Inexperienced sharpener here, looking to put a stone set together. Current knives include a Forschner Fibrox 8" Chefs knife and a Winco 8" Chinese cleaver. Also have a Dexter-Russell 8" Chinese cleaver on the way. The first two are recent purchases, used very little, so they are basically OOTB sharp. I do have a few higer end Japanese knives picked out for future purchase, but want to hold off until I get the basics of sharpening down.
Seems the following stones are recommended most often, but there are some things that have me looking at other stones. However, if these are the better option, please say so and I will try to get over the (probably silly) things I don't like.
Bester 1200 - Seems like it needs a long soak (2 hours IIRC) to bring out its best. Not really into that, although not necessarily looking for splash and go either.
Suehiro RIka 5k - As stupid as this probably sounds, I just don't care for the attached base.
With that said, there are two setups I am looking at. They are the Gesshin 400 and 2000 or the Naniwa SS 400, 1000 and 3000. I understand the Naniwa SS are on the soft side, making them easier to gouge. Should that be viewed as a good learning aspect, or a reason to stay away from them? The Gesshin stones seem well liked, but haven't seen them recommended as first stones. Any reasons for this I may have missed? Is there anything I would be missing by having a single middle stone (Gesshin 2000) vs. the two Naniwa SS stones?