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sharpening stone that won't break the bank

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok so it's been about 6 weeks im thinking perhaps it's time to start thinking about sharpening stones 

i know every saturday i can to go william sonoma and pay 5 dollars each to have my knives sharpened but i don't want to trust 1000 dollars in knives to a retail shop thats just in it to make a buck with a saturday special  if you know what i mean 

 

so what sharpening stone should i pick up 

the other day i saw a Chef at a Sip and taste event i worked at using a stone that had slots on it that was the bottom and the flat stone on the top he also placed it in watter and it bubbled when submerged im guessing air or something perhaps but not sure what the name of that stone was 

 

anyone got an ideas of what it could be or what i should get ? 

post #2 of 8

it'll help us to give you better advice if we know what kind of knives you have

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I have  a Set that school gave me witch is the Mercer  i know they are on the lower side of  high end proffesional tools for the trade 

 

i also have a  Chef knife  witch is a Shun 

the Mercer is the one that needs to be sharpened the Shun is still good 

but i was told that i should probably sharpen my knives atleast once a week the rate i use them

 

when im not in the kitchen at school and when im home i am usualy spending about 2 hours cutting and practicing 

post #4 of 8

a king 800/6000 will do the job. just don't use the 6000 on your mercers, no point in doing that for them. won't take that fine an edge anyway. the 6000 is for your shun. 

 

then if you wanna fix chips and stuff, get a silicon carbide stone like a norton coarse stone.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

cool beans  thank you

going to go grab a 4000 for the shun and pick up a 800 for the mercer i wish i had the money to just replac everything i like the shun it's awesome but wow the money i spend jush on my chef knife wow

post #6 of 8

Franz's recommendation was not to go out and buy two separate stones.  Rather it was for an 800# / 6000# grit combination stone.  A combination stone is made by gluing two stones of different grit sizes together, so each grit presents its own face. 

 

I disagree with his grit recommendation for the Mercer.  800# (JIS) is too coarse for your Mercer if it's a general use knife.  For one thing it compromises durability.  Coarse edges bend more easily than fine edges from impact, and chef's knives get a lot of impact.  For another, an 800# edge makes for a coarse textured cut. You want to finish your Mercer to at least 1500# (JIS). 

 

BDL

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

Franz's recommendation was not to go out and buy two separate stones.  Rather it was for an 800# / 6000# grit combination stone.  A combination stone is made by gluing two stones of different grit sizes together, so each grit presents its own face. 

 

I disagree with his grit recommendation for the Mercer.  800# (JIS) is too coarse for your Mercer if it's a general use knife.  For one thing it compromises durability.  Coarse edges bend more easily than fine edges from impact, and chef's knives get a lot of impact.  For another, an 800# edge makes for a coarse textured cut. You want to finish your Mercer to at least 1500# (JIS). 

 

BDL

Ok so are you saying i want to get a Double Sided  stone 6000 for the shun  and the other side should be no less then 1500 or no more then 1500 im a bit confused 

a student in school told me they used a 600 on there mercer knives 

 

after cutting up 2 chikens today when i got home i did one with the shun and one with the mercer i can tell that the shun is still good but damm that mercer needs to be taken care of 

post #8 of 8

No.  I'm not saying you want to get a double-sided stone.  I'm not saying you want to get anything.  I was translating what Franz said because you'd misunderstood.  I neither agree nor disagree with the recommendation to get a combination (i.e., double-sided) stone.   Combi stones are initially less expensive than two single stones, but they have disadvantages.

 

I also neither agree nor disagree with the suggestion of a 6000# (JIS) finish  for your Shun.  I can think of several 6K stones which would be excellent final stones, but can also think of just as many 5Ks and 8Ks. 

 

Throwing around grit numbers like "600" is meaningless without other context.  There are not only several popular but unrelated standards, grit numbers don't translate well from stone to stone, even if the numbers come from the same system.  I don't care what another student at your school uses, other than to hope he's happy.  When I wrote that a King 800 was too coarse as the final stone for a Mercer, general-purpose chef's knife, I was offering you the benefit of my experience.  You're free not to take my advice. 

 

If you're cutting through chicken bones with your Shun, the Shun won't last long.  

 

Get the Mercer sharp, and use that for all your heavy duty tasks, like breaking chickens, portioning ribs, cutting through thick-skinned squash, breaking pineapples, etc.  It's better than the Shun for those because it's more durable and the edge wears very slowly and can usually be easily restored on a steel.  Shun maintenance can be a little more demanding but the Shun is so much better for everything else that the extra trouble is well worth it.

 

And by the way, that's not an endorsement of Shun.  Just for the record, Shun chef's knives are not a great choice for for most people.  Yes, they're better than Mercer, but "etter than Mercer" isn't saying much. 

 

If you want me to recommend a high quality but affordable water stone kit which will serve both your Shun and your Mercer, as well as any other knives you're likely to buy in the future:  Bester 500, Beston 1200, and Suehiro Rika (3K - 5K), depending on how you use it); but hold off on using the Bester until you can consistently sharpen with both of the other stones.  In addition to the stones themselves, you'll also need some sort of method for flattening them before you use them for the first time.  Water stones are not packed "ready to go." 

 

As a matter of purely personal preference, I like oil stones over water stones for my knives which are made from tough alloys (such as your Mercer); and water stones over oil stones for my knives which are made from strong, hard alloys (like your Shun).  However, if you're on a budget I don't think the practical differences between oil and water stones is worth the expense and effort of two different sets. 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 3/23/13 at 10:57am
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