Is adding a 3000-4000 grit stone going to be any benefit to a beginner?

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SG500 is universally loved.

If you’re exploring the retail landscape you might keep your eyes peeled for a Shapton Rockstar 500. If it’s any cheaper, grab that instead.

As others have noted, and Michelle Obama almost said, you can go high after you go low. I’d round out the 220, 500 range before going to 2K, 6K, 16K.

Many of us starting out had a fascination with finer grit stones, many believing that finer = sharper. We know now that is not exactly how it works. I worked my way up to a Suehiro 20K before working my way down to the very coarse grits.

Dabbling in some mid-grits is almost a prerequisite in the learning experience…. even if they don’t get used quite as much later. So for that, I say, go for it. Pursue your desires and get whatever stone is giving you an itch.
I am not a newcomer to sharpening but I am a newcomer to quality whetstones. I have a Shapton GS500, Kuromaku 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 8,000, and 12,000. I has been fun using whetstones that actually sharpen. The GS500 to start and the 1,000, or 2,000 to finish seems to work for me. My old soaking whetstones, a King 1000, and a King 6,000 didn't do the job. I now realize I should have added a 500 grit to the combination. I am going through my knifes and it is nice to finally put the edges I want, not the feeling I am making them worse. The 8000, and 12,000 don't seem to have that much effect on an already sharp knife blade. I have not sharpened my single bevel knives yet they don't need it, perhaps these finer grits will be the ticket for them. If I had is to do again I would have purchased the Shapton Glass Stones the GS500 is really good. But the Kuromaku are doing the job nicely.

Finally took the stone for a test run, and I'm quite pleased with it! That said, I think feel that some of my much duller knives would benefit from the SG500 but I do see how you can achieve a sharp edge with just the 1000. The stone is a massive upgrade over a King 1000/6000 combo stone I previously had years ago.
what are you sharpening where you feel a 16,000 grit edge is useful?
  1. When I can’t find a Sharpie I start by putting a quick 16k polish all over the edge region so the lower grits are easier to see.
  2. I use the 16k as an alternative to a strop/rod for a quick honing touch-up.
  3. Lastly…
We can't grit our way into sharpness.