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Thread: First yanagiba. Now which stone to pair?

  1. #1

    First yanagiba. Now which stone to pair?

    Hi all,

    So after two years in professional kitchens with a serious knife hobby, I finally have the justifications needed for some single bevels. After a promotion, I will be breaking down whole fish (and hopefully some whole animals as well, another matter though) and possibly be doing some raw plates.

    I've just ordered a 300 Gesshin Uraku yangiba from Jon. Eventually I will get a 210 deba as well, but for the time being, my trusty old vintage Dexter carbon scimitar will function quite handily for filleting purposes.

    I have been working on technique for two years on a single Bester 1200, with my Hiromoto AS 240 and various others, my scimitar being my other most used knife (I've spent a good bit of time in a whole-animal butcher's shop). With just the bester and newspaper stropping, I can easily push-cut paper.

    I will be getting a Gesshin 400 as a coarse stone to keep the houseknives in working order, finishing them on my bester. What I'm unsure of, is the best fine stone to start with to give me the most range in finishing primarily a yanagiba, but also possibly my gyuto, deba, and scimitar.

    I've been heavily considering the Takashima Awasedo, as I'm intrigued by the possibilities of the natural stone, with its wonderful mud development. At the same time, the Rika, Kittyama, and a few of the Gesshins (5k, 6k, 8k) are highly regarded, and I seem to see them as the finishing stones for peoples yanagis all the time, both edge and blade road.

    Eventually I will be getting a KS/clone to pair with my Hiro, but that's a bit farther down the road. I'm generally a minimalist, making best use of the fewest materials, so I would rather have one nice one, than a series.

    Any and all opinions here would be wonderful. Thanks in advance.

    Davis

  2. #2
    I just went through this about a month ago. My ever expanding stone set now consists of the following because I was looking for stones to improve the finish of my single bevel knives: Atoma 140, Gesshin 400, King 1000, King 1200, Gesshin 2000, King 6000 and Takashima Awasedo. Instead of buying the Gesshin 6k (which is a very nice stone), I bought the Takashima Awasedo to finish my single bevel knives. I tried one at Jon's place and it left the best finish on single bevel knives I have compared to the stones I had before I bought it. I haven't used mine yet but am excited to once I have the time. The Gesshin 6k produces a great edge on Urakus. I tried the 6k on my 180 deba and produced a really sharp, toothy edge. The finish is good, but the Takashima is better.

    FWIW, surprisingly, I got better than expected results simply using the King stones. IIRC, I got the best finish with these stones building up some mud and then using less pressure.
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  3. #3
    That's good to hear. My father has recently been lured into the shallow end, and went with a king combo 1k/6k and an Uraku 210 gyuto. I'll have access to the king when the yanagiba arrives, so I'm thrilled to hear that the 6k will put a decent edge on it if I'm careful. When you get a chance to try your stone, let me know how the 1200-Awesedo jump goes, as that was my plan. Or are you going to go the full range with the 2k and 6k each time?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DWells View Post
    That's good to hear. My father has recently been lured into the shallow end, and went with a king combo 1k/6k and an Uraku 210 gyuto. I'll have access to the king when the yanagiba arrives, so I'm thrilled to hear that the 6k will put a decent edge on it if I'm careful. When you get a chance to try your stone, let me know how the 1200-Awesedo jump goes, as that was my plan. Or are you going to go the full range with the 2k and 6k each time?
    I was planning on going through a Gesshin 2k, King 6k, and Takashima Awasedo set up and also compare it to a King 1000/1200, 6k, Takashima Awasedo set up. I think the 6k is going to be essential to get out some of the (relatively) larger scratches from the lower grit stones.

    If you have any questions about the Takashima, call Jon. He may say a 1000/1200 to Awasedo jump is fine. In my experience and observations, a lot about the finish has to do with technique, which I will openly say, I don't have much of quite yet. I screw around with different pressure, mud, etc. and don't have a consistent plan of attack yet. But, I've gotten some decent results and, for me, sharpening single beveled knives is a lot more fun that double beveled knives.

    I'll defintely tell you how it goes. I'll also try to take pictures as well. But, I may not get to this anytime soon with the holidays and all.

    But, as far as a good edge with a King 6k, it's definitely attainable. FWIW, I usually only go to 2k for most of my knives. Single bevels are the exception.

    I think you'll be really happy with the Uraku yanagiba. I'm really happy with my Deba. (My yanagiba is an old Kanehisa that I got almost 20 years ago.)
    Michael
    "Don't you know who he is?"

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    For Carbon SB the 5K Rika works well great stone at the price.Also good to pair wt. your Bester.The Gesshin 8K costs more,I really like to work the edges on my yanagi,Deba, & Usuba on this stone.I have had to repair a couple yanagi's lately for other cooks.Finish wt. the Gesshen.It is hard for me to be a minimalist tho I agree less is often better.I am just a polishing stone junkie & these are my two favorite polishing stones

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chuckles's Avatar
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    I too am lacking a good bridge stone from bevel setters to finisher. I have been jumping from 1 and 2k stones to the Awasedo just fine. It may take a little longer on the Awasado but that stone is so pleasing to use I have no complaints.

    BTW this is all on double bevels.

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