Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:37 am
I guess the first question is the type of finish you wish to achieve. If you simply want a bright mirror finish with no contrast between the soft (jigane) and hard steel (hagane), then the Imanishi 10k, Nubatama 10k, Chocera or superstone 10k would be fine. The 12k superstone is a bit harder and still worth considering. You could also consider the Shapton 15k and 16k stones. Of these many feel the superstone leaves the brightest finish and it is a bit soft so that's it's advantage but it is easy to gouge for the same reason.
For a yanagi, you DON'T particularly want a very hard stone - either in a natural or synthetic stone, so I would rule out the Shaptons for that reason - and the 12k SS. Similarly I would rule out naturals like the Ozuku Asagi or Nakayama Asagi or other stones more suited to straight razors.
A natural stone finish is a much more aesthetically pleasing finish and has other benefits as well in terms of cutting performance. It is a more interesting finish. Going to 'bright' stones (Imanishi 10k Superstone 10k, etc) takes away this contrast, so for a contrasting finish you should consider going all natural or blending natural and synthetic stones that support this sort of blending.
So a 2k Nubatama works well in this regard, as does the 3k, 5k and 15k Bamboo stones. For achieving a nice contrast, going from the 5k Bamboo to the 15k bamboo is a sweet combination - even nicer than the 4k or 6k Bamboo. For a synthetic stone the 15k Bamboo for a yanagi or single bevel knife is as nice as it gets.
One of the best natural stones for yanagi is the Hakka stone - soft yet fine but not extremely fine like the Nakayama. You could consider this after the 2k Nubatama for instance or even put another stone inbetween like a Tajima. Depending on how flat the front bevel is, a Yaginoshima asagi used with a tomonagura would give you sufficient mud to give a uniform but refined finish.
Sun Nov 24, 2013 6:11 am
Thanks for the response Ken. You ask a good question with regards to what sort of finish to I want. My thinking is I'd like to try and retain the character of the blade, so if it has a good contrast that's certainly what I'll be looking for (the knife hasn't arrived yet so I am yet to see it first hand).
In your view would the Arashiyama stones be ok for this and then move from the 6k to say the 15k bamboo? Or would I better off sticking with the 5k bamboo?
Is this the Hakka stone you refer to http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hakkatomae.html
Could I go from the 5k bamboo to the Hakka or would you recommend another stone in between?
Do I need a tight progression of stones (1k, 2k, 4k etc) or could I get away with a 1k, 2k, 5k and then either a natural like the Hakka or the 15k bamboo?
Mon Nov 25, 2013 12:14 am
If your considering Nubatama stones then the 5k Nubatama bamboo stone is a very good stone for single bevels. It's not a very fast cutting stone but produces a very fine finish and near perfect contrast of hard and soft steels (with practice). It needs a good stone before it to get the most out of the 5k otherwise you will have a hard time getting out lower grit scratches.
The 2k bamboo for example is not a stone I would recommend before the 5k bamboo. The 2k is a bit to coarse yet for the 5k to be able to remove the scratches so I would recommend the 3k or other suitable choices.
Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:44 pm
The Arishiyama would be 'OK' but the 5k Bamboo would be much better.
Yes the Hakka Tomae is what I'm referring to. There are alternatives among Hakka Tomae from the stone shown to the more expensive stone I uded in the video to smaller pieces of Hakka Tomae and even smaller fingerstone sized pieces.
5k bamboo to Hakka would be a sweet combination. I would go with the 1 2 5 combination. You could do the 3k but the 2k is a more even distribution of effort. 2k to 5k is a 2.5 times increase. 1 to 2k is a 2x increase. 3 to 5k is less than a 2x jump. I generally recommend a 2k in this situation regardless of stone brand.
Tue Nov 26, 2013 9:08 pm
I would like to agree but going from the 2k bamboo to the 5k bamboo on a yanagi does not work.
Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:07 am
Loving all the great advice - especially from Ken and Jason, I know you guys are well respected on here.
So I'm starting to form an opinion that I'd like to go for a 2k bamboo, a 3k but not sure which stone, 5k bamboo and a Hakka.
So my remaining question are:
- which 3k stone would you recommend
- and do I need a 1k straight away - the knife will be knew and won't get a lot of use - otherwise which 1k would you recommend?
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