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Looking to upgrade my stones.

Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:49 pm

I'm currently using oil stones and want to upgrade to water and finer grits.

I just ordered a Masakage Shimo Gyuto and Petty which have Shirogami #2 (white #2) blades, my first Japanese Knives.

My questions are

1. Are there any disadvantages to getting splash and go stones like Shapton's Glass vs getting ones which need to be soaked?

2. What is the smallest grit necessary to get the best possible finished edge on the Masakage's edge?

3. Will I need a dedicated strop with a sub micro spray for the best possible edge?

I was thinking about ordering the four stone set below


but was not sure if it was ovedrkill or underkill with regard to my goals.

What are your thoughts and recommendations?


Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:12 pm

Save a little money http://www.chefknivestogo.com/sh3pcset1k4k.html
Stropping is fun
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/stsetwiunhob.html or http://www.chefknivestogo.com/haamstkit.html

Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:49 pm

Kirkystyle hits a homer with his recommendation.
Those 3 stones are all you need.
I like to strop too as a finish. I use the strop kit containing balsa and leather, the felt is used in between as a deburring tool
I recommend getting several pieces of leather, and keep one of them as just bare leather.
Pick up a couple of these, only $20
You can put paste or spray on the other pieces.

Some people strop on the 5K stone.
You may need to touch up or refine the edges on your new knives right out of the box.
So make the stones you next priority.

Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:17 pm

You will be glad for the upgrade. Waterstones are much better. In sharpening, many things are objective and somewhat ambiguous. If 10 people respond to this, you are liable to get ten different answers
I have the Shapton glass stones, every one of them in that set in fact. I purchased them one by one over a period. I also have others that need soaking time. There is nothing wrong with the glass stones. There are pros and cons. They cut fast, dish fairly slowly, and the splash and go is very convenient. They don't provide much feedback while using them. Your question regarding overkill or not, well that's very subjective but if you are just doing knives and are just after a high-end working edge, it's probably a bit overkill. I would say you won't need the 16k, in all honesty, probably not the 8k either. Eventually, you will want to have one but it's not necessary right off the bat. I would get the 1k and 4k to try the glass stones first to see if you like them. I use the other money you saved to purchase a flattening plate. You could also get a balsa strop with some CBN. I use mine a fair amount but I do believe there are better stones out there, but it's all personal preference. I have different stones I like for different things. I like the glass stones for the convenience.

Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:59 pm

What do you recommend to keep these stones flat?

The Shapton Lapping Plate is pretty expensive, will a DMT plate do the job equally as well?

I'm thinking the extra course unless you feel the course is better given the fineness of the stones.

Thanks for all the advice.


Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:18 pm

I have the xxcourse. It works fine. If I had it to do over I'd get an atoma plate. That are much nicer. A little more money, but those that have them say they are worth it. I will be getting one myself soon. Depends on where your budget is. If you can swing getting an atoma get it. If not the dmt plates are still very nice.

Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:53 pm


The Atoma Plate pricing is livable especially with the current sale going on (approximately $100). I just shuddered at the $379 cost of the Shapton Lapping Plate. Not that I wouldn't spend that if it was necessary, I'm just happy it appears that it is not. I would rather buy a knife with the extra $279.

Based on your comment I should be looking at the 140 grit Atoma, would that be a safe assumption? My concern is that not having used a plate on this fine of a grit stone (8,000 grit and someday maybe 16,000), I am wondering about excessive wear with that course of a plate. Should I get the 140 or are my fears justified and get the 400. The amount of extra surfacing time may be offset in reduced stone wear and a cleaner finish. But I really do not know and truly am just thinking out-loud here.

140 or 400 grit, looking for help



Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:58 am

Stone wear will be more a product of how dished the stone gets from use and how often you flatten it. When flattening your stone draw hash marks like a diamond pattern all across the stone. Use the plate to flatten the stone till it removes all hash marks evenly and no more. The lower grit will cut much faster to level the stone. It will also leave slightly deeper scratches than the higher grit which will not really effect the sharpening properties of the stone. The scratches in the higher grit stones bother some people. When I am doing knives I'm kind of over that. If I am sharpening razors, it bothers me. I will flatten my higher grit stones then use 400 or 600 grit wet sandpaper on a glass plate to remove any scratches. Either flattening plate will work. Don't be afraid of the coarser one.

Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:28 am

Another tip to aid in stone longetivity is while you are sharpening try to use as much of the stone as possible so when it does dish it is in a larger area and not just a smaller area right in the center. Before I completely flatten a stone I may lap it a few times to see the "terrain" and use the smaller high spots to sharpen smaller knives like a paring knife or a pocket knife. Then I will flatten the stone. You'll get more use out of it.

Re: Looking to upgrade my stones.

Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:29 pm


Because your going to need a stone lower than 1k at some point and the GS 500 is popular.
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