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Benuser

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Cretan or Washita. Certain natural stones just have far greater range than synthetics.

They're not common, but Norton did produce India / Washita combis. A Coarse or Medium India x Washita would be completely ideal.

(And on the off-chance anyone wants to sell me one - I'm all ears...)
Same with a softer Coticule. Have used it for reprofiling highly abrasion resistant soft stainless.
 

cotedupy

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Same with a softer Coticule. Have used it for reprofiling highly abrasion resistant soft stainless.
That's good to know!

In your experience does the hardness of coticules correlate with the fineness of the grain? I have a quite a soft one that is also very coarse, so was wondering if that's coincidence, or normally the case?

(Interestingly the BBW part is also considerably coarser than normal too. It's a fantastic stone all round, but quite different.)
 

Benuser

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That's good to know!

In your experience does the hardness of coticules correlate with the fineness of the grain? I have a quite a soft one that is also very coarse, so was wondering if that's coincidence, or normally the case?

(Interestingly the BBW part is also considerably coarser than normal too. It's a fantastic stone all round, but quite different.)
Can't tell you. Don't have much experience with different Coticule. With a soft one, though, creating a thick paste is very easy, and the particles have still their initial size. Only when diluting by adding water they will get finer. I start — old school — with saliva and the mud created with another stone or an Atoma.
 

cotedupy

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Colour me very surprised that more natural stones haven't been chosen! I do a fair bit of sharpening other people's knives at their houses (friends family &c.), and take one stone. The only things I have that can really do a full spectrum on any knife you throw at them would be either a Washita or Turkish. They'll do the grunt work of a SG500 and every stage up to about the mid 1000s, leaving beautiful grippy edges wherever you want to finish. Plus they're quick, and barely dish in comparison to pretty much any synthetic, including SGs or vitrified SiC. And Turkish will even polish nicely if you work them right.

Honestly it's like they were purpose built for kitchen knives. Any of you US folk should be getting on ebay stat to try to snag yourself an old Washita. They're not quarried any more, so won't be around forever, and although prices have been going up for ones that are positively id-ed, unlabelled examples can still be had relatively easily and cheaply if you know what to look for. They were also only ever produced by Pike/Norton, so you're not even gambling with quality - they're all excellent.
 
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Luftmensch

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Colour me very surprised that more natural stones haven't been chosen!
Maybe just for speed?

I have mostly been disappointed by naturals at the low end for heavy work: thinning... removing chips, reprofiling. The japanese (sandstone?) ones I have tried have been merely okay for edges... but too slow for thinning. I think it only gets worse when you are talking about monosteels!

That all said, you make a tempting case for Washitas!
 

cotedupy

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Maybe just for speed?

I have mostly been disappointed by naturals at the low end for heavy work: thinning... removing chips, reprofiling. The japanese (sandstone?) ones I have tried have been merely okay for edges... but too slow for thinning. I think it only gets worse when you are talking about monosteels!

That all said, you make a tempting case for Washitas!
Yeah Washitas, and especially Turkish/Cretan, are very quick stones indeed - completely different to any other coarse grit natural I've tried. It can make the latter a bit tricky to deburr on sometimes, as they'll form burrs or wire edges with a single stroke, at all but the lightest of pressure.

I use both for quite extensive thinning and repair work on both hard and softer steel. (You should see the condition some of my friends and family let their knives get into! 😬 ).
 

cotedupy

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Maybe just for speed?

I have mostly been disappointed by naturals at the low end for heavy work: thinning... removing chips, reprofiling. The japanese (sandstone?) ones I have tried have been merely okay for edges... but too slow for thinning. I think it only gets worse when you are talking about monosteels!

That all said, you make a tempting case for Washitas!
Vintage Tool Shop has some, at not too bad prices tbh. This for instance: Vintage ARKANSAS WASHITA STONE Natural Sharpening OILSTONE A194

(Though if their quoted measurements are accurate - that stone has a very high SG for a Washita - it would be at the harder and finer extreme.)
 

cotedupy

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I’m going away (on an aeroplane!) for a couple of months, and I strongly suspect that during that time I will be press-ganged into sharpening all sorts of knives in various states of disrepair for friends and family.

This isn’t quite one stone to rule them all - I’m going to take three - but one’s just for razor honing, so two for knives...

065AF29D-4DCA-4157-9227-057810734308.jpeg


And they are; my favourite Turkish, a Norton Medium India, and a small Norton Translucent Ark.

C7CE0F41-E2AB-442D-8E44-049E64A08870.jpeg
 

Barmoley

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I've been messing around with BBB 1k vitrified diamond stone for a few weeks and it might just be the single stone, if it was really necessary to follow with this insanity. It seems to be fast enough to sharpen even pretty dull knives and repair minor damage. Large chips or serious reprofiling I'd want something coarser, but for chips up to 1-1.5 mm it can do it. Thinning and minor profile fixes such as tipping, etc it is fast enough too. The edge it leaves is bity, but very useable for anything really. You'd want to refine the edge for sushi and such, but in a pinch this could be used for anything. The feel is not bad for a 1K stone and the construction is extremely good. True splash and go and cuts any steel, should also stay flat for an very, very long time. So if I had to live with just one stone this would be it. As is I think I can get away with 3 stones or 2 stones and a strop for anything.
 

inferno

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shapton pro 12k.

its fast and its fine. only stone you could ever possibly need. if you only need one stone that is.
 

Cliff

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How is the jns 300?
It's great for polishing. It puts a nice working edge on a gyuto, but it's softer than I prefer for edges.

ETA - I assume we're talking about the big, red, synthetic aoto.
 

JaVa

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I think I'de be ok with just the Sigma Select 3000. It's just course enough and fast enough for all the different steels and still fine enough not to piss me off. Leaves a dark and ugly "kasumi", but other than that pretty versitile.
 
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