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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:58 am 
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Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:17 am
Posts: 3951
Very good knife with AS core and stainless clad. Cool kanji, yo handle, what's not to like?

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/higy21.html



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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:03 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:50 am
Posts: 9
Hi gang,

Thanks everyone for the input.
Steve based on your advise after reading my needs I purchased Tanaka Sekiso Damascus 210: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tanakagyuto2.html.

It arrived today and opened my Christmas gift. Very pleased. Thank you!

SO do I really need to hone and strop a brand new knife to get the maximum sharpness possible?

Looking forward to more.
Ken


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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:19 am 
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Posts: 3620
Location: USA... mostly.
KEN <> I can confidently state the edge you received, out-of-the-box, on your Sekiso is absolutely positively without doubt and/or question in my mind NOT maximally sharp... maximally for me, at least. We could argue semantics about your usage of the term maximum as the ambiguity of the phrase "maximum sharpness" is confusing, but I think you're asking if knives can be sharpened and honed to a keener edge then they are delivered with. Of which, the answer is a resounding, yes though knives are mostly hand sharpened and honed at the bladesmith's and edges are as inconsistent as shades of black. Some come great, some suck, but they can always be improved. I never use a knife out-of-the-box unless it's for testing purposes. New knives go directly to the stones...

If the impetus to your question is, in fact, to sway your internal deliberations of buying a stone set or not, don't even waste the mind space... its not an option.. it's a requisite. Buying a knife, any knife, without the means nor intention to sharpen it is as foolish as driving a car with 25 pounds of air in its tires, 20# the next week, 15# the next, 10 the next, and so on until they no longer perform their duty. The car still works, but dangerously...



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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:24 pm 
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Ken - Glad you like the knife! Thanks for letting us know what you got.

+1 to what Melampus said!

IMO if the OOTB is decent, maybe use the knife for a little while, then try stropping it to see how the edge improves. It it's not to you liking, then do a sharpening. If you're already a good sharpener, then you'll probably at least want to refine the edge a bit OOTB by stropping.

Part of the reason to perform an initial sharpening is to get your own edge bevel on the knife, cut to the angles at which you like to hold the knife when sharpening. This makes subsequent stropping/sharpening much easier, since you'll much more easily match the edge bevel angles that you've already put on the knife. If you happen to be using an Edge Pro system, then you can choose with precision what angle you wish to use on the edge bevel.

Congrats on the Christmas present!


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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:50 am
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Ok, thanks. I asked because the bevel looks like a big angle as its just from a grinding stone. I was hoping all it would need is stroping and not re-beveling. Still sharper than any of my other knives OOTB though so yes I will use it for a bit as Steve alluded. And I agree with Melampus that why would anyone drive with an undertuned/miss maintained car/knife.
Highest whetstone I currently have is 1000 grit and it seems I need a 6000 grit now as well since the Japanese steel can take a sharper edge?

I need strop materials. All I ever stroped with (little actually time doing it) is a long strip of hanging leather.
I will get the Richmond Strop Kit then? The horse leather strip already has magnetic tape on it to attach to the base correct, and doesn't need the balsa wood to attach?


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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
Posts: 633
Having not owned a Tanaka I can't say for sure, but it seems from my research that most Japanese knife makers (even high-end makers) put a usable edge on their knives with the intention that the user will put the final edge they desire on it. So the edge you get will probably work just fine but it can be sharper if you want it that way. Again, I can't speak on Tanakas, but that is what seemed to be the case with my Yamashin knives. Granted they aren't in the same league as Tanaka, but even though they came sharp enough out of the box they REALLY shined after some minor sharpening and stropping. That being said, there are some makers that will put a very sharp edge on their knives (with what I have read, Goko is one of them and probably any maker that hand sharpens the final edge) but I am sure that there are those that will still endeavor to make them even sharper. lol

I agree with Steve. Use it first and see what you think about the edge and go from there. If it needs a little work, try stropping. If it still isn't good enough then hit the stones.


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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:13 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:44 pm
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Elfstone wrote:Highest whetstone I currently have is 1000 grit and it seems I need a 6000 grit now as well since the Japanese steel can take a sharper edge?

I need strop materials. All I ever stroped with (little actually time doing it) is a long strip of hanging leather.
I will get the Richmond Strop Kit then? The horse leather strip already has magnetic tape on it to attach to the base correct, and doesn't need the balsa wood to attach?


A lot of people would agree that a higher grit stone would be good, but you should be able to get a perfectly fine edge with the 1k grit stone and a stropping afterwards to refine it and polish the teeth a little bit. I also have a 1k stone and am looking to get a set that includes a 6k to help further refine the teeth left by the 1k, but it isn't absolutely necessary in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:47 pm 
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Ken - here are couple different ways you can go on stropping kits. (there are more choices of course)

#1 - If you don't have a stone holder or diamond flattening plate, this is a really good kit: "Strop Set w/3 x 8 Bovine" http://www.chefknivestogo.com/stsetwiunhob.html. This kit does not include any sprays or pastes. If you're coming straight from a 1K stone, try the Dia-Paste 3 micron compound: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/didico3.html. It would work great on the balsa strop (I wouldn't use it on the leather). I have used this combo coming from a 1.5K stone and it worked well for me. This is about a 5 or 6K equivalent grit. You can also try stropping on the bare leather strop as a final step after the balsa/paste combo.

#2 - If you have a stone holder/flattening plate, this is another option: "Richmond Strop Kit w/3 x 11 horse" http://www.chefknivestogo.com/haamstkit.html. The advantage here is the longer 11" size of the kit components + you get a 1 micron diamond spray. IMO going from a 1K stone to the 1 micron (about 16K) compound is a bigger jump than you probably want. You could again supplement w/the 3 micron paste on the balsa and use the diamond spray on the leather.


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 Post subject: Re: First Japanese knife. Sharp and smooth
PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2013 10:50 pm 
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Location: Peoples Republic of Massachusetts
I have the 240 Tanaka and didn't sharpen it for months. I did strop it right out of the box (the 11x3 kit). I am not a pro like Melanpus (not even close!! :) ) but the edge was more than sharp enough for my home use. I've had it for maybe a year or so and have only taken it to the stones once. As of right now, it falls through tomatoes like they're not even there! I'm sure you can find a bunch of post where Taz575 talks about how his would stick in the cutting board after stropping. I highly recommend getting some sharpening gear but I believe that you can get by with a strop for now.

Chris


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