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Thread: Natural Stones: how to use

  1. #1

    Natural Stones: how to use

    I've been asking around and have gotten a different answer from each person I have asked, so hopefully there is someone here who can clarify this for me. How do you use natural stones? Are they for sharpening or just for putting finishes on your knife (Polishing not sharpening)? Can you use them for sharpening and still get decent results?if they are good for sharpening, just as finishing stones, or medium (grit) stones too? What do you use, which stones do you recommend?


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    I am a pro chef and natural stone collector.....

    For kitchen knife sharpening i use synthetics (Chosera1k/3k/5k) or even diamond "stones" (DMT/Atoma), for finishing striktly naturals..... Mostly Jnats like Ohira, Okudo (only Suita Strata with hardness about 4). I`got a huge collection of Razor hones from all over the world (mostly Belgian, Thuringian, Frankonian, Jnat) but most of them are to fine for kitchen knives...... But superb for straight razors....

    The naturals for Kitchenknives (Ohira Renge Suita, Okudo Suita)are mostly rubbed with DMT to create a slurry and then work the slurry till it is black, then you`re finished with very good results (if you get the right angle :::...

    Greets Sebastian.


  3. #3
    I'd be quite interested in this as well. I just purchased my first Tanaka from K&S and I'd like to be able to take good care of it. My current knives ( ErgoChef, Henckles, etc.) are fine with regular sharpening methods, but I'd like to learn how to use the Jnats properly. I've perused YouTube but, to the uninitiated, I don't know who to trust.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    The only true naturals I use are very old, very high quality Arkansas..but only for 50/50 or slightly assymetric edges and only to refine a kitchen or hunting/fishing knife edge, never for finishing or thinning. I would absolutely love to try out a few different softer Jnats for finishing single and wide bevels but the cost is a little astronomical.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Hi there Daniel. You sure can sharpen with naturals, it usually takes more time to do it, though. If sharpening time is not a problem, then it's a matter of taste. I like to use naturals to sharpen most carbon steels and aeb-l stainless. It might take more time, but for that reason, it gives you more time see what's going on with your sharpening. I find that it usually takes less steel than the synths when the sharpening is done. Another advantage is that naturals don't clog as much and usually are less prone to dish. I use only an aoto (those muddy ones) to sharpen an aeb-l gyuto i have. Like to leave it a bit toothy for tomatos. On the other side, i like to use something coarser (usually a JNS' numata, followed by an Ikarashi/Aizu) for steels like R2/SG2.

  6. #6
    Senior Member panda's Avatar
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    you have to scratch it, then sniff it, and then lick it.

    on a serious note, i had a few naturals, and now only use one. it is a medium grit that i use for putting the final edge so as the last stage in sharpening. for use: splash water on it, wipe with hand, splash some more water, start a slurry with a mini diamond plate, splash a little more water and then go to town, splash more water as needed. the more you let the mud break down, the grit becomes finer. depending on what knife i am using, sometimes i don't let the mud break down at all as i don't want to get any more refined than the initial slurry.

    majority of the natural users i believe use for polishing the sides of the blade. i, however have never bothered with that aspect.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Don't lick the stone. I smoke and sometimes will take a break from sharpening and have a cigarette and I can assure you that natural stone mud tastes awful. Not as bad as machine coolant but that is another stone for another time. Yes, a joke, I know but I have had the experience and it is not a good one. I never learn, though.

    Anyway, I use my naturals for sharpening as opposed to just polishing and they work just fine. Omura and Ikarashi can put a practical edge on most things. Or at least practical enough for me. It does take a wee bit longer. That is not to say anything is wrong with using them for polishing work, I do that too. Though not as well as others on this forum.


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