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Stone/Strop Question – 1500 Diamond vs. 1200/1600 Ceramic

Recent Forums Main Forum Getting Started Stone/Strop Question – 1500 Diamond vs. 1200/1600 Ceramic

This topic contains 17 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  Jim 08/20/2018 at 3:39 pm.

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  • #47257

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 17

    So I didn’t want to hijack MStarmer’s previous thread on the 1500 Diamond and Strop question so I wanted to post my own.

    First, thanks everyone for the replies to my previous thread a little earlier this year.  I went with a 130 and stones up to 1K.  Life happened and I’m just now able to get back into sharpening and I want to add some stones and strops now that I am becoming proficient with the 130.

    Currently,  I have stones up to the 1000 grit.    While I can get a good edge with these, I find that after some light strokes on my Spyderco Ultra Fine benchstone, the edges go from very sharp to extremely sharp.

    So,  would it make sense to go with the single sided 1500 grit Diamond stones w/ Platen plate that I probably will never use or with the 1200/1600 ceramic stones?   I would then follow either up with some 4/2 leather strops.  I’m not looking for a mirror edge but just wanted to take the sharpness level as far as I can if possible.

    What do you guys prefer?

    Thanks in Advance.

    Jim

    #47258

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Welcome back Jim, I do continue my diamond stone progression up through and including the 1500 grit diamond stone, and stop with the diamond stones there.  If you want to consider including a ceramic stone in your progression my preference is the “microfine ceramic set” 1.4 micron/ 0.6 micron, over the “superfine” ceramic set 1200/1600 grit.  I feel I have better results with that set.  Also I found these very similar to the “Spyderco Sharpmaker stones.  I did just notice the “micro-fine ceramics” are temporarily unavailable from WE.  It’s possible they are still available from other authorized dealers.  Just to make you aware, all the ceramics stones do require a very long “break-in” period before these stones will yield their best results.

    I generally, in most circumstances, simply proceed from the 1500 grit diamond right to a 4 micron / 2 micron strop progression after lowering my bevel angle by 2 degrees lower, (i.e., more acute), than the bevel sharpening angle.

     

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #47259

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 709

    The 1500 grit is a great choice for after the 1000. It is very efficient and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with it. I have both the 1500 and the 1.4 / 0.6 ceramic stones. I really enjoy the finish that they leave and I think you will like them as well. I use them after the 1500 diamond plate. Clay has said that these are made by the same manufacturer that makes the Spyderco sharpmaker ceramic stones. I do not have the 1200 / 1600 ceramics, so I can’t comment on them.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #47264

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 17

    Welcome back Jim, I do continue my diamond stone progression up through and including the 1500 grit diamond stone, and stop with the diamond stones there. If you want to consider including a ceramic stone in your progression my preference is the “microfine ceramic set” 1.4 micron/ 0.6 micron, over the “superfine” ceramic set 1200/1600 grit. I feel I have better results with that set. Also I found these very similar to the “Spyderco Sharpmaker stones. I did just notice the “micro-fine ceramics” are temporarily unavailable from WE. It’s possible they are still available from other authorized dealers. Just to make you aware, all the ceramics stones do require a very long “break-in” period before these stones will yield their best results. I generally, in most circumstances, simply proceed from the 1500 grit diamond right to a 4 micron / 2 micron strop progression after lowering my bevel angle by 2 degrees lower, (i.e., more acute), than the bevel sharpening angle.

    The 1500 grit is a great choice for after the 1000. It is very efficient and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with it. I have both the 1500 and the 1.4 / 0.6 ceramic stones. I really enjoy the finish that they leave and I think you will like them as well. I use them after the 1500 diamond plate. Clay has said that these are made by the same manufacturer that makes the Spyderco sharpmaker ceramic stones. I do not have the 1200 / 1600 ceramics, so I can’t comment on them.

    Ah, thanks for the responses.   Given that the Micro Fine Ceramics are out of stock right now,  I might just go the with 1500 Diamond as suggested with the 4/2 strops.   I can always add the Micro Fine Ceramics down the road.

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    #47268

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 33
    • Replies: 1692

    I’m sure you’ll be very happy with the 1500/glass platen stones.  If and when you’ll decide to try the film, I think you’ll find that the 6-micron film is a perfect next step up from the 1500.

    With your stated lack of interest in mirror edges, I would think that 1500 or 6-micron film produce an entirely acceptable level of sharpness.   When you really want an ultimate edge, finishing up with your bench stone or improvised strop should get you there.

    For those who are seeking the best edges they can produce, I try to always suggest that their best investment at that time is to get an angle cube and a USB microscope.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #47270

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Jim it appears that Oldwan does have the Microfine Set in stock.  THe owner, Bob, is a good, reputable source, for WE products.  He’s a pleasure to deal with and an authorized dealer.  He ships promptly.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    Jim
    #47273

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 17

    I’m sure you’ll be very happy with the 1500/glass platen stones. If and when you’ll decide to try the film, I think you’ll find that the 6-micron film is a perfect next step up from the 1500. With your stated lack of interest in mirror edges, I would think that 1500 or 6-micron film produce an entirely acceptable level of sharpness. When you really want an ultimate edge, finishing up with your bench stone or improvised strop should get you there. For those who are seeking the best edges they can produce, I try to always suggest that their best investment at that time is to get an angle cube and a USB microscope.

    Thanks for the info.   I have an angle cube and use it on all my sharpenings.  I photograph and document the settings on each knife for future reference.

    I have tried films on another system that a friend uses.  I just don’t like using them all that much.  I think I would be much happier with a strop since I use them quite a bit when freehand sharpening.   But, if I do go with the 1500, it’s always an option.

    Jim it appears that Oldwan does have the Microfine Set in stock. THe owner, Bob, is a good, reputable source, for WE products. He’s a pleasure to deal with and an authorized dealer. He ships promptly.

     

    Thanks for the heads up.  I actually stumbled across them via Amazon. Looks like Bob sells through them.

    Question.  After my 1000 Grit,   would jumping to the Micro Fine Ceramics and then a a strop work?  Or, is the jump to big?   Would I need to fill in with the 1500 Diamond?

    When freehand sharpening,  I often time go from a DMT Fine to a Spyderco Fine and Ultra Fine.   It’s cleans the bevel up a bit and gives it a bit of a polish.

    I’m trying to conserve a little cash if possible and will need to sell something to fund it.  Promised the wife, no “new money” to be spent on knives and sharpening until after some upcoming vacations.   Wifes,  huh?

    #47276

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Jim,

    When your stones are well broken in and when you’re confident that your technique is good, as your sharpening experience increases, I think you’ll find you can achieve a nicely polished bevel, with exactly the stones you now own, simply by putting in extra time and effort with each grit in your progression.  By verifying your guide rod angle settings, using your digital angle device, with each and every stone grit change you’ll insure your working directly on the bevel at the same angle, with each grit.  If you spend a little more time and effort above and beyond what you’ve been exercising to this point, I think you’ll see a marked improvement towards the appearance of a shiny bevel.

    When you think the edge is good and sharp with the grit you’re using, instead of stepping up to a finer grit as you would usually do, continue to work your stones with the goal to even out the appearance of the scratch patterns to be straight, parallel and uniform across the full length of the knife edge.  When you think you’ve done enough do some more just for good measure.  This is where it’s handy to use a USB microscope.  With this extra effort, I believe, by the time you reach the 800 grit you’ll see the beginning of a polished bevel.  Then certainly with the 1000 grit stones.  The 1500, ceramics or lapping films will take you tighter, closer and shallower in your scratches but I think you’ll find you can go from 1000 grit right to the strops and get a better shine than you had been getting just with the extra effort and the attention to details.

    If you have the strops, a three or four grit step down progression with finer and finer grits will really bring the best out of your edge, cutting and shine.  Remember to back off on the angle when stropping by a degree or two.

    When you are able to procure the microfine stones they can be used right after the 1000 grit or the even 1500 grit diamond stones.  Then finish up with the strops.

    The bottom line is, I believe the biggest contributor to smooth shiny bevels are the technique, time and effort put in, not the number of different grits used in your progression.  Combine the technique, time and effort with the addition of increasingly finer grits, in your progression, will make your shine even better.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    2 users thanked author for this post.
    #47277

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 709

    If you’ve only got the money to spend on either the 1.4 / 0.6 ceramics or the 1500 / glass, my suggestion would be for the 1500 / glass. The 1500 is a very high quality finishing stone.

    I haven’t tried the jump from 1000 directly to the 1.4 ceramic. I know that most people doing free hand sharpening use much larger grit jumps in their sharpening progressions than WE users do. My guess is that the result will be similar to what you see when going from the DMT fine (1200 grit?) to the Spyderco ceramic stones. If this is an appealing proposition, I would suggest calling Wicked Edge or Oldawan and talking with them about it. I’m sure that they would have tired this progression and can tell you more about what to expect and can help you figure out which way to go.

    3 users thanked author for this post.
    #47278

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    Take a look at the Pro-Pack 2 setup offered by Wicked Edge.  You’ll see the abrasive pairs included are for a  progression from 1000 grit diamonds to the micro-fine ceramics, then on to the strops.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #47279

    Organic
    Participant
    • Topics: 16
    • Replies: 709

    It looks like Marc is right. I previously was under the impression that the ceramics in that kit were the 1200 / 1600. Given that WE sells a kit with the 1000 to 1.4 ceramic progression, that is a totally valid way to go. Bear in mind that the 1500 does cut a lot faster than the ceramic stones.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
    #47280

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 17

    Jim, When your stones are well broken in and when you’re confident that your technique is good, as your sharpening experience increases, I think you’ll find you can achieve a nicely polished bevel, with exactly the stones you now own, simply by putting in extra time and effort with each grit in your progression. By verifying your guide rod angle settings, using your digital angle device, with each and every stone grit change you’ll insure your working directly on the bevel at the same angle, with each grit. If you spend a little more time and effort above and beyond what you’ve been exercising to this point, I think you’ll see a marked improvement towards the appearance of a shiny bevel. When you think the edge is good and sharp with the grit you’re using, instead of stepping up to a finer grit as you would usually do, continue to work your stones with the goal to even out the appearance of the scratch patterns to be straight, parallel and uniform across the full length of the knife edge. When you think you’ve done enough do some more just for good measure. This is where it’s handy to use a USB microscope. With this extra effort, I believe, by the time you reach the 800 grit you’ll see the beginning of a polished bevel. Then certainly with the 1000 grit stones. The 1500, ceramics or lapping films will take you tighter, closer and shallower in your scratches but I think you’ll find you can go from 1000 grit right to the strops and get a better shine than you had been getting just with the extra effort and the attention to details. If you have the strops, a three or four grit step down progression with finer and finer grits will really bring the best out of your edge, cutting and shine. Remember to back off on the angle when stropping by a degree or two. When you are able to procure the microfine stones they can be used right after the 1000 grit or the even 1500 grit diamond stones. Then finish up with the strops. The bottom line is, I believe the biggest contributor to smooth shiny bevels are the technique, time and effort put in, not the number of different grits used in your progression. Combine the technique, time and effort with the addition of increasingly finer grits, in your progression, will make your shine even better.

    Take a look at the Pro-Pack 2 setup offered by Wicked Edge. You’ll see the abrasive pairs included are for a progression from 1000 grit diamonds to the micro-fine ceramics, then on to the strops.

    Thanks Marc.      Just to be clear,  I’m not after the elusive “mirror edge” but rather like a slightly polished edge purely for what I am perceiving as a sharper edge.   Not really concerns about the look of the edge.    But, I do agree that I can probably keep working on honing my skills on the grits up to the 1000.  I’m getting good consistent results now but I know with some additional “touch” and “feel” technique improvement,  I can do better.  I think I’ll likely go ahead and get the strops now so I can jump to them after the 1000.   I will then add the Micro Fine or 1500 once I raise some funds.

    I’ve got some extra Shapton Glass stones I’ll likely move.   I have found I really haven’t used them since working on the WE.  I still use my DMT and Spyderco stones though.

    • This reply was modified 5 months ago by  Jim.
    #47281

    Jim
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 17

    If you’ve only got the money to spend on either the 1.4 / 0.6 ceramics or the 1500 / glass, my suggestion would be for the 1500 / glass. The 1500 is a very high quality finishing stone. I haven’t tried the jump from 1000 directly to the 1.4 ceramic. I know that most people doing free hand sharpening use much larger grit jumps in their sharpening progressions than WE users do. My guess is that the result will be similar to what you see when going from the DMT fine (1200 grit?) to the Spyderco ceramic stones. If this is an appealing proposition, I would suggest calling Wicked Edge or Oldawan and talking with them about it. I’m sure that they would have tired this progression and can tell you more about what to expect and can help you figure out which way to go.

    It looks like Marc is right. I previously was under the impression that the ceramics in that kit were the 1200 / 1600. Given that WE sells a kit with the 1000 to 1.4 ceramic progression, that is a totally valid way to go. Bear in mind that the 1500 does cut a lot faster than the ceramic stones.

    Thanks.   I agree that the Micro Fine stones might be the best option for me.  I’m not really concerned with the faster cutting performance with the 1500 stones. I’m mainly just looking to refine the edge as best as possible.

    #47283

    MarcH
    Moderator
    • Topics: 54
    • Replies: 1501

    The 1500 grit Diamond, IMO, is the ultimate edge refining diamond stone WE offers.  It’s usually the last stone I use before strops when sharpening knives for friends.  It gives the perfect balance of sharpness, and polish.

    Marc
    (MarcH's Rack-It)

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    #47390

    wickededge
    Keymaster
    • Topics: 121
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    Also I found these very similar to the “Spyderco Sharpmaker stones.

    They are from the same manufacturer and I believe the formulation is the same.

    -Clay

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