Beginner looking for advice on what sharpening stones and other accessories to buy

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by basil seal, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. basil seal

    basil seal

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    Hello all, 

    I recently purchased my first "serious" chef's knife, a used Kikuichi TKC 240mm and I'm presently putting an order together on ChefsKnivestoGo and wanted to see what you all can recommend. (I live in Mexico and come up every summer for a few weeks of vacation, so this will probably be my one opportunity to purchase these sorts of things until next Christmas.) 

    I've read a lot of good things about the Shapton GlassStones. I've never sharpened before so I just want to get one stone to begin with and see if I like it before I invest in more stones. The previous owner of the knife says it was sharpened up to an 8000 grit, so I assume that means I won't have to do the initial sharpening, just maintain the edge. What one stone would be best for me? The 1000 or 4000? Or something completely different. 

    I'm also ordering the Idahone 12" Fine Ceramic Hone and sheath. 

    Also considering the Tojiro DP 90mm paring knife. Is this money well spent, or would I be better off just using decent semi-disposable paring knives and investing that money elsewhere? 

    Any other "must have" recommendations for the beginner?

    Thank you all so much. I know there are no "right" answers to these questions, but I'd help a lot to see what some of you think. 
     
  2. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    There's nothing particular challenging about that knives and there are a lot of good choices. 

    Shapton GS are very consistent, well made stones, and fairly convenient "splash and go," but they're also on the expensive sides.  There are stones as good in the same price range with slightly different strengths and weaknesses.

    It's usually a good idea to start with at least two surfaces, with the idea of eventually going to three or four.

    I prefer separate stones for each surface, but combination stones mean a lower initial outlay.  Normally, I recommend a three stone kit: Beston 400, Bester 1.2K and Suehiro Rika (5K), with the possibility of holding off on the Beston if money is tight -- until the new sharpener can use the Bester and Suehiro consistently.  Coarse stones have consequences when used without skill, so the purchase can wait. 

    A combination stone will cost less, and do a perfectly adequate job until you outgrow it.  Similarly, less expensive "mud binders" like Kings will work well enough. 

    Don't forget that whatever you buy, you'll need some way to flatten before you use the stone(s) for the first time.  

    Before getting to specific, let's start with a couple basic questions:
    • What's your budget?  And,
    • Are you located in the US?
    BDL
     
  3. knifesavers

    knifesavers

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    Shaptons glass stones work well but have a "hard" feel to them. A better feeling and slightly less expensive option for a one stone solution would be the Gesshin 1K/6K combo.

    http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com...ium-stones/gesshin-1000-6000-combo-stone.html

    It is a bit less compared to a 1K and 6K Shapton glass stones, 5mm thick each, but twice as expensive as the 1K/6K King but is 50mm thick not 36mm like the King.

    I've been using one for a bout a month and highly approve of it. Doesn't need a long soak and doesn't suffer if you forget it in water.

    Jim
     
  4. trooper

    trooper

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    After wasting tons of money on stones and knives - I find myself using a SpyderCo SharpMaker at home, and a smooth ceramic hone on the line. It is really a utility thing, because your primary knife will be used for 80% of work, and keeping a 6k mirror edge between butternut squash and fifty other things is a bit insane. I have some block-queens that impress with one molecule wide edges, but nothing sharper than 600-800 grit (whatever the ceramic is) for daily use. IMHO