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Japanese cooking knives: are $$$ stones neccesary?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by MyLegsAreOk, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. MyLegsAreOk

    MyLegsAreOk Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 31, 2017
    Do I really need to use those wildly expensive japanese stones and the glass ones to sharpen japanese cooking knives? I'm picking some knives up and figure I can just use the sharpmaker like with everything else (but vanadium carbides). Will they blunt in one shot and explode/melt if I don't pamper it?
  2. me2


    Oct 11, 2003
    I use a King 1000 grit and Sharpmaker for mine. I also have a Norton 220 grit water stone for rebeveling and thinning. I had a King 250/1000 combo stone, but the 250 side is gone.

    A word of caution about the Sharpmaker. Don't use the corners. Only the flats and only for microbeveling. Trying to use the ceramics to polish those wide blade roads/bevels will load them very quickly. I use the water stones for shaping and then do about 5 passes per side on the Sharpmaker flats at 15 degrees per side to microbevel. Ideally the microbevel is just barely visible as a thin line reflecting along the edge in good light. Sometimes it won't be visible even in bright light.
  3. cbwx34


    Dec 27, 2004
    You probably (maybe) can maintain them with a Sharpmaker... but in all likelihood, you won't enjoy the benefits of the knives you're getting. You don't have to get a "wildly expensive Japanese stone", to do it though... there are lots of options available (like the King or Norton mentioned above). :thumbsup:
  4. Jason B.

    Jason B. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 13, 2007
    Unless you are looking at Naniwa Chosera or J-nats then waterstones are not that expensive. You can get two quality stones for right around $100 and they will easily sharpen 95% of Japanese knives.

    One just coming back to CKTG, and my first quality waterstones, the Arashiyama 1000 & 6000. Great feel and great edges can be had with these stones plus they will last a while. Another great option is the Suehiro Cerax 1k/3k combo stone for $50.

    Lots of other options for $100 or less if you look.
    aufevermike likes this.
  5. MyLegsAreOk

    MyLegsAreOk Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 31, 2017
    I think I will look into the Suehiro Cerax. I already have ceramics, strops, and diamond stones so I don't want to sink another 1 or 2 hundred into more sharpening things. Getting on that steps from 1k to 3k for $71 sounds good, the King is 1k to 6k for $50 and I think that's too big of a jump.
  6. oldtymer

    oldtymer Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 7, 2014
    Norton water stones are priced reasonably. I have a220/1000 and a 4000/8000 combos.
    Covers everything from hatchets to razors.
  7. adamlau


    Oct 13, 2002
    Which Japanese cooking knives are you referring to?
  8. MyLegsAreOk

    MyLegsAreOk Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 31, 2017
    A Kasumi Pro Utility and Slicer
  9. wvdavidr


    Mar 21, 2007
    Why don't you think he/she will enjoy the benefits of the knives if using a Sharpmaker to maintain? Those rods are pretty fine and are easy to use. Just curious.
  10. adamlau


    Oct 13, 2002
    Japanese cooking knives typically feature wide bevels of which the Sharpmaker is not as adept at hitting, even with the rods placed along the bottom grooves. Moreover, cooking knives in the five and up range are easier to control and generally faster to sharpen on a stone. I do not have any experience with the Kasumi Pro line in VG-10, but if it acts anything like the Shun Classic in the same steel, you can get away with the Sharpmaker. Personally, I would look to a coarse stone for gross repairs and a medium grit stone for maintenance. You don't need to spend a bundle. But you should consider spending something :)
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.

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