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Thread: Newbie #862 - Got a lot of questions!

  1. #11
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    1,435
    Hey welcome Mike!

    IMO you're a lucky man! Weather the brand of your knife is one that gets talked about much here or not, I'm sure that there's unanimous admiration for your wife. Although she may regret her gift if the knuts here bring you over to the sharp side and you end up with piles knives and almost as many stones.

    Seriously though, you should be proud of that knife. It may not be the latest and greatest or what all the cool kids are wearing, but the first one is always special, and that fact that it was a gift makes it even better. Many of us started with Shun's or something very similar to what you have. Also, IMO, nakiri's don't get nearly enough love here and they make fantastic 1st j-knives as well as non-gyuto all rounds and a way to learn the different cutting motions that a nariki lends itself to much better than some of the big-bellied German-style chefs knives that many people start with.
    Watch this:

    his knife is pointy, but the edge profile is very flat -just like yours.

    Other's have already given you great advice on starting with a simple combo stone. Ebay / the internet is a good way to get deals, but pretty much nothing beats the BST (buy, sell, trade) section of this forum. SO, another option is post a WTB (want to buy) thread there saying that you're looking for a good beginner set of stones. Many people start with simple sets while they still have some remaining sanity, but eventually end up with enough fancy blocks of rock to build (a very expensive) house. Junkies love company and many would be happy to sell (or practically give) some old unused ones to you just on the hope that they might add another Knut to the bin. - I sure would had I not already given mine away.

    Chinacats already pointed you towards Jon's (JKI's) youtube channel and that's probably the most comprehensive good free video resource that there is. You can find some other from Murray Carter and Dave Martell that will support all of the same fundamentals but have some slight differences in technique.

    The most important thing about sharpening is to have a basic concept in your head of what you want to accomplish and how you plan to do it, and then to just practice, experiment, and pay attention.
    Useful terms / concepts to understand:
    - Why you need to remove metal from BOTH the primary edge bevel (very small bevels that actually for the cutting edge) AND the area just behind the primary edge bevel
    - How to hold and move the knife and control the angle that you are grinding
    - How where it is that you're removing metal from / how to control that (see "sharpie trick")
    - What burr formation is, how to see it, feel it and eventually remove it

    If you've got a basic conceptual understanding of that stuff, and some ability to observe your own actionions / technique and their results then you can very quickly become a very competent sharpener.
    Some folks already mentioned that the VG-10 steel that the core of your blade is made from can be a bit tricky to sharpen, but think that it actually makes it a very good steel to learn on because it forces you to develop good sharpening technique and de-burring practices. So while it may have a slightly higher frustration factor than a nice simple high-carbon steel, the payoff will be higher in that you will continue to have success on other steels that you may try in the future and most of them will feel like a walk in the park in comparison.
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded

  2. #12
    Senior Member Mrmnms's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
    Location
    Long Island
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    My first Japanese knife was also a Kasumi. Nice fit and finish. VG 10 is not the "steel du jour" here but the heat treat is good and it takes a fine edge. If you're using it at home and treat it with respect, the factory edge is pretty good and last quite a while. congrats. That 1k 4k stone mentioned here is a great option for you.

  3. #13
    Welcome MVZOOM! Nothing wrong with having some Henkels and a Kasumi! Very usable knives. I agree with the 1k and 4k for stones to get you started. After you get a feel for sharpening and the stuff you have you'll have a better idea were you want to go from there with both stones and knives.

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