Do I want an 8k? If I do, which one?

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
3,596
Reaction score
7,030
Location
PNW USA
Alrighty folks, I'm going to revert to a rather "newbie" type question and fully acknowledge the "it depends factor" right up front. But I still want to ask...

I tend to lean to "courser" finishes and rarely go above 2k. I have the SG4k that, admittedly, I haven't experimented with enough yet but somehow told myself it is too fine. For reference, I spent about forty years using knives that came off a Norton Fine India or soft Arkansas. So maybe, I tend to lean into those courser finishes as much because it is familiar as it is performance based.

While I have some very nice performing knives (Yoshikane, Kurosaki, etc.), I haven't yet really felt like my sharpening approach (skills are still debatable) has been lacking.

Enter the Watanabe Pro nakiri. I'm totally and unapologetically infatuated with this beautiful tool!

In the accompanying pamphlet, Shinichi mentions finishing on an 8k Kitayama. He doesn't necessarily suggest that's what he does or we should do, but it is in there mentioning polished and extremely sharp edges. I don't care much about polish, but I do want to do my best to maintain/recreate this edge.

I know we should be creating very sharp edges off courser stones. I've preached that myself so may times. But...

If I do decide to indulge, I'm pondering the Kitayama vs. the SG8k. I like S-n-G but I'm not necessarily married to it for a finisher. Anyone have a preference between the two? Other stones you'd recommend? A nigara recommendation if I go soaker?

Thanks in advance KKF. :)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
790
Reaction score
2,555
Location
San Antonio
I’ve really liked my results with this hideriyama from JKI. Grit is supposed to be between 6-8k. Leaves a refined edge with just enough bite to it, you won’t have any issues cutting thru tomato skin.

 
Joined
Mar 17, 2013
Messages
495
Reaction score
775
Location
Dryden NY
If I do decide to indulge, I'm pondering the Kitayama vs. the SG8k. I like S-n-G but I'm not necessarily married to it for a finisher. Anyone have a preference between the two? Other stones you'd recommend? A nigara recommendation if I go soaker?

The problem for me with 8K edges is they stick in cutting boards too easily so while they fall through food like magic, unless there is a specific reason to use them ( sushi ), I tend to top out at 6K.

As to which finisher? Hmmmmm. I have a bunch and tend to revolve through them so my favorite stone today is likely to be different tomorrow. That said, a finisher I keep coming back to and one that easily sees the most use is the King 6K (S-1 version). Not the best feeling nor the fastest, but I do so love the edge on pretty much any steel that can hold a decent 6K edge. My suggestion for best feeling finisher is the Suehiro Cerax 6K.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
3,596
Reaction score
7,030
Location
PNW USA
The problem for me with 8K edges is they stick in cutting boards too easily so while they fall through food like magic, unless there is a specific reason to use them ( sushi ), I tend to top out at 6K.

As to which finisher? Hmmmmm. I have a bunch and tend to revolve through them so my favorite stone today is likely to be different next week. That said, a finisher I keep coming back to and one that easily sees the most use is the King 6K (S-1 version). Not the best feeling, not the fastest, but I do so love the edge on pretty much any steel that can hold a decent 6K edge. My suggestion for best feeling finisher is the Suehiro Cerax 6K.

For sure this guy does slice the board!
 

inferno

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) <*))))><
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
4,332
Reaction score
2,948
Location
(⌐■_■)
i think the best one overall is the shapton pro 8k. it reminds me of the 2k. i like it better than the 8k gray glass.

gray glass polishes like a 12k and is slower than the 8k pro. 8k pro feels better. true sng
cerax/traditional 8k is good but a soaker
green suehiro 8k is good too. silicon carbide, soaker. (good for kasumi)
imanishi 10k. quite soft and quite muddy. sng
karasu 9k also good, sng. (good for kasumi)
shapton pro 12k. also very good. its fast for its grit. most allround 12k imo. true sng
naniwa 12k, best for razors since it delivers the most mirror finish out of these. true sng
morihei 12k a bit too muddy for razors imo. its a good stone though. sng

gokumyo 20k, for razors. very very good stone. more mirror. true sng
 

Wagnum

Poor choice maker
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
131
Reaction score
166
Location
Canada
For what it's worth I love the edge off the SG4k. I also convinced myself that it was too refined and usually finished at 2k for that reason but the edge off the SG4k is less refined than it looks. I mostly just give a few light passes after getting a nice edge off any 1k stone. Definitely worth messing around with but won't replace an 8k
 

gentiscid

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2021
Messages
206
Reaction score
100
Location
USA
I have beard good words for Kitayama. I need an 8k myself and this is a good thread for everyone to come and share their 8k experiences.
 

Pie

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2021
Messages
722
Reaction score
1,320
Location
Edmonton
If all shapton glass stones are similar in terms of being quite hard, pure s&g and not muddy, then we’re talking wildly different stones. I only have the 220 and I’m not sure a coarse stone is a good representation.

The Kitayama is pretty soft, and feels even softer. Like a pillow, and slurries readily. Good feedback and isn’t glassy. It can go for a quick soak when used for polishing, but really doesn’t have to be. I touched up my MM with it the other day, it’s smooth and effortless in use, but the edge lacks a sharp bite. Granted, I haven’t given it much of a shake for edges.. probably should.
 
Last edited:

big D

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
215
Reaction score
83
Location
chicago IL
You have a 4K which you don't really use, yet you are looking at an 8K. May I suggest using the 4K steadily for awhile and see if you find that lacking? mtckitchen carries these and you can pick one up at a tad over 40 when on sale though you do need to make a $100 purchase to get free shipping. You should have it figured out by then.
 

Runner_up

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2019
Messages
604
Reaction score
1,056
Location
Boston
You have a 4K which you don't really use, yet you are looking at an 8K. May I suggest using the 4K steadily for awhile and see if you find that lacking? mtckitchen carries these and you can pick one up at a tad over 40 when on sale though you do need to make a $100 purchase to get free shipping. You should have it figured out by then.

This is the way.

I will say that the kitayama 8k is a great stone - gets love for a reason.
 

MrHiggins

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2017
Messages
994
Reaction score
1,310
Location
Barefoot and in the kitchen
I will also pile on with some praise for the 8k kitayama. I have the one mounted on the wood base. It has a really nice soft feel and creates a creamy smooth slurry. It's a joy to use, especially after you soak it for a while. It creates a very fine mirror finish on the core steel.

That said, I hardly ever use it because the edge it creates is too refined for me.

When I do use it, I'll create the sharpest edge I can with it, then I'll drop down to a lower grit (like 3k) to create a little texture. This will create a very sharp, but potentially chippy, edge.

Final review: if you like to sharpen and polish for the fun and feel, then it's a good stone to have. If you sharpen for useful edges, skip it.
 

inferno

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) <*))))><
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
4,332
Reaction score
2,948
Location
(⌐■_■)
imo everyone needs at least 1 high grit stone. you will never know how sharp your knives can get unless you actually put a high grit edge on there.
when i put some of my fine grained knives on an 8 or 12k they get truly scary sharp. they just fall through most stuff.

i can give you a more indepth explanation of the stones i have on hand right now, with some pics.
 

daveb

Staff member
Administrator
Global Moderators
Joined
Mar 11, 2012
Messages
13,863
Reaction score
6,867
Location
St Pete, the one in Florida
Dave Martell did a review of the Kit 8K many moons ago. With some google-fu I found it for your consideration. Never used it myself.

Did use the Gesshin 8K soaker but did not feel the love and traded it for a rehandle of my own Wat nakiri. I currently have a SG8000 but have not used it much - I generally prefer to finish on Jnats for the "good" knives.

The Misunderstood Kitayama
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
3,596
Reaction score
7,030
Location
PNW USA
You have a 4K which you don't really use, yet you are looking at an 8K. May I suggest using the 4K steadily for awhile and see if you find that lacking? mtckitchen carries these and you can pick one up at a tad over 40 when on sale though you do need to make a $100 purchase to get free shipping. You should have it figured out by then.

This was the advice I eventually gave myself last night. But... Note the title of the thread asks if I want and 8k not if I need one. Could be I'm looking for an excuse to get a new stone. 😁

Thanks as always for the thoughts folks.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
3,596
Reaction score
7,030
Location
PNW USA
Dave Martell did a review of the Kit 8K many moons ago. With some google-fu I found it for your consideration. Never used it myself.

Did use the Gesshin 8K soaker but did not feel the love and traded it for a rehandle of my own Wat nakiri. I currently have a SG8000 but have not used it much - I generally prefer to finish on Jnats for the "good" knives.

The Misunderstood Kitayama

Good read sir. Thanks for taking the time to look it up.
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2020
Messages
3,596
Reaction score
7,030
Location
PNW USA
If all shapton glass stones are similar in terms of being quite hard, pure s&g and not muddy, then we’re talking wildly different stones. I only have the 220 and I’m not sure a coarse stone is a good representation.

The Kitayama is pretty soft, and feels even softer. Like a pillow, and slurries readily. Good feedback and isn’t glassy. It can go for a quick soak when used for polishing, but really doesn’t have to be. I touched up my MM with it the other day, it’s smooth and effortless in use, but the edge lacks a sharp bite. Granted, I haven’t given it much of a shake for edges.. probably should.

All my SG's act that same way.
 

inferno

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) <*))))><
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
4,332
Reaction score
2,948
Location
(⌐■_■)
a bit more in depth.

shapton pro 8k. feels so-so, its hard, its a fast stone. clogs very little when sharpening, clogs very little on blade sides.
does not grab blade sides when polishing them. releases minimal abrasive. this one just cuts. mirror finish.

shapton pro 12k. fast stone, hard, clogs quite a lot when sharpening but it doesn't seem to slow it down. clogs very little on sides.
starts to grab a little when surfaces get flat enough. releases almost no abrasive. this one just cuts. mirror finish.

gray glass 8k, semi fast stone, clogs a bit, feels weird in use, feels smooth with small rubber pieces embedded somehow that creates drag.
this one polishes and cuts. release almost no abrasive. mirror finish.

cerax/traditional 8k, feels ultra aggressive, you know within 1 second this will be awesome, very little clogging, releases a fair amount of abrasive.
no polishing here, it just cuts. kasumi with scratches.

green suehiro 8k. smooth and nice. clogs minimally. release a fair amount of abrasive. it just cuts. kasumi finish, no scratches.

imanishi 10k. feels kinds rubbery, clogs quite a lot. releases the most amount of abrasive. very soft so its easy to cut into it by mistake.
cuts very little polishes very much. very fine haze finish with low contrast. the abrasive slurry dries up very quickly on it and its starts dragging on the blade.

karasu 9k . feels smooth and nice, clogs very little, release a little abrasive, more than 0. quite slow cutting. kasumi finish with good contrast, no scratches.
the abrasive slurry dries up very quickly on it and its starts dragging on the blade. but not as bad as the imanishi, far from it.

naniwa 12k, don't have this anymore but i remember it clogging up quite fast, releases very little abrasive. mirror polish. this one is quite grabby on blade sides.

morihei 12k, feels medium smooth imo. clogs a bit, release quite a bit of abrasive. polishes more than it cuts. kasumi with low contrast (too little for me to keep around). the abrasive slurry dries up quite quickly on it and its starts dragging on the blade. but not as bad as the imanishi. this a no mans land stone. not really fast, not really good for mirror polishing, not really fast drying, no really good for kasumi. so it had to go.

gokumyo 20k, rock hard but it feels smooth and nice. clogs a bit but it doesn't seem to matter much. it polishes a lot and cuts quite fast. mirror polish. can become draggy on blade sides. expensive. releases next to 0 abrasive.

--------------

i think the shaptons pros have a good balance of properties for a high grit stone. they are very allround. the others are more specialized for one specific thing.

good for edges/speed - suehiros and shaptons
good for mirror finish - gok 20k, naniwa 12k, gray glass 8k.
good for kasumi - green 8k and karasu 9k

i get the feeling that the kitayama is similar to the imanishi 10k. and the imanishi would not be my first choice for a high grit stone. the imanishi 10k is very good for creating a repeatable nice finish on stainless cladding. and thats it basically.

another nice stone in this grit range is a coticule. but for a full sized one it gets expensive.
 

inferno

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) <*))))><
Joined
Jan 11, 2018
Messages
4,332
Reaction score
2,948
Location
(⌐■_■)
here are my keepers. but i think the imanishi is on its way out.

keepers 1.JPG

keepers overcooked.JPG
 

mpier

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2020
Messages
193
Reaction score
258
I’d through the Snow White in the ring as well, it’s a hard stone, fast cutter but needs to be sealed or it will crack, the kitayama has others have mentioned is soft and but sweet to use. I would suggest having at least one high grit stone in your collection, you will probably find you will use it more than you think.
 
Top