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Newbie needs some tips on getting started

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I have been very happy for the last 25 years using my Henckel 4 Star knives for home cooking needs. I had only had them professionally sharpening once in all those years. Lately they seemed a bit dull so I starting reading the forums on sharpening using water stones, diamond stones, strops and hones. I got my hands on a DMT 600 diamond stone; some sort of combo stone (600-1000?) and made a strop from an old belt. After watching countless videos, I did my best with what I had to work with to gain some skills. I was afraid to practice on my Henckels, so used old Forschner paring knives and a large Swiss Wenger chef knife that were in a friend's drawer.  I must say that all the knives saw improvement, but I knew better than to try to really put a proper edge on my Henckels with my limited experience. So off they went to the local shop, who put nice sharp, shiny edges back on my beloved Henckels, for less than $20. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long to bring them in!


But the story doesn't end here. I am now obsessed with knife sharpening! I love the idea that I can keep my knives sharp myself, if I just fill in my supplies with the proper equipment. I plan to get an Idahone ceramic 12" rod soon. I'm not sure whether my two stones are adequate or if I should get this $45 water stone from Amazon:


 Woodstock SteeleX D1130 1000 Grit and 6000 Grit Japanese Waterstone


Or this one:

King 47506 1000/6000 Combination Grit Waterstone. $39.


Some customers reviews complained the stone was very narrow (2.5 inches). Aren't most of them this width?


I know most people apply some sort of metal polish to their strop surface. Is this necessary? I might get a stick of chromium if it would be helpful.


I would find it helpful if people could make some alternate suggestions regarding the hone choice and the waterstone choices. I am hoping to go with items that are a good value and not spend more money than necessary at this point.


Thank you all in advance. I look forward to learning as much as I can on this subject. I have read the book Edge In The Kitchen and found it very interesting, but there is also so much info in there that I am sometimes left with my head spinning "just a little bit". 



post #2 of 3

you don't need the 6k grit on those stones if you're gonna sharpen your henckels. pretty much moot to use the 6k side. but if you plan to get a new knife that's harder in rockwell than what you have now, then go ahead and buy the combo stone. get the king.


your knife can't hold that 6k edge compared to harder steel knives.



post #3 of 3
I'm afraid it's a little more complicated than that. Franz is right in so far it has no sense to high-polish a soft stainless. Its scratch resistance is much too low.
But a 1000-grit will for sure leave a part of the burr intact. And this burr, with the huge carbides that make everyone love the soft German stainless so much, is exactly the problem.
You do need a higher grit stone -- or any other fine abrasive medium -- to remove it. I wouldn't choose a 6k for that -- rather a 2-3k or a loaded split leather -- but it certainly will do the job.
I must add that a good ceramic rod can be very helpful for the same purpose, but its use isn't that simple, either.
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