Thanks for the info. Someone also mentioned they really love the "Naniwa" stones that CKTG sells, any experience with them? I'm not sure what grit I should get for each, does it matter as long as I get the "coarse," "medium-coarse" and "medium-fine" stones? I know Korin had them listed as such and labeled what each was i.e., 400-1000 is -----.
I'm not sure what would be good to start with? Would a better quality stone do better for us newbies who don't know how to sharpen, or would it be the opposite?
I also want to stick with one place to buy everything if possible to keep shipping costs low.
As for electric sharpeners, honestly the thought didn't come to mind. Everywhere I go I see stones for sale, but I guess the sites are more geared towards people who know what they are doing....
The interesting thoughts about the thread was the mentioning that the speed of the metal being chipped away is much greater than a manual stone. The person was talking about people messing up the "temper" of the knife, by causing too much heat. Whether that happens is up for debate, but he seemed to know what he was talking about, but who knows. You also mention the preset bevels and such as well.
You also mentioned
I've heard or read from a number of people who have actually used the Chef's Choice (one who comes to mind is the former CT contributor BDL), and my understanding is that as long as you read the instructions, you are not at any greater risk of damaging your knife than with stones, and the speed at which it eats metal is at the order of magnitude of stones, not of metal-eating electric sharpeners.
So the last part is saying that the chef's choice eats metal at a slower rate than other metal-eating electric sharpeners?
AS for the knives and sharpening, I believe it would be best to get the stones, but I don't know. It seems the stones are a learning tool, and a way to make it perfect to how you want it.
I am thinking that I will get a knife myself, and I think it's something to learn, but you seem to be steering me away from the stones, is it just because of how difficult it is to work with them, or...?
The edge pro and the wicked edge seem interesting as well.
and as for "professionals" do you mean by someone who is going to be doing a lot of prep, or what? I would assume more prep would make you want to spend less time sharpening, but if you're doing it for yourself I would assume you would want to use the best means to make the best edge for yourself???
I guess I am up for anything, but the stones seemed to be a good choice... The problem is, some of these stones are pricey, so I'm not sure what's what? I've seen 10$ stones, and I've seen 100$ stones...
From what I've seen of the Stones, the "Chef's Choice," the "Wicked Edge," and the "Edge Pro" is that I'll be spending at least 150$ on sharpening equipment as well...
If you could give me some more advice and steer me in a good direction I'll appreciate it. This is all so new to me, and all so confusing, but I figure that now that I'm getting more into cooking I also should get a knife. The first knife is a gift for my dad, so I am going to be using the same sharpening equipment (for now) as him, so it's something we will learn together.
If stones are something that I should wait on, then I guess I will do that. Right now we have a knife set that has a honing rod that he uses, but I wouldn't want to use it on a good knife....
There are a lot of options, but what are the most preferred? It seems stones are big at all of these Japanese knife stores, so maybe it's a Japanese thing? Maybe us "Westerners" prefer other methods more?
Thanks for all the help and advice I appreciate it.
Originally Posted by Gladius
For freehand sharpening, you'll want at least a coarse stone for occasional reprofiling, a medium-coarse stone for sharpening, and a medium-fine stone for polishing. One of the best affordable examples of the first is the Beston 500, two of the best affordable examples of the second are the Bester 1200 and the Arashiyama 1k, and two of the best affordable examples of the third are the Suehiro Rika (it's 3k-5k depending on mud buildup) and the Arashiyama 6k. CKtG sells a package deal of the Beston 500, the Bester 1200, and the Suehiro Rika. If you can afford even better stones, Japanese Knife Imports sells a package of the Gesshin 400, Gesshin 2k, and Gesshin 6k. Those stones are said to cut faster yet leave a higher polish than other stones at similar grit levels. They have an amazing reputation. If and when I switch from my Edge Pro to freehand, I'm almost certainly getting Gesshin stones.
I highly recommend taking that thread about the Chef's Choice with a grain of salt (or less). The negative opinions in that thread were not by people who use the Chef's Choice. If memory serves, they were a mix of people who were speaking from experience with other electric sharpeners eating too much metal and of anecdotes someone heard about someone who used the Chef's Choice improperly and damaged the knife (I think it was the tip). I've heard or read from a number of people who have actually used the Chef's Choice (one who comes to mind is the former CT contributor BDL), and my understanding is that as long as you read the instructions, you are not at any greater risk of damaging your knife than with stones, and the speed at which it eats metal is at the order of magnitude of stones, not of metal-eating electric sharpeners. The Chef's Choice is the one good electric sharpener, and is a virtual necessity if the gift's recipient isn't going to be sharpening knives by some more manual means . That said, the Chef's Choice does have downsides, just not those. The downsides are that it restricts you to one or two preset bevel angles and gets your edge pretty sharp rather than extremely sharp, so it's probably not worth it on premium knives that can take an extremely sharp edge. It's probably more worth it on less expensive high-end knives. That said, if this person doesn't have any means of sharpening and certainly none better than a Chef's Choice, then any premium knife is going to be a waste of a gift unless you also give a sharpening kit. Sharpening is far more important than the knife. Decent sharpening (even a Chef's Choice) plus a $5 Tramontina knife is literally a gift that's orders of magnitude better than no sharpening plus a Konosuke, at least after the first couple weeks go by.
If you're dead-set on getting him a high-end knife and not a Chef's Choice (which, again, does seem reasonable for something as high-end as a Konosuke), then you really have to find out if he's willing to learn to sharpen. If not freehand, then you'll really need either to get him a rod-guided jig or get him to get one. The Wicked Edge is the easiest to learn but also really expensive. The Edge Pro has a learning curve but much less than stones. If he won't be getting either of these or some other way to sharpen, then a high-end knife is useless. All dull knives are equal, and dull lightweight knives are even less equal.
 The only other real option is *if* he lives near someone who happens to be a skilled knife sharpener, then he could send his knives out whenever they start to dull. But that means he won't be keeping his knives sharp unless he intends to pay around $15-$20 a week per knife, which defeats the purpose of a high end knife, *and* he won't be able to use the knives while they're in the shop. Additionally, it might be difficult to even find a real sharpener. Most "professionals" at best run your knife through a Chef's Choice and more likely through something that eats a ton of metal and leaves an obtuse edge with a coarse scratch pattern.