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What stone for a Mac Pro?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Ok I just took the plunge and opted for a Mac Pro. If I had to think about which knife to get anymore my head would implode. Too many choices and too many opinions smile.gif I got a nice end grain wood cutting board as well. Now the question is what is the recommended sharpening stone for the Mac Pro?

post #2 of 5
If you're sure you want to use bench stones as opposed to some sort of tool... You'll want at least three:
  1. Coarse for profile and/or repair;
  2. Medium-coarse for sharpening. I.e., drawing the first burr, chasing it, and possibly deburring; and
  3. Medium-fine for either drawing a refined burr, chasing it, and deburring.

You won't use the coarse stone very often, and considering that nearly all MACs come with a very good factory edge, you probably don't need one now. In fact, unless and until you've become pretty darn good with the two finer stones, I suggest not using the coarse stone at all. Mistakes made with coarse stones can take a lot of work to fix (or a lot of time to wear out), and it's a good idea to wait until you can hold a nice, steady angle before trying them on your good knives.

As a generic, I like the Bester 1200, and either the Suehiro Rika or the Arashiyama (aka Takenoko) as the two (high quality and not inexpensive) medium stones, with the idea of adding a Beston 500 later; and also recommend an Idahone 12" fine (aka 1200) ceramic "steel."

By way of comparison my water stone bench kit is (or was) relatively "cost no object," and Beston 500, Bester 1200, Chosera 3000 and Gesshin 8000. If I ever wear down the first three, I'll probably replace them with a Gesshin 400 and Gesshin 2000 if the state of the art doesn't change very much. But I consider the Gesshins to be too expensive to be a good practical choice for someone who isn't deeply committed to the best possible edge. Besides 8K is overkill for a MAC, anyway.

A Rika or Arashiyama is a more practical finish. Because the Arashiyama is at the limits of a MAC Pro's ability to hold a polish, it might be the better choice -- but the Rika is plenty fine if you stay with it until the "mud" breaks down. I'm partial to the Arashiyama, but you can get a Beston, Bester, Rika three-stone combo from CKtG at a very favorable price. (Please note, I do some paid writing for CKtG.)

King stones are a deal less expensive and pretty good -- but not nearly as fast or consistent as the stones already mentioned. Norton water stones are also very good, but they're not as good as the already mentioned stones either, and as -- if not more -- expensive.

Hope this helps,
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Thank you as always for the advice BDL! You have given me much to consider. I think I will take a week or so to research your suggestions before I plunge in. I imagine the Mac will stay sharp for 1 week smile.gif

Thanks again!
post #4 of 5

Whatever I can tell you... BDL wrote it already. I have that combo and so far I think that it's great.


Mac knife

Bester 1200

Takenoko 6000

Idahone 12" "fine" honing rod.


I can't be happier with my stuff and it didn't cost  me an arm and a leg.chef.gif



post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am glad it works well. I think I will pursue the same setup on both your recommendations! Thank you as always for the shared wisdom. It's really a valuable service that everyone here contributes to such a huge pool of knowledge from all aspects of cooking.

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