Ok guys so I'm reading through this thread , brilliant stuff, only problem for me is I'm looking for good stones, and some guiding rails, now two things ,only things I can find abundants of in UK is man made stones, not naturally, and they are stupidly over priced, so I'm looking for waterstones that are not going to cost me a weeks pay , and do a professional job good enough for a chef with almost a ocd problem as I take pride in looking after my knives, even the misses sometimes gets a bit gealus of the knives I can imagine.
Ok looks great , I don't mind the idea of the higher grit in fact I love the idea, I've never heard of these stones though sushiro was it, can you personally reccomemd them, as I'm looking for quality I won't be too bothered about paying the money just I don't want to spend money on stones and find out they won't do well for the masamoto knives I'm looking to buy, which at the minute I'm using global and a wustof ikon, also while your here , can I also ask what's the difference between the hard stones and soft sharpening wise, I understand one will wear a lot more, but any thing different about the finish with the blade?
Soft or hard, the quality of the stone factors in greatly. Comparing apples to apples in terms of quality, the softer stones will cut faster because of the constant supply of new grit, but of course they will dish faster. Not a problem really, though many pro sharpeners will go for the harder stones as they last longer and require less flattening. Some very hard stones in the high-grit range, like Shaptons, exhibit less feedback, considered a negative. Shaptons also run coarser than other stones, so an 8K Shapton would behave more like a 6k in comparison to some others.
I don't have personal experience with the stones I mentioned, but the Sigma power stones are well regarded in other forums more focused on such things. When comes the time for new stones/additions myself, I would go with the Geshin line available Stateside, they are rather pricey. I'm also collecting materials to experiment with various stopping substrates and compounds, but these are also being acquired Stateside.
Japanese Natural Stones is another possible source, they do carry synthetic stones.
Iminishi is a very good and modestly priced stone. CKTG used to carry a set including the Iminishi 400, Niniwa GreenBrick (2K) and Snow White (8K), which would also make a nice and reasonably priced set.
Scratching up your blade face is part of sharpening. I thin as I go along, which means the knife is at a very low angle, very nearly flat. Any scratches from normal sharpening are also going to hit the stone in your thinning, progressively going up to finer grits. Other than using your stones that way, sometimes I put on a nitrile glove, and grab some of that slurry from sharpening and rub it on the bladeface. There's also fingerstones or wet dry sandpaper. It really depends on the knife if I care about looks or not. At the very least, I take out scratches if they are rough and creating drag when I cut.
For holding an angle, watch the JKI video:
TLDR: right hand holds the angle. Left hand applies pressure, pushes and pulls
Also if you're setting a bevel different than what's on there, it helps to use a coarser stone. Then you don't need to hold that angle for as long.
One more thing. One of my stones came attached to a cheap plastic stand with tiny rubber feet that does a horrible job of keeping it stationary. What's the best method for removing the stone from the stand?
Sorry no, but they really don't get any bad reviews, and the price of those sets is hard to be beat. Just read carefully what the choices are for mixing and matching. The 400 Atoma is probably a good choice as it will double for the course stone, and you don't want to mess with anything rougher in a diamond plate unless you have some experience. And the super hard stones are not for kitchen knives.