First Knife for Christmas.....Need First Stone

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by hartmabd, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. hartmabd

    hartmabd

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    This year for Christmas I finally started the process of upgrading my current set (Calphalon Katana) with some REAL knives. My present was a JCK Basic 240mm Gyuto. After some research this knife appeared on several "Good Beginner Knife" lists.
    So now that I have the knife, I need to start my sharpening stone collection. I think I will start with a single stone and learn the process with the one stone. I have narrowed it down to Shapton (Pro or Glass), King deluxe, or Naniwa super stone. The price difference is not much of an issue. Is there any reason to pick any of these over the others? Also, what grit should I get (1k, 1.5k, 2k)?
    Thanks in advance for all your help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2013
  2. galley swiller

    galley swiller

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    For the first sharpening tool for your new gyuto, if you don't already have it, I would recommend a quality honing rod (generally referred to as a "sharpening steel", though that term is not really accurate).  The quick, stock recommendation is the 12 inch ceramic Idahone, which is available from CKTG for $30.  It's inexpensive and definitely much better than mass-market "sharpening steels".  The only step better for a honing rod would be the HandAmerican rod - but availability of the HandAmerican is problematic - it might or might not be in either stock or production.  You will need the honing rod now, rather than later.

    You will be using the honing rod daily - and with it, you can prolong the "new sharp edge" feel on your knife and thus defer the choice of stones for a few months while you check out stone reviews and ponder your choices.

    The material making up a honing rod needs to be harder than the steel on the knives which it is applied to.  That is not the case with using mass-market "sharpening steels" with quality Japanese knives, where the steel in quality Japanese knives is hardened to a higher level than the steel in "sharpening steels".  The result will be damage to both "sharpening steel" and knife edge.  Definitely Not Good!

    As for a first stone, I would suggest a stone in the 800 to 1200 grit range.  If price is not an issue, then any of the "splash and go" stones (the Chosera, Shapton Pro or Glass or Naniwa Superstone) will do very well.  I would prefer any of those rather than the King.

    The next stone should be in the 3K to 5K grit range.

    Galley Swiller
     
  3. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Why would a King be not fit for a home user? I don't get it. I have a combo 1000/6000 pedestrian King that I love to work with, even though I have a lot of different types of steel to sharpen. What exactly is it that a King should not be chosen?

    A King 1000/6000 is used by thousands of home users and professionals. It's cheap, it performs perfectly and the 1000 sharpening side plus the 6000 refining side work perfectly together.
     
  4. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Oh I agree that there will always be more expensive, harder, faster and less dishing stones. However, what does all of this say about the sharpening result? Nor a harder stone nor a faster stone nor a less dishing stone make the result, it's the sharpener behind the stone.

    I really think that the brand and reputation of a stone is marginally important.

    Important factors imo are to keep consistently the same angle when sharpening, the pressure you use when sharpening or polishing, and the grit of the stone.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  5. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    Indeed, that's a very good point! I had that experience enough when I started to sharpen my own knives.

    Every now and then I use my coticules for the endpolishing of my freshly sharpened knives. Coticules are very hard natural material but it takes a lot longer to get that uncompared smooth result, which implies that when you are a bit nonchalant in keeping a very steady angle, you are simply undoing the sharpening you just did because you will be rounding the edge again...
     
  6. yoshihiro knife

    yoshihiro knife

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    I always recommend routine sharpening on a very high quality 3000 grit stone, when the knife is still sharp. For Japanese knives I don't recommend honing steels. In Japan high quality knives are only honed on whetstones. I also recommend that whetstones are periodically treated with stone fixers.
     
  7. nicko

    nicko Founder of Cheftalk.com Staff Member

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    @Yoshihiro Knife  any particular brand you recommend for the 3000 grit stone? 
     
  8. yoshihiro knife

    yoshihiro knife

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    Yes we do recommend our Yoshihiro Toishi Whetstone as it is of very high professional quality. This stone will last you years of daily use and is the best way to not only sharpen and hone your knife, but to take care of the steel your knife is composed with. If anyone would like to message about where they could find this item and other grit whetstones I would be happy to lead them in the right direction.