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Japanese Water Stones advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:48 am

Hey there people i have a question, i need some advice on what water stones i should get i have a Shun Kaji 7.5" HG Sumo Santoku and a Kasumi 20cm VG-10 32 layers.. BOTH ARE BEAUTIFUL BLADES BY THE WAY :D So i wont to treat them right and start taking care of them myself, i am a noob so any advice is welcome.. The problem is the more research i do the harder it is to make a choice the Kasumi is a few years old now and has some light scratching on the edge from me using a steal every so often back when my skills with a blade weren't what they are now, so i wont to try and get it back to mirror finish on the cutting edge so i don't mind buying some nice stones..
i have done my research so i do have some knowledge just not enough to justify spending a few hundred dollars yet so i ask the people that know :mrgreen:
Cheers Sam

Re: Japanese Water Stones advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 6:24 am

Some common starter solutions:

a. Imanish combo stone, a one stone solution: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/imtwosi1kst.html
b. Arashiyama starter set, very popular due to high value for the money: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/4pcshstset.html
c. Bester/Suehiro Rika starter set, also very popular due to high value for the money: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/3pcstoneset.html
d. Bester/Suehiro Rika/Stone holder/flattening plate/etc starter set, pretty much anything you would need is included: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/knshcoset.html

To get going, at the minimum you need a stone in the 1-2k range, but this would be a very minimal setup.

The typical setup for maintaining established edges is a 1k stone, a 5-6k stone, a flattening plate (diamond abrasive), and perhaps some stopping materials. The 1k/5k progression will get you to a keener edge than factory. The diamond hone is used to maintain the stones' flatness. Strops are generally preferred over steels for truing the edge because the margin for error is considerably greater with a strop. It is actually very easy to do significant damage to an edge with a steel.

Lower grit stones, coarser stones, are used to repair damaged knives or alter the bevel angle or grind. For someone starting out, it is best to do these task, if needed, with the 1k stone. A 1k stone can do these task, but very slowly, and for a newbie it is better to make mistakes slowly :). Higher grit stones, finer grits, are nice to experiment with or for task specific needs, like straight razors. In kitchen applications grits higher than 6k can actually diminish performance on some products.

Re: Japanese Water Stones advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:19 pm

+1 to what cedarhouse said.

You can get buy with a single 1K-2K stone, but plan on adding a higher grit at some point. The combo stone will work quite well for a good while (although not as long as single stones).

For now, I'm getting by with flattening by using drywall screens. At some point I'll get a stone flattener/fixer.

Re: Japanese Water Stones advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:59 pm

Although my personal stone choices might vary slightly from Cedar's.....it would be the same basic idea.

Re: Japanese Water Stones advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:33 pm

"Although my personal stone choices might vary slightly from Cedar's.....it would be the same basic idea."

Full disclosure, I do not own any of these. I read good things about the stones in the sets and the sets are a low hassle way to get up and going in a hurry. I use a mix of King Ice Bear, Naniwa Super Stones, a DMT extra course diamond plate, and an assortment of stropping media, mostly homemade. So to be precise, I don't endorse any specific stone...I haven't the experience to recommend one over the other. For a newbie though, getting started and building the skill-set is more important than which kit to get. IMHO.

Adam if you do have a specific recommendation, I would be curious to hear it.

Re: Japanese Water Stones advice

Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:51 pm

Ditch the steel and use a strop. A leather strop without any compounds added is better than a steel. The basic combination stone will probably work well for you. If the blades are just used but not abused with any chips and dings, then you don't need the coarser stones.

If you miss the edges when sharpening on the 1k/5k stone you won't be removing excess metal like you would on the coarse stone. It's a good idea to maintain your edges and learn the angles of the blade on a higher grit stone. You probably only need to touch up each side for a few minutes to get the factory edge or better.
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