jackknifeh wrote:It seems to me there is less difference in how fast steel is removed whan going from 1k to 2k or 4k, etc. But the steel removal amount between 1k and 500 is drastic.
You're on the right track, but it's not all about steel removal. Yes all stones remove some metal, but a low grit stone is really where you are trying to remove metal to set your edge. The main purpose of the following stones are to remove the deep scratches from the previous stone to take your edge to a higher refinement. There is a bigger difference between particles sizes at the low end than there is at the high end. Thus, smaller jumps on the low end really help with removing scratches more efficiently.
IMO, The jump from 500-2K would work and give you a nice toothy edge. However, if you want a more refined edge you will spend a lot more time on a 2K than you would on a 1K to completely remove the scratches from the 500. In the end I think it depends more on the type of edge you prefer than one stone is always better than the other.