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When to use 500x grit

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lewiada

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Hi all,

I'm an extremely novice knife sharpener at home (for my wife's kitchen knives). I own three stones of grits 500x, 1200x and 5000x. Should I always be using all three stones each time I sharpen the knives? Or should the 500x only be used if they haven't been sharpened in a long time? I assume that I want to create the burr with each stone? E.g. once at 500x, once with 1200x, and then finally with the 5000x?

tx!
adam
 

ThEoRy

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I only use the lowest grit when setting a new bevel, major chip repair or when I need to do any major steel removal like flattening a blade road.

Once you get your knife sharpened, after using it for a while and you feel it needs to be sharpened again, start with the highest grit you left off at last time, just a touch up as they say. If you find it isn't as sharp as previously you may need to drop down to a lower grit and come back up.

Basically, the less steel you remove the better as this will extend the life of your knife. Hope this helps.
 

Eamon Burke

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I'm assuming by the grits that the 5k is a rika. One the edge is created, and assuming they don't get damaged, my home knives only ever see the rika.
 

Cadillac J

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Like most said, you don't need to use a coarse stone unless you are setting a new bevel or doing a major repair, as raising a burr on a knife that was previously sharp and went dull will be pretty easy with your 1200 and touch-ups can quickly be done with your 5K.

With that being said, if you are a novice and aren't confident with holding a consistent angle yet, I would hold off on using your Beston 500 until you think you have the mechanics down fairly well. Just my opinion.
 

Cadillac J

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the less steel you remove the better as this will extend the life of your knife.
Forgot to mention...although I agree with this comment in an overall sense (especially for someone just starting), I also think at times, many people don't remove enough of the stressed/fatigued metal while sharpening and edge retention suffers as a result. I noticed a pretty significant increase in my white#2 knives when I re-set my bevel and stayed on my Chosera 600 just a bit longer after raising a burr than I normally would.
 

lewiada

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Thanks for all the great info. It seems I've greatly been putting more work into this than needed, since every time I've gone to sharpen my knives I take them through all three stones. And to answer the question of what type of knives ... they are Misono UX10s. I also have a Roselli puukko knife that I sharpen on these stone as well.
 

JohnnyChance

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For my work knives I often start with a 400 (or 500) grit stone, jump to a 5k-8k stone to smooth the teeth a bit and remove any burr/wire edge, and then strop on balsa with 2 micron silicon carbide.**

Just dont bear down on the low grit stone when you start so you aren't removing too much metal. Plus this is really quick if you need a fresh edge but don't have time for a full progression.







Bibliography
** A method I learned from TK59.
 

Citizen Snips

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when i sharpen which is usually 1-2 times a week i always go through the whole progression (even though i only use a 400 and 4k). this helps me keep the knives thin behind the edge without having to do major work. basically once i get the bevel where i want it, i only have to spend 10 or so minutes per knife.

i realize this might not be for everyone and also doesnt make my knives last longer but it just the habit ive gotten into
 

tk59

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It depends on how you use your knife. If you are always cutting very carefully and hardly contacting the board and maintaining with a strop, you can get away with using only a high grit stone. However, if you want to establish toothiness, as JC mentioned or if you have a lot of fatigued metal, as Cadillac mentioned, you need to go down. How far down depends on your own personal preferences and how you maintain your edge between sharpenings. I nearly always start at ~500 grit, regardless.
 

Benuser

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I'm sorry I don't have a UX-10, but some steels really need you to go as low as 400-600 in order to get a stable edge.
 

tk59

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I missed the UX-10 part. They do seem to respond well to frequent trips to the 6k+ stone. I still go down to 500 grit. Just don't spend too much time there and don't put a ton of pressure. UX10 is very easy to grind.
 

JBroida

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ux-10 is easy if you're following the bevels already there... thinning them, not so much. Not a-type tough, but not fun either (in my opinion)
 

tk59

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Meh. I don't know that any knife is particularly easy to grind down. In the grand scheme of things, I'd say the UX-10 is pretty average in terms of abrasion resistance. I just fixed and thinned one last week on a G1k stone just before I did the same thing with a Sugimoto in some carbon steel. It probably took 30% longer. I'd estimate I took about the same amount off of each.
 

tk59

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That's true but I have to say that Sugimoto was a piece of cake. I couldn't believe how fast metal was coming off that thing on a 1k. Maybe your stone is just awesome. ;)
 

aser

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I rarely use my arato, only for sharpening other people's dull knives, a new knife or repair work.

My usual 3 are bester 1200 - synthetic aoto - arashiyama 6k.

My ux10 takes at least 30% longer to sharpen than other knives in my kit, I want to sell it.
 

lewiada

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Wow, lots of great info! So a lot of folks are saying not to spend too much time with the 500x. Okay ... but one of my questions (which I don't think was answered yet) ... is do I want to create a burr with each stone? The few times that I've sharpened the knives, I started with the 500x and worked on one side until I could feel the burr with my fingers. Then I did the other side. Then I moved to the 1200x and did the same thing (worked one side until I could feel the burr) and did the other side, and then moved to the 5000x and repeated. Now ... granted I am very new, but it took me a while to be able to feel the burr using the 500x stone, so I have to say that I spent quite a while on it. I also felt that I put a "fair" amount of pressure into the stone. Not sure if this is good or bad.

On another note, is the burr being created when the knife is being pushed forward (blade away from me), or when it's being pulled back? Or on both?

Who new something so simple could be so complex, devil is always in detail *LOL*

tx!!
adam
 

ThEoRy

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Well, what I do is raise a burr on one side then the other and keep repeating, trying to get the burr smaller as I go till it's as small as possible or removed entirely before moving on to the next stone. Stropping on felt with diamond helps between stones as well.

If it took too long to create a burr, sometimes the culprit is the angle of attack is too low. If that's the case you won't be hitting the edge and thus not creating a burr.

Hope this helps.
 

Citizen Snips

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Well, what I do is raise a burr on one side then the other and keep repeating, trying to get the burr smaller as I go till it's as small as possible or removed entirely before moving on to the next stone. Stropping on felt with diamond helps between stones as well.

If it took too long to create a burr, sometimes the culprit is the angle of attack is too low. If that's the case you won't be hitting the edge and thus not creating a burr.

Hope this helps.
so you are saying that you try to remove as much of the burr as you can before moving on to the next stone and continue through your progression??

i have always felt like the burr just needs to be weakened according to the grit of the particular stone meaning the burr will get a certain amount of weakness based on the stone and grit of that stone. i have never really been able to remove or deteriorate a burr with my motions on a 500 grit stone. even if i strop on that stone, it is really just starting to straighten the burr out and not remove it.

please tell me if i am wrong, misreading or mis-explaining. i dont spend that much time on each stone so maybe i missed something that could take my sharpening to the next level. i have just recently been having a little more trouble with wire edges and removing them successfully all the time on the entire length of my knives.
 

Eamon Burke

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The most elusive skill in hand sharpening is raising the burr as small as possible, but totally even.

Deburr after every stone.
 

Dave Martell

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Hi all,

I'm an extremely novice knife sharpener at home (for my wife's kitchen knives). I own three stones of grits 500x, 1200x and 5000x. Should I always be using all three stones each time I sharpen the knives? Or should the 500x only be used if they haven't been sharpened in a long time? I assume that I want to create the burr with each stone? E.g. once at 500x, once with 1200x, and then finally with the 5000x?

tx!
adam

I haven't read all of the responses in the thread so please excuse me if I'm jumping in here out of whack. I just wanted to answer the original poster.

My thoughts on this is that I'd go to my 500x if I was on the 1k and even had the slightest thought that this stone wasn't working effectively enough. Aside from larger burr formation, I feel what's the difference between 5 - 500x strokes & 20 - 1k strokes? Yes a bigger burr will be raised but maybe the bevel is flatter for having done more work in less time - that's less wobbling and less multi-faceting.

It's great when you don't have to drop down to very coarse stones but when you have to you should.

On raising a burr with each stone - NO - you can use the flop of the burr to indicate that you've succesfully hit the entire edge with the stone but you shouldn't be looking to create a burr after the intial burr is set. In fact you want to reduce the burr with each successive stone.
 

Citizen Snips

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The most elusive skill in hand sharpening is raising the burr as small as possible, but totally even.

Deburr after every stone.
ya i agree with you on raising the burr as small as possible even if it is not practical (at least for me) because you cannot go down the edge and feel the burr you have created

as far as deburring after each stone, i tend to straighten out the burr/wire edge by drawing through the wood on my sink bridge so that i can start without a large burr that would be bad for the next stone especially because i usually do larger jumps than most.
 

Benuser

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For deburring you may use a wine cork, using no pressure at all, just the knife's own weight.
 

Citizen Snips

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for some reason, the soft wood from the 2x4 works better than cork plus i like to recycle cork anyway
 

Cadillac J

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Well, what I do is raise a burr on one side then the other and keep repeating, trying to get the burr smaller as I go till it's as small as possible or removed entirely before moving on to the next stone. Stropping on felt with diamond helps between stones as well.
This is exactly what I do, and after years of messing around with multiple methods, I find this gets the best edges than just raising a burr and moving on to the next stone.

Oh, but I ALWAYS deburr on felt between stones (both stropping on some loaded with 1-micron diamond and slicing into it)
 

JohnnyChance

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Has anyone used these new silicon wine corks for deburring?
They are basically just dense foam, I suppose they would work somewhat. I think there is more drag in real cork or in soft maple, if you have either of those, use them.
 

EdipisReks

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Dave Martell said:
My thoughts on this is that I'd go to my 500x if I was on the 1k and even had the slightest thought that this stone wasn't working effectively enough.
bingo bongo.
 

EdipisReks

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Has anyone used these new silicon wine corks for deburring?
they don't do the job like real cork. i use the edge of my maple board or a cork, typically. i go to Dave's felt with .25 diamond spray, if it's very tenacious.
 
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