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Which Sabatier? - Page 2

post #31 of 51

As Blaise Pascal (and Mark Twain) said.... I'd have written a shorter note if I had more time.


I'm not sure what sharpening resources you've been pointed to, but I think all of these.  A short checklist:


Chad Ward's chapter from "An Edge In the Kitchen" (also online on the egullet site)

The first several videos on the CKTG site

The videos on the Japanese Knife Imports site (particularly, IMO, the "Angles of Approach" video is helpful for new folks who are otherwise looking at the CKTG videos)


Off the top of my head, that's probably plenty to begin. I'd emphasize (again) using the sharpie to paint your edge so you can see whether you're hitting it, or too obtuse; and  using the "handle" hand to maintain the angle, and (maybe this is more individual, but usually) the hand on the blade with less-than-instinctive pressure. Monitor whether you are pressing hard enough to cause extra wobble.  Some people do press very hard on purpose, and it works for them.  But I'm pretty sure you'll want to learn to go lighter before you'll get much out of learning to bear down more.


Good luck with finals. And don't think you're anything like the most "anal" of forum participants.  No worries there.

post #32 of 51
Thread Starter 

Somehow I just noticed this now!


Have the TI nogent and buying a soft/hard combo from Hall's as well as an idahone.


Thanks a bunch Wagstaff and sorry again for not seeing this sooner! The finals went swimmingly, thanks for the luck!

post #33 of 51

Glad you checked back in -- I love that 10" Nogent chef's!

post #34 of 51
Thread Starter 

It feels great in my hand, I've been drooling over it but I won't let myself sharpen it until I've sharpened the rest of my collection, I'm being extra cautious!

post #35 of 51

If you don't use a coarse stone, you won't do anything unfixable.


Mine had a workable, though not "good" edge, OOTB.  I sharpened three knives the first day I sharpened.  That one... well, I scratched the face of the blade up a bit, but still got a sharper than new edge very quickly.  Tip a bit ugly (and I don't get to practice enough to know how to get that "right" still), and because of the finger-guard, the heel has a heavier scratch pattern -- less polish -- than the rest.


Still, not getting it done really well doesn't ruin the knife. So have at it, I would encourage.  And you'll get better. Just don't use a coarse stone till you feel good about your sharpening.


For what it's worth.  I don't know about your plan -- I didn't have a bunch of beaters to work through; but my understanding is that they feel different enough that maybe they're not the best preparation for sharpening a better steel, anyway.

post #36 of 51

I'll (a) sharpen that tip for you; (b) teach you do it yourself; and (c) you owe me lunch.

post #37 of 51

BDL... very generous of you! I'm in.  Though I think my problems with sharpening mostly come from ... not needing to do it often enough to get really good practice time in.  Not sure I need to "know" something more so much as to practice.  And I don't have a whole lot of knives (or dull the edges very quickly).

post #38 of 51
Thread Starter 

Wag, thanks a bunch! I do have a bunch of 'beaters' to go through first. As for quality although they aren't quite in the same range, I have a wusthof Ikon and some stainless lion and K sabatiers to do first, give me a feel for'em I guess!


As for BDL's offer, you're a lucky man Wag!

post #39 of 51
Thread Starter 

Hullo guys! Still haven't bought the stone yet, had to save up. Saw this on Chefknivestogo:


Is it worth it instead of the Hall's Arkansas? As with the idahone I'd be saving an arm and a leg in shipping. Hall's doesn't offer great rates to Canada...



post #40 of 51

Unlike the Hall's Arkansas, that is a waterstone -- (maybe you know this already). If you do know that already, then there are differing opinions on combination stones 'round here.  I'll leave it alone till we get the first part out of the way, though....

post #41 of 51
Thread Starter 

I was just checking as I saw recommendations both for Norton and King stones as well as the Arkansas. I've also read that stones are best used dry (somewhere). This brings us down to...what's the big difference when we break it down to sharpening some sabs?


My issue is that shipping to my place in Montreal from the US is often hideously expensive and I'm looking to pick up a 12 inch Idahone rod as well. Argghhhh the frustration!


As for combination stones...not a good idea?


Thanks again for tolerating my ignorance Wag lol

post #42 of 51

My ignorance is strong, too.  So there.


Especially, for current purposes -- in that I've used oil stones (yes, dry), but ... like.... once in the last 20 years, and once or twice very incompetently before that!  But you did not read that waterstones are best used dry.  They need water.  Some are "splash and go" and some need to be soaked for a while before use.  But never dry.  You did read (probably here) that oil stones are better used dry.  I'll point you at various very wise and detailed posts BDL has made on the subject.  (Really just put "BDL" and "Arkansas" in the search bar and you'll find that).


Water stones wear away over time.  The abrasive works for that reason -- it comes loose from the top of the stones in small amounts.  Some more than others.  So the two sides of stone will wear away at different rates.  Basically one argument is that they're not cost-efficient in the long run.  They're two separate, smaller stones, glued together. You can only work from one side of each, they are thinner (I guess I meant that when I said "smaller"), if you use them a fair amount at all it just gets more expensive to replace than separates.  And also you might find that you don't like the same brands in the two different grit sizes.  So you get some advantages from separates both in terms of choosing what's "good" and in terms of replacing what you need when you need to.  That's one side of the story.


The other is that if you don't yet know how committed you are to sharpening, if you don't do it a whole lot, if you don't have much cash to outlay on the front end.... well, it's a cheap way to get your feet wet.  (And it's what I did, it seemed like a good way to start and just learn the basics).


Waterstones were really made for harder japanese knives.  They are faster than oil stones.  (Used dry, or with water, or with soap and water). But maybe not relevantly so on knives like the Sabs.  I'm sure you got the Arkansas stone, dry, idea from BDL.  Who knows more about sharpening carbon Sabs than ... for all practical purposes, anyone. I'm pretty sure he'll tell you the oil stones are more ideal for the carbon Sabs, though water stones will work.  And then I don't know about the cheap/combo water stone, in particular, as a comparison to the oil stones.


I've sharpened a kitchen knife on oil stones once, ever, in memory, on stones that was (like the knife) purchased by my father in 1961, and treated badly.  (OK, unlike water stones, they oil stones aren't going to wear away and have you sharpen in the "mud" of the dissolving stone -- they just don't work on that principle -- but they do get loaded with swarf from the blade, and need to be cleaned appropriately so they're not just completely filled in/loaded up with knife-powder.  The stones I used were not maintained properly.  This is all to say... it's not my thing, I've done it very little and under very poor conditions.  It totally "worked" to get the knife sharper anyway, but.... I can't really speak knowledgeably about whether the edges are longer lasting or otherwise better or the sharpening experience is better or how... or if it's a matter of the oil stones actually being cheaper than a comparable quality water stones, all that.


You need to hear from BDL on this.  He's got 4 different sharpening kits.... two of which are at least in the ballpark of the comparison you (and I) are trying to make here.


And I *do* have some carbon Sabs, I have sharpened them on an inexpensive combination stone, it totally worked.  I learned to sharpen on that one. And on the other hand, yes it did turn out more expensive in the long run... but that was fine with me.  I sort of figured out a little bit more about what stones I wanted, and I learned a bit about sharpening over that time, and I gave the (not very worn away at all) combination stone to my sister, who has a Japanese knife now.... I have no regrets about the inexpensive combination stone.  (BTW, it wasn't the same one you're looking at, nor from the same vendor.  But I was buying a bit blind and have no idea how they compare with what you're looking at.


Yet... circumstances were different in that I needed something for harder steeled Japanese knives as well as the Sabs, so I *needed* water stones.  I'm considering buying a kit for my father, who has never touched water stones and doesn't need them for the knives he owns.  And that would be oil stones, because he's more comfortable with the idea and he has knives that don't need water stones. (Even if I can't quite make it clear that he should boil the oil out of them and use them dry).

post #43 of 51
Thread Starter 

Ok ok so before my brain implodes...


Water stone/whetstone, same bird? Or are whetstones just generic terms for any sharpening stone? I have a 1k whetstone which I've been using dry (probably not a good thing now that I think of it, explains the dust everywhere). So guess I should soak that or splash it...


Ok so that leads me to this: I don't know if it violates forum rules but would you guys be able to tell me what would be best to order from chefknivestogo? Ordering my stone from the same place that sells the Idahone steel is the only way to save myself from abhorrent shipping. I'm really just sharpening a nogent chef's and a bunch of stainless sabs!


So I grasp that a combination is a nice newbie choice BUT it should be an oilstone (which I'll use dry) correct?


Sorry for answering with so little but I'm at work (tsk tsk)


Thanks again for all the help!!!!

post #44 of 51

"Or are whetstones just generic terms for any sharpening stone?"


Yes.   From


[hwet, wet] Show IPA verb, whet·ted, whet·ting, noun

verb (used with object)

to sharpen (a knife, tool, etc.) by grinding or friction.
I don't know what you're using. I expect it's not a water stone.  (Now we're getting somewhere!)
But I don't know enough about oil stones to suggest what you should get from CKTG, or whether they even sell oil stones.  ...
post #45 of 51
Thread Starter 

Ahhh this is making more sense, I'll assume though from pictures that this thing is a water stone following your assumption.




What kind of animal does one have to sacrifice to summon BDL? Any suggestions?


So much time put into getting the right thing, I think our love of knives is probably quite scary to most people (even if they are kitchen knives).


Thanks a bunch Wag!!!!

post #46 of 51

A goat will do.  I'll be back tomorrow and answer your questions as best I can.



post #47 of 51
Thread Starter 


post #48 of 51

Any sharpening stone is a whet stone, including water stones.  People often confuse whet with wet, so a lot of words end up getting wasted.


Oil stones -- including Arkansas stones -- have their strengths and limitations.  They're by and large too slow for strong steels; but do a very good job on tough ones.  Sabatier carbon is not very strong, but is fairly tough.  A good oil stone kit is a good choice for them; but a good water stone kit can be almost as good or even better.  It depends on what you're trying to do and your skill levels.  Until you have a very good idea of what to do and how to do it, whether you use oil stones or water stones won't make much difference except in terms of how you care for the stones themselves. 


Water stones  need to be used soaked or at least wet.  Their abrasives are held in a substrate which is continually washed away to reveal, fresh, friable abrasive.  Because they wear and dish so quickly, they also need frequent flattening and chamfering.  On the other hand, oil stones need LOTS of cleaning.  I find oil stone maintenance less irritating, but they're not fast enough for many modern knives.


Natural stones make for more durable edges than synthetic stones.  And while I have some stupid hypotheses, NO I don't know why.  Arkansas stones are naturals.  In addition the two finest grades of Arks, black and translucent, are about as fine as you can practically take a carbon Sabatier and the edges are extremely long lasting.  Not that the alloy won't take a polish but the scratch hardness is so low that a Sab won't hold a high polish for long.  Not that I haven't taken mine way beyond practical just because I can.


The King 800/6000 combi is certainly good enough; but wouldn't be my first choice.  If you can afford it go with CKtG's three stone, Beston / Bester / Suehiro starter kit with the accessories. I think if all I were doing were carbon Sabs I might eat the shipping for Arks; but if you think you might aspire to Richmonds, Japanese made knives, or anything else that's better hardened than a Wusthof, you'll want water stones for sure.


If you buy water stones, you'll also need flattening equipment.  Just to give you some insight into how irritating sharpening can be, you should flatten and chamfer before the first time you sharpen.  Fortunately, the equipment doesn't need to be anything more expensive than drywall screen.   


Also, whatever stones you choose, you NEED a good "steel" with Sabatiers.  US buyers can't beat the Idahone fine ceramic; and I think that's true for Canadians as well.


Is that everything?


Thanks for the goat,


Edited by boar_d_laze - 7/30/12 at 7:30am
post #49 of 51
Thread Starter 

That is very good to know!


As for the 3 piece kit, ouch a bit pricey for me! Comes to over 200 with the shipping but I'll mull it over, I guess they'll last awhile, suddenly Hall's doesn't look too terrible, although if I ship to a relative I can get the kit and steel for 168 or so.


Drywall screen eh? So I can save money on the140 grit diamond flattener for 25$?


At this price, would it be better to just buy and Edge Pro Apex 4 kit for 245$ instead?


Say I buckle down for the Arkansas stones, do I get an 8 inch black and translucent? Would just the black do? Do I need any other waterstones or anything to go with it, something medium grit perhaps?


Stones will be the death of me, at this rate with all the help I think I'll need to get you some more goats BDL!

post #50 of 51
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

...Also, whatever stones you choose, you NEED a good "steel" with Sabatiers.  US buyers can't beat the Idahone fine ceramic; and I think that's true for Canadians as well.


Is that everything?


Thanks for the goat,



My steel I purchased in '76; it's a FRIEDR. HERDER ABR. SOHN from Solingen, Germany.  the namestamp sets to the right of a sideways turned spade.  It's all that I've used/known as steels.  Would the steel that you mention be better for my knives:


  • Several old Sabatiers with surface pitting therefore older ones?
  • RH Forschner SS knives
  • J.A. HENCKELS ZWILLINGSWERK AG NO FRIODUR from Solingen, Germany 31061-260mm (10") purchased in 1976


Yeah, really, one size fits all.  But without getting really microscopic the steel seems to work just fine as long as I angle the blade properly; but, it's the only steel that I know.  The tri-hone that I use for sharpening is made by Norton, the one for butchers, starting with a coarse Cyrstolon stone at 11" in length, followed up by the medium Crystolon and then a fine India (IM313 and  My knife therefore works for me therefore I don't work for my knife!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sometimes to knock out a good edge I swipe the blade at an angle (45 degrees or thereabouts) to the corner of the stone as opposed to the flat surface, just like Russel Knives does.  The edge is then drawn either vertically straight down or horizontally along the corner of the stone, depending on the time of the month and the phase of the moon.  Talk about an aggressive edge.  My knives work for me and I don't work for them.

Edited by kokopuffs - 7/31/12 at 3:09pm

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
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post #51 of 51

From Hall's I just ordered me a Soft Arkansas and Black (Surgical Black) combination, three inches wide and one inch thick, WSB128W, delivered for $147.99 to complement my Norton Tri Hone: Coarse and medium Crystolon and Fine India.


Check it out:

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
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