Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

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cycleguy
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Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby cycleguy » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:36 pm

Hi, I was wondering if any of you would care to suggest recommendations as to what my next sharpening stone should be???

I 'm just a beginner when it comes to metal sharpening (any metal work) and appear to be improving now that I'm interested in more than dragging a blade thru a carbide/ceramic "V" tool. I have the Smith's fine (750 grit) and course (325) grit 11.5" x 2.5" diamond stones and would like to add to them.

I like having the stone on a work surface and running the knife with both hands over the larger real estate these stones offer. My knives can range from pockets of 1" to 3" and fixed blades going up to 4" and kitchen cutlery from 4" to 8". Everything I've sharpened so far worth mention is 420HC, VG-10, and S30V.

I've seen some combination wetstones that look interesting; one side around 1100 grit and the opposite side around 6000 grit including a base to help hold it in place on a work surface. I don't mind spending money on decent tools so it doesn't need to be inexpensive but it doesn't need to be high end either if decent less expensive alternatives are available. At this time I'm just looking at stones for freehand work; not belts or wheels or vise based systems.

Thanks in advance for the tips,

CG
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Deadboxhero
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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby Deadboxhero » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:18 pm

cycleguy wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:36 pm
Hi, I was wondering if any of you would care to suggest recommendations as to what my next sharpening stone should be???

I 'm just a beginner when it comes to metal sharpening (any metal work) and appear to be improving now that I'm interested in more than dragging a blade thru a carbide/ceramic "V" tool. I have the Smith's fine (750 grit) and course (325) grit 11.5" x 2.5" diamond stones and would like to add to them.

I like having the stone on a work surface and running the knife with both hands over the larger real estate these stones offer. My knives can range from pockets of 1" to 3" and fixed blades going up to 4" and kitchen cutlery from 4" to 8". Everything I've sharpened so far worth mention is 420HC, VG-10, and S30V.

I've seen some combination wetstones that look interesting; one side around 1100 grit and the opposite side around 6000 grit including a base to help hold it in place on a work surface. I don't mind spending money on decent tools so it doesn't need to be inexpensive but it doesn't need to be high end either if decent less expensive alternatives are available. At this time I'm just looking at stones for freehand work; not belts or wheels or vise based systems.

Thanks in advance for the tips,

CG
Everyone here will recommend the Spyderco stones, which are ok.

That double sided stone you mentioned is usually a king water stone. I like those but they don't have alot of horsepower and they dish quick. Those were some of my first stones 8 years ago.

There are alot of really bad knockoff stones like "sharp pebble" that are blue and white in color. I'd avoid those. Not very good and the same price as the king stone which is better, there is a flood of poor quality stones on Amazon, I'd stick to the name brands.

Also it's more about the user then the tools so all the options will at the end of the day work just fine. Some just better then others :D

My top pick is the atoma 400 and the Naniwa 800 diamond and a 1um diamond spray and leather strop.

That's my favorite set-up with what is currently available on the market and without being the highest end $400 stones
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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby fanglekai » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:54 pm

Norton crystolon or india 8" bench stone. Each has a coarse and fine side. They run $20.

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Vivi
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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby Vivi » Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:59 am

I'd suggest a medium Spyderco bench stone for finishing your edges. That and a coarse diamond plate for setting the bevel is all you need.

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:48 am

Vivi wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 1:59 am
I'd suggest a medium Spyderco bench stone for finishing your edges. That and a coarse diamond plate for setting the bevel is all you need.
VIVI I do agree with you on the Spyderco "medium" 302 Benchstone. But I wouldn't stop there because when I got my first Spyderco 302 Benchstone I got all 3 of them. The Fine and Ultra-Fine also together do a great overall job for a beginner and working with Spyderco's 302 Benchstones truly do give you a feel for sharpening benchstones in general.

When I got my first set of Spyderco 302 Benchstones I had at that time had used the older Arkansas (Novaculite) stones which at that time were becoming somewhat obsolete. Whereas the Spyderco 302 Benchstones will still sharpen even most of the newer blade steels out there. Now it wouldn't be a bad idea for him to get a really good monocrystalline diamond ( preferably coarse or extra-coarse) benchstone for really banged up and super dull blades. But seriously you just can't go wrong with Spyderco's 302 Benchstones. Those stones of Spyderco's are not only great for a beginner they are also great to have for someone who has been doing it for quite a long time as well.

Most of your better knife dealers like New Graham and GP both usually keep those in stock as well as many other Spyderco dealers.

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby Pelagic » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:19 am

Can't go wrong with the advice here, but I'll throw in mine.

The smith's diamond stone will wear out quickly sharpening high alloy steel. It'll handle s30v fine for a few months and begin to slow down. Something like s90v will wear it out noticeably sooner. Of course this all depends on how often you sharpen but if you're getting into spyderco, you're probably going to end up owning some models in carbide rich steels.

Right now I own the $35 DMT stones in XC (220), C (325), F (600), AND EF (1200). They are a good value and last a long time for the price, but there are better options. I second the atoma 400 plate. This may be my next purchase when my DMT's wear out or I just feel like spending more. The Atoma has a much more uniform distribution of diamonds on it compared to the DMT, which are hit and miss (trust me, DMT works fine, but if you're an edge snob, the Atoma leaves a more uniform scratch pattern). This means it's a better choice for flattening/resurfacing stones as well. It also cuts very quickly, which is good imo. The Atoma 400 plate will absolutely take care of all your needs regarding rough work, fast/coarse sharpening, and re-profiling. If all I had was s110v I could get by with the Atoma 400 and a strop alone.

You'll need something finer, in the 800/1000 range. I recommend a CBN or diamond waterstone. Deadboxhero's Naniwa suggestion is a good one. I would personally go with a Venev to save money. But more and more products are coming out so there are lots of options. You will be using this more than the 400 grit plate, so a waterstone makes sense, as instead of wearing out, it wears away, constantly releasing fresh abrasive. You do not want to get an extremely cheap stone in this grit range, make sure it has good reviews.

For strops, I'd recommend a flat piece of basswood loaded with 3-5 micron diamond spray or compound. This is for burr removal, something that takes a while for a beginner to fully grasp. I like to additionally load my burr removal strops with diamond powder for fast cutting (which means less stropping). The better you get with your stones, the less stropping you'll need. A wood strop is more forgiving than leather in several ways. It's simpler, as you just use the same exact angle in which you were using on the stones. You're also able to apply some extra pressure, since the wood does not give or press down (like leather), you don't risk rounding off your apex.

I'd also get a 1 micron strop on leather. This will be your finisher. Very light passes, using an angle ever-so-slightly more shallow than the angle you used on the stones. A 1 micron strop, used properly, will take most knives to hair-whittling sharpness well before the scratch pattern from your previous stone is removed.

Maybe this would run you about $200ish (atoma, venev, 2 cheap strops), but you'd be absolutely set for a long time with very high quality products. If you want to put very fine edges on your knives, you will want at least one additional stone and an additional strop, probably a 2000 grit, a spyderco ultra fine, and a 0.25 micron strop. Strops are cheap. But you will be fine without all that.
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DBCOOPER
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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby DBCOOPER » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:28 am

I'd suggest diamond stones, bench stones can become very expensive as you need to progress through grits, maybe look into Spyderco sharpmaker, or lanskys diamond set
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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:35 am

There are two diamond stones I've owned for some time now. One in particular has lasted me for a very long time and I haven't noticed much wear at all. I'm speaking of my "3M" extra-coarse diamond benchstone. You don't hear "3M" diamond stones mentioned much on any of the knife forums. I got mine at a Texas Knife show about 10 years ago from a vendor called "Texas Knifemaker Supply".

Later from a woodworking supply house here in KC I got a couple of sets of 3M diamond files that have come in super handy over the years. But comparing my 3M diamond stones to just about any other brand I've owned and used the only one that even comes close to my 3M stones is the one NORTON diamond stone ( coarse) that I've owned for quite some time.

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby Zatx » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:45 am

fanglekai wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:54 pm
Norton crystolon or india 8" bench stone. Each has a coarse and fine side. They run $20.
^^^ This.

I've used every sharpening system invented, and the sharpest I've ever gotten a blade is off of one of these. Plus, it was the most enjoyable sharpening experiences. Get really good with a $20 Norton Indian stone and you'll be able to sharpen a blade with anything after that.

Diamond stones are highly effective, but its like nails on a chalkboard in comparison to the therapeutic sound of a Norton stone... ahhhhhh.

My Lord, I've been sharpening too long!

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby JD Spydo » Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:17 am

Zatx wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:45 am
fanglekai wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:54 pm
Norton crystolon or india 8" bench stone. Each has a coarse and fine side. They run $20.
^^^ This.

I've used every sharpening system invented, and the sharpest I've ever gotten a blade is off of one of these. Plus, it was the most enjoyable sharpening experiences. Get really good with a $20 Norton Indian stone and you'll be able to sharpen a blade with anything after that.

Diamond stones are highly effective, but its like nails on a chalkboard in comparison to the therapeutic sound of a Norton stone... ahhhhhh.

My Lord, I've been sharpening too long!
I certainly can't disagree with the recommendation of any of NORTON's sharpening tools. I do own several of NORTON's stones and the NORTON coarse diamond stone I have at this time has been a great one for honing out really beat up blades. I like NORTON and 3M diamond stones better than I do those of DMT, SMITH, and Timberline just to name a few. Also I've owned one of the Norton "Triple Flip" systems that you see in a lot of professional meat packing houses. I got mine for a song on Ebay about 10 years ago with the stones included.

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby Eli Chaps » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:27 am

For the average person, UltraSharp's 300/1200 grit combo diamond stone is pretty tough to beat.

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby cycleguy » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:03 pm

Thanks everyone.

You have likely saved me many hours in forums and youtube trying to research and make this decision.

I haven't decided which way to go yet but I'm going to try an 8" (nominal) size stone ... so many more choices vs the 11" (nominal) size stone and less money; and will stick to a name brand.

CG
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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby jpm2 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:34 am

The Norton crystolon jb8 is my go to for anything short of touch ups. However, I do not like their india stone.
My diamond stuff is for refinement/finishing only.

The jb8 coarse side [background] gobbles s30v for lunch.

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby Tdog » Mon Dec 24, 2018 10:38 am

I would second (or third :p ) the Norton. Inexpensive, effective, and if dropped, not out too much. For years that's all we used when commercial fishing. They will dish with use, but that can be remedied.

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby DBCOOPER » Tue Dec 25, 2018 12:00 am

Lansky diamond stone guided system
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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby awa54 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:14 am

I love water stones (especially Japanese made ones, but there are a few non-Japanese versions that aren't complete junk), but the "regular" types are only truly effective on carbon steels and classic low carbide stainless. There are newer versions that will work on super steels, but they're pricey and for that money I'm inclined to go with diamonds.

The diamond stones I have extensive time on are the DMT, which are excellent, but suffer from the typical issues of many diamond hones; the grit is held in the plate by nickel plating and can tear out of wear off over time and with higher working pressures.

Next, EZE-LAP diamond plates have the grit fused into the surface of the hone, they last better under rough use than the DMT products, but require either careful dressing or break-in that the DMTs don't. They can be worn out or damaged, but it takes more abuse than similar plated surface stones.

Finally the "bonded" Venev diamond hones are probably the best of the three I know well, they're made of a binder that looks a lot like brake pad material that's got diamond abrasive suspended in it. They wear slowly and as they wear the grit remains effective unlike the others that have grit only on the top surface. There are bench stones available in this material, but they're fairly expensive.
-David

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby GarageBoy » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:53 am

Pelagic wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:19 am
Can't go wrong with the advice here, but I'll throw in mine.

The smith's diamond stone will wear out quickly sharpening high alloy steel. It'll handle s30v fine for a few months and begin to slow down. Something like s90v will wear it out noticeably sooner. Of course this all depends on how often you sharpen but if you're getting into spyderco, you're probably going to end up owning some models in carbide rich steels.

Right now I own the $35 DMT stones in XC (220), C (325), F (600), AND EF (1200). They are a good value and last a long time for the price, but there are better options. I second the atoma 400 plate. This may be my next purchase when my DMT's wear out or I just feel like spending more. The Atoma has a much more uniform distribution of diamonds on it compared to the DMT, which are hit and miss (trust me, DMT works fine, but if you're an edge snob, the Atoma leaves a more uniform scratch pattern). This means it's a better choice for flattening/resurfacing stones as well. It also cuts very quickly, which is good imo. The Atoma 400 plate will absolutely take care of all your needs regarding rough work, fast/coarse sharpening, and re-profiling. If all I had was s110v I could get by with the Atoma 400 and a strop alone.

So Smith stones are not near the quality of dmt? ****, they were so cheap when knife center was blowing them out. You can maintain an edge on s110v using an atoma 400 only?

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Re: Sharpening Stone Recommendation for Beginner

Postby Pelagic » Wed Dec 26, 2018 11:09 am

GarageBoy wrote:
Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:53 am
Pelagic wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:19 am
Can't go wrong with the advice here, but I'll throw in mine.

The smith's diamond stone will wear out quickly sharpening high alloy steel. It'll handle s30v fine for a few months and begin to slow down. Something like s90v will wear it out noticeably sooner. Of course this all depends on how often you sharpen but if you're getting into spyderco, you're probably going to end up owning some models in carbide rich steels.

Right now I own the $35 DMT stones in XC (220), C (325), F (600), AND EF (1200). They are a good value and last a long time for the price, but there are better options. I second the atoma 400 plate. This may be my next purchase when my DMT's wear out or I just feel like spending more. The Atoma has a much more uniform distribution of diamonds on it compared to the DMT, which are hit and miss (trust me, DMT works fine, but if you're an edge snob, the Atoma leaves a more uniform scratch pattern). This means it's a better choice for flattening/resurfacing stones as well. It also cuts very quickly, which is good imo. The Atoma 400 plate will absolutely take care of all your needs regarding rough work, fast/coarse sharpening, and re-profiling. If all I had was s110v I could get by with the Atoma 400 and a strop alone.

So Smith stones are not near the quality of dmt? ****, they were so cheap when knife center was blowing them out. You can maintain an edge on s110v using an atoma 400 only?
No, in my experience they are not even close in terms of longevity. DMT products are not highly refined but they are an excellent value and fairly long lasting.

S110V (high vanadium steels in general) is unique in that it holds very toothy edges for a long time. Giving it a very fine edge means lots of effort for little benefit. A 400 grit edge, deburred, and refined briefly with a 1 or 3 micron strop takes only a few minutes and yields an edge that takes advantage of the properties exhibited by the steel. The atoma leaves a very clean, uniform scratch pattern for being so coarse and fast cutting as well.
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