Ceramic or Steel rod for Tojiro DP?

Joined Jul 9, 2011
Aloha! I just recently picked a couple of Tojiro DP knives. This is my first set of knives that I'm using that aren't economy knives. What type of honing rod should I get? Price isn't really a big factor, but I don't want to get too crazy.

Furthermore, what is a good whetstone to pick up? Something for around $75-$200? What grits do I need? I have a pretty decent amount of sharpening experience, I grew up the son of a carpenter. I'm pretty confident in my ability to keep a steady hand at a set angle. From what I've read, It looks something like 800 2000 4000?

Lastly, What angle should I aim for? I've anything from 14-20 degrees. I know i'm not going to get it exact, but I'd like to be as close as possible.

Mahalo in advance!
Last edited:
Joined Feb 13, 2008
You got good advice, but I will chime in.

The Tojiro factory angle is 15* on each side -- or at least it's supposed to be.  If you've sharpened carpentry tools, you know how to "click in."  So just go ahead and do that the first few times you sharpen.  As you know, the edge angle will gradually become more oblique -- so on the third or fourth sharpening -- or whatever --  you can "thin" the blade.  Tojiros can generally use a little thinning anyway.

The current dogma seems to be to build your set around a stone on the coarse side of medium.  Something like a 1000 or 1200.  Depending on how much polish you want, something like a Beston 500 for profiling -- including thinning -- and repairs; a Bester 1200; and an Arashiyama (aka Takenoko) 6000 would be a good set.  You're looking at around $160, I think.  There are other possibilities.

You can get perfectly good edges with  inexpensive stones. Most of the difference between cheaper and better stones is speed and feel.  I think good stones are worth it; but the very "best" ones usually aren't.

I use the Beston and Bester for my two coarser stones.  I hear there's some new stuff that's supposed to be even better -- but it's out of your price range.  FWIW, I'm not in any hurry to replace those two.  I can't see spending $75 for a 400# stone I'll only use a few times every few years.  I mean, how often do you profile?

Metal or ceramic, it doesn't really matter.  As long as it's not to coarse -- which most rods are.  All you want to do is true the edge, and not scratch it up and make it too toothy.  The Idahone fine (1200) would be very good for you.  It will give you just enough scuff to keep you off the stones too often.

If you have any questions go ahead and ask.  Since you have a carpenter's understanding of sharpening, the whole thing will make sense to you very quickly.


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