Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:49 am
Personally, I like the feedback and feel of a good 1k and higher grit water stone versus diamond coated plates. I also think getting a 1K is a good idea. IMO you could use your coarse DMT plate to flatten a 1K stone - at least to start. Mark has lots of great 1K stones. If you are used to the feel of the DMT plates, then a harder water stone might be a good way to start. The Shapton Pro or Shapton Glass 1K are two hard stones. Some say the Pro series gives better feedback and is not quite as hard as the Glass series.
Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:51 am
Thanks everyone. There was a lot of good information posted. I am leaning towards the shapton pro line, but most of the ones I was interested in are out of stock now, so more time to think.... haha
What would the benefits of the Shapton pros be over, say, the 5pc starter kit? harder stones, so they don't wear so quickly while I learn? What about when compared to the 4 pc set?
I know this won't be the last set of stones I buy, just want a good set to start with that I hopefully won't ruin at the same time. Thanks again!
Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:05 pm
Nola - I re-read your initial post. Just to confirm, you don't have any full size diamond plates currently, just the smaller ones?
If that's the case, then you'll need a full size diamond plate for flattening your stones and possible for the rough work to cut bevels on really dull knives.
One stone setup that I have used to great effect is the 500 Shapton Glass, then the 1.5K Shapton Pro. The 1.5K left a really great edge on Euro and cheaper stainless blades. You can easily go from the 1.5K to the 5K Shapton Pro or the 4K Shapton Glass.
I like the 500 GS to set a bevel on knives that aren't too dull or on carbon steel blades. As BDL once said (paraphrasing) - "all coarse stones suck, some just suck less than others". I have the 320 Shapton Pro as well and I sometimes use the 320 Pro to the 1K Shapton Glass. The 500 Glass is a much more pleasant stone than the 320, being slightly finer grit. It really depends on how much metal you need to remove to cut a good edge bevel.
You'll need to analyze what knives you'll be sharpening now and in the future. If really dull knives are something you'll tackle frequently, then a good low grit diamond plate or stone is important to cut a bevel quickly and move on to the more pleasant, higher grit stones to refine that edge.
Possible good stone/plate sequences IMO:
Atoma 140 diamond plate (this is THE best - period)
Shapton Pro 320
Shapton Glass 1K
Shapton Pro 2K (Good for finishing Euro stainless steel)
Shapton Pro 5K (finisher for harder Japanese steel)
Atoma 140 plate
Shapton Glass 500
Shapton Pro 1.5K (Euro steel finisher)
Shapton Pro 5K
Shapton Glass 320
Shapton Glass 1K
Shapton Glass 4K
Shapton GS 500
Shapton GS 1K
Shapton GS 4K
Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:26 pm
Thanks SteveG. To clarify, I only have the hand held dia-fold DMT plates. I find they are really only good for pocket knives and small kitchen knives.
I was planning on getting an XXC diamond plate so that I could reset bevels, tend to some older knives, and flatten the stones.
Then, as you and others suggested, going for a low/med/high grit combo. At least to start. I listed my knives in the OP, and they have quite a few different steels. None of my big kitchen knives have ever been sharpened( I have only been living on my own for about a year, and they are mostly new).
Seems like the Shaptons are a good place to start. It's pretty much equal to what is offered in the 5pc. kit. I just don't know what's the difference between the stones. Same with the pro or the glass..
So I guess to start I am thinking:
XXC diamond plate
Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:51 pm
Nola - I think that getting this 6 pc. starter set: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sh6pcstset.html
, then adding a 320 or 500 grit Shapton Glass stone to your cart, should get you a very nice working sharpening set. I think you'll like either the Pro or the Glass series.
Go 320 for your coarse if you'll be sharpening a lot of really dull knives, or 500 if you won't and you want a nicer feeling coarse stone.
Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:18 pm
Maybe look at the Arashiyama stones too, I don't know how they measure up to Shapton, but I like them very much for my knives.
Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:23 pm
The difference between stones is difficult to appreciate until you have some familiarity with sharpening. The Glass stones are known for being hard, slow wearing, and fast cutting, but are thin and have limited feedback. The Shapton Pros are slightly less hard, slow wearing, fast cutting, and have marginally better feedback. But as you might have noticed, these are all relative terms, and since you do not yet have a baseline, it would be hard to make an "informed" decision. Furthermore, many are willing to trade one characteristic for another. Some people would rather a slower cutting stone with more feedback; others want a stone that will last forever with out regard to cutting speed etc. But again, since you are new to the game, it would be difficult to optimize a set for you on the first try.
As I see it there are two great options here:
1) pick a kit like the one Steve suggested giving you all the tools to learn sharpening from beginning to end. All the stones listed here have their fans and all will make your knives sharper, so in that sense you cannot go wrong.
2) alternatively, as I suggested in my previous post, you might get a DMT or Atoma plate for flattening (not a lot of choice here, go with one) and a 1k or 2k stone. For knives that are not in really crap shape, you can get by with one stone. If your knives are really in tough shape, get a 200-400 stone too. Then fill out the rest of your set based on what you learn from what you got. For example, if you get a Shapton Pro stone, and come back and say you don't like the feel, then we know something that we don't now.
Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:36 pm
I think this thread has slanted towards the Shaptons because he's been using smaller DMT plates and might feel more at home with harder stones. There are so many good stones on CKTG - like that Arashiyama 1K/6K set, with differing characteristics.
Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:57 pm
SteveG wrote:I think this thread has slanted towards the Shaptons because he's been using smaller DMT plates and might feel more at home with harder stones. There are so many good stones on CKTG - like that Arashiyama 1K/6K set, with differing characteristics.
I got that slant, I would agree that the Arashiyamas are less forgiving, almost delicate in a sense. I chipped the corner edge of one 6k accidentally bumping it with a 400 grit. The diamond plate rubbed it right out though and there was not much stone loss.
They are not as soft as, say, a green brick 2k. I meant the durability V. Shapton glass more than specifically performance.
You could pretty much pick a stone in these categories, they are mostly great with the only factors in selection being user preference rather than quality. Of course, some lines are less expensive than others.
If you go with a set of all Shapton and then discover you don't really like their behavior you may end up with all your eggs in one basket. Starting with one or two stones would allow you to diversify more easily.
Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:47 pm
I have the dmt plates but am thinking of getting the shapton glass 8K for finishing.
The DMTs are 600 and 1200, should I get a 4K instead of the 8K or can I jump from 1200 to 8K for finishing?
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