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Newby get good good results with Shun/Chris Reeve

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  • #56321
    Jason
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 4

    Hi,

    I have a set of fifteen year old Shun kitchen knives (SG2 Clad and Cobalt M.V.), and a Chris Reeve Small Sebenza 21 (SV35VN) folding pocket knife.

    I’ve never sharpened my own knives (always sent them out), but with the pandemic my usual providers are no longer available and I’ve always wanted to learn my to sharpen.

    I’m very close to pulling the trigger on a WE system (Pro Pack 3). But I fell down the rabbit hole of if/how/what abrasives are needed to get good edges on Japanese knives. I discovered some warnings against diamond for Japanese steel.

    I was planning to using a beater to break in the diamond stones from the Pro Pack, and progressing to my real knives. But now I have some self doubts. If I get the system, and practice 10-20 times on a beater knife, can I expect to get good results on my real knives? Will I need a lot more practice than I’m expecting? Should I skip the pro pack, and do wetstones for the Japanese knives? I feel like I did a bit too much research before I pulled the trigger.

    I’d love to proficiently keep my own knives, and maintain better sharpness, but I don’t need another full time job either ūüôā

    Thanks for any suggestions/advice.

    #56322
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2406

    Welcome to the Wicked Forum, Jason.

    The Pro Pack 3 is a great system.¬† The issue you’re discussing is not a sharpening system issue or a sharpening technique issue.¬† It is a sharpening medium issue.

    I too own and use Japanese Chef’s knives.¬† I have a variety of knives made of a variety of steels and steel hardness.¬† Both Stainless and Non-Stainless Steels.¬† Many of these steels required that I invest in whetstones to sharpen them.¬† That is, whetstones that are cut and mounted on W.E. sharpening paddles. I do use the W.E. diamond stones when I can use them well to obtain results I’m satisfied with.

    The whetstones allow me to sharpen the steels the diamond stones were unable to sharpen. ¬†The sharpening technique I use for these Japanese knives is pretty much the same technique I use for all my other knives.¬† Just the nature of the abrasives in the whetstones allows these steels to be sharpened well where the diamond stones either wouldn’t touch the Japanese steels or caused the steel edges to fail.¬† It is a bit more involved to work with whetstones since they are non-magnetic and they’re used wet.

    The whetstones are not available from W.E..¬† There are various brands of whetstones available mounted on W.E. handles but there are only a few people making and selling the whetstones sets.¬† ¬†The whetstones are a pretty good initial investment and they are consumable.¬† That is the whetstones wear with use and do require maintenance with lapping plates to keep them flat and level.¬† They are fragile and will break if dropped.¬† So¬† extra care is needed when using them.¬† All that said I love the results I get using the whetstones and I couldn’t have the knives I do without them.

    First-rack
    Second-rack

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

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    #56326
    Jason
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 4

    Thanks very much for your response, Marc. I do understand we’re just talking about different abrasives that can be used with the WE. What I was trying to figure out is can I get the Pro 3 (mostly diamond abrasives) and sharpen my particular Shun’s (SG2 Clad and Cobalt M.V. steels) to a good working edge. Or should I get a system with less diamond stones, and instead buy third party WE compatible wetstones (like the JENED WEPS Naniwa Chosera DIY Paddles)? If the later, what sequence of grits do I likely need to get to a good working edge? (not necessarily a mirror finish)? I think that the Cobalt MV = VG10=VGMax (but I’m not certain), the SG2’s Shuns are also known as ¬†SGPS, and my Chris Reeve is SV35. As some/all of those steels too brittle for diamond abrasives?

    I’m hoping not to get the bug enough to end up with racks like yours, but it is awesome!

    #56327
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2406

    I prefer “Splash and Go” stones like Shapton Pro Stones.¬† IMO, they are simpler to use and less messy.¬† They just require a spritz with water, as needed, not soaking like the Choseras.

    I have sharpened Shun VGMax with diamond stones and whetstones both.  R2/SG2 failed for me, with diamond stones. The only time I sharpened SV35 was with whetstones.

    Harder steels tend to be brittle.¬† The whetstones have sharpened every steel I’ve tried, where-as the diamonds can’t.¬† If I have any doubt or the knife cost more than $50 bucks or so, I start with whetstones.

    The whetstones grit for grit are more even, more predictable and consistent in their scratch patterns then diamond stones.  They are more work to use but I prefer the results.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    #56328
    Jason
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 4

    Thanks Marc. Is there a particular progression of grits for the Shapton Pro Stones you recommend (for a good working edge, not necessarily a vanity one)? I’ve seen the Shapton Pro Stones for WE on eBay, is that the best source? Is there a particular diamond lapping stone you need to level the Shaptons? What is the leveling process like?

    Sorry to ask so many questions, I do appreciate your help.

    #56329
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2406

    I have a full progression from coarsest¬† say 100-200 grit up to 2000 is fine enough,¬† I can’t tell you a progression. That depends on what you’re sharpening and what you want it to do.¬† I purchased several times from seller rainbow_sharpening_stones with never a problem.¬† He does top notch work.

    I prefer this lapping stone except for the very coarse grits.  Then you need something like these, or I prefer this.

    Watch this for the lapping process. ¬† I did buy my first set of Shaptons from Jende.¬† (I don’t think he sells them any longer).¬† I also have bought through Oldawan.com.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    #56330
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2406

    Actually my Shapton stone sets range from pretty coarse at 220 grit up to ultra extra-fine at 30K grit. I seldom need to progress finer then 2000 to 4000grit for a super sharp and lasting working edge.¬† If it’s a polish I’m after I may go up to 6K or 8K grit.¬† I don’t think I’ve used my 16K/30K grit pair but a handful of times.¬† Those ultra fine grits are very hard smooth stones.¬† They feel almost like a slick Arkansas oil stone.¬† The grit series available also depends on which particular type of Shapton stones are used.¬† ¬†I have a couple different kinds of Shapton “splash and go” stone sets.

    Just to help to put the whetstone’s efficiency in perspective,¬† the coarse Shapton stones 220 and 320 grits cut the toughest and hardest steels easier then the coarsest 50/75 grit W.E. diamond stones.¬† The coursest stone Shapton’s scratch pattern grooves appear more comparable to those scratches layed down using the W.E. 400 grit diamond stones.¬† So the whetstones remove less steel profiling and sharpening your edges to get the same results.¬† The whetstone scratch patterns are easier to over scratch and obliterate with a succession of finer grits.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #56435
    MIKE
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 5

    I wouldn’t put the Shuns on the WE. Just get Shapton Glass 1000 and 4000 as well as a strop kit with 1 and .5 micron abrasives and your Shuns will be better than new. I wouldn’t put that CRK anywhere near the WE until your stones are well broken in. You can spend a half day developing your stroke on a slab of steel or else sharpen every beater you have a few times.

    #56439
    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 62
    • Replies: 2406

    I have been using Shapton Glass Stones mounted on Wicked Edge paddles for years now. They are still my favorite whetstone variety out of all I have used, so far.¬† I have been hesitant to mention or discuss this particular whetstones on this forum. They are longer available to use with the W.E..¬† Shaptons had quit making these whetstones without the glass backings in a size conducive for mounting on W.E. paddles.¬† The Shapton Pro stones are almost as good for a close second choice.¬† For this reason I’ve been recommending the Shapton Pro Stones.¬† They’re readily available.

    I recently discovered a possible new source for the coveted Shapton Glass Stones that may be suitable for mounting on W.E. handles.¬† I’m still developing this promising source.¬† I will share more when I can.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-Its)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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