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Natural stones for kichen knives

I'm looking for sharpening stones for my kitchen knives. I have a mix of western and Japanese knives. I'm currently using a cheap 2000/5000 combo wet stone. Since I like maintaining my straight razors with an awesome little coticule, my preference would be for natural stones for my knives.

I lap using silicon carbide powder, if that makes any difference, and I don't think I need to go sharper than 6000 or 8000 grit.

Any recommendations? I would rather not spend over $100 if I can help it, but would like more surface area to work with than my 2.5x7" combo stone.
 
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Well. I'm a chef and I have a constant rotation of knives to sharpen. Japanese and European carbon and stainless.

On my stainless European I use a 400 and 1200 grit diamonds or norton india stones and finish on either a medium spyderco ceramic or a coticule with heavy slurry.

On my Japanese I sometimes use the diamonds sometimes japanese synthetics 400-1000-3000 finish on coticule or something else.

If I had to choose one set for everything it would be 2 diamond plates and a large coticule

If I had to do it cheaply the two combination naniwa work stones. pretty good for the price. And 3k can get knives as sharp as you'll ever need as long as you has set the bevel well.
 

David

The Fur Burglar!
There's many many options for what you're looking for. The first thing that came to my mind for maintaining your knives is a piece of BBW. It would be under your budget, and you could also use it on your razors.
If you don't mind working with oil a hard ark would work well also.
 

Steve56

Ask me about shaving naked!
Finding a natural that's under $100 and a comfortable knife size is going to be pretty limiting if not forcing you to something less than good.

A decent hard Washita after a diamond plate or a 1k might do you well, but to be honest I'd probably just go for a $50 Suehiro Rika 5k.

Cheers, Steve
 
There's many many options for what you're looking for. The first thing that came to my mind for maintaining your knives is a piece of BBW. It would be under your budget, and you could also use it on your razors.
If you don't mind working with oil a hard ark would work well also.

David,

Thanks for coming over and posting. Please teach us about all the sharpening lingo. I've got a Japanese combo-stone and a nice Japanese chefs knife. What now?
 

David

The Fur Burglar!
I have a lot of natural stones but most of them I use exclusively for straight razors. When I do use naturals for my knives it's either BBW, a striped iyoto or my soft and hard Arkansas. Usually for my knives I use synthetics, and there's so many good choices it's hard to know where to start. If you're just maintaining kitchen knives and not trying to get them stupid sharp, the Naniwa Aotoshi 2k (AKA "the green brick) is a really nice, budget friendly option. It's on the softer side so it does require lapping but this can be done with wet dry sandpaper. I'm not sure I'd use SIC on the softer synthetics as you could run the risk of contaminating your stone. I used to go up to a really high polish on my kitchen knives but these days I usually stop around the 2-3k level-I've found that's sharp enough for my kitchen needs and my girlfriend was complaining about the knives being too sharp.
Take a look at www.chefknivestogo.com they have a huge selection of stones and informative videos on how to use them.
 
Finding a natural that's under $100 and a comfortable knife size is going to be pretty limiting if not forcing you to something less than good.

A decent hard Washita after a diamond plate or a 1k might do you well, but to be honest I'd probably just go for a $50 Suehiro Rika 5k.

Cheers, Steve

Steve,
Can anyone even buy decent Washita for 100 anymore? It's been a while since I looked, but there were scarce about 2 years ago and hitting close to the 100 dollar mark. OP, if you can find one, they're great stones.

I'm not recommending the following process as my use case is unique, but I just use my stupid hard translucent arkansas and mineral oil on my knives. My goal is to smooth the arkie out for better performance for the razors, but it does get the knives ridiculously sharp, albeit very, very slowly. It's inefficient and tiresome, but it works. How's that for a recommendation?
 
Thanks guys. What I'm getting is that a hard synthetic stone (or two) is the better way to go.
 
Thanks guys. What I'm getting is that a hard synthetic stone (or two) is the better way to go.

Yeah finding a good natural with the specifics you mentioned is going to be hard since you are looking for >= 8"x3". Now if you want you could try a DMT 8k, Shapton 6k or 8k, or go with the suehiro brand for your knife finisher. But though it can have it's difficulties anything >5"x3" I would consider good for large kitchen knives though you may have to work around some difficulties. But that is the stamp of a good honer, being able to work with what is available.

Check this out:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hinak.html

But I will let the Jnat experts help you out since I am new to them myself, but with a good Jnat you can get a wide grit range, get a crazy sharp edge and stop where you want. Give it a good base and it may work well for your knife.
 
Yeah finding a good natural with the specifics you mentioned is going to be hard since you are looking for >= 8"x3". Now if you want you could try a DMT 8k, Shapton 6k or 8k, or go with the suehiro brand for your knife finisher. But though it can have it's difficulties anything >5"x3" I would consider good for large kitchen knives though you may have to work around some difficulties. But that is the stamp of a good honer, being able to work with what is available.

Check this out:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hinak.html

But I will let the Jnat experts help you out since I am new to them myself, but with a good Jnat you can get a wide grit range, get a crazy sharp edge and stop where you want. Give it a good base and it may work well for your knife.

That stone is so sexy. I'll probably take any excuse to get one :laugh:
 
This thread is interesting to me as I was just having a close look at my knives over the weekend. I really need to give them some love, but am starting from scratch in that I have no sharpening supplies at all. I too would like to set myself up with a stone or two to sharpen and maintain them all. The list of stones is quite overwhelming.
 
This thread is interesting to me as I was just having a close look at my knives over the weekend. I really need to give them some love, but am starting from scratch in that I have no sharpening supplies at all. I too would like to set myself up with a stone or two to sharpen and maintain them all. The list of stones is quite overwhelming.

1. What type of knives are you sharpening?
2. What are you willing to spend?
3. How Sharp are you wanting?

Edit:
I forgot one of the most important questions
4. What items are you cutting and with what?
 
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1. What type of knives are you sharpening?
2. What are you willing to spend?
3. How Sharp are you wanting?

Edit:
I forgot one of the most important questions
4. What items are you cutting and with what?

I'm a hack and your probing questions only reinforce that I have no idea what I have or what I'm doing.

The knives I have are Henckels, some sort of stainless and they probably came from a department store like Macys. I dont think the set would have been more than a couple hundred bucks. Hopefully that gives an indication of what I'm dealing with. The knife I use most, by far, is a chef knife and this gets used for everything from slicing veggies, to chopping herbs, to trimming meats. I use another knife from the set that has a similar size blade to the chef knife, which by googling images, looks like a sort of santoku knife - at least it has that shape. The paring knife sees much less use as as does the serated bread knife. Upon close inspection of the straight edged knives, I can see that the cutting edges are not in good shape. There is some chippping (is that the right word?) so I would need to remove a good bit of metal to restore the edge.

I dont have a ton of cash to put into sharpening stones at the moment, so the less money the better with a max of $100. I'm interested to learn how to maintain knives more so than save the knives I have. Ultimately, I'd like to spend some money on some nice knives but I don't want to do that until I'm prepared to maintain them.

As for "how sharp?" I have no idea how to answer that. I get by with the knives I have and the honing steel, even though they are not in great shape. I can tell when the knife is overly dull, so I hit it with the steel and can feel the difference. One thing is for sure, I dont need to shave with these knives.
 
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I'm a hack and your probing questions only reinforce that I have no idea what I have or what I'm doing.

The knives I have are Henckels, some sort of stainless and they probably came from a department store like Macys. I dont think the set would have been more than a couple hundred bucks. Hopefully that gives an indication of what I'm dealing with. The knife I use most, by far, is a chef knife and this gets used for everything from slicing veggies, to chopping herbs, to trimming meats. I use another knife from the set that has a similar size blade to the chef knife, which by googling images, looks like a sort of santoku knife - at least it has that shape. The paring knife sees much less use as as does the serated bread knife. Upon close inspection of the straight edged knives, I can see that the cutting edges are not in good shape. There is some chippping (is that the right word?) so I would need to remove a good bit of metal to restore the edge.

I dont have a ton of cash to put into sharpening stones at the moment, so the less money the better with a max of $100. I'm interested to learn how to maintain knives more so than save the knives I have. Ultimately, I'd like to spend some money on some nice knives but I don't want to do that until I'm prepared to maintain them.

As for "how sharp?" I have no idea how to answer that. I get by with the knives I have and the honing steel, even though they are not in great shape. I can tell when the knife is overly dull, so I hit it with the steel and can feel the difference. One thing is for sure, I dont need to shave with these knives.

So I don't hijack the OP's thread here I'm going to send you a PM.
 
So I don't hijack the OP's thread here I'm going to send you a PM.

I was thinking the same thing after I posted it... Thanks rlmnshvstr8

Vlad, Sorry about derailling your thread. In my ignorance, I thought we might be looking for something similar at a similar pricepoint, so I piled on here. I apologize.
 
I was thinking the same thing after I posted it... Thanks rlmnshvstr8

Vlad, Sorry about derailling your thread. In my ignorance, I thought we might be looking for something similar at a similar pricepoint, so I piled on here. I apologize.

Not at all. I'm basically in the same boat as you!
 
Natural rough stones are hardish to come by. For kitchen knives I like my synthetics on the lower grits and I follow up with the naturals. Euro steel I do a 400 Naniwa followed by my Green Brick of Joy 2k. For my double beveled J-knives the sky is the limit with how much of a fruit ninja I want to be. I usually go 400, 2k, JNAT but sometimes I'll go 400, 2k, 4k Shapton GS, 8k Shapton GS.

Lots of options. It all comes down to what you want to spend and what you have on hand already. I have a BBW and white colored belgian coticule that I forget the type of. It all works!

Single beveled knives get a different treatment but not by much... Stones are versatile.
 
I just used my coti to finish a knife, and I really liked it. This might be the tool to quickly refresh an edge. Ago then maybe I just need a good sized coticule!
 
As a chef the first reccomendation is to get a good steel. Using a steel properly to hone your knife will keep your edge sharp. Unless you are really hammering away a lot a steel should keep your knife sharp for a month or two at least. Think of the steel like a strop for your razor. That being said a really fine natural is usually to fine an edge for a knife. Arkansas are nice but generally slow cutting. Synthetics cut faster but especially with a chef knife can be prone to dishing out until you really get a hang of it. I have used all different sorts of things. Currently though (and this is my best set up so far) i have a 3 stone set up similar to a norton im3 (different brand) but i have 3 dmt 11 inch continuous plates. Coarse fine and extra fine. They dont dish, cut fast and will last forever. I set up a stand at the farmers market and do sharpening there. Also if it is a decent knife with quality steel i finish on a 10 by 3 bbw that can be had from ardennes for just under 100 i believe. The dmt plate set for the three can be had as a set for about 279 from one of the sharpening websites. Though i cant remember wich. You could use a bbw with slurry to watwr all the way but pretty slow and tedious. I will say avoid most places that do free sharpenings as they use machines that will take a good amount of steel off. I tought demo classes at a williams sonoma store for a while and the machine they use for sharpening has interchangeable peices that will match the existing angle a n d blade geometry of all diferent knives and they typically charge 5 bucks a knife or so. With a good steel used often and properly you could realistically get them sharpened every two months or so and be in a good place.
 
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