11:35 PM
Depends on the knife. Gyuto, honesuki, deba, sujihiki, petty 5k. Yanagiba I take to the kitiyama. I finish with different compounds depending on the knife as well.

NO ChoP!
12-09-2012, 11:38 PM
I often will go up the progression just to polish the edge, but drop back down to a mid grit with a few backstrops to get that toothiness...

mr drinky
12-09-2012, 11:56 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about grits -- as in polenta.

k.

miketayl0r
12-09-2012, 11:59 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about grits -- as in polenta.

k.

fell for it too haha

Canadian
12-10-2012, 12:00 AM
I think 4-6k is high enough for most kitchen knives--there is not much practical difference between a 4k, 5k and 6k stone.

JKerr
12-10-2012, 12:08 AM
I thought this thread was going to be about grits -- as in polenta.

k.

Wrong sub forum for that. Don't think I'd be the one to start a thread on it either, heard of Grits, but no idea what it is. Never seen them in Oz or back in Scotland, very American I assume?

Oh, and cheers for the comments so far.

Josh

brainsausage
12-10-2012, 12:14 AM
I thought this was about grits too. And something else... muchies and well- whatever. ANYWAYS...

tk59
12-10-2012, 12:31 AM
An edge is a series of teeth. If you grind on a 10k+ grit stone until all the teeth are essentially the same size, you'll get a very smooth edge that will lose its aggressiveness rather quickly. If you don't polish out the teeth (or round your edge), you can go as high as you want. So, just think about the size, shape and direction of the teeth you are grinding into your edge. Keep in mind that different abrasives will leave different shaped teeth and different steels will respond differently to abrasion, as well and that may reflect on how your edge will degrade.

brainsausage
12-10-2012, 02:34 AM
An edge is a series of teeth. If you grind on a 10k+ grit stone until all the teeth are essentially the same size, you'll get a very smooth edge that will lose its aggressiveness rather quickly. If you don't polish out the teeth (or round your edge), you can go as high as you want. So, just think about the size, shape and direction of the teeth you are grinding into your edge. Keep in mind that different abrasives will leave different shaped teeth and different steels will respond differently to abrasion, as well and that may reflect on how your edge will degrade.

Presumably- cutting styles will influence the degradation as well?

keithsaltydog
12-10-2012, 04:14 AM
Depends on the knife. Gyuto, honesuki, deba, sujihiki, petty 5k. Yanagiba I take to the kitiyama. I finish with different compounds depending on the knife as well.

One of the Sushi Chefs that showed me how to sharpen Yanagi used the Kitayama,I asked what stone he was using & bought one myself.That stone is a match for carbon single bevels.:happy1:

quantumcloud509
12-10-2012, 05:03 AM
I thought this thread was going to be about grits -- as in polenta.

k.

I didnt want to open this post because I thought it was going to be about polenta, because Im sick of polenta...but then I realized it was in the kitchen knife thread.

JKerr
12-10-2012, 05:22 AM
Good to know the general set up here, though I'm still curious about whether the +10k grits are worth it from a practical point of view.

Rick's post was good to see. Looking at specific knives, I'd be interested to hear what everyone finishes on.

I just take everything, apart from paring knives, to my kitayama. Though this is really just out of habit, rather than performance.

Oh, and +1 to Quantumclound. Can't stand polenta.

Cheers,
Josh

NO ChoP!
12-10-2012, 08:54 AM
Polenta=corn meal
Grits=hominy

Dardeau
12-10-2012, 09:11 AM
Polenta=corn meal
Grits=hominy

Amen

Sarge
12-10-2012, 10:36 AM
I think there is depending on what the grits do reasons to go beyond 15k. But as far as what you can feel and how useful it becomes for kitchen tasks real limits to going beyond that. I once tested this with the kind help of the inventor of the gizmo. I an attempt to overcome my skepticism that improvement beyond 30k is really even perceivable to the hands he sent me a .5 micron strop a .25 micron strop, and a .125 micron. I tested them and found that yes my hands could feel a difference from those high high grits, but I couldn't say that it made an improvement if anything I felt that the edge was entirely unsuited to kitchen tasks. I would have loved to have shaved with that edge but to cut food it was impractical at best.

mr drinky
12-10-2012, 11:16 AM
Polenta=corn meal
Grits=hominy

There are grits made from ground hominy corn (alkali-treated corn), but most of the grits today in the supermarket are not hominy grits, and I would dare say that a lot of the grits served in restaurants are also not hominy grits. They are using de-germed ground corn, not treated hominy corn. If you buy from Anson Mills, they offer one variety of hominy grits.

In the south, they often call cooked ground corn hominy, which is also something different.

As to the original post, I don't know what grit is my (highest) last stone. I have the Takenoko which is supposed to be 8k but from what I understand it is the same stone as the Arashiyama which is said t be 6k.

k.

tk59
12-10-2012, 11:53 AM
I typically finish knives on a 4/5k and then put a couple of passes on a 1 micron diamond-loaded leather strop for clean-up. For non-stainless I will often finish on an Awasedo (8k ish). I also like coticule (8k ish) but I've reserved them recently as razor pre-finishers.

daveb
12-10-2012, 11:53 AM
Grits-------$1.00 Side
Polenta----$10.00 Accompaniment

Prefer grits.

Crothcipt
12-10-2012, 05:56 PM
Having used the 30k in the passaround, I used it on a few knives and loved the edge it put on. I def. could feel the difference when testing the edge, and cutting. I also can see how using the stone more than a few passes would have been to much for a kitchen knife. Now just to try to justify the 500$ price tag.

Lucretia
12-10-2012, 06:07 PM
Hmmm...now I know what's for dinner tonite. Grits and scrambled eggs with sausage, leftover biscuits toasted up, and plenty of homemade strawberry jam.

As far as "How high"---about as high as the pile of eggs! :hungry:

Cadillac J
12-10-2012, 08:46 PM
Most knives I take to 5K SS, no strops.

And as Chris said, I'll drop down with finish strokes on Bester 1200 to add toothiness to my honesuki and G-2 beater.

Miles
12-10-2012, 10:58 PM
I rarely take anything past 5K followed by diamond strops these days. I used to go up to 10K and 16K, but I find that I'm quite happy with stopping at 5K.

tk59
12-10-2012, 11:18 PM
Presumably- cutting styles will influence the degradation as well?I'm sure. I tend to cut a certain way and while I can consciously change for a few strokes, it takes some joy out of it. On the other hand, I can switch steels, stones or abrasives and get a general feel for edge retention pretty easily. I have a feeling that the intrinsic characteristics of each steel are a more reliable indicator of how the edge retention will respond to cutting style.

WiscoNole
12-11-2012, 08:09 PM
I don't feel any need to go higher than a Kitayama or 10k SS. I doubt you'd really be able to tell the difference.