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How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:41 pm

Hi i have a quick question to make before i place an order for a new sharpening/honing tool. I'll give you a little background on my current set of knives and stones. I have 4 knives i use regularly at work the first and the oldest which gets the least use is Kikuichi vg10 gold series 240mm gyuto, the second being a Yoshihiro white steel 165mm deba, the third being a tojiro 150mm petty and the last which is my main go to at the moment my 210mm Moritaka AS gyuto. My stones are both king's one is a 1000 and the other is a 6000, although i rarely use the 1000, unless i go a while without sharpening. I also use a ceramic steel to hone my knives with a 50/50 edge, which helps but i know and feel that the edge gets a bit toothy when i use the steel. My question my next step to getting a better edge (sharper, longer lasting) would be going with a strop kit or maybe going to a finer natural stone like the Ozuku Asagi Koppa or the jyunsyouhonyama??? o would like to spend l
ess than $100 and get what you feel would be more beneficial at this point. Next month if need be i could get another tool to even better my edge's. i'll take any recommendations even if not mentioned above.

Thank you for your time,


Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:41 pm

Hi Nicolay,

Do you mind if I post our correspondence on my new forum? I'll take off your last name. It will help others that are looking for recommendations. You're welcome to come over and chat with us. Here is the forum:

My recommendation is to use your 1K stone every time you sharpen. You need to grind a new edge that has exposed the fresh steel on your edge before going to the 6K stone. Otherwise you will be refining fatigued steel that won't hold it's edge as well.

Once you have an edge and after you use the 6K you can strop the knife. Try using balsa with chromium oxide paste on it. They will cost you about $30 and that's really all you need along with your 2 stones to get your knife shaving sharp.

Finally do you flatten your stones? If not you need to do this. We have an inexpensive stone flattener that cost $20 and will work well with your stones.

Here are the 3 items I mentioned:

Diamond Flattening Plate:

Chromium Oxide Paste

Balsa Pad

The base for the balsa pad works well but anything metallic including the diamond flattening plate will stick to it.

Kind Regards,
Mark Richmond
(608) 232-1137

Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:43 pm

These are all good suggestions. The only issue with JNats for this purpose(improving on a 6k edge) is that they won't respond the same way to a variety of steels, and you have quite a variety there. I say the thing you need is a strop.

Stropping, just the ACT of stropping on aggressive media, will change your edges entirely. I strongly prefer stropping on a surface with some give to it, like leather, with a compound that is used for hand-stropping. It will clean up your edges and add a dynamism to them that is irreplaceable. The only knives I don't strop are german steel doodads.

How long are your edges lasting, and how many hours a day do they get used? What kind of cutting boards are they seeing(I'm guessing poly, as most are)? Are they failing(chipping, denting, corroding, etc), or just dulling?

Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:22 pm

Going sharper does not always make a edge last longer, it changes some dynamics of the edge longevity but unless you change the angle you are typically within a negligible tolerance for how long a edge lasts. Such as going from a 6k to a 10k would in reality only change the feel of the cut and minimally affect its overall performance.

The skill of the cutter and his/her ability to sharpen typically have a greater impact on edge life. It's kinda like shooting, can't blame the gun when you miss.

Try reducing the sharpening angle adding a strop and completely stopping the use of the ceramic.

Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:56 pm

Mark thanks for the suggestions, i've been cooking for a long time and have just recently gotten into the art of sharpening. I've always kept some of the sharpest knives in almost all my kitchens so i consider myself a novice with some know how. I started using Japanese knives in 2006 with my first being a Kasumi 210mm and 240mm gyutos. Since then i've gone from stainless Kikuichi's to carbon Kikuichi's i had a really cool Brieto for a while. Until i maybe last year my Kikuichi VG10 Gold 240" gyuto and 270mm sujihiki were my go to's and i kept them pretty sharp. I would say i'd take them to stones about once every two weeks with lots of steel honing in between. Recently i have started purchasing some different knives all mostly high carbon as you can read from Marks opening thread. The Deba is crazy sharp and takes very little work to get it there, the Tojiro petty is also super easy to get screaming sharp, the Kikuichi 240mm Gyuto has recently been getting love again (all the high carbon knives were still honeymooning) this knife is a different beast obviously and given that its way older about 4 years old now its seasoned but get a really nice edge. The Moritaka though is extremely sharp, i can push cut paper thin tomato slices with it but it's taken me a couple weeks to get it there since i don't have the time to really take a knife that hard to where it should be. I feel my technic is good, i sharpen all the knives at 15 degrees exempt the deba and it being single edge that knife i just go as steep as the angle of the knife lets me and then i go completely flat on the other side. Today i used one of my cooks stones both a shapton glass 4000 and 8000 and to be honest that 8000 is really nice got the edge super clean and once i started focusing on devouring the blade doing single strokes on each side kind of like stroping, i really got some great results. My problem isn't that i don't get my knives sharp it's more of how can i be better and what do i need to do it. I do cut mostly on poly boards except at home where i only cut on wood, but as a chef at a 3 meal period restaurant in a busy resort i usually work 10 to 12 hours a day and at least half of that time is spent cutting fish, loins of meat, and precise very cuts. I've been using my 6000 stone as a strop i think, i put my knives on it every 3 to 5 days and hone every now and then on a ceramic steel. and my knives are pretty much always shaving sharp. My question to you all is how to achieve the ultimate sharpness each of my knives can achieve and how long should it last between sharpening and honing??? Anyhow today i ordered the diamond plate, the balsa wood and chromium oxide, with Marks awesome shipping i should be able to give them a whirl by the weekend, any tips are welcomed.

Thanks everyone.

Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:24 am

First, you should employ proper use of a glass or ceramic hone before you start work each day. Proper honing will greatly increase the life of your edge between sharpenings. The Idahone fine ceramic hone, with sheath to protect against breaking works great. Second, invest in a Shapton glass 10K, then 16K, then 30K. Always sharpen up to at least the Shapton glass to 10K. Use the 16K and 30K, which are equivalent to a stropping spray of about 1 micron and 0.49 micron, to gently strop your knife. You don't need a soft surface for stropping unless you are stropping a knife with a convex edge, which is unheard of in kitchen knives. You do, however, need to be gentle when stropping on a hard surface like the Shapton glass 16K and 30K. While the Shapton 30K may seem expensive, you will save money on stropping pastes and sprays, and you can strop on naked balsa and leather as a final step.

Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:55 am

I think you are getting the best life out of those edges that you will get. I would never expect VG-10 to live past 5 10 hour days on poly boards and still be hair-popping sharp. That is exactly what I was using at the sushi bar--VG10 and blue steel, 12 hour days on poly boards. I sharpened them every Thursday afternoon before the weekend or I paid for it on Friday night.

Stropping will aid in cleaning up your edges, so I still think it'll be a great addition to your routine. Also, before you get any new knives, consider getting some faster cutting stones--the King stones will get the job done, but you have a fairly high-demand situation and deserve better than "what works for a home cook".

I'd go find a craft store and get a scrap of tooling leather. Glue it(smooth side up) to one side of the balsa, and load each side(leather and plain balsa) with compound, see which one you like better. I much prefer stropping on leather, even cheap leather.

Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:06 am

I tried my leather belt last year and it worked. :)

Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Tue Jun 19, 2012 9:11 am

To add to burke saying buy faster cutting stone before the next knife purchase, I would agree. Dont feel you need to spend a ton of money either! I am building my freehand stones and have the red brick 1k, green brick 2k, and suehiro rika. Those 3 stones are great. They cut plenty fast enough for me and give a dang good edge for being a 5k rika. Just my 2 cents!

Re: How to improve my edges using my King Stones

Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:44 pm

Thanks everyone for the suggestions my next purchase will be for some nice stones and a good piece of leather to add to my stroping tools which are in the mail. Any recommendations on 3 good stones to work through before stroping would be great. I hear great things about the Shaptons but they seem a but pricey, any other brands you guys recomend on the more affordable side???
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