King NEO 800 ST-2 For a Newcomer's First/Only Stone?

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HumbleHomeCook

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My grand-nephew's fiancé loves to cook and is getting increasingly intrigued by nicer knives. Right now she has a heavy-bolstered western-style and she understands why it isn't ideal and has been looking for something else.

At a family gathering today, she showed me a Shun she really likes. Pretty knives kinda took hold but we talked quite a bit about how pretty may not last long and my past lectures about function first and sharpening first obviously had sunk in because she understood and soon we were talking about sharpening.

Now, I'm not convinced if she really wants to learn how to sharpen or just wants sharp knives. Either is okay, but both are very different. Before I left, we agreed that her and my nephew should just come over one of these days and we'll talk knives and sharpening and they agreed. She was also much more interested in the idea of saving up for sharpening stuff before a knife.

Also, these are young kids just starting out so money is an object.

So, with all that background, even though I don't have the stone, I'm really thinking the King NEO 800 would be the stone I'd recommend if she decides she wants one. Splash-n-go, built-in holder, and perhaps a decent all 'rounder. I think @Deadboxhero is a fan.

I know I could go with oils like an India, believe me, I know, but I can see this girl really getting into Japanese knives down the road and I'm thinking I'd like to start her out on water stones and see how it goes.

Thoughts?
 

Dominick Maone

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Maybe that one and the king 6000 grit that is around 22 USD? Or a cheap 2-3k stone. I think just the neo might be too toothy. I like the stone a lot, but would only leave it at that grit if the person didn’t know any different. I reshaped the tip and removed chips on a 61ish AEBL knife with the neo stone, but finished with a 2k.

Or maybe just a combo stone.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Maybe that one and the king 6000 grit that is around 22 USD? Or a cheap 2-3k stone. I think just the neo might be too toothy. I like the stone a lot, but would only leave it at that grit if the person didn’t know any different. I reshaped the tip and removed chips on a 61ish AEBL knife with the neo stone, but finished with a 2k.

Or maybe just a combo stone.
Right now, she doesn't know any different. She knows sharp knife and dull knife. So if I can get her sharpening and realizing she can maintain an edge, then we can build out, up and down the grits.
 

spaceconvoy

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I don't think the Neo is really splash-and-go, but depends on your definition. It's unusable if you take a literal interpretation - a splash of water soaks in quickly and the surface dries out. It works ok running it under the tap for a full minute, but it's one of those s'n'g stones that gets better the longer you soak it. Main advantage is it dries out quickly though. I also don't think it's particularly fast for standard steels like vg10. Why not SP1k?
 

HumbleHomeCook

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I don't think the Neo is really splash-and-go, but depends on your definition. It's unusable if you take a literal interpretation - a splash of water soaks in quickly and the surface dries out. It works ok running it under the tap for a full minute, but it's one of those s'n'g stones that gets better the longer you soak it. Main advantage is it dries out quickly though. I also don't think it's particularly fast for standard steels like vg10. Why not SP1k?
Excellent input, thank you.

I initially was thinking a SG500 or a one of the 1k's but I was leaning to this one for the built-in holder. Was trying to capitalize on features for funds. :)
 

spaceconvoy

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SG500 would be an excellent stone to build a collection around, but a bit expensive if you're getting the double thick. I've found it dishes more than you'd think based on reputation. SP1k is a classic beginners stone for a reason, while still being good enough to build on, (unlike say a cheap 1/6k combo) so I think it's a good value in the long run. Noticeably faster than the Neo 800 but only a bit slower than the SG500.

The great thing about true splash-and-go's like the Pro series is there's no need for a sink bridge; damp paper towel or rag has always worked for me. Might be better than a stone holder for encouraging good technique, because the stone will only move if they're using too much force. But I'm one of those people who has never seen the need for a holder, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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SG500 would be an excellent stone to build a collection around, but a bit expensive if you're getting the double thick. I've found it dishes more than you'd think based on reputation. SP1k is a classic beginners stone for a reason, while still being good enough to build on, (unlike say a cheap 1/6k combo) so I think it's a good value in the long run. Noticeably faster than the Neo 800 but only a bit slower than the SG500.

The great thing about true splash-and-go's like the Pro series is there's no need for a sink bridge; damp paper towel or rag has always worked for me. Might be better than a stone holder for encouraging good technique, because the stone will only move if they're using too much force. But I'm one of those people who has never seen the need for a holder, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.
I take your opinion with a lot more than a grain of salt and am glad for it! I reckon you're right about the holder. I started on a brick and a 2x4. Was just thinking about setting up for the best first experience to capture her and not have things that are a seeming PITA to a starter. Funny, I've gotten a number of folks started sharpening over the years but it was almost always oil stones. I just want this to go right so maybe I'm over thinking it. :)
 

Kawa

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Never needed a holder. A piece of wood on a desk and the stone on top of that. Wet wood will hold the stone in place.

You might want a second 'feel' for their interest. During such a family gathering people might sound interested because they are hyped up. Check first if their really contact you within a short time. If they don't (the hype went away a bit), they might not really be that interested in sharpening. When they really call you up tomorrow to sharpen the whole night, thats a different sign.

I'd go for 2 stones. A medium one, and a fine one. You want new people to have results as well, to keep them motivated. 'Master the 1000' is nice, but not for motivation. A higher gritt gives you sharper results, also in the beginning and that's what they want.

So if you notice they aren't all that interested, maybe a combo stone? like a 1k/4k or 1k/6k? Because, why not?
If you feel like that really want to start into this, shapton pro 1k and a king 4k or 6k? edit: a superstone 2k or 5k is not that expensive aswell...
 

tostadas

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For someone starting out, I would also second a Shapton just due to convenience. For many of us, we like to make things as complicated as possible with special stone holders, various nuance stones, slurry stones, flatteners, etc. But for a non knife nut, a splash and go that also comes with a holder/storage case is more likely to get use that something more time consuming.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Believe me, I'm all about being straight forward and maximizing the results for the investment. I'm also a big fan of Shapton.
 

Barmoley

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I really liked king neo 800 when I had one. That plus a loaded strop can do a lot. It doesn't need to be soaked for long. Sure you need more than a tea spoon full of water, but a very short soak will do it and it cuts many steels. It is not the most dish resistant, but st3 version is thick so will last for a while.
 

Deadboxhero

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My grand-nephew's fiancé loves to cook and is getting increasingly intrigued by nicer knives. Right now she has a heavy-bolstered western-style and she understands why it isn't ideal and has been looking for something else.

At a family gathering today, she showed me a Shun she really likes. Pretty knives kinda took hold but we talked quite a bit about how pretty may not last long and my past lectures about function first and sharpening first obviously had sunk in because she understood and soon we were talking about sharpening.

Now, I'm not convinced if she really wants to learn how to sharpen or just wants sharp knives. Either is okay, but both are very different. Before I left, we agreed that her and my nephew should just come over one of these days and we'll talk knives and sharpening and they agreed. She was also much more interested in the idea of saving up for sharpening stuff before a knife.

Also, these are young kids just starting out so money is an object.

So, with all that background, even though I don't have the stone, I'm really thinking the King NEO 800 would be the stone I'd recommend if she decides she wants one. Splash-n-go, built-in holder, and perhaps a decent all 'rounder. I think @Deadboxhero is a fan.

I know I could go with oils like an India, believe me, I know, but I can see this girl really getting into Japanese knives down the road and I'm thinking I'd like to start her out on water stones and see how it goes.

Thoughts?
King Neo hands down.

Best no nonsense stone especially for people that don't have the time or inclination to geek out on stuff and just need something that cuts and works very simply without breaking the bank. However, it's also a great stone for advanced users as well That's my stone of choice when I go to friend's houses to sharpen their knives.
Don't need to bring a base, or any BS, it cuts fast and the final edge has a fantastic bite that can still push cut if deburred properly.

One grit, keep it simple.
 

Marek07

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No experience of a King Neo but I'll join the chorus recommending the Shapton Pro 1k. It can get a lot done on its own, is a true S&G and comes with its own storage which doubles as a base. Some say it's a tad coarser than 1K but that shouldn't deter a beginner.
 

coxhaus

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If it turns out she doesn't like sharpening then the Worksharp KO will make her a sharp knife quickly without much learning skill.
 

ew_ut

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I have reconsidered. Get them a 6k stone. Teach her to strop on it to maintain the edge. When it doesn’t work anymore, they have to come see you and spend time with you to use your stones.
I like this idea. I sometimes wish this is how I had started.
 
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