Knife Q&A part 2

Because the first part of the knife Q&A I did was such a success (I love hearing everyone’s input!), I decided to do another round now. There were many questions again:

Q: @zucker_macher asked: which knife do you like to use?

A: I like to use several knives, for instance my Kiyoshi Kato 240 workhorse gyuto and sujihiki, but I also love my simple Hinoura Ajikataya and Takamura R2 gyutos!

Q: @joskan_prlic asked: what is the best stone price/quality wise? @alex.miliarakis asked what is the best finishing stone? @chris_saplala asked for a recommendation of a polishing stone for a Masamoto KS kiritsuke. @bomaomaar asked if a kityama is a good finishing stone for a beginner.

A: As a synthetic polishing stone I do recommend the Kitayama. It is a very good stone, good size and still affordable. My other favourites are the JNS 1k, Shapton glass 500 grit (get the double thick one!) and the Watanabe AI2000 (which I think is the same as the Shapton Pro 2000. I also recommend the JNS 6000.

Of course you can go crazy with natural polishing stones, but I recommend first getting some experience with synthetic stones!

Q: @bignaldo83 asked: is there any real advantage to a double bevel knife compared to a single bevel knife?

A: Yes, there definitely is. Double bevel knives (can) have stronger edges and therefore the edge can withstand more contact with cutting boards and don’t steer through tall/hard ingredients (if sharpened/ground equal on both sides).

Q: @jdudley238 asked which stones I would use to sharpen VG10, in particular which grits.

A: For VG10 I wouldn’t go too high in grit, maybe useĀ a 1k stone followed by a 3k stone and then strop.

Q: @rick05uave asked what makes a natural sharpening stone great (instead of just good).

A: this is very personal, but I think everyone likes a good size stone, with smooth feedback, which leaves a nice edge and scratchless polish…

Q: @ethantaberham asked how one should work his or her way up different grit levels.

A: this depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you just want to sharpen an edge, you can make pretty big jumps actually (I usually do 1k, 8k, natural finishing stone). Of course this depends on the refinement you are trying to achieve and the steel you are using!

If you want to polish the whole bevel of a knife, you will need a few intermediary steps to make sure you take out all the scratches (for instance 500, 1000, 3000, 5000, natural polishing stone).

Q: @henryaispuro asked what is the highest grit you can sharpen at, without loosing toothiness for vegetables.

A: this highly depends on the steel. Some steel (like SLD) is really toothy, while other steels are not. Generally for vegetables I wouldn’t go higher than 6000 grit on Japanese knives, but I think 3000 can be enough as well easily. In any case, don’t overcomplicate this. Try some different finishes and see what works best for you!

Q: @santirendon25 asked which is better, natural or synthetic whetstones.

A: this answer is both simple and complicated at the same time: they both have their purpose. Generally synthetics are better at lower grits, while naturals can have certain advantages for polishing and finishing. This is even more difficult because every natural stone is different.