Can't get a wh#1 as sharp as a blue#2 and it's frustrating me.

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OnionSlicer

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Put my recently bought watanabe nakiri on the stones for the first time, and it came out with a better edge than the carter muteki I sharpen the same way. Shapton pro 1k, raised a burr along the length of the edge on one side, then the other. Same thing on shapton pro 5k. A few strops on the 5k, then on leather with 1 micron compound. More aggressive angle on the muteki.

In every test - tomato skin, grapes, fingernail, paper - the wat feels ever so marginally better. And its length and geometry made it so simple to sharpen, too, no more than a few minutes. Perhaps that explains why I had more success with it?

I recall the muteki having an impressive edge when I first got it, but it's already been a while so I can't say for sure.
 

PalmRoyale

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Refinement, especially cold forging, of the steel is a big factor in sharpness. The smaller the grain and carbides, the sharper it will get. That could be the difference here.
 

nutmeg

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What about the Geometry?
 

Barmoley

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What about the Geometry?
I was going to ask the same. I doubt this is steel related. Watanabe nakiri usually comes zero grind or very close to it and thin behind the edge in general. Makes it easy to make sharp.
 

suntravel

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on both steels refinement can by done with heattreating and thats what Watanabe makes with modern controlled klins.

Cold forging before HT will give no advantage, refinement by forging is done with hot forging if the percantage of deformation per heat ist high enough.

But i think here the difference is more in the sharpening, even with not so perfect HT both steels should get the same sharpness for the first cut :)

Regards

Uwe
 
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ryanjams

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I’ve had similar experience with Toyama, not sure if it’s the alloying elements in blue or a function of heat treat but it seems to deburr very willingly. Some of my best edges with ease. Might actually be leaving/pulling a small wire edge in your stropping that’s more pronounced on your muteki? Just one possibility.
 

OnionSlicer

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Alright, tomorrow I'll put the muteki on the 5k then deburr extra attentively to try to resolve potential wire edge issues.

I sure hope it's some flaw with my sharpening, because otherwise I love everything about this knife.
 

Sharpchef

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You get any steel to HHT-5... Even Rex 121 or standart Solingen 1.4116 ... Just keep trying.

Greets Sebastian.
 

OnionSlicer

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Success!! Thanks for the encouragement Sebastian, I was hesitant to retry because it seemed silly when the knife is already plenty sharp for actual cooking; but then I figured it'll just bug me until the next time I sharpen so let's waste some metal!

Did everything with extra care - flattened the stones, raised a bit extra burr, etc. One real change is I slightly eased up on the angle to match what I'd done with the watanabe. Result: the best edge I've gotten on it so far. Even recorded this for you guys:


So was it somehow the wider angle, or did I just do everything else better? And does it even matter? I haven't run it through actual prep yet, but if it cuts just as well, then why even chase aggressive angles.
 

Steampunk

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Sharpening both Shirogami and Aogami steels, I've always preferred the way Aogami deburred, and the carbide type seems to take a somewhat 'bitier' edge, and holds it better in the kitchen. I just prefer 'Blue' over 'White' with Hitachi... I loose tooth with Shirogami at higher synthetic grits, and with acidic foods, where Aogami seems to retain some. The edges do feel different on the same stones, but changing stones can help...

I find my best results with White Paper steels to be on very high hardness natural stones... You can do so on the finest Arkansas (Translucent or Surgical Black), but it's very challenging to deburr freehand. A little easier on Lv.4-5 J-Nats, or the hardest Coticules. They do require more careful deburring.

Low-alloy carbon steels tend to respond better to high 'grit' natural edges in my experience (Soft French carbons take and hold better edges with Trans/SB Ark's than with lower grit natural, or synthetic stones of any grit. The softer the abrasive, like silica, the better.)... However, whilst there is some mythos that they sharpen 'easier', I don't necessarily think Shirogami is the easiest to sharpen of the Japanese steels. It's a bit pickier with stones, and deburring can sometimes be a little more difficult than with Aogami. If you get it right, Shirogami can get a little keener than Aogami at high grits, and particularly with the 'soft abrasive' natural stones like J-Nats, Thuri's, Welsh Slates, or even Arks... You can do a full J-Nat progression with Shirogami easier than Aogami, which is maybe where that mythos originated.

Every steel and heat-treat needs it own sharpening paradigm to sing. You'll zone-in on yours with this knife... I've struggled with Shirogami #2 (62HRC) more than Aogami #1 or Aogami Super, even, to find the stones the knife responded best to... In the end, I found I could do so on a Vintage Translucent Arkansas on my best days (Struggled in futility with burr on my worst.), and either Lv.3.5-4 J-Nat or hard Coticule (La Dressante) provided most reliable results balancing keenness and tooth.

You know when your edges 'sing'... Work on them as long as you need to, until they do, and feel free to play around as much as you can afford to. Otherwise, settle... Your edge looks medium-perfect to me in the video clip.

- Steampunk
 

OnionSlicer

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Thank you for sharing the experience Steampunk; it's good to know, and also I'm not far down the rabbit hole on the stones side of things. I've yet to experiment with natural stones, and it looks like there's a lot to learn, and I'm sure I'll be referencing your post.
 

chinacats

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I too prefer sharpening blue over white. My theory is simply that white simply requires a bit more finesse (possibly due to reasons mentioned above)...either way my preference for personal ease of sharpening is ao.
 

CiderBear

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Hi all,

Sorry to hijack this thread, but I figured this would be a good place to ask: over the weekend I got to put 3 knives through a full progression: B2 Wat, V2 Kochi, and W1 Morihei Hisamoto/ TF.

I used a JNS 300, Gesshin 2000, and finished with the 6000 side of the Gesshin 1000/6000 combo stone.

Then I went ahead and cut some oranges. To my surprise, the cutting feel of the 3 knives were quite different: the Wat just... flew through the orange - I didn't get the normal... orangey feedback at all. The TF is next - I could feel some bite, but it also cut effortlessly. The Kochi was the knife that made me feel "Ah right I'm cutting an orange" - a lot of bite and feedback, but still cut really well.

So, question: is it the steel? Heat treat? Or just sloppy sharpening (most likely :p) that makes the knives feel quite different on the same set of stones?
 

inferno

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Hi all,

Sorry to hijack this thread, but I figured this would be a good place to ask: over the weekend I got to put 3 knives through a full progression: B2 Wat, V2 Kochi, and W1 Morihei Hisamoto/ TF.

I used a JNS 300, Gesshin 2000, and finished with the 6000 side of the Gesshin 1000/6000 combo stone.

Then I went ahead and cut some oranges. To my surprise, the cutting feel of the 3 knives were quite different: the Wat just... flew through the orange - I didn't get the normal... orangey feedback at all. The TF is next - I could feel some bite, but it also cut effortlessly. The Kochi was the knife that made me feel "Ah right I'm cutting an orange" - a lot of bite and feedback, but still cut really well.

So, question: is it the steel? Heat treat? Or just sloppy sharpening (most likely :p) that makes the knives feel quite different on the same set of stones?
as m1k3 said its most likely the actual profile thats different. however i have not found any steel that gets as sharp as blue 2. and its very easy to get this steel sharp too. blue2 is the only real supersteel imo. since it gets super sharp very easily.

with simple carbon steels like the ones you mention there is really no magic going on when HTing them. first you harden them. to max hardness and finest grain you can. then you temper that hardness down to something workable. some temper their blue2 to 60hrc and some to 64. its all just a matter of 50deg C here or there in the temper. i have yet to find any maker doing blue 2 bad.
 

Stnakamu

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Success!! Thanks for the encouragement Sebastian, I was hesitant to retry because it seemed silly when the knife is already plenty sharp for actual cooking; but then I figured it'll just bug me until the next time I sharpen so let's waste some metal!

Did everything with extra care - flattened the stones, raised a bit extra burr, etc. One real change is I slightly eased up on the angle to match what I'd done with the watanabe. Result: the best edge I've gotten on it so far. Even recorded this for you guys:


So was it somehow the wider angle, or did I just do everything else better? And does it even matter? I haven't run it through actual prep yet, but if it cuts just as well, then why even chase aggressive angles.
Nice seems super sharp
 

M1k3

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Basically a finer point at the edge=keenness. Has to do with the steel and sharpening technique.
 

CiderBear

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Thanks @inferno. I will give the page a read during some downtime this week .

Another question, the knives seem sharp and cuts everything fine, and they slice through paper easily. However, I still can't cut paper towels with ease. Not that I cook paper towels, so it's kind of a meaningless test, but I'm still curious: how different the edge need to be to cut paper towels?
 

M1k3

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Thanks @inferno. I will give the page a read during some downtime this week .

Another question, the knives seem sharp and cuts everything fine, and they slice through paper easily. However, I still can't cut paper towels with ease. Not that I cook paper towels, so it's kind of a meaningless test, but I'm still curious: how different the edge need to be to cut paper towels?
Practice, good deburring and feather light passes.
 

suntravel

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cutting trough towels with minimal ripping works with a good deburred 1k grind, to get this noiseless or by pushcutting you need a very fine polished egde wich maybe perform less good on tomatoes ;)

Regards

Uwe
 

captaincaed

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I'm going through a similar "just need to practice" phase where I have pretty good results but I'm not at the level some people describe.

Also I got some advice from a guy named Ken S. on another forum who said getting a burr was a sign you're not sharpening well. Struck me as an odd comment. Does anyone else consider no burr a sharpening goal?
 

M1k3

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I'm going through a similar "just need to practice" phase where I have pretty good results but I'm not at the level some people describe.

Also I got some advice from a guy named Ken S. on another forum who said getting a burr was a sign you're not sharpening well. Struck me as an odd comment. Does anyone else consider no burr a sharpening goal?
Ken S. from Togo?
 
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