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Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:13 am

Your most important stone is a 1k. Get good at using a 1k first. My bias is the 1k speckled Medium Nubatama Ume stone. For repairs and reprofiling you need a coarse stone. My preference is a real coarse stone, the 150 Bamboo.

There is a new player that you might find interesting - the Nubatama combo stone. I call it the arato-nakado (coarse plus medium grit stone). It has a thick 150 grit side and a high quality 1200 grit side, just a bit finer than the ume 1k speckled and quite similar to the more expensive 1k Bamboo white stone. Perfect for limited space applications.

From there you can consider either going to a 5k stone like the Nubatama Bamboo 5k or even a natural stone like a smaller Aoto. The advantage here of the Aoto is that it spans the grit range of several synthetic stones in one stone.
Worry about getting finer grit stones later. It's not so much if you are a home user or pro chef as it is what sort of finish you like on your knives and getting used to finer grit finishes, which certainly will have a place in your kitchen over time.

The sink bridge is nice, not critical. The strops can be dealt with later and the felt block is optional.

Consider getting a diamond lapping plate next - Atoma 140, DMT XXC, or if you can't afford these, the cheap diamond plate. In the long run, the Atoma is the best deal but the most expensive.


Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:08 am

Thank you for the detail. As I understand and see that my options lead to $300+ combined investment:
This one I need with any combination:
Atoma 140 diamond plate $100 http://www.chefknivestogo.com/at14dipl.html
Would you recommend best combination or advice, because as I see that any combination will be $200 +/-$50?
I think that within this price range I could choose following, but like usual I could be wrong and you are the professional.
Could you please recommend the best combination within this price range or maybe I hit right selection.

3 stones pack 320,1000,5000 Shapton Pro $177 http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shpro3pcset.html
Shapton Pro 320x $52.00
2K Naniwa Aotoshi 2k Green Brick http://www.chefknivestogo.com/naao2kgrbr.html $54.95
8K Nubatama Bamboo 8000 http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nuba80.html $92
MrKnife Fanatic 3 Stone Combo Set $195 http://www.chefknivestogo.com/mrfa3stcoset.html
(• Latte 400 • Green Brick of Joy 2K • Snow White 8K)

Nubatama Bamboo Combo Stone 150/1200 $60
8K Naniwa Snow White 8k http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nasnwh8.html $97.00
Your preferred set

Also could it be that I'm concentrating on final stone as 8k but in reality for home cooking I need only 5-6K top
(Also I have some German steel knife)


Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:06 pm

Unless you sharpen razors IMO there is no need for a 8k stone. It will actually decrease the useable life of your edge.

Stones in the 2-5k range will offer far greater performance. The Shapton pro set or the current 8pc set would be a good route.

Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:20 pm

My vote would be the Shapton Pros. The only caveat is the Green Brick is supposed to be an awesome finishing point for German knives. I have played with the Green Brick sparingly, and it did a great job on one of my German paring knives, but I am not sure it would be my favorite for all knives.

That said, all the stones you are looking at are good quality stones. Because stone "feel" and, in some measure, performance is subjective, or at least user dependent, it is hard to suggest the "best" for any one user.

Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:58 pm

I was in your position recently also. All of the people giving you advice here gave me advice as well. They all offer great advice.

I looked into the shapton pros too, but they were out of stock when I was ordering. I ended up going with different manufacturers of each grit. That way I could start with a decent set and be able to see what I like and dislike. I would say there is no such thing as the "correct" set. I went with a diamond plate, 400, 1000, 5k, and deburring block. I also wanted a sink bridge but wanted to get a feel for what I liked before I invested in that.

A few things to remember:
Technique means so much more than the stones you use.
Most users here have multiple stones of around the same grit and use them all for different reasons.
Some grits in the same set of stones perform differently.

Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:33 pm

"Your most important stone is a 1k." - I would say this one of the most important concepts to understand as a sharpener. The 1K stone is THE gateway from your foundation sharpening to your finish sharpening. When I first started the craft I made the mistake of thinking that my finish stones could make up the lack from my less than perfect 1K edge. Once I learned that I must have a 1K edge that shaves some hair and cleanly slices phone book paper, my finish sharpening became easy. I also agree that technique trumps any and all equipment; it really doesn't matter the brand of stones, your technique will bring the results. Most steels are not designed to hold a high level of polish, so in my experience 2K - 5 K is the sweet spot for working blades. I've also learned that stropping is an incredible tool to produce a finished edge but only once you truly develop a feel for exactly where you are at any given time on the bevel and adjusting pressure accordingly - Josh

Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:02 pm

I agree technique is key. Without it, the rest is folly. This is why I keep emphasizing the 1k. If you don't get a good 1k level edge, you will just succeed in getting a better reflection but not a sharper edge. This is why I have SO many choices at the 1k level among the Nubatama stones.

I know you want to get up to the 8k level. The Snow white is a good 8k stone too. BUT jumping to it from a 1200 or 2k stone is just too big of a jump. You need something inbetween. While I do feel that an 8k (and beyond) edge is appropriate for a kitchen knife, disagreeing with Jason on this point, my conclusion is similar to his for now. Get something in the 5k range FIRST. 8k and above can wait. You might wish to use a strop at that grit level or natural stones, etc. Patience. You might also wish to go to a 10k stone instead.

My personal preference is to have a 2k stone after a 1k stone, but I'm suggesting a more minimalistic set for you. So Consider the Atoma 140, Nubatama combo stone and a 5k bamboo as my first choice.

If you go the 2k route, this stone deserves serious consideration:



Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:57 am

Get good with these first and then add what you want later. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shpro3pcset.html

Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:30 am

I feel no need to put a low grit to my Fujiyama for basic maintenance. It was tight (and incredibly thin) enough when it was new...and since then all it's ever needed to see is my Coticule.
Purchased 7 months ago.

Thinning is a whole other ball game however.

I read a post somewhat akin to this by Jason B...and I completely agree with his sentiment.

"chopper wrote:Jason B

I'm using a fine whetstone to maintain once a week

not going through the whole process every week"

Then you are doing it correctly.

Every 6 months to a year you should sharpen and thin the edge with a full range of stones. This "refreshes" the blade and takes away the past months/years of use that have altered its geometry."

Just for some perspective.

Re: Need advice how to combine correct sharpening set.

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:46 pm

Many good posts here full of good information for you to choose with.

Ken has one of the best points with the 1k, you need to become proficient with that grit level before you move up in refinement. There are a myriad of options at 1k.

The Arashiyama set is great for starting. The cheapest 140 diamond plate will do you to flatten stones, and is passable to do big repairs, you don't "need" to spend the money on Atoma, really.

After you get yourself established you can add a course stone for repair and perhaps a higher finishing stone.
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