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Japanese knife - question about stones

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hoping someone has some helpful info for me.  I have the following knife:

 

 

 

*

 

 

Been using an 800 grit stone and am looking to get a finishing stone but unsure as to which grit would be appropriate.  went to a local knife shop over the weekend and the girls there didn't seem to know what they were talking about.  does anyone have a similar knife and can give me a recommendation?

 

thanks so much in advance. 

~MissyD

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~MissyD

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post #2 of 8
To me, the knife seems to be a Fujiwara FKM. Good entry knife, great geometry.
Could you provide any information about that 800-stone? The grit systems used by various manufacturers may differ. And even with stones having the same grit size results may vary a lot.
Please mention your location as well. Stone prices may vary some 40% in different parts of the world.
post #3 of 8

Ben,

 

MissyD, the OP, lists her location as Vancouver, BC.  The knife is recognizably a Fujiwara FKM, apparently 21cm.  She is a working professional who preps with the knife, and probably does line work as well.  I'm assuming her present stone is a Steelex 800 or something very much like it. 

_______________________________

 

Missy,

 

The next stone should be something in the 2K to 5K range.  If you want to buy a quality stone from a Canadian retailer, the Naniwa SS 3K from Paul's Finest or Knifewear would be a very good choice, as would the Yellow Lobster 4K from Knifewear.  

 

Between those two I'd choose the Naniwa for its softer feel, more relaxed soaking requirements, shiny finish, and greater speed.  The Yellow Lobster is a fairly hard stone -- which some beginners like because it won't scratch or gouge.

 

The Suehiro Rika is THE beginner's choice in that grit range; but I don't know if you can find one in the Great White North or what it would cost to get one there from the Land of Rock and Roll.     

 

My current medium stones are Chosera 3K and 5K, which I mention only to say:  Chosera are excellent stones, but not worth their absurd retail prices; and their Canadian prices are proportionally higher than in the US.  Not only are they ridiculously expensive, but there are a few newer stones in the market which are even better.  

 

If your 800 is a Steelex or similar budget stone, you should consider upgrading it in the not-too-distant future. 

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 6/11/13 at 6:45am
post #4 of 8

That's some very nice knife work Missy. The next stone I would suggest would either be a 5K Naniwa SS or a 3K 'Rika from Dave Martell. I use the 5K SS myself and have had it for several years.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am just outside Vancouver, BC Canada.  

 

BDL - here is a pic of my stone:

 

*

 

This is just what they provided us in our tool kit for school (to make things easier for me I just paid the school to purchase everything for me)  I really must get another stone though.  Was also talking with a guy in my class (dubbed the 'knife guy' because he is the best at sharpening).  He has a double sided stone - one side 1000 & the other side 4000.  Not sure what brand it is - he couldn't remember.  

 

As for scratching or gouging the stone I'm not too worried about that - I used to work in a hospital and had to hand sharpen surgical instruments so I have experience in that respect.  I will see if there is a local retailer that carries one of the ones you mentioned.  Do you by any chance know of anywhere in Washington state that would?  I only live about 15-20 minutes north of the US border and would gladly hop across the line if I can get the same stone cheaper.  Shipping just about anything from the US to Canada is ridiculous price wise and also the length of time it takes to get here (not to mention the postal service leaving expensive packages on my door step even though I have filed many complaints).  

 

 

Dave - thanks so much.  I think I did those carrots the first week I was in school at home to practice a bit.  Chef friend of mine (from AZ) wanted to see a pic of my sexy Japanese knife so I just took that to send him haha.  Knife cuts honestly aren't very good there - much improved in 6 weeks :)

~MissyD

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~MissyD

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post #6 of 8

BDL covered both of the primary Canadian web retailers (PaulsFinest and KnifeWorks) I was able to locate in an internet search.  Suehiro stones seem to be almost unidentifiable from a Canadian (let alone Lower Mainland) retail site location.

 

The only Lower Mainland retailer which I can identify with any certainty as having any selection of stones is Lee Valley Tools, which (besides its Internet presence) has brick and mortar stores in both Vancouver (1180 SE Marine Drive) and Coquitlam (1401 United Blvd.).  Lee Valley has Bester/Imanishi water stones, Norton water stones, King water stones and Sigma Power Select II water stones, each line in varying grits.

 

It's been a couple of years since I went into one of the brick and mortar Lee Valley stores, but be advised that this may not necessarily be a retail operation where you can get hands-on feel of the product before purchase (though if they have it in stock at the store you visit, you will be able to buy it then & there).  In the past, you went in, browsed through catalogs, filled out a form, and the clerks went into the back warehouse and brought out your order to be paid for.  Don't expect any knowledge of the product(s) from the sales personnel.  Caveat emptor applies here, and you need to do your own due diligence research about the products beforehand.  Still, the prices are the same as the catalog and 'net prices, without shipping costs (though including sales taxes), and the "shipping delays" are zero, compared to Canada Post or any of the private common carriers.

 

Two other brick and mortar sites are possibilities, though I was not able to confirm through the web that they had any water stones for sale, let alone Suehiros.  Santoku Equipment Office, 107-1118 Homer Street in Vancouver (located inside the Empress Galleria) has a web site which does not detail any sharpening supplies for sale, and The Sharpening House, 5331 West Blvd. in the Kerrisdale district in Vancouver does not have any web site I could locate.

 

Coming south across the border into Washington State, there are two physical stores I have some knowledge of having water stones. 

 

The Epicurean Edge (107 Central Way in Kirkland) has a number of stones, though many of the water stones are listed as being from "Misc Maker" as the manufacturer. 

 

The other store, Hardwick's (4214 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle) does carry some Suehiro's, but they are smaller stones (180 mm x 64 mm x 20 mm) than the size of most water stones that many sharpeners use.  Also, while they are Suehiro's, I cannot identify where they are Rica Line Suehiro.  Sharpening stones are kept at Hardwick's in a locked cabinet along the north wall of the shop, near the front window and closer to the floor than the ceiling (if you go to Hardwick's, it really helps to know where particular items are).  Hardwick's does have a web site, but the web site is a pale (actually closer to gossamer) reflection of all that is within the warrens of the store.   Be advised, however, Hardwick's is one of the funkiest places I know of (in a good sense) and you will probably spend hours in there diverted from what you originally sought.

 

I am also assuming that you are somewhat adverse to the hassles of transborder shipping and Canada Customs regulations and fees.  An alternative is to have an order from the US shipped to a firm in Blaine which will (for a fee) act as a U.S. address to accept a package from a US retailer and hold it for you until you come across the border to pick it up.  Combine that with package shipment tracking, and you will be able to know when the package has reached Blaine and is ready for you to pick up.  You then cross the border at BC 99 - Interstate 5, go to the Blaine shipping address, pick up your package, and then return to Canada with your package.  Look up "Blaine shipping service for Canadians" on Google for the websites of companies in Blaine which will accept your package for you and hold it for a fee.

 

Hope this might be of help.

 

Galley Swiller

post #7 of 8

Galley Swiller thanks for the tip on Lee Valley Tools!

post #8 of 8

Lee Valley ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Really quality stuff.

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

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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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.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
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