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Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:43 pm

After reading about sharpening on a few different forums I have come across the opinion from a few different experienced sharpeners that a newbe shouldn't own a lower grit stone. Lower meaning anything up to 500 grit and maybe even a little higher. The reasoning being that curiosity will get the best of them and they may try to use it! :D A newbe needs to start at around a 1000k and get the basics down before making the purchase of a lower grit stone. Opinions?

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:03 pm

Not really. Coarse grinding is the most important step as it lays the foundation for the rest of the sharpening process.

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:43 pm

I used to start with a 1K stone to set bevels, then I came to my senses and invested in a 150 and 400 grit. If I lay a proper foundation on my nubatama 150 grit (the burr is generated very quickly), I save a ton of time on my higher grit stones. I think the philosophy you're referring to Jeff is to save the newbie from grinding away too much steel unnecessarily on a lower grit stone, or destroying bevels. I would contend that with low speed, careful observation and adjustment, even a newbie can start out with a lower grit stone without worrying about damaging a blade. I lower grit stone can save alot of "elbow grease" in the long run. - Josh

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Mon Dec 10, 2012 6:26 pm

forthosewhotoil76 wrote:......I think the philosophy you're referring to Jeff is to save the newbie from grinding away too much steel unnecessarily on a lower grit stone, or destroying bevels.....

I believe that was exactly what they were thinking, destroying bevels or doing major damage before you realized it.

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:15 am

If you have to get 1 stone get a mid grit like a 1K or 2K.

The next stone to get is a finisher. Maybe 4-5K

Next get a low grit stone to save you work. Something in the 200-500 range.

It's really best to have all three but you can certainly start out 1 at a time.

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:45 pm

Yes, I absolutely believe a newbie should avoid anything coarser than a 1,000 grit stone until their technique is decent and they know what they're doing with the 1,000 grit stone.

Seen too many people completely destroy a perfect good knife with a really coarse stone.

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:12 pm

Adam --> That is exactly what I have read from others and what I was referring to. Does sound like sound advise for most.

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:26 pm

I think using a junk knife for practice helps too.

I didn't realize some of my earlier mistakes until I actually see the damage. I keep a couple knives just for this purpose. I like using them as a baseline when I buy new stones or trying something new.

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:07 pm

Poor technique will produce poor results regardless of what type of stone one is utilizing. Lower grit stones will allow a novice to realize errors in technique much quicker than higher grit stones. The question is would you rather spend hours grinding away on 1K+ stones only to realize your bevels are not meeting (I have read countless comments on sharpening forums across the web indicating this very experience), or save time on lower grit stones. Working smarter not harder comes to mind. If destroying cutlery is the main concern, if you are learning a new skill, why would one attempt to learn this skill experimenting on a Porsche 911 verses an old station wagon, per Mckemaus' point. Proper studying of all the vast amounts of information available also helps before hitting the stone. With slow, careful observation low grit stones are not to be feared. Just my 2 cents. Josh

Re: Lower Grit Stones for a Newbe

Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:16 pm

Poor technique will produce poor results a crap load faster with a 200 grit stone than it will with a 1,000 grit stone.
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