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Need first time sharpening advice

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm new to j knives and bought a few Masamoto VGs (240mm gyutou & 150mm petty) a few months back.  I held off on the sharpening tools so I could splurge a little more on the knives.  But the time has come that they need to be touched up.  Besides the gradual dulling of the knives, a few small nicks have developed on the edge.  See pic below.  Are these normal?  I'm quite confident I haven't hit anything hard with the edge.  I am strictly using a Hi-Soft cutting board .  But I know my 11 yo daughter loves to grab the gyutou and cut her fruit.  Oh it slides through so easily!  ....she says.  :)  She may be hitting something harder with the edge when I'm not around?  Or are these normal wear marks?

 

I'd like to learn to sharpen freehand on stones.  I've read a bunch here about the how to's (although I'm still completely clueless).  But I don't know where to start in regards to what to buy.  This has to come first I'm thinking.  :)    And I don't mind buying some decent stones if it would make it easier.  But perhaps I'd like to start with one or two stones and progress from there.  Is that a logical way to do this?  Any and all advice and stone (grit, brand, etc) recommendations would be appreciated. 

 

 

post #2 of 15

Not normal. Pretty dangerous to let that knife in the hands of a 11 years old kid.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #3 of 15
I guess these damages are due to accidental contact with other hard material, glass, china perhaps. I wouldn't let my kid use a 240mm gyuto without close supervision.
Please note most factory edges are both poor and weak. I would suggest you to get at least two waterstones. In Europe one may get the Choseras at a very reasonable price. The 800 and 3k come to mind, their grit is more or less comparable to JIS1200 and 4k. Choseras are fast cutters that still offer a great feedback.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post
 

Not normal. Pretty dangerous to let that knife in the hands of a 11 years old kid.


Didn't ask for parenting advice.  You don't know my 11 yo.  We'll leave it at that.  But thanks for chiming in.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I had the knife sharpened before I took it home.  So it was sharp (western sharpening).  We must have banged it on something.  Perhaps while washing it in the sink.  Or maybe even things like peach pits?  That could have been my daughter.  But either way I will be more careful with it on foods with hard interiors and teach her the same. 

 

I'll look for a few stones in those grits.  Two should do for now.  Thanks.

post #6 of 15

@YEM88,

  Interiors are probably the culprit. Also watch for seeds. I've pitted a few slicing blades with tomato seeds.

Also other equipment in the place where you store it. I have these plastic guards for my nice knives.  BTW my son was using my knives as a young boy. I would rather have him slicing with a sharp knife then a dull one.

A good steel is necessary after a sharpening to rid the burrs.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #7 of 15
Don't agree about using a steel unless it's with very soft stainless sharpened very coarsely.
Use of a steeling rod will fatigue the edge, and all that fatigued steel will get abraded with the next sharpening session.
For touching up perform a few edge trailing strokes on your finest stone.
By the way, please be aware that your Masamotos are strongly asymmetric.
post #8 of 15

Keep things simple and practical. A 500 grit stone(Beston is very popular for good reason) will get rid of the nicks and can be used when you eventually thin behind the edge. A 1000 or 1200 (Bester, same reason as Beston) will get you a really sharp edge that any pro would be happy with. It's fine for touch-up, as well.

 

No real need for anything higher than 1K even though I have a use a high grit stone.

 

Forget steeling a J knife.

post #9 of 15

That is good to know. You're never too old to learn. thx. Most of my cutlery is 40yrs old.

FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #10 of 15
With harder stainless I never succeed in getting completely rid of the burr on a 1200 only. That's what I suggested a 3-4k for.
post #11 of 15

Benuser, I'm nowhere near an expert at sharpening, but would stropping -on newspaper or something similar- and pulling through a cork do the trick?

post #12 of 15
Yes, with basic carbons. Their burrs fall off once weakened without leaving big damage. With more charged alloys burrs have to got abraded, not only by edge trailing strokes, but eventually by strokes along the edge at a slightly higher angle, with the least possible pressure or weight. With a medium-fine stone you may leave quite a substantial burr or wire edge.
post #13 of 15

Hey, my name is Matt, I'm a Sushi Chef, I have to constantly maintain razor sharp knives and do a lot of maintenance to keep them clean and efficient. Not to sound cheesy, but just as a Samurai's sword is his soul, a chef's knife is his, so maintaining a sharp knife is pretty important

Currently I use a 1000 grit stone to fix any knicks or damages, getting anything lower to fix something could take away a lot of steel if you are new to sharpening, it's also important that you keep the geometry of the knife, so using a 400 grit stone with little experience will take away a lot of steel and possibly ruin your knife.

I use a 3000 grit stone to maintain my edge 

and an 8000 grit stone to refine it and give it a nice polish.

 

It's also important that if you use stones you get a stone fixer to keep flat stones to keep a consistent edge.

I got my stones from these guys, they provide my knives aswell: http://echefknife.com/yoshihiro-toishi-sharpening-stone-whetstone-1000.html

This is probably the best sharpening advice anyone can get
https://www.youtube.com/user/JKnifeImports/videos
highly recommend you watch most of the early videos, especially the one on micro bevels since most people neglect those. Amazing sharpening videos, and covers double bevels, single bevels, and much more.

The original stones I had are shapton 1000, and shapton 5000, they work well and I would highly recommend them for beginners too. You can find them on Amazon.com

 

post #14 of 15
For starters you could try the mouse pad technique.

Get some wet n dry Sandpaper. watch some you tube videos on the subject. And strop wink.gif

The initial investment is low. But in the long run stones are both cheaper and better/more fun.

And you'll learn another valuable sharpening technique: stropping.

But I too think you should get some stones to maintain your knives. The earlier sugested stones will do nicely.

Mikael
post #15 of 15
Restoring a fine asymmetric edge with the mousepad method?? You will destroy the entire configuration. Expect some serious steering issues after convexing the bevel on the left side. And how are you going to get rid of the huge burr you create? Please be aware the OP's knives are stainless. Better do that with a carbon Opinel or so.
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