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Thread: Sharpening Equipment

  1. #1

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    Sharpening Equipment

    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.

  2. #2
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    For flattening, you should get DMT or Atoma in 120-140 grit.


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  3. #3
    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

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shinob1's Avatar
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    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/...-supplies.html are a couple of good places to start your shopping.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marko Tsourkan View Post
    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)

  6. #6
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    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


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtyper View Post
    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.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  8. #8
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    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?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowtyper View Post
    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.

  10. #10
    Marko Tsourkan's Avatar
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    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


    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.
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