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 Post subject: Nubatama Bamboo 4K Exceeds Expectations
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:11 pm
Posts: 312
Location: NE
I unpacked the stone today hoping to find a great rock that would give me the response, feel, speed, aesthetics, and edge I have come to expect from the comments, reviews, and videos highlighting this Bamboo 4k.
Image Image Image

Just to give a point of reference, I purchased this to follow the Naniwa Aotoshi(green brick) in hope to find a transition stone to preclude a Jnat progression and also as a finishing stone for double bevel edges. I figured since most Nubatama stones produce some form of kasumi finish, this one may have enough polishing qualities to do both tasks.

This stone has a combination of speed and hardness that will play well with many types of steel. The attribute I found most present in this 4k is it's speed. Quite amazing actually. The first knife I put on it was the yanagi and it quickly scrubbed off the patina and replaced it with the new scratch pattern. Again, the speed is very impressive. The yanagi edge is finished with a more obtuse angle that does not follow the zero grind to the apex. Not quite a microbevel, as a microbevel is implemented for strength, but a complete and definitive removal of the burr. Using the 4K I was able to erase the edge back to a zero grind in no time. I was also able to slightly shape the hamaguri grind while resetting the edge; not much though, probably an immeasureable amount but it is enough to change the way light/reflections are seen on the blade road(for a 300mm knife face, it is a lot of metal to shape and it was accomplished relatively fast).

This stone is quite hard and dishes slowly. Now when I say slowly, I'm still experiencing dishing even after a short session but the amount of work done in such a little amount of time is worth it. I have not experienced any clogging as of yet(I've only used my nice knives on it, none of the soft stainless 'house' knives ;) ). As mud is created, speed increases greatly which is why I have no complaints with any dishing I've experienced. The feedback from a harder stone is valuable for finding and staying on a section or area of the knife and this stone does it well. I'll take all the help I can get :lol:

The finish this stone leaves is fair. It does not really excel with it's polishing ability. The scratches are small and still reveals a slight kasumi finish. It does leave a nice semi-mirror finish on the hagane. The jigane however just does not build to my desired level of contrast. It is still present, just not as definite as I desire. Even with mud raised and zero pressure, the stone just won't slow down enough to let the mirror/shiny spots soften on the cladding.

The edge produced is very aggressive and has tooth resembling a lower grit stone. There is some drag as the cut is started but, after the blade is in motion, it flies through ingredients smoothly(like how a chainsaw is smooth). It just keeps on digging until you hit the cutting board. Very easy to de-burr as this stone has good audible feedback. Matched with it's cutting speed, burrs are quickly abraded before it flips to the other side(chasing the burr is minimized); making the process clean and efficient.

Although the Bamboo 4K cannot quite make it look pretty enough for a polished finish, it makes a wicked edge, wicked fast. This would fall into the pre-finishing stone category, a set-up to a higher grit polisher and lands where it should in my lineup for what it's worth.

Image Image Image Image Image

Thank you Jason!


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 Post subject: Re: Nubatama Bamboo 4K Exceeds Expectations
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:37 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:47 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Thanks for the review, it sounds like it competes with lower grit stones, fast, toothy edge, low polish. Would you agree?

I wonder which Nubatama would be good to follow it, for a better finish on the blade road? Anyone have a solid suggestion? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Nubatama Bamboo 4K Exceeds Expectations
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:11 pm
Posts: 312
Location: NE
stevenkelby wrote:Thanks for the review, it sounds like it competes with lower grit stones, fast, toothy edge, low polish. Would you agree?

I wonder which Nubatama would be good to follow it, for a better finish on the blade road? Anyone have a solid suggestion? :)


The Bamboo 4K can match lower grit stones in terms of speed. It works very fast.
There is great tooth to the cutting edge. De-burring is clean and the knife just sings through food.
Workability is really good on this stone; like having cutting accuracy of GS whitout sacrificing feel. It feels like a stone should.

I apologize if I was unclear of my findings as low polish may not be the correct characteristic I am trying to describe. It actually has a finish that is more bright and mirror, almost white on the hagane. Very attractive. The finish on the jigane is not matte enough for my liking(the photos are a better reference than my written review). However this does not mean this stone is of low quality or overpriced. The Nubatama lines are so expansive that each stone possesses qualities and characteristics unique unto itself. So if the bamboo 4k is not the perfect one stone solution for all my needs, this could be it for someone else(those who use PM wear resistant steel should give this a second look. I'm sure Jason B. got something that suits his needs better but honestly, this stone is no slouch either.)

When you ask about better finish on the blade road, are you looking for higher contrast?
As for finishing on a follow up stone, I don't have a recommendation for a follow up Nubatama. :(
Natural stones will give you nice contrast. I finish by using a high grit synthetic and dropping to a coarser jnat to ensure all the scratches are converted when I'm finished. It also helps with food sticking to the blade. I will finish with jants to add more color to the Damascus cladding.
The Atago medium comes to mind. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/atmequ1.html
Possibly the Naniwa Snow White 8k. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nasnwh8.html
Or the Rika 5k. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/suri50grst.html


If you are looking for a high contrast stone this may not be the stone for you. Contrast on blade roads are best started with a more coarse stone like an aoto anyway. I would recommend the Bamboo 2k. I have not used it, but I hear good things. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/nubatama6.html

Using this 4k Bamboo makes me want to try the 3k Bamboo even more. That may be the next purchase :)


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 Post subject: Re: Nubatama Bamboo 4K Exceeds Expectations
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:55 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:47 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Thanks for the great reply. After your 1st post I was seriously considering the 4k stone, now even more so :)

I've nearly worn out my Suehiro Rika 5000, been using it for years and it's getting very thin! I've done a lot of polishing of blade flats, Yanagibas for example, finishing on a Takenoko 8k (sp?), or continuing with Fitz on cloth if I want a mirror. I sharpen for other chefs.

I also use the Suehiro as the last stone for 90% of knives I sharpen.

I love it but am keen for a change so wonder how the bamboo 4k compares, you don't have a Suehiro Rika do you?

Regarding better finish on the blade road, yes I would like more contrast. I suspect I need to try J nat stones but have never used a natural, yet.

I am also interested in the Bamboo 2k, and will read more about the Atago. A snow white is on the list too!

Thanks again,

Steve.


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 Post subject: Re: Nubatama Bamboo 4K Exceeds Expectations
PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:11 pm
Posts: 312
Location: NE
stevenkelby wrote:Thanks for the great reply. After your 1st post I was seriously considering the 4k stone, now even more so :)

I've nearly worn out my Suehiro Rika 5000, been using it for years and it's getting very thin! I've done a lot of polishing of blade flats, Yanagibas for example, finishing on a Takenoko 8k (sp?), or continuing with Fitz on cloth if I want a mirror. I sharpen for other chefs.

I also use the Suehiro as the last stone for 90% of knives I sharpen.

I love it but am keen for a change so wonder how the bamboo 4k compares, you don't have a Suehiro Rika do you?

Regarding better finish on the blade road, yes I would like more contrast. I suspect I need to try J nat stones but have never used a natural, yet.

I am also interested in the Bamboo 2k, and will read more about the Atago. A snow white is on the list too!

Thanks again,

Steve.



Natural stones are the way to go for better kasumi finishes.
I have used a Rika 5K though I do not own one. I didn't have a chance to use it on the yanagi, so I cannot compare the two directly. Apples to oranges unfortunately. I would say if you finished edges at 5K, you will be impressed with the speed and jump this 4K can offer.
The stone works for me as a transition point, and I never intended to keep the polish created on the yanagi. So for my purposes, it fits well. It was more of a test to see what it's capable of doing.
After some more time with it, I think this stone would be an ideal coarse stone for straight blade razor sharpening. Hard, dense, fast, easily releases mud for polishing/refinement. It would work well for some mild shaping and set-up for a 6k in progression.


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