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Newbie to knives : interested in Japanese knives - Page 2

post #31 of 43

I bought a Masamoto VG the other week, shipping was only 7$ and they marked it as a gift so I didn't have to pay duties or anything.  I was very happy with that.  


My Masamoto arrived sharpened asymmetrically(this is when one side of the blade is sharpened more than the other?).  On the right hand side theres a wide bevel, and on the left there is practically none near the tip of the blade but more near the heel of the blade.  I didn't ask for this sharpening setup, and frankly I'm a little intimidated because I want to sharpen this thing to it's full potential but I've never sharpened freehand before.  I think this may be the Christmas Day edge that was referred to earlier because the knife is already dulling and actually has a few small chips on the edge near the heel of the blade.


I am a tradition bound luddite so I'm going to buy some stones and try to learn.  I'm going to order some Naniwa Chosera stones from Paul's finest.  The have a sale on for "Naniwa Chosera Japanese Whetstone Sharpening Stones, Set of 3: 600, 1000, 5000" for 249$ CDN.  Is this a good deal?  There's also a 10000 grit for the same price.  I'm hovering here with my credit card about to make an impulse buy before heading to work.  Been here many times before, it's not a good place to be lol.  Please tell what stones to buy, pretend money is a non issue.  My knife needs sharpening and I have no stones aahhhh .


Kohno, I'm sorry jumping into your thread, I just couldn't help myself.

post #32 of 43

Well, this is a fine kettle of fish.


I'm going to start separate threads for Brisket's, Doug's and Yogi's questions, and just stick with Kohno's here.




You've decided.  That's good in itself.  You made a good decision.  The Kagayaki is a lot of knife for the money.  You made a right decision -- but since you already had the field limited to two good decisions a lot of the congratulations are retroactive.  Mazel Tov so far.


No caveats regarding ordering the Kagayaki.  JCK is a very good company with whom to business -- especially on knives.


I'm not a huge fan of their stone selection.  You can do better.  What I'm not sure about is who the best e-tailers are for Oz.  Shipping costs will probably be significant -- and yes, I understand that's a big part of why you're thinking from Koki (at JCK).   If shipping is expensive, you'll also want to consider whether to buy a complete set of stones now, a limited set to learn on, or a less-expensive learners kit that you can grow out of and replace in a couple of years. 


Some of those choice you'll have to make anyway. 


Give me a chance to respond to Doug -- today or tomorrow -- the answer may be helpful.  If it's not, we can talk more about yours.



post #33 of 43
Thread Starter 

thanks again bdl...


Alright... knives aside now...


Onto sharpening stones...  From one of the posts in another thread here, found a store here in Oz that sells Naniwa stones... any good?


Naniwa Triple Pack - AUD$265


Arato 400 grit

Nakato 1000 grit

Shiageto 3000 grit



Superstone Home Starter Pack - AUD$115


Arato 400 grit (thin stone)

Nakato 1000 grit (thin stone)



Which one(s)?



Also, not sure whether i understood right or not, do I need a ceramic hone or am I confusing myself when reading other threads?

post #34 of 43


Yes.  You need a good rod hone -- or at least it would make your life easier -- for the sort of knives we're talking about. 


Ceramic is the most bang for the buck.  Speaking of bang, you don't want to bang the knife aganst the hone when you steel.  If I don't have steeling instructions up on my blog before you get your knife, ask me here.


Naniwa is a HUGE stone company and make a lot of different stones and lines.  The one you want your stones from is the SS (Super Stone) line.


The Japanese names on the sets you're posting pretty much mean coarse, medium, and fine.  From a sharpener's viewpoint 1K is medium-coarse, while 3K is on the coarse side of medium-fine. 


If the first set is SS (like the second), it's the right stones in the right grits.  However, the normal US retail price of the 3K is only about 20% than the 1K, so I find the pricing bizarre. 


Possibly it's just Oz, possibly the two stone set is made up of 10mm stones, or it might be worth trying to negotiate the three stone price or hunt up an SS 10K from another dealer.


Something else to think about:  Naniwa SS are my first recommendation for a learning sharpening.  They are excellent stones and among the best at any grit level regardless of skill, but there are two or three better choices at almost every level for the skilled sharpener.  I wrote an embarassingly long and detailed post to Brisket, you might want to take a look.


Start with the 1K and don't use any other stone until you've  become consistently adequate with it.  The "Magic Marker Trick" will help you learn to hold your angles, help with pressure, and teach you to see.  One you learn to pull (and feel for) a wire and to deburr, and can do them every time that's good enough.


Then, do the same thing with the 3K, although you probably won't need the Magic Marker with it.. 


By the time you have that down, you'll be holding your angles steady enough and have a good enough idea of what you're doing that you can do some light profiling, flattening the bevels and thinning -- using the "Magic Marker Trick" for at least the first few outings.


All this will probably take something like 6 months or so.  By that time, your skills will have grown and credit card recovered sufficiently that you can start thinking about a polishing stone.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/1/10 at 5:19pm
post #35 of 43
Thread Starter 



Alright... a ceramic hone it is then... I THINK I know how to steel the right way... but will wait for your tips when you come up with one just to make sure..


In terms of the stones,

Yes, both of the packs are the SS lines from Naniwa and the first set is the full stone (2nd set just the 10mm ones).


Was even thinking whether I should just buy a 10mm 1000k grit stone first... and only get the rest when i'm more confident. It's not all that much savings getting them in the packs (saves AUD$5?) anyway and I'll be visiting the store itself to pick it up.


So I take that the main grits are:

400k - (used only to 'fix' knives?) and I dont think i'll need this anytime soon (hopefully)

1000k - use this for most sharpening

3000k/10 000k - towards polishing?



I've also read about flattening the knife? what does that mean??

post #36 of 43

I was in the same boat as you a few weeks ago, every place I've worked in have only used shuns pretty much and a few other chefs had global but no one with the better japanese knives. I ended up buying the Masamoto and I love it its the best knife I've ever used. I've also found another site that has a few good things (http://www.chef.com.au/) I ordered a few other things from them and they are supposed to be getting some better Japenese knives in and also the Naniwa SS stones. But I bought mine from chefsarmoury and they seem to be working fine for me at the moment.



post #37 of 43


Flattening refers to one of two things.  It can mean flattening the back of the knife, which is part of sharpening a chisel or hamaguri edge -- and probably has nothing t dow with what you're talking about.  Altertnatively, it cam mean flattening the edge bevels themselves, to get rid of any high or low spots. 


For a "V" edge, or for the cutting bevel on a multi-bevel edge flattening is critical to getting true sharpness.


If you're thinking in terms of a different purpose for each stone in a four stone setup: 

The coarse stone (around 150# JIS - 600#) is used for repair and profiling.  Profiling can mean a few things.  Sometimes it means thinning the knife, just above the edge at a more acute angle than the desired edge angle, to prevent wedging.  You don't need to do that often, maybe once a year at most.  More often it means flattening the edge bevel which gets messed up over time from steelng and quick, "drive by" sharpening sessions.  If the bevels aren't flat, the edge will be "wavy," and unable to be made true, fine or very sharp.   


The medium-coarse stone (around 700 to 2K) pulls the first wire, which may or many not be deburred in order to reveal a fresh edge, with a crisp bevel shoulder -- in other words it begins the actual sharpening process at the edge. 


The medium-fine stone (around 2K to 6K) refines the wire, which when deburred will reveal a fine, very sharp and very usable edge.  The medium-fine stone also polishes some of the scratch left by the 1K -- which refines the bevels as well as the edge, and, in turn, allows the polishing stone to be used with less repetition and effort.


The polishing stone (around 8K and up) doesn't do much sharpening at all.  Instead it polishes out the scuff and micro-serration left by the coarser stones so the knife drags less. 


Just like with the coarse stone, and unlike the medium stone(s), creating a burr on the polishing stone is unnecessary and undesirable -- although sometimes unavoidable.


Some knives can't take a high polish because the edges scratch too easily or corrode too quickly.  Some don't want them because they're reserved for tasks like butchering which are best done with knives which have a little tooth.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/3/10 at 11:24pm
post #38 of 43
Originally Posted by kohno View Post



Alright... a ceramic hone it is then... I THINK I know how to steel the right way... but will wait for your tips when you come up with one just to make sure..



well if you watch the pro chef's on television using a steel, it is the WRONG way to do it. unfortunately, so many people take pride in being able to steel fast and hard like the pro's... lol.

post #39 of 43
Thread Starter 

if  there's somewhere that'll show me how to steel a knife the right way then?





Originally Posted by Huy Bui View Post


well if you watch the pro chef's on television using a steel, it is the WRONG way to do it. unfortunately, so many people take pride in being able to steel fast and hard like the pro's... lol.

post #40 of 43

Kohno, you wrote:

[Is there] somewhere that'll show me how to steel a knife the right way then?


Read this first, then get back to me with any specific questions you might have.



post #41 of 43
Thread Starter 

Hey guys...


Just wanted to say thanks for those who have poured in their thoughts and advice - esp bdl... I've got my Kagayaki and loving it... still got to get used to how thin the blade is though.


I've not gotten around to buying sharperning stones and a honing rod though... that'll be the next mission to look into! :)


post #42 of 43

Glad you're lovin' it, dude.


Sticks and stones, eh?


Honing rod: 

Either an Idahone fine 12" ceramic; or a DMT CS2, which is another fine textured, ceramic rod.  Both are very reasonably priced, under $35, and both are well suited to your knife.  The Idahone is better made and uses a better ceramic than the DMT.  The DMTs are made around a metal insert, and are (nearly) unbreakable.  Unfortunately they often ship with some kiln "fluff" stuck to the rods and need to be cleaned up with sandpaper before using it. 



You can do a decent job of sharpening your Kagayaki VG-10 on oilstones.  But waterstones are more efficient, and they'll give you more leeway in terms of adding more Japanese knives to your kit. 


Beginners can do far worse than building a three stone set of Naniwa SS 10mm stones, with the idea of adding a fourth, polishing stone later.  It's a reasonably priced to get stones which are excellent "learners," because the stones and their integral bases provide so much feedback, and are good enough that you don't have to worry about outgrowing them.   Even though they're half-thick, they'll last a home cook for several years at least. 


Another option, and slightly less expensive, is a combination stone with a medium-coarse and medium-fine surfaces -- 1K and 5K, for instance; and use that until you've mastered the basics of sharpening and flattening; then adding a coarse stone, replacing the middle two stones with full size, and possibly eventually adding an ultra-fine polishing stone.


There are an awful lot of good stones on the market that will do just fine for Kagayaki, your budget and your current sharpening abilities.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/29/10 at 7:56pm
post #43 of 43
Thread Starter 



I already know where i can get the Naniwa stones here in Australia but somehow a challenge to find Idahone ceramics! Anyone here knows where i can get one locally here or which website offers them internationally?



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