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Bester 1200. My first impression.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi guys...

 

As you know some days ago I got a box from CKTG with some stuff. Among the goodies there was a stone that I relly wanted to give a try because almost everybody considers it a good piece.

A few hours ago I used it for the first time and it was almost shocking to see how different it works compared to my humble "Oishi" 1000.

 

I'm used to smaller stones, so, this one gave me the impression of being massive. As soon as I took it out of the box and the celophan, I sunk it in water with the Takenoko 6000 and inmediately I forced a patina with mustard on the Tojiro Nakiri and I made a horrible mess with it, if the nature of this knife is not exactly what you can call "pretty" now it looks just plain awfull, and now I can tell you that I got a 50 bucks lesson on how not to make a patinamad.gif aned believe me... The lesson is learned.

 

*This is the knife that I bought just for getting some experience with carbon steel, and it's something like a guinea pig knife... More on that later.

 

When the stones had like 20 minutes under water and the Nakiri all messed up, I went to the home depot to find the almost mythical "drywall" ( Seems like here nobody uses it... But I'm sure that I saw my handyman with a pice of it long time ago) Once I got into the store, I started asking for it, and no one knew what I was talking about, I got looks from the plain WTF is this guy talking about to some others that looked at me as if I were a retarded... I talked to 5 guys and the last one listened my whole explanation, that I tried to make as clear as possible, I explained him for several minutes on what the misterious item was and how it looked like, what was used for and I told him that 3M along with some other famous brands were the manufacturers of such fine piece.

 

Once that I ended my speech, he told me... I know what you're looking for... It's "Drywall" (HE SAID IT IN ENGLISH!!!...He was my man, he understanded me and knew what I was talking about, by the way that he pronounced it I inmediately knew that this guy had worked in the U.S. Maybe he was a handyman, a carpet installer or something like that because he knew what a drywall was and what is it used for) I heard a celestial chorus in the back of my head, the dull colored afternoon became brilliant with live colors, I felt that the long quest had reached to an end, the odissey was over... But it was too good to be truth... "Sorry amigo, we don't have drywall here"mad.gif, but there's something that may help you, and he took me to the sand paper zone, sandpaper, sponges for sanding, and hundreds of different products, but not a drywall... Long story short, I'll be flattening my stones for the rest of my life with sandpaper, or until my next trip to the U.S. wich may take a few more months.

 

But back to the BESTER.

 

Seems like an hour and a half of soaking was not enough, that stone absorbs water like an sponge, I took it out of the bucket and by the time that I fixed it on the stone holder it was dry already. 

I splashed it and started working it with a knife, and boy... This really removes steel. Since it's a 1200 and not a 1000 like my old stone, I tought that it was going to be smoother on the blade, but not, this stone really has a bite.

But as soon as I had passed the knife 5 or 6 times, the slurry was a thick mud. I had to add water very often to keep it working. Once that I made the first passes, I looked for the burr, and by the time that I was going to work the other side, it was again almost dry.

 

But besides that, I liked it very much, is a very wide stone compared to my other oishi and that makes sharpening a breeze. I think that it's also a "fast" stone (remember that my experience is a 1000 Minosharp, and an oishi 1000, this is my first "serious" stone, so, don't take my words as if carved on stone) and the knives were ready for the next stone much faster, but also I have to give some credits, before I used to count the passes from 10 each side to 9,8 and so on, and now I use BDL "Burr Method" and my life is a bit easier thumb.gif.

 

After that I polished with the Takenoko 6000 and that was also a very nice experience, the Mac got sharper than ever, and the Tojiro Nakiri got "scary sharp". I'll let you know more on the Takenoko later.

 

That's it guys, any advice that you may have on the bester 1200 will be very appreciated, I don't know if I did something wrong, if I have to soak that stone overnight or if I just have to get used to splash very often while sharpening.

 

Best regards!

 

P.S. On a more positive note on the Tojiro Nakiri. Since I was in the home depot, I got a super fine sponge/sandpaper for wood and sanded the handle of the knife  because it comes without any kind of nice finish on the wood. Then I gave it a coat of "Tru oil" (I used that oil for the walnut stock of one of my rifles) and so far it looks much better, I think that in a couple of hours more, I'll give it a second coat. I'll keep you posted on that. I think that after the horrible patina that I gave to the knife, now it deserves some pampering on the wood.

post #2 of 17

A good metal polish can remove your botched patina and you start over. Just lay the blade flat against your glass board to polish safely. Other than flattening waterstones that is the only use I have for a glass board.

 

A naturally developed patina is best. I've been unimpressed with the mustard forced ones.

 

Here are 2 carbon steel knives that were polished down due to rusting and the new patina developing is from cutting up a rotisserie chicken on the 8" and turkey on the 10". No long soak or process. They just sat long enough after cutting for me to bag the cut up product and then washed. I'll use these on cooked poultry since the effect is quick and natural.

 

Really digging the 10" which is an old Dexter carbon steel knife so I'm not sure how old it is and the other is from the Robinson knife company which began in 1920 so it is a very old blade.

 

I haven't tried Tru Oil on a knife handle yet but love it on guitar necks.

 

How does that Bester compare to a King 1000?

 

Jim

 

2011-12-04_19-17-37_500.jpg

 

2011-12-04_19-18-03_647.jpg

 

2011-12-04_19-18-10_351.jpg

 

 

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Jim...

 

Thanks a lot for the advice, I tought about the polish, but what makes me hesitate is that where it got really ugly is on the black part, and I'm not sure how is it going to look or how the metal will react to  polishing. It can't get uglier but I don't know if it can corrode or damage it. Any imput on the subject will be very appreciated. Here's the pic of the knife from CKTG, so, you can have an idea on my dilemma.

 

And about the tru oil, let me tell you that is a nice products, it has a very particular flat-shine (I have no idea on how to explain it, but is a very particular look) and it increases as long as you add more layers. What you see in guitars involves a very long process with many passes, on the rifles, since we don't want a too shiny look, we give less passes, and despite how shiny it gets, it's totally different from a laquered finish. My personal taste is more on the "oil finish". Now what I need to see is how it's going to react to the continuos washing and scrubbing.

 

In guitars or rifles you never scrub with water and soap, and I have no idea on what to expect. Hopefully it will last, a few minutes ago I just gave the second pass and so far looks much better. i'm learning with this knife, I got another from the same maker, a santoku, with that one I'll not force any patina, as you seggest, I'll let it get his own, and maybe I'll give a "walnut stain" to the handle before some passes with the tru oil, but I'll wait a few days to see how the coating in the nakiri reacts.

 

And man, sorry but I can't give you a comparison on the 1200 Bester vs the King, I've owned only 3 stones on the 1000s, a "Mino sharp", the Oishi combo 1000/6000 and this bester. It's too early to make a review, but so far I'm impressed on the performance of the bester, no doubt that it works better than my other 2 stones, but I have no experience with the king.

 

Best regards and thanks a lot for the advice.

Luis

 

Imagen 2.png

post #4 of 17

King 1000 is a natural clay binder stone, and Bester is some sort of synthetic.  The Bester is far harder, gives less feedback, and requires a much longer soak before it will give anything like its best. 

 

A lot of my friends leave theirs in the bucket permanently.  Because I live with a wife and sharpen in the kitchen or on the patio, I can't.  My feeling is that the stone stabilizes after about 90 minutes or 2 hours, but is usable after 30 minutes.  

 

The Bester will last quite a bit longer; is much, much, faster; leaves a considerably finer scratch; and as you can guess from its speed and scratch has quite a bit more "reach."  That is, it will quickly remove the scratch from a coarser, profiling stone.  While slightly more of a PITA, it's a far better stone in every way than the King. 

 

Luis, I hope you realize that you have to flatten new stones before using them. 

 

Drywall screen; not "drywall."  You can't mail order it from el Norte?  Or arrange for Home Depot to order it for you?  It's on the US HD website.

 

BDL

post #5 of 17

Hi Luis,

 

Thank you very much for posting your experiences with the Tojiros, although I'm sorry to hear about the bad patina :(  I also picked a couple similar Tojiros (gyuto and petty), and was wondering whether I should force a patina on it..  Guess not... If you manage to fix it, let us know and post pictures!

 

I'm very interested in the Tru Oil (and walnut stain) that you're doing on the handles, and I'm considering trying something like that myself.  Could you post before/after pics when your done?

 

Devin

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Today I had my second session "Taming the bester" to my surprise today it was much easier to work with, my theory is that the stone was already very saturated with water from yesterday (The weather in my town is a bit cold and that makes evaporation too slow) today I left it for an hour and it was much easier to work with. I had to splash but not that often.

 

I was thinking in making a bucket of water her permanent residence but I'm afraid that it gets disolved, and anyway, I'll not be sharpening that often. Maybe next time I'll put it in the bucket the night before and that's it.

 

Today it was the turn on another old Nakiri (A Dexter) and it worked very well, that knife is not my favourite and I don't enjoy sharpening it, but it was the only one that I considered dull and maybe challenging for the bester. To my surprise it got sharper than ever and it was very easy to see that the stone was "biting" the edge. I think that the next time that I use the stone it's going to be even better. I'm getting the feeling on it.

 

After the Nakiri, I went to the other Tojiro, a "santoku"... I didn't mess this one with the patina, I learned from my mistake and this is going to be the knife that it's going to receive the best treatment (despite that a "santoku" is not my favourite shape and size) I'll let this one get his own gracefull patina with the time, let's see how it turns out.

 

But back to the sharpening... The Tojiros are a joy to sharp...And if you add to the equation the Bester, it's a real piece of cake. I worked very little with the bester, since the knife was already sharp OOTB (Not enough for me) I think that I spent like 2 or 3 minutes with it, and after that I went to the Takenoko 6000...I spent more time polishing with the Takenoko and just like with the Nakiri. The blade went scary sharp (for my noob standarts)... But after shreding a piece of paper almost into confetti, slicing a tomato, and leaving my forearm smoother than Scarlett Johanson butt... I was very satisfied.

 

I can't wait until the Tojiro wa gyuto 24 hits the shelves... It's going to be a fun knife to work with.

 

Those are my new adventures with the bester. I'll let you know the next time that I use it, I think that I almost figured out this great stone.

Best regards.

 

Luis
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

King 1000 is a natural clay binder stone, and Bester is some sort of synthetic.  The Bester is far harder, gives less feedback, and requires a much longer soak before it will give anything like its best. 

 

A lot of my friends leave theirs in the bucket permanently.  Because I live with a wife and sharpen in the kitchen or on the patio, I can't.  My feeling is that the stone stabilizes after about 90 minutes or 2 hours, but is usable after 30 minutes.  

 

The Bester will last quite a bit longer; is much, much, faster; leaves a considerably finer scratch; and as you can guess from its speed and scratch has quite a bit more "reach."  That is, it will quickly remove the scratch from a coarser, profiling stone.  While slightly more of a PITA, it's a far better stone in every way than the King. 

 

Luis, I hope you realize that you have to flatten new stones before using them. 

 

Drywall screen; not "drywall."  You can't mail order it from el Norte?  Or arrange for Home Depot to order it for you?  It's on the US HD website.

 

BDL

BDL... Thanks for the advice on flattening the stones BEFORE using them. I tought tha a new stone was perfectly sharp OOTB and that it was loosing the flat surface after several knives sharpened on it... But I learned the hard way that they are not necesarily perfect flat when new.

 

Yesterday after using it very slightly I flattened them, thinking that they were going to be almost flat because I didn't sharpen any very dull knife... To my surprise they were not that flat. Not bad, but not the perfection that I was expecting. I saw that the ends of the X that I drawed with the pencil were there, still after a couple of minutes of flattening. The knives were not damaged or anything but I learned my lesson. FLATTEN AND CHAMFER THE NEW STONES BEFORE USING THEM EVEN IF THEY ARE NEW.

 

On the drywall screen... I'll ask a friend of mine to bring them a few on his next trip, he's going to "el otro lado" in a couple of weeks thumb.gif

 

Thanks for your comments and advice!
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skoops View Post

Hi Luis,

 

Thank you very much for posting your experiences with the Tojiros, although I'm sorry to hear about the bad patina :(  I also picked a couple similar Tojiros (gyuto and petty), and was wondering whether I should force a patina on it..  Guess not... If you manage to fix it, let us know and post pictures!

 

I'm very interested in the Tru Oil (and walnut stain) that you're doing on the handles, and I'm considering trying something like that myself.  Could you post before/after pics when your done?

 

Devin

Hi Devin...

 

A bit too late for the "before" pics, but tomorrow with daylight I'll take a couple of pics of the "after tru oil" (Here's the link of the product http://www.boydsgunstocks.com/BIRCHWOOD-CASEY-TRU-OIL-FINISH-KIT-p/100-130.htm) the Santoku is getting dry from the second pass, and the nakiri from the third. I was thinking of giving some walnut stain to the santoku, but most of my knives have a dark handle, name it fibrox, rosewood and ebony, so, for a change I kept the light color of the Tojiros. But they look interesting anyway. The oil gives them a little bit of darkness, but very slightly and they preserve their original pale look.

 

On the Patina... The problem is that I stained the blue metal too and now it looks kinda dirty. It has the look of an old knife that was in grandpa's toolbox for decades in the barn. Some pics on it very soon, right next to the santoku, wich has his original look, that way you can compare. Besides the dirty looks, it's not cool that you can't appreciate clearly the 3 colors of the "shirogami" blade. I've seen very nice looking forced patinas on the internet, but looks like I had no clue. 

But I'm not going to complain about it anymore, I'm going to like the Nakiri as if it were the ugly duckling wink.gif

 

Best regards.

Luis
 

 

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

King 1000 is a natural clay binder stone, and Bester is some sort of synthetic.  The Bester is far harder, gives less feedback, and requires a much longer soak before it will give anything like its best. 

 

A lot of my friends leave theirs in the bucket permanently.  Because I live with a wife and sharpen in the kitchen or on the patio, I can't.  My feeling is that the stone stabilizes after about 90 minutes or 2 hours, but is usable after 30 minutes.  

 

The Bester will last quite a bit longer; is much, much, faster; leaves a considerably finer scratch; and as you can guess from its speed and scratch has quite a bit more "reach."  That is, it will quickly remove the scratch from a coarser, profiling stone.  While slightly more of a PITA, it's a far better stone in every way than the King. 

 

BDL


Thanks BDL. Once the King wears down I'll replace it with a Bester. I hear you on not having a permanent place for a bucket or stone pond for permanent use. I have a 2X4, non slip mats and a small steam table tray insert.

 

Jim
 

 

post #8 of 17

Hi Luis,

 

My Tojiro petty also looks kind of dirty on the black part after some normal use, but I don't think it looks bad.  The black on the gyuto looks "newer", so maybe there are some inconsistencies in the finish.

 

I picked up some Tru Oil, and am thinking about coating the handles with them.  Any pics yet?  I also got the oil to finish a guitar with and some shelves I've been working on :)

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi guys...

 

A bit late but 2 days ago I just opended my new restaurant and seems like 18 hours working everyday are not enough, but I had to take a li'l break to catch up with you guys... Here are my pics of the knives, in the first one you can see the blades of both Tojiros, the santoku and the messed-up-by-the-patina-that-went-wrong nakiri.

 

You can see how the santoku has the clasic "rustic" look -I like it a lot-  and the Nakiri has the forced patina (I used bubble plastic)

 

P1030205.jpg

 

 

And here you can see the tru oil finish, the santoku has just two passess and the nakiri has 3. After each application, I just allowed the oil to dry, and the sanding it with a 1000 grit mesh or sponge (it's inclued in the tru oil kit) and after that another pass. I've been using the nakiri on a regular basis just to see how the wood reacts on working conditions and so far no problem.

I enjoy the finish that it gave to those very humble handles.

 

I hope that it helps!

 

P1030206.jpg

 

 

P1030208.jpg

 

 

Time to go back to work, is almost dinner time! chef.gif

 


Edited by Luis J - 12/10/11 at 6:04pm
post #10 of 17

send me your adress and i will send you some drywall screens Luis

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tntviper1 View Post

send me your adress and i will send you some drywall screens Luis


I sent you P.M. Thanks a lot for the kind gesture! thumb.gif

 

post #12 of 17

Thanks for the pictures Luis!  I really like the look of those handles, so I might try something similar on mine!

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2skoops View Post

Thanks for the pictures Luis!  I really like the look of those handles, so I might try something similar on mine!



Nice 2skoops... You'll like vry much the finish that tru oil gives, and a the little bottle will last you a lifetime if you're working only on knives, I've "oiled" 2 rifle stocks with 3 passes and that left onough oil in the bottle to coat a dozen of knives.

 

Good luck and keep us posted on that.

Luis

post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

My third time using the bester...

 

The stone simply rocks and I can tell you that it absolutely fullfiled my expectations. Today a fellow cook asked me to help him to sharpen his knife. No problem I tought. I was expecting his victorinox (Forchner) but he handed me a santoku that looked a lot like a wustof, but it wasn't. I was looking for the brand but there was none and as soon as I got it in my hands I felt like it was a very affordable knife with just an expensive look. It was just a bad piece but seems like my cook likes it very much and I wasn't going to let him down.

 

When I got the stone he told me in a very "naive" way... Chef, what I want is to have a knife as sharp as yours rolleyes.gif (My mac). I told him that I wasn't promising anything, but I took away my old oishi (Now it belongs to my staff) knowing that it was going to be too challenging for such an small stone.

 

I went to my drawer to get the big gun (My bester wink.gif) and I soaked it for 3  hours. I told this guy to use my knife for prep because the stone was going to take a while to get ready. Long story short... The Bester worked flawlessly, 3 hours were enough soaking time and it felt great. My first impression was that it was a very hard steel (Read cheap) but I wanted to test the stone. This time with this crappy knife I didn't use the "burr" method, I knew that I needed to spend long time and many strokes, so, I went 10,9,8,7 and so on. Deburred on a cork, and I stropped.

To my surprise the edge got very sharp, after that I went to the Oishi 6000 to polish it and it came out great. But the hard work was done by the bester.

 

I think that this stone is a keeper and since it's not been very used yet, I can feel that is a stone that worths every penny. If you're thinking on getting one, don't hesitate. It's a great piece! thumb.gif

 

Best regards and I hope that this helps to anybody curious about such stone.

 

Luis

post #15 of 17
Any suggestions on using this stone with my Chinese made German Henkeles and only j knife, shun elite?
First time sharpener. Will be practicing on the henkeles first.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi PeaceOut...

 

I'm think that the stone will be good  for the shun but somebody with more experience than me has to give you an answer on how it will perform on your Henkels. I have no idea on that subject and I got rid of my German knives some time ago. I'm sure that somebody here has the answer, and I don't remember very well but I think that the subject has been discused in some thread on how western knives react to waterstones and oil stones. I don't want to misslead, anyway, for sure you'll not mess the stone or the knife if you give it a try.

I have asked many questions on this forum and always got a great answer, but somebody once wrote to me "fool around with this stuff" and so far has been one of the best answers, so, give it a try, you may end up with an scary sharp knife or you can waste 15 minutes discovering how that stone is not the best for that particular knife, and that will not be a waste because you're going to get  very valuable info and experience thumb.gif

 

Best regards

post #17 of 17
Thanks Luis.
I'll give it a try and see what happens.
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