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I am a professional cook and like to keep my tools in good condition. I currently have a few Victorinox knives from my school kit and recently got a Fujiwara FKM gyuto under your recommendation.
Right now I have a Messermeister 500/1000 combination water stone that I use on my knives but its not very nice, doesn't hold water at all really and I can't seem to build up much swarf.
I am looking to make an order for a basic set of stones to sharpen my knives and I am also going to be getting a carbon steel knife to play around with and practice sharpening with.
I was originally going to get the 8pc complete sharpening set but I have read that the two coarser stones in that set need a fairly long soak time, and I am looking for something a little more splash and go so I can come home after work and sharpen right away if I notice my knives need it.
I like the look of the 4 Pc Arashiyama set and think I am going to go for that.
Now I am just looking for a flattening solution. I am looking to keep the price down as much as possible so wouldn't mind a versatile 3rd stone that could be used for flattening and also as a coarse stone for repair without needing a transition stone before going to the 1000 grit.
I have read a million things back and forth on forums regarding the Dia-sharp plates. Many people recommend that XXC for flattening but on the other hand some mention that it can leave a coarse pattern on a finer stone such as the 6000 grit Arashiyama.
I am looking for the most efficient solution that will allow me to sharpen a variety of steels (softer stuff like my european knives and harder ones like the carbon I'm going to get) and also have the least amount of pieces possible that will give me the simplest sharpening/lapping routine and not having to further smooth out my finer stones after flattening them.
The Arashiyama set is a real good one. It does require a short soak but it's not that big a deal. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/4pcshstset.html For about the same price as the DMTXXC you can get this cheap flattening plate and the excellent Latte 400. I think you would get better results for your money with this pair of items for the money.
JOHN DOE <> I for one believe you'd be a whole lot happier with this Splash n Go set <--link. If you're OK w/that $60 premium, but bent on the Arashiyama set, do yourself a favor & add an Aotoshi <--link... your soft steel will thank you.
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I'm a big fan of the Arashiyama set. They can be used as a splash-n-go, they soak up very little water. As Melampus said the Aotoshi is a great add on. That's were I stop with my soft stainless steels. The Arashiyama 6k is my personal favorite finishing stone for my harder stuff.
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