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ISO Japanese wetstone

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  • LJS2 Jun 2, 2010 12:59 PM
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A butcher recommended that I try using a Japanese wetstone to sharpen my knives. Does anyone know where i can find them in the GTA?

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  1. Here you go, grasshopper!
    This online store is in QC but will ship.
    http://www.paulsfinest.com/Naniwa-Sup...

    6 Replies
    1. re: foodyDudey

      Thanks. I will check it out.

      1. re: foodyDudey

        There's a new stor specializing in Japanese knives that just opened up at Queen and Palmerston. They may be able to help.

        Here's a write-up on it: http://www.torontolife.com/daily/dail...

        1. re: MattB

          i would be tempted to visit "knife" just because it is one of the centrally located places where you can actually touch things.

          one other place you might want to check is called merry cookware. they only have an online shop but their prices are quite reasonable though their stock isn't necessarily on the higher end.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            just wanted to add that knife will be doing "sharpening demonstrations" come mid-month, but from the sounds of it it will be much more than that and more like a class where one can bring in their own knives to swipe on some stones and ask very specific questions. he's going to try to keep them to 6 ppl and no more.

            i will be signing up as soon as i can... i'm a bit afraid of my stones and hacking up my japanese knives.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              I say just go for it, you'll make mistakes along the way, it's unavoidable but that is how you learn. A knicked stone can be reflattened and a scratched knife won't affect performance.

              Class is a good idea though, as long as the instructor knows what he's doing. Both Korin and Dave at Japneseknifesharpening have great dvd's out teaching sharpening technique.

              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                That I would be interested in. My love / fascination with knives goes way back as this post shows...

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6032...

        2. Mika's Japanese Gifts in Mississauga.

          1. There is a fine selection and good advice at www.leevalley.com and they have Arkansas whetstone as well.

            24 Replies
            1. re: jayt90

              LV have the largest selection I have seen ... http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page...

              The cheapest (but reasonable) stone I have seen is at Chan Chi Kee Cutlery (CCK) in Pacific Mall. I have one of these and use it to keep my knives tuned rather than a steel.

              1. re: Paulustrious

                Timely suggestion. I'm headed to Steeles for spot prawns at T&T!

                1. re: jayt90

                  And while you are there look at the cleavers. I have one and I use it more than any of my Shuns. It holds a superb edge, although I sharpen it on a stone two or three times a week. (And by sharpen I mean 1-2 minutes)

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    2-3 times a week? You are getting worse than me.

                    1. re: Paulustrious

                      Paul, I missed him by a few minutes. Hours are 11 to 6:30 which is odd for a mall, but it looks like an excellent small shop operated by one person.
                      I did get my spot prawns. Try to get back there tomorrow, to get a cleaver larger than my Sekizo, which does take an edge.

                      1. re: jayt90

                        Jay,

                        I own a Sekizo stainless steel Chinese Chef's knife. I think you will find the CCK cleaver to be as good if not better. You may want to decide if you want a medium or a thin blade knife, stainless or carbon steel knife.

                        1. re: jayt90

                          The carbon CCK's perform better than the stainless, if you don't mind the extra maintenance I suggest you go w/ those. I have a KF1302.

                          http://www.chanchikee.com/ChineseKniv...

                          1. re: jayt90

                            Aser has a valid point about performance. However, I use the stainless steel. I want to leave my wet knife lying around between uses.

                            If you are going to be using it primarily for veg preparation then go for the thin one. It is lighter and will (probably) be sharper. The wooden-handled variety may have a better hold / heft, but for maintenance I went with the SS handle. I cannot tell if it's KF1222 or KF1122. I don't regret my decision for a moment.

                            I am sure you already know this but for others.....

                            Most of these cleavers are NOT meat cleavers and you should treat them like any other thing edged very sharp knife. The cleaver-shape is so that you can use them to scoop up your veg. I don't use it for that as the edge is so sharp I cut my other hand with it one time. When it comes off its magnetic rack, then out comes the dough scraper. The cleaver doesn't fit in you knife block and it won't do well in a drawer. At first I glued some magnets to the side of my knife block to hold it, but it looked a bit weird. If you want to chop bone there are other ($12) cleavers in every Asian store that take a reasonable edge and will split chops.

                            1. re: jayt90

                              Jay90,

                              I think Paulustrious and Aser have made excellent points about carbon steel vs stainless steel knives. Obviously, stainless steel knives are easier to take care of and carbon steel knives are easier to sharpen. I do have just one point to add.

                              In general, carbon steel knives can be made to a higher hardness (higher HRC). Consequently, carbon steel knives are usually stronger and stainless steel are usually tougher. What this mean is that carbon steel edge tends to not get rolled over as much and stainless steel edge tends to not get chipped as much. Of course, this is a generalization.

                              For more informaiton, you can read the definition of "strength" and "toughness" here:

                              source:
                              http://zknives.com/knives/articles/kn...

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                I'll be going there in an hour. Thanks for all the input from aser, Paul and Chem., I'll look for a fairly thin carbon blade, to balance out my Sekizo SS which is medium thick. And I'll look at stones. I have lots of older Sabatier c.s. that need attention.
                                I didn't expect to find this kind of shop at Pacific, and never noticed it before, as it is way at the north end.

                                1. re: jayt90

                                  :) Considered they are not too expensive. You can always get two knives. :P

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    Here is what I got, for $88.:
                                    a scraper,
                                    a slicer, both carbon steel
                                    and a dual stone.
                                    Imported from the factory to Toronto, direct.

                                     
                                    1. re: jayt90

                                      Nice. :) Beautiful, aren't they? I believe I have the same thin blade slicer (bottom of your photo) I think it will grow on you like it did on me.

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6848...

                                      $88 is a good price for all that. If it is $88 Canadian dollar, then it is only $80 in US. The slicer is sold for $30-45 in US dollar. That large sharpening stone is sold for ~$10 in US. I will guess the small cleaver will be sold for $40+ in US based on the fact that Chefknifetogo sells the large version for price for $70.

                                      If you ever want to have more polished blade, you can get a waterstone as the original poster suggested.

                                      One suggestion I have is that I sealed the wood handle with tung oil. I notice the wood handles from CCK are very light and pores, so you may want to seal it with tung oil or beeswax or whatever you like. You may not have to seal it. Just something to think about. Best.

                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        I agree about the water-stone. For a fine edge your stone may be a little coarse.

                                        1. re: Paulustrious

                                          The stone was $28, scraper $22., and slicer $38. There was no tax, which led me to believe I could probably barter and tax would be added. So I left well enough alone.
                                          There was a distinct language barrier, but I thought I was getting a water stone, as it looked similar to a 1000-4000x I have from leevalley, just thicker.
                                          I'll try it under a stream of water.
                                          ed: I've decided not to try out the stone until I figure out the specs.

                                          1. re: jayt90

                                            I may well be wrong about the stone then.

                                            1. re: jayt90

                                              Yeah, taking the picture at a closer look, the scraper has a $22 or $22.50 sticker on it. I think you got great deals on the two knives. It does not look like a waterstone to me, but if it is, then you got a good deal for a huge waterstone for $28.

                                              Now that I think a bit more. You know, it could be. I have seen a combination Japanese sharpening stone sold in my local Chinatown. It was too high for an oil stone, but a bit too cheap for a Japanese waterstone and it was made in Japan too.

                                              What it is, is a combintation stone. It has some Japanese writings. The rough side is not waterstone, but some high grade carbide and the fine side is traditional water stone. It also looks like this stone (not the same one, but look alike):

                                              http://www.fine-tools.com/naniwa-komb...

                                              My understanding is that the fine side will form slurr and will shave like a waterstone as expected, but the rough side will not. Maybe you got something like that? :)

                                              P.S.: You will use water on both sides.

                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                I'm not letting a 120 grit stone anywhere near my knives unless I want to let the children play with it.

                                                1. re: Paulustrious

                                                  So you don't like your children :P

                                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                                    I'll have to compare the stone to my 1000/4000, which has a few nicks.
                                                    Report that tomorrow.
                                                    By feel, however, it may be 400/1000x, which I might return.
                                                    Paul, I met a nice mid aged Chinese lady there, poor English. Is anyone else on staff?

                                                    1. re: jayt90

                                                      Last time I called, it was a dude answered the phone and answered my questions about the different knife versions ....

                                                      Next time, tell her that you only want to talk to a man :P

                                                      1. re: jayt90

                                                        By the way, I am not 100% sure of what you meant by "report tomorrow".

                                                        You are not planning to actually use this new stone on your knives, are you? If in doubt, returns it. I won't actually use and test the stone, and then return it. I don't think they will accept an used stone even if it is not what you asked for. Best.

                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                          No, just compare the surfaces. The Lee Valley is packed away in the basement, but I think it has a finer surface.
                                                          I can call the store tomorrow.

                                                          -----
                                                          Lee Valley
                                                          590 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V, CA

                                                          1. re: jayt90

                                                            I've seen Naniwa stones at the CCK outlet in Pac mall. My friend has a big 1000 red brick Naniwa from them.

                                                            If you can imagine, the prices at the CCK shop in Hong Kong is significantly cheaper than the one here and chefknivestogo.

                                                            I believe you got the one I recommended, the KF13__ series, which is a smaller thin carbon cleaver. The steel might not be as hard as Japanese blades, but the geometry on it is superb. Ultra thin, a dream for push cutting/julienning.

                                                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rUoxx...

                          2. You can also try Ozawa Canada at 135 East Beaver Creek Road, Unit 3, Richmond Hill. They have the stones and also nice selection of Japanese knives.

                            -----
                            Ozawa Canada
                            135 E Beaver Creek Rd, Richmond Hill, ON L4B, CA

                            1. Ozawa and Yamasho both carry stones, along w/ the aforementioned "Knife".

                              Fonseca sharpening will also be carrying sharpening stones by Naniwa. Their superstone series are great and if you're a baller their chosera series is the best of the class for synthetics.

                              http://knifesharpeningtoronto.com/

                              Leevalley carries decent store brand stones, but nowhere near the level of brands like Naniwa, Bester, etc....

                              1. I am a member of Knife Forums, and I can vouch that Dave is probably the foremost expert in North America on knife sharpening, he is selling off the Japanese wetsones via his website: http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.com/

                                You can also send him your knives for sharpening, he is in rural Pennsylvania but turnaround time is short.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: bogie

                                  Unfortunately his website is not as sharp as his knives. I cannot find the sharpening stones in his store.

                                  1. re: Paulustrious

                                    He may have sold out. He had been liquidating them at great prices.

                                    1. re: bogie

                                      Yep, I wanted to post this, but I thought it is not a CHOWHOUND new. Dave is getting out of the whetstone business, rather all business except knife sharpening.

                                      Quote from Dave's website:

                                      "We've recently decided against carrying on with our retail sales the way we've been doing. Retail sales have become tough on myself as it's taken time away from things that I prefer to do but more than anything I hate the aspect of becoming a salesman...."

                                2. I am second-ing foodyDudey

                                  I like to add two things.

                                  First,
                                  I don't know Paul from PaulsFinest very well, but my limited experience with him makes me believe he is a very honest and knowledeable person. Shoot him an email and ask for whetstone advice.

                                  Second,
                                  I have used Naniwa Superstone. These good stones. Do you need all three? I don't know. You will have to make your choice. They are slightly on the soft side, but not too soft.

                                  1. There is a Japanese store on Queen st West close to the 7/11,I think the name is Sanko it's on a corner and it has a mural of a cartoon cat on the side of the store,They sell Japanese wet stone,the one I bought is a two sided 1000/3000 grit,bought it 2 years ago for 69$+tax.I mostly use the 1000 grit side as I find the 3000 side to be too fine. I would also recommend you buy a ceramic sharpening rod.

                                    -----
                                    Sanko
                                    730 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: chunkeymonkey

                                      thanks for all the tips and information. I will take a look at some of the places mentioned in the posts. Looks like I have a lot to learn before I make my purchase.

                                      1. re: LJS2

                                        :) Sometime it is just easier to buy online.

                                      2. re: chunkeymonkey

                                        Sanko link ... http://www.toronto-sanko.com/en/

                                        -----
                                        Sanko
                                        730 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

                                      3. Slice & Sear in Toronto. They carry Naniwa whetstones. One of the best.