I don't have a lot of sharpening experience, but I have tried about a dozen knives or so a couple of times (months apart) on just two stones. I've managed to get some knives very sharp, and some others (soft German knives) moderately sharp. In short, I can tell my sharpening skills are improving every time I get out my stones, but also that, depending on the knife, I can spend 5-10x longer on one versus another to get the same results. All of my knives have been sharpened from moderately sharp to hair-splitting, using a very cheap 1k-6k combination water stone, so I don't have any experience yet with re-beveling or thinning—all of my work has been matching or steepening factory grinds. Obviously, I want to upgrade stones eventually, but I feel good about learning on the cheap stone first. Any advice to the following can include suggested purchases for a course, 1k, and 4-6k stone (or whatever else). I'm not in to high-polish edges (spray strops, etc.).Question:
One set that eludes me are my Tojiro petty and – especially – pairing knives. They seem to like lower grit finishes and shallow angles best, but other people seem to sharpen this style of knife to high grits and steep angles. (I'd guess my Konos are at ~10-15 degrees and are a breeze to touch up, while the Tojiros, which "feel" half as sharp at best, are probably 20-25 degrees, and frustrate me to all hell on the stones.) I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong. The DPs seem thick behind the edge to me, but I'm not sure what grit I need to thin them, or if this is necessary. Sometimes the cladding makes makes it seem difficult to touch the edge at the angle I want, at least on the label side of the knife, without fear of scratching the cladding above. I'll add that – to my amazement – the tojiros feel screaming, toothy sharp at 1k, but often feel duller after I polish them on the 6k. Am I just missing the angle, do I need a new burr on the 6k, or is the a VG-10 phenomenon? Or perhaps it is unreasonable to expect my petty to feel [almost] as good on a carrot or apple as a gyoto?Bonus Question:
I'm also curious about polishing out the mistakes on my knives. I recently sanded the choil and spine of my masamoto vg with high-grit sandpaper (aluminum oxide, 60 grit). HUGE improvement, but now it looks pretty scratched up on those edges. And admittedly, this knife is my beater knife of sorts and has spent a lot of time in destination kitchens away from home, so it's received other scratches behind the edge along the way.
I also managed to barely scratch one of my HDs just above the bevel in a couple places. Do I use metal polish, a 6k or higher stone, or a high-grit sand paper to touch up these blemishes? And what do I do about the labels on this and the Tojiros, which will likely rub off if I polish them? I don't care about the labels per se, but it would be weird for them to run off very unevenly depending on where I have to polish.
I'm NOT at all trying to restore these to "like new" condition, but I'd like to build some techniques for dealing with the steel for general purpose use. If it means removing lots of steel, I guess I'd just let them be, but if this is purely cosmetic work, it seems worth it to get them looking as nice as can be.
Any and all suggestions are welcome, including links to the many postings that I have probably missed that already deal with these issues!