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The sharpest you've ever got (or your ideal progression)

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cotedupy

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[I know there are different kinds of sharp, and different tests, but humour me here ;)]

Earlier this evening I sharpened (ootb) a good, but relatively inexpensive A#2 Tosa k-tip 210mm Gyuto, and got it sharper than any knife I've ever sharpened before. It took about 10 mins total, maybe less. What interested me was the stones I used. Normally I'd use synthetics, because they're easier, faster &c. but this evening I thought I'd experiment:

IMG_2460.jpg


On the right is a slate I picked up from the side of the road this week, it turned out to have some fairly large particles in it. I tried it for a couple of passes and then decided to use it to raise some slurry on the second...

In the middle is also a local slate. This is my favourite of the stones I've found - it's incredibly hard, but quite fine and even. Genuinely a really good stone, if you can raise mud somehow.

I finished on the left with my only J-nat, a Maruoyama Shiro Suita. Finer, and easier to get slurry, than the previous slate. I have feck-all experience with Japanese natural stones, but I really quite like this FWIW.

I found the results from these incredibly interesting, so was wondering... what's your favourite/best progression...?
 

inferno

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basically anything off the shapton pro 12k.
my iwasaki off the prepped spyderco UF.
thats scary sharp territory.

i like to start with a 1 or 2k shapton pro or glass. then 4k, then 8k pro then the finisher.
also the imanishi 10k creates truly scary sharp results.

i like blue 2 and blue super off the high grits, but basically any carbon will be almost the same, the blues feel better on the stones though. dont know why. and i feel its easier to get really sharp with these. its almost like cheating.
 

cotedupy

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(Just noticed in that picture - God knows what it is that I've got in the box that's 'Owned by the Czech Republic'. But rest assured I shall return it to them as soon as international travel becomes easier again.)
 
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KingShapton

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If we are talking about a very high finish, then there would be the Shapton Pro progression up to 12k, another variant would be natural stones after medium synthetic stones.

I have two progressions, one ends on a translucent Arkansas, the other ends on a Welsh Slate (and I have three other UK stones that are in the same league).

And of course I also have a Spyderco UF which I made significantly finer, as well as a sintered ruby stone. Both stones are murderous finishers when it comes to sharpness.

In all of these cases, the result is scary sharp territory or beyond it.

Still, I rarely do such a progression, just for fun now and then. I currently eat very little fish and I don't shave myself with my kitchen knives.

I lack the bite and the aggression of the edge in the results.

I develop an increasing preference for a two to four stone progression and a very aggressive cutting edge. I am increasingly fascinated by the results that can be achieved with the right technique (and Zen) and a finish stone in the 2k-4k range. Or with little preparatory work on medium stones and a black Arkansas as a finisher.

Of course it's a matter of personal preference, but my feeling tells me that in the long run it will give me significantly better results.

The beauty in simplicity ;)
 

tcmx3

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so, definitely not the highest grit, but the edges that read the sharpest to me was very thinly ground aogami off an shobudani suita, or shirogami off an ohira suita.

super high grit edges obviously cut extremely well but dont necessarily read sharp, and frankly like anything it has to fit your situation and most of what I do are normal european cuisine gyuto things for which such a refined edge is not necessarily the best choice.

also IME a knife with a biting edge and good geometry will feel sharper cutting food than a thicker knife with a very refined edge, so when I get a new knife I typically evaluate whether or not it's really as thin as Id like it to be and devote much more attention to that, than the edge, which can frankly be mostly anything properly apexed and deburred if the geometry is good.
 

4wa1l

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Chosera 3000 to Aiiwatani followed with a very light pass or two on a leather strop loaded with green compound was pretty stupid.
 

cotedupy

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If we are talking about a very high finish, then there would be the Shapton Pro progression up to 12k, another variant would be natural stones after medium synthetic stones.

I have two progressions, one ends on a translucent Arkansas, the other ends on a Welsh Slate (and I have three other UK stones that are in the same league).

And of course I also have a Spyderco UF which I made significantly finer, as well as a sintered ruby stone. Both stones are murderous finishers when it comes to sharpness.

In all of these cases, the result is scary sharp territory or beyond it.

Still, I rarely do such a progression, just for fun now and then. I currently eat very little fish and I don't shave myself with my kitchen knives.

I lack the bite and the aggression of the edge in the results.

I develop an increasing preference for a two to four stone progression and a very aggressive cutting edge. I am increasingly fascinated by the results that can be achieved with the right technique (and Zen) and a finish stone in the 2k-4k range. Or with little preparatory work on medium stones and a black Arkansas as a finisher.

Of course it's a matter of personal preference, but my feeling tells me that in the long run it will give me significantly better results.

The beauty in simplicity ;)
Yes I don't think I'm going to use this setup very often, the Aussie slate especially is quite particular to work with. I've only found one other piece that's the same kind of quality as that one in the middle, but when they're good, they're surprisingly good. As you said - this was a bit of fun / experimentation, but I was amazed by the result. Most of my sharpening is done on a King DL 1.2k and/or a Suehiro 3k.

I'm very interested in the idea of Welsh / UK stones though, they work well as a finishing stone for kitchen knives then? Or more for razors? (And would you have a recommended vendor for them if I was wanting to try one?)
 
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cotedupy

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so, definitely not the highest grit, but the edges that read the sharpest to me was very thinly ground aogami off an shobudani suita, or shirogami off an ohira suita.

super high grit edges obviously cut extremely well but dont necessarily read sharp, and frankly like anything it has to fit your situation and most of what I do are normal european cuisine gyuto things for which such a refined edge is not necessarily the best choice.

also IME a knife with a biting edge and good geometry will feel sharper cutting food than a thicker knife with a very refined edge, so when I get a new knife I typically evaluate whether or not it's really as thin as Id like it to be and devote much more attention to that, than the edge, which can frankly be mostly anything properly apexed and deburred if the geometry is good.
Yep. I'm certainly going to stick with using just one synthetic stone for pretty much all my normal sharpening - I too don't particularly want/need mega refined edges. But I quite like sharpening, and playing around with things, and this combo came out really well :)
 

KingShapton

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I'm very interested in the idea of Welsh / UK stones though, they work well as a finishing stone for kitchen knives then? Or more for razors? (And would you have a recommended vendor for them
They don't work well as finisher for kitchen knives. They are way to fine and such a high grit finish does not last long in use.

If you want to try it out, no problem, the stones are available on ebay. I think, however, that you would be better advised with a Shapton Pro 12k ..
 

Bear

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Either 800 Chosera or SG2000 depending on condition, finished with a translucent Ark, you have to be in the zone with the Ark or it doesn't go. If I'm in a hurry just finish with a SG6000
 

KingShapton

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Either 800 Chosera or SG2000 depending on condition, finished with a translucent Ark, you have to be in the zone with the Ark or it doesn't go. If I'm in a hurry just finish with a SG6000
This is a progression exactly to my taste! Few stones and a very good finish with an Ark!

The SG 6k is a damn good stone!
 

cotedupy

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They don't work well as finisher for kitchen knives. They are way to fine and such a high grit finish does not last long in use.

If you want to try it out, no problem, the stones are available on ebay. I think, however, that you would be better advised with a Shapton Pro 12k ..
Ah, yeah that's what I thought from what I'd read previously. (I'm mostly interested because I'm from the UK... I don't need anything like that fine a stone!). I might still look into them at some point tho.

Tangentially related - any advice re- Arkansas...?
 

KingShapton

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I'm mostly interested because I'm from the UK
When you are in the UK, you are practically at the source. There were plenty of natural stone deposits there. They were mainly used to sharpen razors.

However, you should find old, used stones cheaper in the UK with a little research. The trick is to find the ones that aren't quite so fine ..
 

HumbleHomeCook

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Ah, yeah that's what I thought from what I'd read previously. (I'm mostly interested because I'm from the UK... I don't need anything like that fine a stone!). I might still look into them at some point tho.

Tangentially related - any advice re- Arkansas...?
I'm sure @KingShapton will have some very good advice but what are looking to know about Arks? I've used or two in my days. :)
 

KingShapton

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I'm sure @KingShapton will have some very good advice but what are looking to know about Arks? I've used or two in my days. :)
First of all, you should be clear about whether you are ready to work with oil stones ... In the case of Arkansas stones, best with petroleum.

There are other approaches too, @Benuser uses his Arkansas stones with Saliva with very good results ....

Then you should familiarize yourself with the different types / degrees of fineness of the stones and think about what you are looking for .... and then the question of a good source of supply comes into play, and this is where the experiences of others here in the forum come into play.

Personally, I like Black (Surgical) Arks for finishing if that helps ...

I still have to add that arks are not for everyone, they are very hard stones, at least the fine ones. There are people who get along well with it ... and there are many who don't like them ...
 
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cotedupy

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I'm sure @KingShapton will have some very good advice but what are looking to know about Arks? I've used or two in my days. :)
I was kind've just wondering how they compared to other kinds of natural stones (I figure I'm allowed to derail my own thread right? ;))

Though tbh I know so little about them that I should probably just read up a bit rather than wasting people's time explaining them to a complete novice! I didn't for instance know that they were oilstones until @KingShapton 's post above.
 

SolidSnake03

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Have to agree on the Shapton 12k, it’s insane what one can do on that stone. Sharpest edge that was stable and actually useable was TF W#1 finished on Shapton 12k. Actually held that edge for about a week of home use and prep. Crazy sharp, popping hairs, Baby’s butt smooth sharp yet still ghosted through a tomato without sliding or running.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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I was kind've just wondering how they compared to other kinds of natural stones (I figure I'm allowed to derail my own thread right? ;))

Though tbh I know so little about them that I should probably just read up a bit rather than wasting people's time explaining them to a complete novice! I didn't for instance know that they were oilstones until @KingShapton 's post above.
They are indeed oil stones. I prefer to use honing oil (highly refined mineral oil) on them, especially the harder ones.

Arkansas stones are categorized by density and it can be a little loose. Beyond the black and translucent, color doesn't generally mean a whole lot. I've had soft Arks that were beige, brown, pink streaks, etc.

Like any natural stone, there is also a consistency factor. These days that's both in the stone and production quality.

Washitas used to be the coarsest but they are all gone leaving the soft Ark in that place.

I've sharpened a lot of different simple stainless and carbon steels on Arks and in a variety of hardness ratings. I have never used blue or white steels though and would not use them for high carbide steels.

With amicable steel, the edges I get off Arkansas stones are indeed different than any synthetic I've tried. There's no quantifying it but off of a soft stone, they retain a smooth yet bitey edge and blacks and translucent can be great polishers.

I love Arkansas stones and have for about forty years.

But...

Even though I'd used them alongside SiC and Al2Ox oil stones and diamond when appropriate, when I jumped into water stones, things changed.

The edges I get off of synthetic water stones are much, I don't know, crisper and cleaner than oil stones. While Arks and oils were my constant companions and I have loudly sang their praises, the truth is, I've barely touched them since getting water stones.

Maybe that's an experimentation phase I need to go through or maybe not but that's my story.

I do think the blacks and translucents still have a place for polishing a lot of steels though.

My experience with Arks means I'll never play around with other naturals. I'll never be without Arkansas stones, but I will likely never buy another, or any other natural stone.

For now, my steel choices and sharpening exploration are pushing me beyond them.
 
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KingShapton

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I've sharpened a lot of different simple stainless and carbon steels on Arks and in a variety of hardness ratings. I have never used blue or white steels though and would not use them for high carbide steels.
But that is also possible, I like to use a black ark for finishing after preliminary work with synthetic stones · also on hard steels.

And as far as so-called "super steels" are concerned ... https: //www.youtube.com/watch? V = iJw3fFp54_M

Please do not take the comment as an attack, sharpen, the choice of stones and the respective result is always a matter of personal taste. And whatever works for the individual is absolutly fine.

I just wanted to point out that it can also work with hard steels and arks.
And I myself often prefer a synthetic finish, it's just a matter of mood.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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But that is also possible, I like to use a black ark for finishing after preliminary work with synthetic stones · also on hard steels.

And as far as so-called "super steels" are concerned ... https: //www.youtube.com/watch? V = iJw3fFp54_M

Please do not take the comment as an attack, sharpen, the choice of stones and the respective result is always a matter of personal taste. And whatever works for the individual is absolutly fine.

I just wanted to point out that it can also work with hard steels and arks.
And I myself often prefer a synthetic finish, it's just a matter of mood.
No offense taken whatsoever and I agree, there is a lot of room for personal tastes.

I'm not a big fan of Cliff Stamp but I do know folks use Arkansas stones with high carbide steels. Most will use a black or translucent for finishing.

There was a time when I was convinced I could use them for a full sharpening progression. But it was limited and it became obvious that in time I would glaze the stones. Novaculite is simply softer than vanadium carbide.

That's just my experience.
 

KingShapton

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'm not a big fan of Cliff Stamp but I do know folks use Arkansas stones with high carbide steels. Most will use a black or translucent for finishing.

There was a time when I was convinced I could use them for a full sharpening progression. But it was limited and it became obvious that in time I would glaze the stones. Novaculite is simply softer than vanadium carbide.

That's just my experience.
I know that Cliff Stamp is often seen as controversial, and I disagree with some of his views.
The video just matched the theme that it was from Cliff Stamp was a coincidence.

And of course, we're talking about personal experiences here, which is what makes the exchange here so interesting.
 

Bear

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No offense taken whatsoever and I agree, there is a lot of room for personal tastes.


There was a time when I was convinced I could use them for a full sharpening progression. But it was limited and it became obvious that in time I would glaze the stones. Novaculite is simply softer than vanadium carbide.

That's just my experience.
I use my translucent on AS and R2 as a finisher with good results, in my opinion it will give AS a screaming edge, it does glaze after awhile, I just give it a quick refresh with SIC powder same as my synthetics.
 

HumbleHomeCook

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I use my translucent on AS and R2 as a finisher with good results, in my opinion it will give AS a screaming edge, it does glaze after awhile, I just give it a quick refresh with SIC powder same as my synthetics.
Yeah I know lots of folks use them as finishers and I think that would be a fine role for them. I've used mine the same way. And I've always thought they'd do well with high carbon stuff just never had any to play with.
 

Bear

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I've got to say though, I don't use mine with oil, right out of the gate I started it with water and a little soap, just more convenient for me.
 

Bolek

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If we are talking about a very high finish, then there would be the Shapton Pro progression up to 12k, another variant would be natural stones after medium synthetic stones.

I have two progressions, one ends on a translucent Arkansas, the other ends on a Welsh Slate (and I have three other UK stones that are in the same league).

And of course I also have a Spyderco UF which I made significantly finer, as well as a sintered ruby stone. Both stones are murderous finishers when it comes to sharpness.

In all of these cases, the result is scary sharp territory or beyond it.

Still, I rarely do such a progression, just for fun now and then. I currently eat very little fish and I don't shave myself with my kitchen knives.

I lack the bite and the aggression of the edge in the results.

I develop an increasing preference for a two to four stone progression and a very aggressive cutting edge. I am increasingly fascinated by the results that can be achieved with the right technique (and Zen) and a finish stone in the 2k-4k range. Or with little preparatory work on medium stones and a black Arkansas as a finisher.

Of course it's a matter of personal preference, but my feeling tells me that in the long run it will give me significantly better results.

The beauty in simplicity ;)
What have you made to it ? What is the result ?
BTW my Spyderco UF is finer than my sintered ruby
 
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