Whetstone Advice.

Discussion in 'Cooking Knife Reviews' started by jeffwannabe, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. jeffwannabe

    jeffwannabe

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    To start off Im simply looking to buy a set of stones that will best suit my skill level, budget and knives. I have read through some threads and these seem to be the determining factors when deciding on a set of stones. I am drawn to free handing compared to the other sharpening tools out there, although highly unlikely I could be swayed into considering one of the other options.

    For background:

    - I work in a professional kitchen 65+ hrs a week, so while I'm dedicated and willing to learn how to sharpen freehand I can't afford to sit for 3hrs a week and sharpen my knives. 

    - I have little experience with sharpening freehand, I can attain a reasonable sharp edge on the stones that belong to the restaurant. ( a set bought from CKTG which consists of 
    • Beston 500
    • Bester 1.2K
    • Suhiro Rika 5K
    -Money is not a huge determining factor. Although Im not willing to spend more than $300.

    -My current knives consist of a
    • Misono swedish paring knife
    • Moritaka Petty, Aogami Super, HRC  64-65
    • Fujiwara FKM Poultry Knife, Molybdenum/Vanadium SS HRC 58-59
    • Masamoto KS 240mm Gyuto, Hitachi White #2  HRC 62
    If I can be more clear or provide any additional information please ask. And of course thanks in advance!

    Nic
     
  2. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    That's a good set already, are you looking for your own set for home? Maybe going to splash and go set instead of soakers?
     
  3. jacko9

    jacko9

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    I like the Shapton Glass stones that are splash and go style.
     
  4. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Why not use the kit at work and by a great finishing stone to bring in with you.  The Geshin 8k is twice the price of the snow white but a great one from all accounts, very fast cutting.  If you want real mirror finish (no perceptable toothiness to the edge) then you need to go 10-12k

    Rick
     
  5. jeffwannabe

    jeffwannabe

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    The reason I would like my own set is Im particular about the maintenance of my belongings and take pride in taking care of them. The stones at work are not well taken care of and I assumed they were not the best stones I could buy in general. Also I would prefer to take my knives home and sharpen them as I don't have much time at work and don't care to stay after service. 

    I do like the idea of the splash and go stones such as the shaptons, which were the stones I was considering in the first place. I just wasn't sure if they were conducive for someone learning to freehand and with the knives I currently own. I would like a set of stones that can be forgiving but not so much they get in the way of themselves. Something that I will be able to grow into as opposed to buying a set and having to replace them down the road. I was considering a medium stone, a fine stone and maybe a super fine in the 8-10k range for touchups or possibly researching stropping. I currently use an idahone fine rod for touch ups. Thoughts?
     
  6. denverveggienut

    denverveggienut

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    I've got the same three-stone set as you have at work and really like it. I follow the stones up (and do touch-ups) with CBN on balsa.

    As upgrades from the set, you might consider Gesshin stones. You could get the Gesshin 400 + 2000 + 4000 ($245), or Gesshin 400 + 2000 + 6000 ($305). I hear they're quite nice, but the Beston/Bester/Rika set is really well-chosen. I feel no need to upgrade, and don't know if I'd necessarily spring for the Gesshins over that set if for some reason I needed to buy new stones.

    Is the work set of stones kept in water all the time? That's how I do mine. No waiting, and no wondering if they've soaked long enough- they have! You just have to change the water every few weeks.
     
     
  7. jbroida

    jbroida

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    we actually just made a stone set of the 400, 2000, and 6000 that is $200 not $305 http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/sharpening-supplies/gesshin-stone-set.html
     
  8. denverveggienut

    denverveggienut

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    Sweet!
     
  9. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Don't forget you'll want something to flatten your stones too! They're useless if they're not flat.
     
  10. rick alan

    rick alan

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    I use my stones in such a way as they wear evenly (a la Murry Carter), but I did flatten them once on the unfinished side of a granite countertop sample, worked fine.  Some around here successfully use cement sidewalks, but preferred cheap methods seem to be either cktg diamond plate for $30, or drywall screen.  Stones for your straight razor though would ideally go to the DP.

    BTW, $200 for Jon's set really is sweet.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  11. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    ^ are you absolutely sure they wear totally evenly? Not trying to call you out. Just, could be making your life unnecessarily more difficult if they're not flat right,
     
  12. millionsknives

    millionsknives

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    It will likely not wear evenly, two corners will see less use.  Rick is talking about this video



    Basically Murray Carter's big secret is to look at it, then use the high spots more :D
     
  13. rick alan

    rick alan

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    Exactly, something I knew way before I heard of Murray (who has to be taken with a grain of salt on many things).

    If you just used the stone as you would normally be inclined it will simply become low in the middle and higher at either ends.  But if you do a good amount of sharpening off the edge at either end (you have to flip the stone around regularly, even if you sharpen ambidexterous), you can get a pretty even wear pattern.

    A little dishing doesn't hurt unless your holding your knife practically parallel to the stones length, like you really have to to sharpen a serious chisel-edged knife like a Usuba.

    For most I feel they would be happier just sharpening normally and flattening as needed.  The mudders I have dish pretty quick, and since I don't mind dancing around to get the even wear it's worth it to go for the even wear.

    One thing I've learned with the mudders is to soak them for just 5min.  You have to splash them more frequently at first, but this way they don't produce such an excess of mud as if you let them sit for 15min, or more heaven forbid.

    Rick
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
  14. jeffwannabe

    jeffwannabe

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    With a little bit more research Ive read I found this post from BDL and did some additional research based on his suggestions. His post is as follows...

    "Best value for a generic, three stone, synthetic, Japanese waterstone kit:  CKtG's kit which includes a loupe, a felt block for deburring, a Beston 500, Bester 1200, and Suehiro Rika.

    My synthetic, Japanese waterstone kit:  Beston 500; Bester 1200, Chosera 3K, Gesshin 8K. 

    My stropping compounds on a balsa base, used for polishing:  2u diamond, followed by 0.5u or 0.25u diamond.  I occasionally use an un-loaded horsehide strop on a hard, flat base to true a very hard knife and/or an extremely asymmetic edge.  I don't do basic sharpening on a strop.  I don't do anything on sandpaper anymore.   

    Best "cost is no object" synthetic Japanese waterstone kit:  Gesshin 400, Gesshin 2K, Gesshin 8K (Gesshin stones are availible from JKI only).

    You might also consider an EP kit. 

    Best value EP Kit, Apex Kit 3.

    Best cost no object EP Kit:  EP Pro with Chosera stones.

    My choice for EP kit:  CKtG's Apex + Chosera kit.

    Best cost no object flattener (my choice as well):  DMT XXC.

    Best value for flattening:  3M Drywall Screen.

    Best cost no object rod hone kit:  Idahone 12" fine ceramic + HA borosilicate.

    Best value rod hone kit:  Idahone 12" fine ceramic + nothing.

    My choice of rod hones:  Old, worn, fine Henckles + HA borosilicate.

    Best choice for deburring:  Felt block, wine cork, and/or a piece of soft wood.

    You get the idea.  There are lots and lots of choices.  The best ones for you depend on what you're trying to do, where you're trying to do it, how much you're willing to spend, and all sorts of other contingencies.  Try not to obsess, remember that there is no single best choice, nor probably even a single best choice for a narrow and specific set of circumstances.  So... lots and lots of good choices.  We'll find some things which work well for you.

    And, yes... you can do a lot better than Nortons.  They're time is past. 

    BDL"

    From my additional research from his post I have concluded that these products are what I will be purchasing. I feel they meet my needs and my skills will not exceed what the stones can accomplish, at least for the foreseeable future.

    Gesshin set of 400, 2000, 6000 and eventually the 8k stone

    DMT XC plate for flattening

    Felt Deburring Block and Felt Strop for deburring in-between stones.