natural stones and polished edges

soundmind

KNIFE MAKER
I could probably spend some time in the next forum under this one but had a couple questions anyway on sharpening.

Is a polished edge practical for hunters or only used primarily for kitchen knives and razors? (I was thinking for someone's edc it'd be a matter of preference?)

I also have a piece of countertop I think is granite. It'll take out 1500 scratches so I think I'm ending up in 2000 to 3000. I'm using both oil and water but I think it likes water best.

So that got me reading online. Is there any real benefit on my hunters (or kitchen knives) to go up to like ten or thirty thousands I see some people do with natural stones?
 

Andre Grobler

Well-Known Member
generallyspeaking, no. ifind 1000 grit diamond hone edge, formed carefully, and then a light strop, not a buff, with 2000-3000 grit compound good. the granite varies a lot. i prefer water.for a slicey very fine kitchen edge i go to 8000 grit.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Agreed. And not all stones cut the same. For kitchen knives I use 1000 and 6000 grit stones, then strop on leather. Sure, a sushi knife can go way higher but for a general use kitchen knife you are better off with a slightly toothy edge than a super polished one. A polished edge can have a lot of problems getting started on firmer things like tomatoes or meats which need a tiny bit of laceration to get the cut started.

On a belt grinder I sharpen with a 220 and go to a worn out 600 grit and then a leather strop.
 

soundmind

KNIFE MAKER
That's all helpful. Polishing with natural stones sure caught my attention but I soon realized it could be a waste of time unless I was making/using razors. Not that I wouldn't mind, but there are lots of other ways I could use my time. I appreciate the replies, thanks.

I'll probably try finishing up to 1000 with paper on the the granite countertop - then strop. I have white, pink, and green from Jantz I bought blind when I first started. I'll get some synthetic stones when I get a chance. My 800 belt leaves marks above the bevel.

The granite seemed good for redressing, but I think fine diamond will be good for hunters for now.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
That's all helpful. Polishing with natural stones sure caught my attention but I soon realized it could be a waste of time unless I was making/using razors. Not that I wouldn't mind, but there are lots of other ways I could use my time. I appreciate the replies, thanks.

I'll probably try finishing up to 1000 with paper on the the granite countertop - then strop. I have white, pink, and green from Jantz I bought blind when I first started. I'll get some synthetic stones when I get a chance. My 800 belt leaves marks above the bevel.

The granite seemed good for redressing, but I think fine diamond will be good for hunters for now.

Diamond stones are wonderful and fast. They don't produce pretty edges, if that matters. Paper on a granite block or a glass plate makes for a shockingly good stone. Sharpening on stones falls into one of two categories: 1) practicality for people who use knives as tools to cut things, and 2) labor of love for knife nerds. There's nothing wrong with either approach but they aren't the same.

For practicality, it would be very difficult to beat Murray Carter's advice. Spend about $50 total on two waterstones: King 1000 and King 6000 plus a holder. The holder really does make the whole process better. Then finish on a leather strop.

If you want to go down the "edge of perfection" rabbit hole you can spend an absolute fortune on natural stones and spend an absolute eternity to get about a 5% better edge than you would with the King waterstones. Sure, it will be pretty. You'll rub those bevels on your Naniwa stone until the edges shine like a bumper on a 53 Cadillac. And then you'll hit a bone and put a nick in the edge and spend 100 hours doing it all over again.

Seriously, though- Murray Carter's sharpening videos on YouTube are absolute GOLD when it comes to using stones from a practical perspective. The man took a kitchen spoon and sharpened it and then shaved his beard off with it. It's a great video and demystifies sharpening a great deal.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
Diamond stones are wonderful and fast. They don't produce pretty edges, if that matters. Paper on a granite block or a glass plate makes for a shockingly good stone. Sharpening on stones falls into one of two categories: 1) practicality for people who use knives as tools to cut things, and 2) labor of love for knife nerds. There's nothing wrong with either approach but they aren't the same.

For practicality, it would be very difficult to beat Murray Carter's advice. Spend about $50 total on two waterstones: King 1000 and King 6000 plus a holder. The holder really does make the whole process better. Then finish on a leather strop.

If you want to go down the "edge of perfection" rabbit hole you can spend an absolute fortune on natural stones and spend an absolute eternity to get about a 5% better edge than you would with the King waterstones. Sure, it will be pretty. You'll rub those bevels on your Naniwa stone until the edges shine like a bumper on a 53 Cadillac. And then you'll hit a bone and put a nick in the edge and spend 100 hours doing it all over again.

Seriously, though- Murray Carter's sharpening videos on YouTube are absolute GOLD when it comes to using stones from a practical perspective. The man took a kitchen spoon and sharpened it and then shaved his beard off with it. It's a great video and demystifies sharpening a great deal.
John, I got to see that can you link the video?
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
Lol...ok I thought he was going to teach some sharpening but it was just him shaving lol. I will have to google his other videos
 

soundmind

KNIFE MAKER
I ended up with a nice piece of quartzite which I flattened and roughed up with a diamond cup wheel for an angle grinder and about a 60 grit diamond file. I'm not sure what grit I have yet, but it will nicely touch up my edge. It's a nice glacier blue when it's wet and will raise a slurry. I enjoy using it. I'm looking to make a holder for it and after reading some of the posts about Teak awhile back it seemed like a good way to go.

I was just looking at the King stones last night and wondering if they were any good. Just noticed today JWilson had already mentioned them. They seem reasonably priced and have a nice holder/case. I was tempted to grab one just for a comparison with what I made.

I also have a good diamond lapping plate coming, too. Hopefully to flatten this quartz out a little better. I might try jade, too. What I've learned so far to look for in natural stones is close grained, harder than the steel, and 'homogenous.' I think what I like about them so far is that your not locked into one size, their natural beauty, and you can shape them into whatever size you want.

I'll be experimenting more with this off and on over the next few months.
 
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