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looking for a good starter set

Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:02 pm

Hi there, I've been interested in getting a starting set of waterstones to learn freehand sharpening. I deal with a variety of steels from the simple carbons such as 1095, 5160, to stainless like 154CM, S30V.

I know it's difficult to find a few stones that would best compliment these variety of steels, but I want to try and find the best medium for them all. I'm looking for a set of stones that'll be able to reprofile and set a decent edge on the knives without needing to finish a high polish.

I've looked at the Nubatama series for the low grit, but there seem to be so many choices in grits. And hopefully move up to the Naniwa Green Brick for the final finishing. Hoping you could suggest a series of three or four stones that would be a good progression?

Thank you for reading.

Re: looking for a good starter set

Sat Jun 22, 2013 1:58 pm

Ya I tell Ken all the time that having too many choice just confuses people into paralysis and he should just pick his favorites and drop the other ones.

Try the 150 Grit Nubatama Bamboo and add the Green Brick for a quick and easy sharpening set. They will work really well together and you can add to those stones later if you want.

Re: looking for a good starter set

Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:37 pm

Well your needs seem to be oriented towards just getting a medium grit final finish. This may change over time. For most of the steels you mention waterstones are ideal, but when you work with abrasion resistant steels like s30v, consider diamonds. For this I recommend an Atoma 140 and if your budget allows a 400 Atoma. From there something like the 150 bamboo if you skip the 400 Atoma or a 400 Bamboo if you include the Atoma 400 is ideal. Jumping from the 150 Bamboo to the 2k green brick is too big of a jump for all but the softest of steels. While the 150 Bamboo is quite aggressive and would work well for the other steels mentioned, for s30v it won't be enough without some diamonds to start off. I'd also add the 1k Speckled Ume Medium stone to your lineup so you will spend much less time on the green brick, which is not a particularly aggressive stone.

The Nubatamas have lots of choices to adapt to lots of circumstances :) If you need to do major repairs, grits below 150 are quite useful.

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