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Starter stones

Sun May 05, 2013 6:11 pm

Hi all,

I am looking for a good set of starter stones. I have used stones at work and have had good results, so I'm not completely novice to sharpening. However, it is finally time to get serious about stones and get a dependable set of my own instead of relying on a heavily used chosera 1k and 4k to sharpen my knives. I have several tojiro dp knives with the vg-10 steel and i want a Goko gyuto 240mm for a basic introduction into carbon knives. Point being I want a set of stones that can cover multiple steel variations from AEB-L, carbon, AS etc. I like to have multiple types of steel in my kit and I want my stones to be able to keep up. A buddy of mine recommended the norton combination stones that come in a kit of 220/1000 and 4000/8000. But I have read that the shapton stones are quite nice and are great for quick results, but I'm unsure what a good set wild be. Looking to spend about 200 for a good set that I rely on and maybe make a few tweaks to down the road. Thanks for any help/input.


Re: Starter stones

Sun May 05, 2013 6:38 pm

DEVIN <> http://www.chefknivestogo.com/knshcoset.html

Re: Starter stones

Sun May 05, 2013 7:00 pm

Thanks for that melampus. I've heard that is a great set, but the beston and bester require long soak times and the riska I hear wears easily. What sets have worked for you. Or maybe not just sets but how do you set up your kit?

Re: Starter stones

Sun May 05, 2013 9:56 pm

Welcome Devin,

I have this set - http://www.chefknivestogo.com/4pcshstset.html - and added a Shapton Pro 320 for a coarse stone - http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shaptonpro320x.html
All are splash and go, dish slowly and work well together. I later bought a Shapton GS 3k as a finisher for softer steels. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shglst30gr1.html

Other good places to start under $200. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shgl50set.html
or http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shpro3pcset.html

Re: Starter stones

Sun May 05, 2013 10:33 pm

WALL <> You can pretty much take Boar's words as the gospel, and although he did just write that, if you continue reading he expounds how effective a set it is. It had been tediously pieced together due to their efficacy. Bang for the buck, it's nearly impossible to improve upon. The Beston likes a long soak... 60 minutes it will take, but you can get away with less. The Bester can take 60 minutes, but it is not a rule & it will perform with less. The Rika wears, but honestly... how much sharpening do you do.?! And if you already do that much sharpening, you are used to going through stones. The Bester/Rika is an awesome combination... truly is.

That said. I have a 140 Atoma, 500 Beston, 600 Atoma, 1000 Minosharp, 1200 Nubutama Bamboo, 1200 Bester, 1200 Atoma, 1200 King, 2K Shapton Pro handstone, 2000 Naniwa Aotoshi, 3 micron HD diamond film, 3000 King, 3000/4000 Wusthof, 1000/4000 Norton, 5000 Suehiro Rika, 5k Shapton Pro handstone, 6000 King, 8000 Kitayama, 8k Shapton Pro handstone, Jnat Yaginoshima w/matched nagura, 15k Shapton Pro handstone, Jnat Ozuku Asagi...

I never let my knives get really dull, and I respect them in use so they're never in bad shape. On knives, the Atomas only get used for repairs, or for sharpening my ceramics. My hard steel progression typically starts off with the Nubatama Bamboo 1200, then into the Rika 5k, then on to a Yaginoshima Japanese Natural, and I finish with a quick stropping on an Ozuku Asagi Jnat, naked leather, or 1micron charged leather strop... depending on the knife.

On soft steel, most of the time I lead in with the Nubutama, and finish on the Naniwa Aotoshi. Sometimes I will polish up to the Rika on them. Sometimes I just use the Norton 1000/4000 combo stone.

Re: Starter stones

Sun May 05, 2013 10:49 pm

For a starter splash-n-go set there are tons of ways to go, but basically you want a decent progression and a flattner. Here is a good way to go around your budget range (considering splash-n-go as a priority):

Shapton Glass 320- $50
Shapton Glass 1,000- $57
Suehiro Rika 5,000- $50 - I prefer this to the Shapton Glass 4K and it can produce a broad range of polish. It needs to soak but It can do that while you are working on of the other stones.
140 Grit Diamond Plate and Universal Stone Holder- $50

Total $207 but this will provide a flattner (very important) and a broad range of stones.

I only have experience with the Shapton Glass, so the Shapton Pros may be a better way to go, but someone else will have to chime in on that.

Re: Starter stones

Mon May 06, 2013 11:53 am

Thanks for all the helpful advice. I went with the 1k Arashiyama and the 6k Arashiyama , 140 xxc diamond grit flattner and holder , and I got the Rika 5k for finishing softer metals such as my tojiros. I have a shitty mystery brand 200/600 stone from school so I figured I could use that for repairs till I get a nicer 320 Shapton. So progression 1k, 5k Rika, finish with 6k ( for harder metals like my white steel #1) . I hear the Arashiyama 6k is almost like an 8k in reality... Truth behind this? Or should I look at possibly getting a 10-15k Shapton to finish off harder metals?

Re: Starter stones

Mon May 06, 2013 12:43 pm

WALL <> A stone's abrasive particles in the mud you create by sharpening will refine down to smaller than the original rating. Therefore, the more you work the mud the finer the "grit rating." Just back off on the pressure, lightly irrigate w/o washing the mud away, and work the mud for further refinement.

A cool trick is to get a cheap balsa strop ($8.95), and charge it with excess mud from a stone when you're done; instead of washing it away down the sink. Later on, I use the strop instead of soaking a stone for a quick touch-up...

Re: Starter stones

Mon May 06, 2013 2:27 pm

Your off to a very good start, I think you'll like those stones.

Re: Starter stones

Mon May 06, 2013 8:58 pm

The Arashiyama is just a really good 6k, and for softer metals the 1k-6k Arashiyama combo works very well. The only thing a harder metal requires is more stones to make smaller jumps in grit.
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