Cannot get my Tanaka Blue 1 to be as sharp as my Kaeru SLD and I'm stumped

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myguidingmoonlight

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I recently got a Tanaka Kyuzo Blue 1, the sharpness OOTB was less than ideal so I brought it to my Shapton 2k. The same stone I've used to get all my previous knives sharp enough to slice paper towels, including a Kaeru SLD and a Swedish stainless petty.

As a beginner 1 year into this, I know my sharpening skills aren't up to par with anyone else, but I just couldn't understand why I cannot get this Tanaka Blue 1 to sharp enough as the rest of my knives. Right now, trying to get this Tanaka sharp is such a slog of a process, whereas sharpening every other knife has been much easier than I'm pretty much stumped on what to do.

If the more experienced forum members have tips or pointers on what to change I'm all ears, the stones I have are a Naniwa Pro 800 and a Shapton Pro 2k.
 
Thanks for the pointers everyone. Guess I got away with it because my previous knives used softer steel.

I heard that Tanaka's Blue is suppose to be easy to sharpen, is this actually true or am I naive to expect it to be as easy to sharpen as White steel?
 
Thanks for the pointers everyone. Guess I got away with it because my previous knives used softer steel.

I heard that Tanaka's Blue is suppose to be easy to sharpen, is this actually true or am I naive to expect it to be as easy to sharpen as White steel?

I can't speak to that specific steel sampling but keep in mind, it might be the starting condition of the edge. Yes, if it's harder that can add some complexity but if you're starting out with a rougher edge like it seems you did, then it will just need more work to get things set right. That's going to be true of any steel and 2k is rather fine for that kind of work.
 
Thanks for the pointers everyone. Guess I got away with it because my previous knives used softer steel.

I heard that Tanaka's Blue is suppose to be easy to sharpen, is this actually true or am I naive to expect it to be as easy to sharpen as White steel?

Idk, I’ve only had one Tanaka blue 1 and I found it took more work to move steel on it than on some others. It‘s really easy to deburr and you can get it quite sharp, but if the edge is in bad condition I can see it taking more time than you’re used to to correct it.
 
Another thing to be aware of is deburring. Trying to deburr on a finer stone or pull the edge through a cork or a piece of wood :) It can make quite a difference.
 
Thanks for the pointers everyone. Guess I got away with it because my previous knives used softer steel.

I heard that Tanaka's Blue is suppose to be easy to sharpen, is this actually true or am I naive to expect it to be as easy to sharpen as White steel?

I think it may vary from knife to knife. I had a FM White 2 that was a PITA to sharpen, but my FM White 1 nakiri is super easy (both of which are Tanaka knives)
 
Idk, I’ve only had one Tanaka blue 1 and I found it took more work to move steel on it than on some others. It‘s really easy to deburr and you can get it quite sharp, but if the edge is in bad condition I can see it taking more time than you’re used to to correct it.
This has been my experience with a couple of them. They are quite hard, so it may take a little work, but they deburr easily and take a great edge.
 
Thanks for the pointers everyone. Guess I got away with it because my previous knives used softer steel.

I heard that Tanaka's Blue is suppose to be easy to sharpen, is this actually true or am I naive to expect it to be as easy to sharpen as White steel?
The steel shouldnt be too hard to sharpen. If you've never taken the edge below 2k, you might want to go down to 1k or 500 to make sure the edge is properly apexed. If the edge is on the conservative side (ie: thick), it will take you a long time on a 2k to get there. But on a lower grit, it shouldnt take more than a couple minutes. It doesnt require a lot of metal removal, just make sure you get a burr on both sides before moving on.
 
Now that you mention it, this was true for me with a suji I got recently. I sharpened it with SG-1K, thinking the finish sharpening was already done, and really wasn't happy. I took it down to 320 and back up, and it is fantastic. It didn't take much work but did need some foundational work to sing.
 
If it works for you, I always use 1k to create an edge on a knife that does not need major correction.

Actually, with most of my knives, I stop there. I only jump to 6000 with a few selected knives.

I guess I'm not extremely exigent, but I feel that I always have all my knives quite sharp and ready to go. If the knive does not glide through ingredients, I'm not satisfied.

I just got a Tanaka but I haven't used it yet....

For the record, I work in a professional kitchen.
 
I picked up a B1 Kagekiyo a while back. Still had factory edge and wasn't cutting how I prefer. I hit it with an Aizu, but that didn't quite nail it. Hit it with SG1K and that did the trick. I usually try the Aizu first and if that's not the ticket, then try SG1K, then SG500 if the 1K doesn't hit. Usually the 1K does the trick.
Like others have said, it deburred very easy and clean.
 
For those with experience, I’d like to get recommendations on which stones to buy for Tanaka Blue 1 (and super). I just bought a Tanaka B1 and I’ve been putting off buying another stone or stones. I’ve been using a Cerax 1k/6k combo on the super, but the 6k is too fine and the 1k may be a bit soft for the hard steel. I was considering SG2k for finishing and maybe going to SG or Pro 500 for initial sharpening when necessary (I tend to touch up mostly). But I know there are a lot of other good choices. Belgian Blue, etc. For this knife, which two?
 
For those with experience, I’d like to get recommendations on which stones to buy for Tanaka Blue 1 (and super). I just bought a Tanaka B1 and I’ve been putting off buying another stone or stones. I’ve been using a Cerax 1k/6k combo on the super, but the 6k is too fine and the 1k may be a bit soft for the hard steel. I was considering SG2k for finishing and maybe going to SG or Pro 500 for initial sharpening when necessary (I tend to touch up mostly). But I know there are a lot of other good choices. Belgian Blue, etc. For this knife, which two?
What you have will work fine. Even though Tanaka does a "hard" blue, at the end of the day it's still a simple carbon steel, and your aluminum oxide stones will cut just fine even if your 1k is a bit "softer". For what its worth usually I start on my chosera 800 on my tanakas and they work fine...but yeah a lower grit wouldn't hurt if you want to go quicker.

I have a shapton 320 glass I like, like you mentioned a SG500 will work well. Also pretty sure I have heard good things about chosera 600. Just grab anything in the 3-600 range which will also help for chips or any other repair work if you end up needing it. TLDR: any coarser whetstone will do just fine, but 1k should be just fine for most touch ups. I am sharpening my Tanaka super from dull starting at my chosera 800, forms a burr readily in not much time.
 
For those with experience, I’d like to get recommendations on which stones to buy for Tanaka Blue 1 (and super). I just bought a Tanaka B1 and I’ve been putting off buying another stone or stones. I’ve been using a Cerax 1k/6k combo on the super, but the 6k is too fine and the 1k may be a bit soft for the hard steel. I was considering SG2k for finishing and maybe going to SG or Pro 500 for initial sharpening when necessary (I tend to touch up mostly). But I know there are a lot of other good choices. Belgian Blue, etc. For this knife, which two?

I don't have anything from Tanaka but I have a variety of all three of the aogami offerings and the SG500 and 2k are my go-to's. I have the SG4k as well but the 2k will give a great edge on these steels for kitchen work.

The SG2k is sorta my "fix all" stone. Meaning, if I play around with different finishes on my knives and am not happy, I just run them a few times on the 2k and know I'm back to an edge I really like.
 
I don't have anything from Tanaka but I have a variety of all three of the aogami offerings and the SG500 and 2k are my go-to's. I have the SG4k as well but the 2k will give a great edge on these steels for kitchen work.

The SG2k is sorta my "fix all" stone. Meaning, if I play around with different finishes on my knives and am not happy, I just run them a few times on the 2k and know I'm back to an edge I really like.

Great, thanks. This is validation that my thinking was sound, so I won’t have to go through that whole process again. Placing an order.
 
While getting knives sharp on lower grits first is common advice I’d go against it and recommend a 3k and an 8k stone. Take your mediocre edge straight to the higher grit stones and deburr there. It’s way easier to do on slow cutting stones and blue steel works really well with high polishes. This is assuming you did apex properly but failed to deburr and hold steady angles to the degree necessary.
Going back to 320 will likely just give you a fat secondary bevel.
 
You are probably not hitting the apex. I sharpened Y. Tanaka b1 not to long ago for the first time and it was pretty easy.
 
Months later after this post, I got my second Y Tanaka and flattened the bevel on it.

After that I realized my sharpening issue stemmed from the the quite obtuse secondary bevel both the Y. Tanaka's came with OOTB. And because of that both the Tanaka Kyuzo and Tsubaya Tanaka wedge more than I expected for how thin they are.

Sharpening my new Y. Tanaka from a zero edge was actually quite pleasant, apexed very fast on a Rika. It now cuts pretty damn well, went throught medium carrots like butter.

It's like I'm cutting with a taller Yoshikane.
 
Months later after this post, I got my second Y Tanaka and flattened the bevel on it.

After that I realized my sharpening issue stemmed from the the quite obtuse secondary bevel both the Y. Tanaka's came with OOTB. And because of that both the Tanaka Kyuzo and Tsubaya Tanaka wedge more than I expected for how thin they are.

Sharpening my new Y. Tanaka from a zero edge was actually quite pleasant, apexed very fast on a Rika. It now cuts pretty damn well, went throught medium carrots like butter.

It's like I'm cutting with a taller Yoshikane.

I'm always amazed how much of a difference even subtle changes can make to the overall knife and its performance. Thanks for sharing your finding and results. 👍
 
What you have will work fine. Even though Tanaka does a "hard" blue, at the end of the day it's still a simple carbon steel, and your aluminum oxide stones will cut just fine even if your 1k is a bit "softer". For what its worth usually I start on my chosera 800 on my tanakas and they work fine...but yeah a lower grit wouldn't hurt if you want to go quicker.

I have a shapton 320 glass I like, like you mentioned a SG500 will work well. Also pretty sure I have heard good things about chosera 600. Just grab anything in the 3-600 range which will also help for chips or any other repair work if you end up needing it. TLDR: any coarser whetstone will do just fine, but 1k should be just fine for most touch ups. I am sharpening my Tanaka super from dull starting at my chosera 800, forms a burr readily in not much time.
I'm late to this. Apologies if I've overlooked something. I have several of the JNS Tanakas and the Kaeru. In my experience, the Tanakas need their bevels set with something in the 300-500 grit range. Once you do that, they get screaming sharp. The particular stones are not a big issue, I don't think. I put an initial edge on one of them with a SG 2K and wasn't happy. As soon as I dropped down to a 320 and then back up through the progression, all was well.

The Kaeru SLD, I have found, loves Belgian Blue, but it will be fine with any of those stones.
 
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