Discussion in 'Edged Tools' started by copenhagen69, Mar 3, 2013.
If you can only afford 2-3 stones ... Which grits would you get?
In for the responses. Looking to pick up a couple stones as funds allow.
I'd opt for an 8" course Dia-Sharp Diamond Stone, Shapton 1000 and a Shapton 6000 (maybe 8000) water stone. The course stone will repair an edge or change the angle of a bevel quickly if needed, but mostly I use it to keep my water stones flat.
How much money do you want to spend and what are you sharpening?
There is a forum member here who sells stones. I have all sorts but the cheap King combo stones, like 800/4000 are super handy, produce a great mirror polish edge and can be found around $40.
Not sure what your budget is or how serious of stones you need, but I prefer a couple different (grit textures) Norton Combination Stones for everything from reshaping an edge, use touch-up sharpening, or putting & keeping a perfect hand-honed convex on my ESEE knives.
Norton Stones are not huge money; and if you watch eBay periodically, there are usually some commercial kitchen vendors with some really good deals.
I bought a small combo stone for my son in the Marines - and paid a mere $14 shipped !!
Hey brother so I remembered about a Ray Mears video on sharpening knives that I had watched a year or so ago. He uses 800, 1200, 6000.
Here is the video.
220 , 600 and 1000. followed by a strop.
Been through dozens of stones , and that would be my choice. 220 for repair/re-profiling , 600 to get a good edge , 1000 to refine that edge , and a strop to polish/remove burr.
Yep that's me, currently we have Kings, Naniwas, and Shaptons in our shop. The higher end of all but we can get anything anybody asks for really.
On the original question I have 200, 400, 800, 1200, 3000, 6000, and 12000 but I probably have a few too many lol. I actually really like the 200/800 combo field use stone I have for getting dings and things out. For a home set on a budget I personally think about 800, 1200 or 2000, 6000 would be a good way to go like Mears says. If you can afford it you could add a fourth to it of a 10000 or 12000 but those aren't cheap. The 12000 I have personally is about $100 shipped from us and we have I think some of the best prices out there.
I have taught sharpening classes in the past, and what I usually recommend is that people start out with a 1k and 6k waterstone. specifically, I like the red brick 1k from Imanishi http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shak1gr1.html, or the king 1000 http://www.cellison.net/other/water-stones/king-water-stone-deluxe-1000.html, and the big 6k from king http://www.cellison.net/other/water-stones/king-water-stone-finish-stone-s-1-6000.html, and you will really need a system to flatten it, the easiest imo is a coarse or extra coarse diamond stone http://www.chefknivestogo.com/dmtextracoarse.html, which can also be used for serious re profiling, you can also use a plate of glass and abrasive grit or sandpaper if you are on a budget to flatten. And yes, make or buy a strop, it is definitely worth it. It can be as simple as a planed and sanded maple board with compound, woks great and is very inexpensive, here is some good compound http://www.chefknivestogo.com/choxd4oz.html i have also heard good things about bard river's compound, and lee valley i have used and like.
The reason i recommend these two stones is for several reasons
1. I have found, when teaching, that it is better for a beginner not to start out on a super coarse stone (say a 150 or 220) because your mistakes will be amplified, there is also less feedback on the coarse stones and it is more difficult to tell when your hitting the bevel. You will also spend more time working on your technique and foundation, rather than going back and fixing mistakes made with a coarse stone. I have also sharpened professionally, and found that most knives in most common conditions really don't need a coarser stone than a 1000 to set the bevel, with of some exceptions, and if you have a diamond stone for flattening these exceptions can be taken care of with it.
2. If you are going to "jump grits", as in, you only can afford a few stones, I really recommend these more traditional Japanese stones instead of diamond, western, ceramic, or synthetic (shapton, imanishi, chosera etc) waterstones. the reason is the grit ratings are more "flexable", the traditional Japanese stones develop a good mud / slurry, and with different pressure and quantities of mud, these stones will "act" like a bigger range of grits than the previous stones mentioned. If you do not know, the nature of these stones is to wear, with fresh grit being exposed and the sloughed off grit / binder forming a polishing mud where the grit particles fracture into finer and finer sizes. This makes the "jump" less dramatic than it would on say, a diamond stone, which is very unforgiving, and pretty much acts the same no matter what you do. Stones that act the same no matter what, like shapton glass stones, are great, but you have to have a bigger variety of grits and there less forgiving. This is especially true if your sharpening scandi grinds, where the wide bevel really takes allot to abrade, and if your progression is too far apart you will really slave trying to get the scratches of the previous grit out. Also keep in mind that US, European, and Japanese grit rating systems are all different.
3. these stones are big and will last, they also wont break the bank. having worn out lots of stones, im a big fan of large stones, and not so keen on double sided stones or smaller ones.
4. the attainable edge with these stones is superb, i have personally gotten hair splitting edges with this combination and a treated strop, I could not say that with most other types of stones.
5. the feedback is superb. When I say feedback, I'm talking about feeling and hearing how the stone is abrading to tell if your hitting your bevel or not, I have found these stones have some of the best feedback, with i would say probably the worst feedback being on diamond stones. You will learn much more listing to and feeling these stones as a beginner than you will on other types of stones. This is the reason i don't recommend the scary sharp method to beginners (sandpaper glued to glass), because even though its super inexpensive, it has really bad feedback and its hard for the beginner to learn what there doing.
hope this helps in your decision
Excellent advice it sounds like. I would ask if at all possible people don't link to our competitors in my own vendor forum lol. I don't mind so much because we are cheaper than almost anybody even with shipping but I do pay for this out of our advertising budget.
Our site is here and I believe we have an excellent selection and prices: http://www.cellison.net/other/water-stones.html
Oh I'm sorry, i didn't realize this was a vendor section, just saw it on recent posts. Your right your prices are good, I linked some of your products as well. You don't seem to have anything for flattening though? that new dmt xxc lapping-specific plate is pretty nice, id like to get one myself.
Yes we can get a huge range of accessories and other items here (we are actually in Japan) and those are on the list. There are quite a few brands and types made here, usually the old guys I talk too though who are master sharpeners just use the naguro stones, but I think a really low grit flattener with the grooves is easier for a new guy. Also planning on more brands and types of the stones. I am just completely overworked at the moment and in the middle of a move so it is all taking time. Traveling for two days tomorrow to take pictures and talk to knife makers that kind of thing.
My apologies. Fixed.
Actually I didn't even notice your link I just noticed chefknivestogo cause they are on my radar and a major price competitor. Honestly it is no big deal from anybody and I am 100% learning about his stuff myself and appreciate all the knowledge you guys have. I decided not to carry the diamond stones myself yet at least because they seem to only have very specific uses from my research.
It was poor form on my part.
I learned the flattening trick, if you will, several years ago when I was learning how to sharpen my chisels. It was definitely one of those "duh" moments when he showed us. The larger sized plate makes it easier to keep the stone flat without having to be careful of gouging the edges of the larger stones. 6" starts to get a bit tricky. I'd never use a pocket diamond plate on a stone. Not enough length to span any hills or valleys.
Thats awesome, glad to have another good stone supplier, and i will definatly be buying from you, especially if you start stocking the imanishi red brick and other imanishi stones (love there 10k!) . Not to hyjack the thread, but one thing ive been hunting forever for and would REALLY apreceate someone carrying is all grits of the atoma replacement pads. I want to make my own pocket sharpeners out of them (cut them into 1x6" pices and mount them back to back on some ss shim) it would be awesome if you could get ahold of them
As far as the diamond stones, most ppl use them for flattning waterstones. The atomas are awesome though, esp for establishing flat bevels where a waterstone would wear too quickly and dish, and youd have to make up for it on the next stone. If you have any questions about sharpening related stuff feel free to pm
Fyi most people that advocate not flattning waterstones or not being anal about it (like murry carter) are not sharpening scandi grinds, when your sharpening a wide bevel like a scandi grind or on a chisel, its essential that all the stones be accuratly flat or you will work allot on progressive stones trying to correct the convex bevil you have created with the dished stone. Also im not aware of anyone i know that uses the grooved flattning stone, they tend to dish aswell and dont last all that long, almost everyone i know uses glass or diamond.
I hate to say it, but ray's technique is not that great, however its by far the best sharpening video ive seen by one of the tv survival / bushcraft guys. If you want some comedy, look up bear grillas "sharpening" a knife in the field rofl
My main users are a DMT D11C (the 11" coarse bench stone. The 8" would be better but the 11 was on sale for less than the 8 when I bought mine), a King 1k, King 4k, and King 6k.
The DMT is mainly for flattening the water stones but I do break it out for serious edge work if I've done something stupid to a blade.
The 1k and 4k Kings get the most use from me for my knives with the 1k, 4k, and 6k all getting used for my straight razors.
I also have a medium white Arkansas stone that is my quick touch up piece and a natural Chinese stone that's super hard and in the 12-15k grit range that I use for finishing my razors as well as the odd touch up.
After I'm done honing I strop on a plain leather razor strop (I like bridle leather and horse hide or similar the best. Latigo is stickier than I like for razors). I also have a piece of balsa that I have pasted some Chromium and Iron Oxide powder to to use for quick touch ups when I'm too lazy to break the big boys out.
One of these days I'm gonna suck it up and order a 10k or 12k water stone.