I spent literally a year looking for the best solution to sharpening cheapos. Mercer, Wusthof, NSF, Forschner, etc. I could not find anything better than the edge off a belt, my favorite being 120grit belt followed by a 1200 grit SiC belt, then 1200 grit rod.
But it had a long list of cons: 1. Messy 2. Easy to make a big mistake(overheat the tip, overgrind the edge on the corner of the platen) 3. People are scared of it because they don't know I'm not a steel-hogging nutjob 4. Belts wore out like every 10 knives, and were not free. 5. Power was a BIG hassle--it would require either an entire VAN or a generator or a complex battery system.
So I was set to figure out how to remove chips and found a solution in the Atoma 140x. The edge off that is too rough, and a 3 stone solution for cheap knives is a waste of time. I need one stone.
I tried about a dozen different 1k-2k stones trying to find one that performed best, picking qualities I needed. I usually used a 1k followed by some edge-trailing on a Shapton Pro 2k, which was not as good as the belt.
Then I got an Aotoshi. It had terrible feedback, was super chalky feeling, and left a comically shiny edge. First knives I tried it on were my Shigefusa and Tojiro DP, the knives I know the best--and the edge just plain SUCKED! Wouldn't be happy with that edge at all, not even for a 2k edge. I was bummed.
But then I tried it on a Dexter stainless, and it was magic! I couldn't believe it. Straight off the stone, this is the best performing, all-around edge I've ever gotten, but only for cheap knives. And it's fast enough to remove 140x finish, and leaves a noobie-friendly shiny edge. The stone is soft enough to gouge easily, which is great, because it means I can work fast on it and not worry so much about rounding edges or the corner of the stone riding high and damaging a knife by accident.
Here's a quick video for you guys to see what I'm talking about. Lots of sniffling and whatnot, it's allergy season.
Did I understood correctly that you are using a diamond plate to grind knifes and you are doing it professionally? I'm asking because I've let myself been told that diamond plates wont last very long especially with softer steels. I've been trying to decide if I should by a diamond plate or just a very coarse water stone. I'm mostly sharpening just my own knives so maybe I shouldn't worry so much about lifetime but somehow it seems to be important factor to me. And on the other hand I'm seldom in such a hurry that I couldn't manage with little slower water stones but I think this is interesting topic since it seems that diamond sharpening devices are coming more and more common all the time.
this is really interesting. I have seen in a woodworking cutting tool study that softer stones abrade around the carbide making them more exposed. and vg10 is know for large carbides. you will know if this is the reason if you try something like aeb-l on the two stones.
also, do you notice if the vg10 being more chippy from softer stones? if it's the case, would be good advice to give out.
I have tried AEB-L on both stones, and I don't like either AEB-L or VG10 off the Aotoshi.
As far as chipping, it is very different from company to company, because they heat treat the steels differently, but Tojiro's VG10 I do not find extra chippy off softer stones, only that is is chip prone in use--namely on a bamboo cutting board and when refreshed with a ceramic rod at work.
Funny you ask about that, I was just talking in another thread about DP chippage.
Eamon I usually use the big green brick on carbons and a few other stainless steel knives it does not do good on vg10, if I am not useing shaptons my prefered after naturals I hit mine with the dmt xxx, big red brick and than the naniwa on my aeb-l I discovered after soaking it for 30 mins or so I have to build up a lot of mud and keep it wet but I have experiences the chalk before and I had to scrub with a dmt hard i mean real hard and than I get the swarf on aeb-l I need but then I have to scrub like crazy again because it gets chalky. It will work I aeb-l but I skip it now and just go with my shaptons, no problems their. Peace but don't give up on it it does work great on European and carbons real well. Peace bro jmbullman