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First time sharpening, blade catching on finest grit stone

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So I bought my first stones (Shapton Glass 3 Stone set - 500/2000/16000) and practiced on a few old knives and then went to work on my Masamoto VGs.  Everything went quite well until I got to the 16000.  I was using the method of sharpening in both motions - towards and away from the edge.  If that makes sense.  When I got to the 16000 grit stone both of my knives kept catching on the stone when I was sharpening towards / into the edge.  It didn't happen on either knife on either of the more coarse stones. It obviously wasn't great for the condition of my new stone.  Although it didn't appear to have too much effect on the steel - I kept checking with an eye loop.  Any ideas as to why this was happening?  What am I doing wrong? 

Edited by YEM88 - 2/14/16 at 7:48pm
post #2 of 8

I don't use a stone as hard as this (my hardest stone is a Shapton Pro 8000) so I am guessing a little. However, the consensus on finishing stones seems to be that as one is only polishing rather than removing metal with the 10,000+ stones, one should be exerting little pressure - I suspect you are exerting as much pressure as the lower grit stones and hence why you are 'catching' it.

post #3 of 8

It's also a pretty big jump from 2K to 16K.  Try an 8 or 10K in between.  I understand the 8K doesn't clog as bad as the 10K, so that may be a better choice. 8K is not a bad place to stop either.

post #4 of 8
Especially if you're starting out, make sure you are setting a clean, even bevel on the 500 and 2k stones before considering the 16k. I how you're using the magic marker /sharpie trick to assess your bevel and edge as you sharpen. Use it as you continue onto the 16k to make sure you haven't raised the angle/you aren't wobbling the knife forward (very common when starting out and developing one's angle holding) and dug your knife into the stone. But in general a ceramic stone that high grit and a Shapton GS at that tend to feel more unforgiving.

Agree with Rick Alan on the jump. No clue why they sell that set of 3. The grit particles don't really seem to break down and polish higher than their ratings (the general nature of harder ceramic stones), so I'm thinking there's not a realistic way the 2k completely leads into the 16k.

With decent stainless knives like the Masamoto VG, finishes in the 5-8k range work well. I don't own a synthetic stone above 8k so my knives (stainless and carbon) get finished anywhere between 4k-ish to 8k. Other people's knives, to 3k.

If your Masamotos got finished at a decent 2k edge it would be fine to keep it that way for a while until you get better at using the 16k/get a friendlier to use finishing stone.
post #5 of 8
To put it a bit crudely: 16k makes no sense with a double-bevelled, and certainly not for a stainless. And indeed one would need a full progression to get there. I use fine grits only for stropping and deburring, I rarely perform a full sharpening above 3k.
After your Shapton 2k you may consider a Naniwa Professional (AKA Chosera) 3k which is more or less equivalent to a JIS4k.
Sell that 16k or keep it for razor work.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for the replies.  Everything mentioned makes sense.   I researched tons before buying these stones of course.  And everyone has their varying opinions so it was hard to decide.  But when I caught the Shapton GS set on sale for $200 instead of $315 I felt like it couldn't be a terrible choice.  Perhaps I will add something in between the 2000 and the 16000.  For now I think I will just stop at 2000 as I didn't really see much difference after using the 16000.  Except for the small chips in my stone!  :eek:  :p


And yes @foody518 I was definitely using the sharpie trick.  I am way too noob to not be taking that precaution!  It worked really well and i felt like I held my angle well.  Except in one small place where I can see I let it slip a tiny bit.  That can only be seen with the eye loop. 


@Benuser When I bought the stones I thought just that - maybe I can get a straight edge razor (because I'll have that 16k stone) so I can have another hobby that costs me more money than I need to be spending.  I'll need to put that stone to work now that it isn't all that useful on my current kitchen knives.  :D

post #7 of 8
Definitely make sure to go light on the pressure while you sharpen -lighter than you think! Every sharpening session I have is still another time I have to remind myself to push way less hard than I think I need to.

Add something in between the 2k and 16k, go for it! For a medium fine finish I really like the Suehiro Rika 5k (I see a website list other grit Suehiros as the Rika but it is a mis-naming, hopefully not on purpose). Consensus among sharpeners is that it yields a 3k finish initially unless you work the slurry more, which will get it to break down into around the 5k range. It feels soooo nice, quite creamy. Very forgiving feel, probably the other end of the spectrum from the glass stones. Very manageable price too.
Also have recently picked up a Sigma Power Jinzo Renge Suita 6k stone. I need to try and use it with slurry, but I like what I've gotten off of it thus far. Feels nicer to use than my 8k stones, may be my new synthetic finisher.

Although, if you were in the price range of Shapton GS to start with, you might as well get a Gesshin stone and be very happy smile.gif give Jon at JKI a call and ask him what he thinks will work well for you.
post #8 of 8

Yes the Geshin 8K I think would be the ideal here.  And as far as the 16K goes, it's just way too much work getting the scratches out of a 2K finish with a 16K.  That is another reason you weren't seeing an improvement, but many it was going too hard and digging your edge into the stone.  And of course make sure the edges of your stone are beveled.

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