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Jun 27, 2011 10:23 AM

Shun Bob Kramer $219 close-out---good deal?

Debating grabbing one of these at the close-out price versus the Takeda Gyuto AS 210mm ($300) versus Moritaka Gyuto 210mm (on sale $164) versus Suisin Inox Wa-Gyuto 210 ($294).

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  1. Definitely handle one first. I couldn't stand the handles on either the Euro or Asian lines, so even clearance prices aren't worthwhile to me (unless they're half of what you're considering). Others absolutely love the handles, though.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Eiron

      Interesting. Yes, it matters to me a great deal. Problem is, I've been visiting the local W-S stores and none seem to have any to play with. I suppose they're pissed off at the new competition from Henckel. it's not like I get to try out the handles on the Japanese knives that easily. I just get to look at them and salivate on CKTG.

      1. re: strangemd

        Why don't you head over to your local Sur la Table(if you have one that is) and check out the Kramer/Zwilling knives.They've been getting some good reviews on the various knife forums.

    2. Those knives are so different that I'm wondering what draws you to each of them.

      The Takeda is very thin, hand made, rustic, tall, carbon steel, inconsistent.

      The Moritaka is moderately thin, sleek/narrow, carbon, hand made, even more inconsistent than the Takeda

      The Suisin Inox is even thinner than the Takeda - it was one of the original 'laser' gyutos. It's polished, well finished, delicate, precise, and stainless, a little fragile.

      And the Shun Kramer is highly stylized, flashy, thick handled, polished, moderately thin, powdered metal (good edge retention, stainless, a little more work to sharpen). $219 is a pretty decent price, but since it is the most easily accessible of the knives you listed, I suggest you handle one at a SLT before pulling the trigger. The handle throws some people off. The edge is more curved than those of the other knives you've listed.

      They're all good knives (there are some reports of lemons from Moritaka, and also the rare report of a lemon from Takeda - such can be expected when you buy hand made knives so for under $500). But the knives you've listed have little in common.

      66 Replies
      1. re: cowboyardee

        You're absolutely right, they are quite different, and they all appeal to me for different reasons. As a 'practical" knife for what will be my kitchen front-line knife, do you have strong preferences cowboy? I see from your previous posts that you're pretty damned knowledgeable. I'm a very good home cook who wore out his Globals and wants to move up. The only "fancy" knife I have is a Shun Ken Onion 8' chef's that i got as a gift, and can't use 'cause the handle bends my hand into an impossible position--it tires me out in 20 minutes. I am used to rock-chopping, which is why I'm a bit tempted by the curvature in the Shun Kramer. But the Takeda is very seductive.

        1. re: strangemd

          "wore out his Globals and wants to move up"

          I think it really also depends why you want to move 'up' and what you are willing to compromise. Carbon steel knives, in general, can take on a very good edge and easy to sharpen, but they can rust if not taken good care of. Thinner blade knife is more precise and higher performance, but they are also more specificized and cannot and should not be used to hack bones or any heavy duty works.

          Are you going to sharpen knives on stone or buy a sharpening tool like Edge Pro? A honing steel is not very good with any of the knives you mentioned.

          If you have one thing which you want to improve you current Global knives, what would that be? I think the answer to this question will help guide your next knife.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            I really want a sharp, thin, controllable and precise edge that doesn't require daily maintenance. I use a ceramic stone-wheel array to sharpen. Definitely would not use them to chop, have good cleavers for that. Very attracted to carbon knives, particularly after a life with stainless. As an aesthetic, kind of like the rough-hewn qualities of some of the handmade Japanese knives.
            I suppose what I'd most like to improve in my Globals is the ability to get and keep a sharper edge, and a handle that gave better control.

            1. re: strangemd

              None of the knives listed requires daily maintenance, but they do require weekly and monthly maintenance if you want to get the most out of them. This is not to say you cannot get by without sharpening for months. You can, and the knives will still work but then why brother getting a (potentially) high performance knife with (practically) medium performance.

              Ceramic stone wheel. It works, but not so great.

              Because you say you like the idea of old fashion hand forged carbon steel knives, then Takeda and Moritaka are your choice here. Moritaka is quiet a bit cheaper, but Takeda has better quality control and thinner blade. Both are made from Aogami AS -- excellent carbon steel.

              If money is not a huge concern for you, then you may want to get Takeda. From what I can read, it does not sound like you have a lot of experience in hand sharpening, so you may not want to risk the chance of getting a Moritaka knife which you will have to fix on your own.

              P.S.: I cannot reiterate this point enough. Knife sharpening will be more important for these high performance knives. You will need to sharpen them on regular basis to get the most out of them. A Victorinox/Dexter knife sharpened weekly is better than a Shun knife sharpened annually -- honest to truth.

          2. re: strangemd

            I'm assuming you have a good method of sharpening at home, or that you regularly see a professional, since these knives are sorta pointless otherwise. Any of your choices will sharpen well.

            Disclaimer out of the way.

            It's a hard recommendation to make. I can tell you that my main knife is very similar to the Suisin. Mine reputedly has pretty much the exact same grind and profile (the Suisin is made of fancier steel than mine). The fragility isn't as big of an issue as I expected, if you're a reasonably careful home cook. I just don't use it on frozen foods, or meat with bones (though I have even broken down chicken with it). It's a great knife and will offer you the most in terms of cutting performance. --- BUT --- while the profile of this knife is very precise, it also demands a little more precision of you. There's a learning curve, and you have to be a little more conscious of which section of the knife you're using. It will also probably be the most difficult of the knives you listed to rock chop with. So I'd only really suggest it if working on your cutting technique sounds like fun to you (that's not rhetorical - I find that type of thing fun). --ANOTHER BUT-- for this type of knife that very deliberately creates straight sections in the edge, I recommend going with 240 mm or longer (otherwise the straight sections get too small to use easily), or else looking elsewhere.

            If you've read some of these knife threads, you've probably heard the criticisms of the Moritaka as well as rebuttals of those criticisms, and I don't have much to add. The Moritaka will probably be the smallest adjustment from your Global, even though it has a fairly straight edge.

            Honestly, I don't have any strong preferences for you. They're all good knives and I don't feel any of them are badly priced. I agree that the Shun Kramer will probably be the easiest to rock chop and also the least prone to damage from imperfect technique. Still, it seems to be a real love-it-or-hate-it type knife, and as such I recommend you feel one out before pulling the trigger any new knife.

            1. re: cowboyardee

              Thanks very much for your thoughtful advice. I think I will go with your 240 mm recommendation, as I hadn't realized the nature of the blade geometry. To a certain extent this is a sheer indulgence purchase, but it is such a pleasure to have good tools. I am not lazy about sharpening, but a bit intimidated at the prospect of using a stone and getting the angle exactly right. Any suggestions on other improvements to my current sharpening method (ceramic wheels)? Or should I just learn to use stones?

              1. re: strangemd

                It has been 5 hours, so I will answer. If you don't like to use flat waterstones, then buy a gadget like EdgePro Apex, Wicked Edge... etc.



                Something cheaper, but not as versatile is the Spyderco sharpmaker:


                In addition, you may want to check out some of the youtube videos Takeda gyuto and Moritaka gyuto.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  So, not a fan of the fancier ceramic wheels, like the Minosharp 3? Just an ease of use issue. Are they that much inferior?

                  1. re: strangemd

                    "Are they that much inferior?"

                    Depending what you're comparing to, I think. It is a viable option. I presume you often visit the website Chefknivestgo based on the your previous comments. If you visit the Mark Richmond's (Chefknivestogo owner) youtube video of Minosharp plus 3, you will see that Mark rates this product a 6.5 in the comment section, which is good, just not great.


                    Wheel sharpeners are decent products for what they can do and better than other choices out there. Is a wheel sharpener the best option out there? No. Part of the problem also has to do with the kind of knives you are considering as well.

                    I think a good question is "What is the best option beside free hand sharpening and EdgePro Apex or Wicked Edge for high end kitchen knives?" I am not quiet sure. I think cowboyardee may able to give a better answer. You can also email Mark Richmond and see if he has any good suggestion.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Alright, i get it. May break down and get the Wicked Edge; looks pretty easy and could be a permanent fixture on my garage workbench.

                      1. re: strangemd

                        Hi, strangemd,

                        Hope you don't mind if I jump in.

                        I own an EdgePro, a Minosharp, and a set of Shapton ceramic waterstones. Like you, I started out with Global knives, and then started to slowly upgrade.

                        I got the Minosharp first, but didn't really care for it. Even though I tried to be careful, it would sometimes scratch up the sides of my knives. The edge was okay, but not as sharp as from the factory.

                        I then bought the waterstones, and also the EP because I had no confidence that I would be able to get a decent edge with the stones. The idea was that I would use the EP to fix up the knives that I expected to ruin by trying to sharpen them with the stones.

                        But after watching a coupe of videos on YouTube and following the very helpful advice of some folks here at CH (particularly cowboyardee and Chemicalkinetics), I found that I could get a decent edge with the stones. And after making a strop from a leather belt, I found that I could actually get my knives *sharper* than from the factory. It wasn't as hard as I expected, didn't take too much time, and was actually kind of fun.

                        My EP sits in the closet. I've never used it.

                        Based on my experience as a person who didn't expect to be able to sharpen knives with stones, I'd strongly recommend that you give it a try.

                        You could pick up a reasonably priced 1000 grit waterstone, make a strop from an old leather belt, and try sharpening up one of your Globals. I expect that you will be pleasantly surprised with the results, and the money you save by not buying an EP or WE can be put into expanding your collection of knives.

                        Just my $0.02. TS

                        1. re: tanuki soup

                          TS: "Hope you don't mind if I jump in."

                          Why in the world would anyone around here mind? Jeez, you don't post enough!

                          TS: "The idea was that I would use the EP to fix up the knives that I expected to ruin by trying to sharpen them with the stones."

                          LOL, now THAT'S what I call planning ahead! Throw that EP out here for sale. I'm sure someone would be interested. Even a 25% loss is better than 100% stuffed in the closet.

                          1. re: Eiron

                            :) I was thinking about the same thing about selling the EdgePro, but Tanuki Soup lives in Japan and the shipping cost back to US or Canada will be quiet a bit, and I am not sure nearly as many Japanese in Japan like the idea of using a sharpening gagdet.

                            1. re: Eiron

                              Always nice to talk with you, Eiron.

                              As CK said, it's tough to sell stuff from Japan. Also, I've found that things I don't have any use for and put away in a closet often prove to be useful months or years down the road.

                              In addition, after reading so many posts from the real knife experts here at CH, I wonder whether I might someday try my hand at something that I couldn't even imagine attempting now (like "reprofiling" a blade). I'm sure I'd dig the EP out of the closet for that!

                            2. re: tanuki soup

                              Hey Tanuki,

                              Haven't seen you for awhile. How has life been treating ya? So which knife do you use the most? Is it the Glestain? Talk to ya later.

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                Thanks for the kind words, CK.

                                I haven't been posting so much lately because my office recently instituted a strict "business only" Internet access policy (with continuous network activity monitoring). So now I can only visit CH when I'm at home. What a bummer! I really miss talking with you guys when things are slow at work :(

                                To answer your question, my go-to knife is still my trusty Glestain santoku. I love the way that slices just fall off the blade (although, admittedly, this may just reflect inadequate knife skills on my part). Surprisingly, a little Yaxell Ran paring knife has become my second favorite knife. It's great for salad stuff like mushrooms, cucumbers, carrots, and radishes.

                                Always nice to talk with you, CK!

                                1. re: tanuki soup

                                  "because my office recently instituted a strict "business only" Internet access policy "

                                  That isn't really a bad thing, and I can understand where company is coming from. Maybe you can finish your work more efficient this way and go home earlier this way.

                                  "my go-to knife is still my trusty Glestain santoku"

                                  Good to hear. I thought that was your choice, but I wasn't sure about my memory. Have fun.

                                  1. re: tanuki soup

                                    Also glad to see you around again, Tanuki. Build anything beautiful recently?

                                    1. re: cowboyardee

                                      Thanks, CBRD.

                                      To answer your question, I was thinking to try my hand at making a cutting board next, but then found that Boos ships to Japan, so I got an end-grain cherry board from them. Sure saved myself a whole lot of time and effort!

                                      BTW, to pull this thread even further off topic, I was wondering what you think of those rubber cutting boards (e.g., Sani-Tuff). Have you noticed any problems with them? Didn't CK report a while back that they dulled his knives really fast?

                                      I recently picked up a couple of Japanese rubber cutting boards (Asahi -- I believe Korin sells them in the US) that seem to be identical to the Sanituff boards in every way (same dull yellow color, same range of sizes, same firm texture, same self-healing properties, same ability to be sanded smooth, etc., etc.). They also appear to be popular in professional kitchens here in Japan, particularly among sushi chefs.

                                      Haven't used them much yet, but I kind of like the way they feel (sort of smoothly grippy), and they sure are super-easy to clean, maintain, and store.

                                      1. re: tanuki soup


                                        Yes, I have reported my experience awhile back. The rubber cutting board has many advantages, but it did dull my knives faster than my end grain wood block -- by a clear margin. Of course, our threshold definition of dullness is different than many people. I can feel the knives got duller. To verify this, I tested these dull knives on paper, and they can no longer push-cut paper with a pure up-and-down motion. The dulled knives can still slice a paper with a backward motion by you can feel a difference as well. It took ~2-3 cook preparation and the knives lost their ability to push-cut paper. I felt I had to sharpen my knives at 2-3 times more frequent.

                                        I think it completely depends on the cutting motion. If we are only to use up-and-down cutting motion (pure push cutting), then I think the rubber cutting board works very well, but when I incorporated the the forth or back motion to the push cut procedure (which most people do), then the board grabbed the knives, and I think this grippy characteristic is the reason for dulling my knives.

                                        Maybe it wore the edges of the knives because the rubber was grinding against the knife edge. Maybe it gripped the knife edge so tight that any side-to-side motion lead to micro-chipping. I am not sure which one.

                                        Please let me know if you have similar experience or if your knives remain sharp compared to your Boo's ened grain cutting board. I will be very interested to know.

                                        1. re: tanuki soup

                                          My mom got a rubber board (after I told her that I wouldn't be sharpening her knives until she got rid of her glass board). As far as edge retention goes, it's not bad - seems to be on par with a plastic board (though it doesn't get quite as scarred and ugly with use). It's not as good for a knife edge as an end grain wood board, but then what is? It also doesn't have that nice, firm feel of a wooden board when you're chopping really fast, So basically it just seems to be an improvement on a plastic board. If you have limited space or some other reason not to use end grain, then it seems like a pretty good option to me.

                                          I'm wondering if sushi chefs especially like em because so many of their cuts are well-measured pull strokes. The boards have a nice feel for that type of cut, and may even offer more feedback than a traditional board.

                                          1. re: cowboyardee

                                            Two other reasons I think a rubber cutting board is better than a typical plastic cutting board:

                                            (1) You can sand a rubber cutting board down to generate a new cutting surface when there are too many knife cut scars on the cutting board. I have done it and it really works.

                                            (2) The rubber cutting board is much dense and heavier than a plastic board, so it gives me that steadiness feeling (it does not easily slide around).

                                            Actually, a lot of chefs in USA like them, not just the sushi chefs. I think it is a combination of a lot of things. You can sand it down unlike a plastic board, so it last a long time and may be cheaper in the long run. It does not swell or crack or split in a watery environment. It is very easy to sanitize and I think it goes very well with the US sanitization method and procedure. It is always a bit tough and tricky to get the health inspector to like a wood cutting board and in some cities wood cutting boards are not acceptable at all.

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              Thanks for the replies, CBRD and CK.

                                              Previously, I was using Japanese hinoki cutting boards, but I didn't really care for them. They were edge-grain, because it seems they don't make end-grain ones. Although they were really gentle on my knives, they just seemed too soft to me. They would get deep cuts in them, and the cuts would then absorb water. They also tended to splinter where the cuts crossed. The last straw was when they looked like they might be showing a hint of mold deep into the grain at the ends, even though I dried them after every use and stored them vertically on a board stand.

                                              I recently switched to three Boos boards (the end-grain cherry I mentioned above, and also two edge-grain walnut for everyday use) and two Asahi rubber boards. I haven't had them long enough to be able to compare them with regard to edge retention, but due to their lightness and ease of cleaning, I tend to reach for the rubber boards if I'm just throwing together a quick meal.

                                              Since I tend to use a pretty vertical up-and-down push-cutting motion (which is one of the main reasons I like having really sharp knives), I'm hoping the rubber boards work for me. OTOH, thanks to the great advice and guidance I've received from both of you, I really enjoy sharpening my knives now, so I won't be all that bummed out if the rubber boards mean more frequent knife sharpening sessions ;-)

                                2. re: strangemd

                                  "May break down and get the Wicked Edge"

                                  ;) You may want to wait just for a day or two and get some responses. I have not used neither the Wicked Edge nor the Edge Pro Apex, but more people here like the Edge Pro, so you may want to talk to them. You may want to give a waterstone a try. You can get a cheap one for about $20-25 including shipping. Of course, I understand your concern is not the price of the stone, but rather if you will ruin the knives. This is why you have to start with an inexpensive knife for practice. Once you get pretty good with the practice knife, then you can move on to the more expensive knives.

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                    You people are going to make me develop another addiction. I'll be sitting in the corner stropping knives with a demented grin.

                                    1. re: strangemd

                                      Just don't mention knife sharpening as your hobby on your first date


                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                        Agree with tanuki and Chem.Pick up a combo 1000/6000 stone and give it a shot.
                                        Like tanuki said,you'll be pleasantly surprised with your results.

                                      2. re: strangemd

                                        strangemd - "You people are going to make me develop another addiction. I'll be sitting in the corner stropping knives with a demented grin."

                                        Welcome to the club! :-D

                                        Uh... I mean... not that we're all sitting around doing that or anything... at least, I don't think so... well, maybe...

                                        1. re: Eiron

                                          I was looking at the Shapton GlassStone 500/1000/4000 set, on sale at CKTG. Do I need a strop as well? Or will just an old belt do? I presume it's for the burr, but how exactly do I use it right?

                                          1. re: strangemd

                                            Yikes! That's a chunk o'change! Why Shapton, may I ask?

                                            You don't "need" a strop, but if you're going Shapton you might want to consider this model:

                                            An old belt will do, as will newspaper, balsa wood, hard felt (many folks like felt above all else), etc. You'll probably want to glue the belt down to a nice, flat plank to keep it from walking on the counter.

                                            I think diamond spray on leather is the hot ticket right now (CBAD?), but I use CrO2 waxy-stick on my home-made setup.

                                            1. re: Eiron

                                              The Shaptons seemed newbie friendly, and I like the absence of soaking. Thanks for the stropping tips. Looks like i have a new hobby. I'll practice on my in-laws knives first.

                                              1. re: strangemd

                                                I know Mark Richmond recommends these stones. I don't know what I think about his recommendation. (as in "I really don't know" and not "I disagree").

                                                Mark thinks Shapton Glass stones are good because they require no soaking and they stay flat for a long time. On the other hand, some people believe a softer stone gives better feedback and help learning free-hand sharpening. Dave Martell has mentioned this view. If you believe this, then Shapton Glass stones are the opposite.

                                                I think all of these stones are good, but you just have to know what you want from the stones.

                                                Do you want to buy an entire set of stones? Or do you want to just try out one inexpensive stone to see if you like knife sharpening? This Suehiro 1200 grit stone actually looks like a good deal. Relatively inexpensive with free shipping and all:


                                                I believe I have used an Suehiro stone branded under a different name. Suehiro stones are soft.

                                                Very funny about the in-law knives.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  I tend to be a dive-in-the-pool type, so if I'm going to do it, I'll buy a few stones and really give it a try on a bunch of simple knives. And you're right, I was influenced by Richmond's pitch on the GlassStones. Still a bit torn with regards to the alternatives, as a good buddy just yacked my ear off about how easy and good the EdgePro is. But I think it would make sense to really learn how to sharpen before buying super fancy knives. I don't want to be sending them out for sharpening every 2 weeks, that seems lame to me. Just one more question---with the stones, does one need to buy a holder, or can one use them comfortably on a non-slip surface? And thanks again for all the good advice. This forum is really pretty impressive.

                                                  1. re: strangemd

                                                    I use a piece of that rubber waffle rug underlayment for my one waterstone that doesn't have a base. It stays put when soaked & takes up no space to store.

                                                    1. re: Eiron

                                                      Thanks. That sounds more sensible than spending $80 for a holder. Like all niche obsessions, this can be as expensive as you let it be.

                                                    2. re: strangemd

                                                      "Just one more question---with the stones, does one need to buy a holder, or can one use them comfortably on a non-slip surface?"

                                                      For the first year, I was using a towel, but I have an ($15) inexpensive stone holder now, which I like a lot:


                                                      In my case, I am sharpening on my kitchen counter which is made of granite, so it is slippy and the stone holder help, but if you are going to sharpen on a wooden bench, then it probably does not matter. Some people go a step above and use a stone holder over the sink (e.g. sink bridge), but those are more expensive as you said

                                                      I think either the EdgePro or the Glass stones will work for you. The EdgePro is much easier to learn. The stones are slightly more versatile.

                                                      Since I have not mentioned this, I will mention it now. You will need to have a way to flatten the stones. The stone will eventually dish/get curved, so you will need to flatten it. A lot of people use a diamond stone. A popular one is this DMT extra coarse diamond stone:


                                                      or this one DMT extra extra coarse diamond stone:


                                                      Not to confuse you, but if you are into getting a set of sharpening stones, then this set is also attractive. Unlike the Shapton set, this set is not splash and go, but this is basically the recommended set by Dave Martell.


                                                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                        Yes, I was aware of the DMT requirement. That's what I meant about each step into a new hobby becoming more expensive. But I'm tired of dull knives, and I cook for at least 4-8 folks 5 nights a week, so I might as well get serious. Then I'll feel better when I drop $350 on a knife.

                                                        1. re: strangemd

                                                          Who is selling those Shun Bob Kramer at those close out prices?

                                                          1. re: hobbess

                                                            The price on the Shun's was from the Williams-Sonoma website. I guess with the advent of the Kramer Zwilling, they're closing out their product line.
                                                            I'm going to try out a friend's EdgePro this weekend and then decide if I go device or free stone.

                                                          2. re: strangemd

                                                            Hi again, strangemd.

                                                            I have the Shapton Pro ceramic waterstones in 320, 1000, 2000, and 5000 grit. Frankly, I only use the 320 for major repair, like removing chips. The 1000 grit is the one I use 95% of the time, so I'd suggest you start with that one. That way you can see if you like how they feel.

                                                            I also have a couple of Suehiro stones. They have a really nice smooth buttery feel and seem much softer than the Shaptons. You have to soak them before use, though. What I like about the Shaptons is that you can just splash a bit of water on them and you're ready to go. Their hardness also makes them less prone to dishing.

                                                            Finally, another nice thing about the Shapton Pro stones is that they come in a plastic case with nonslip rubber feet that is designed to serve as a stand for the stone while sharpening.

                                                            As for the strop, you can just glue a leather belt to a piece of wood and then rub some chromium oxide on it. I posted some pictures of my homemade strop project here at CH a while ago. You could do a quick search if you're interested.

                                                            Have fun, strangemd! I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences.

                                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                        "On the other hand, some people believe a softer stone gives better feedback and help learning free-hand sharpening. Dave Martell has mentioned this view."
                                                        I'm beginning to disagree with that view. Not that feedback isn't important, or anything. I just think hard stones give a different sort of feedback than soft stones and people just get used to the feedback of whatever stones they use.

                                                        Anyone find any super strong preferences here?

                                                        1. re: cowboyardee

                                                          CBAD - "Anyone find any super strong preferences here?"

                                                          I just restored my son's Forschner Rosewood santoku back to health. Holy crap, that thing was nearly as dull as a butter knife!

                                                          I spent about 1/2 hr working it on a Spyderco medium ceramic bench stone Monday night. I used the stone completely dry, & made decent progress, but it was still quite a ways from sharp after that amount of time.

                                                          So, last night I broke out the 1000/6000 waterstones & spent another hour on it. I finished it on the CrO2 strop & now it's sharper than new.

                                                          Now, there IS a difference to my setup between the different stones:
                                                          I use both of the waterstones on a wood cutting board that fits into the small bowl of our kitchen sink. Since I keep splashing them with water, this is the cleanest, most convenient setup for me.
                                                          I use the 1000 on a piece of rubber waffle rug underlayment. I has a bit of give when pushing down on the stone, & I'm sure it absorbs most of the vibrations created during stroking the steel across the stone.
                                                          The 6000 is mounted to a plastic base with large rubber feet. It doesn't give as much as the underlayment I use on the 1000, but it does absorb vibrations well.
                                                          I use the Spyderco stones (med & fine) set loose in the plastic Spyderco storage case. I use them dry, so I simply place the case near the edge of the counter. The case has small rubber feet to help keep it from moving across the counter, but the stones don't fit snugly in the case & they slide to-&-fro a bit. There's less vibration absorbtion provided by the case than there is from the rubber & wood board setup I'm using on the waterstones.

                                                          I should also add that the ceramics are slightly smaller than the J-bricks, about 2"x8" versus 2-1/2" x8-1/2". It doesn't seem like much, but it makes a noticable difference in use.

                                                          My feeling is that the dry ceramics are less "satisfying" than the wet J-bricks. It's a combination of sound & grind feel. The ceramics are higher-pitched & don't seem to have as much drag/resistance when pushing the blade across.

                                                          That doesn't mean they don't sharpen as well. I've been maintaining my own Rosewood santoku exclusively on the ceramics, & it's as sharp as my son's is now. And it takes much less time to do, since I don't have to soak 'em.

                                                          So, all of that being said, I think I might try the ceramics on my waterstone setup: on the rubber rug underlayment, on top of the wood board, & splashed with water. Just to see if that might improve my sensory perception while using them. I'll try to test it out on my Rosewood this weekend.

                                                    3. re: Eiron

                                                      "I think diamond spray on leather is the hot ticket right now (CBAD?), but I use CrO2 waxy-stick on my home-made setup."
                                                      Diamond spray has been pretty hot for a while now. I believe that in Salty's tests, diamond spray (he didn't list the micron, but it probably wasn't the finest grit) on split leather (sorta rough texture) performed the best. And of course anything Salty does, especially on video, is gonna be pretty influential.

                                                      That said, there is also a trend where people are noticing that the exact tools for stropping don't make a huge difference - certainly nowhere near the difference that technique does. I have been favoring stopping on newspaper laid on a dry waterstone, and I've seen more and more people (good sharpeners) claiming they are doing the same, or else some other cheap, makeshift set up like cardboard, or mud from a fine stone on leather, etc. I have also heard of a lot of people messing with the angle at which they strop - specifically, some advocate when stropping on newspaper to use a significantly higher angle than that which you used to sharpen. I have not experimented enough with this to attest to one way being better than another. But I can attest that you can make a knife sharp enough for a comfortable soap & water shave using an 8k stone and newspaper stropping.

                                                      I still do use chrome ox loaded leather sometimes, btw. Especially for maintenance in between sharpenings, it seems a little handier and quicker than newspaper on a flat surface. A little less demanding of my focus as well.

                                                      1. re: cowboyardee

                                                        I've heard a few people on the knife forums talk about wet newspaper stropping.
                                                        Have you had any experience with this method?

                                                        1. re: petek

                                                          Maybe we should have a new post on this topic like: What is your favorite stropping procedure? or something.

                                                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                            I don't mind the mods separating these posts off if people think its most appropriate - is this info still of use to strangemd? (that's not a rhetorical question)

                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                              We don't have to separate the posts we have here, but I think it will be cool if we have another post on stropping. Before you know, a quarter of the cookware posts will be about knives.

                                                          2. re: petek

                                                            I have heard of it. But no experience yet. Will add that to the list of things to try.

                                                            The bottleneck for me trying things out is that i'm not perfectly consistent off the stones. Sometimes I get a great edge, and sometimes, just a decent one (by my standards). But those little differences make comparing different techniques over different knives and different sharpening sessions a little harder, a slower process.

                                                            Not sure exactly what the wetness will add to the process or the results. Do you know why a little moisture is supposed to help?

                                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                                              'Not sure exactly what the wetness will add to the process or the results. Do you know why a little moisture is supposed to help?"

                                                              There's a thread on KKF called "De-Burring 101..Again" where someone mentioned wet newspaper stropping but he didn't say why he thought it was beneficial.He also said that he uses a whole section of the newspaper and soaked it quite well with water till it became spongy(sounds kinda messy to me) and a chef friend of his uses vinegar to wet the newsprint.

                                                              1. re: petek

                                                                petek - "He also said that he uses a whole section of the newspaper and soaked it quite well with water till it became spongy(sounds kinda messy to me) and a chef friend of his uses vinegar to wet the newsprint."

                                                                I can tell you right now that I'll never even try this! What a freakin' mess this must be! Wet newspaper falls apart very easily, & newsprint inks transfer to everything they contact as well. ("packing" newspaper would, at least, be ink-free)

                                                                With the results I'm getting from CrO2-loaded & bare leather strops, I can't imagine there being enough of a boost from this change to warrant the hassle.

                                                                But that's just me.....

                                                                1. re: Eiron

                                                                  Then you're definitely not gonna try wads toilet paper soaked in a mixture of tomato juice and kerosene - Buddhist monks living 2/3 up the Southern face of Mount Fuji swear by it.

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                                    "Then you're definitely not gonna try wads toilet paper soaked in a mixture of tomato juice and kerosene"

                                                                    If I read between the lines correctly, this means we need to set the toilet paper in fire as well. :P This is so awesome... sharpening/strop on a flaming platform. It is like reforging the knife.

                                                                    Are you trying to be funnier than Eiron? I thought being funny is Eiron's thing.

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                      Are you saying I'm not funny?

                                                                      Actually being funny is MY thing. Unfortunately, Eiron's 'thing' is being funnier than CBAD. I can't compete with that.

                                                                    2. re: cowboyardee

                                                                      "... wads toilet paper soaked in a mixture of tomato juice and kerosene ..."

                                                                      Actually, I already use that for my.... oh, wait a minute.... is this the "Show Your Symptom" forum.... ??

                                                                      1. re: Eiron

                                                                        If you include any pics of, don't fake em like you did with your mid-air balance point shots.

                                                                  2. re: petek

                                                                    "a chef friend of his uses vinegar to wet the newsprint.

                                                                    Wow, not only we wet the newspaper, we put acid in it. This is getting rather complicated now. Pete, how do you do for your last step? What do you strop with? I just use a leather belt. I may get the diamond spray and everything, but for now, the old leather belt seems to work alright. It certainly put a better edge on my knife than without using it.

                                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                      I still use an old belt fastened to a banister,loaded with Veritas honing Compound(0.5 microns).I've also been experimenting with newsprint,both wet and dry(no vinegar,tomato juice/kerosene mix just tap water),plain cardboard,loaded cardboard and I want to buy a piece of balsa wood.Basically whatever is cheap or I have lying around :-D

                                                                      I almost got sucked into the whole "buy everything ever recommended for stropping or sharpening on a knife forum" trap,but quickly realized that I'm way too cheap for that.

                                          2. re: strangemd

                                            Sorry my reply has been so long in coming - I've been having issues with my router.

                                            It looks like the other guys have given you lots of good advice with respect to sharpening. Haven't tried the the more expensive ceramic wheels (like the minosharp 3 you mentioned), so I don't have a whole lot of insight there, though my inclination would be to be pretty skeptical based on the performance of the cheaper versions . But I do enjoy having sharpening stones that don't need a long presoak, and it seems like you are leaning toward the shapton Glassstones, yes? That would be a fine choice. So would the edge pro, if you're still considering that. Either could produce an edge worthy of these knives.

                                            I'll also add that if you do decide on hand sharpening, the Takeda and Suisin are gonna be a little trickier than the other knives for someone new to sharpening. For one because of the low angles these knives use, and for another because you don't have much leeway with the edge geometry of these knives. On the other hand, it seems you have a few knives to practice on, so don't necessarily let that affect your decision.

                                            1. re: cowboyardee

                                              FYI: the deal on the Shun Kramers at W-S is over. Guess they sold out.
                                              Did end up getting the Edge Pro after playing with a friend's. Just didn't have confidence in my ability to keep the angle right by hand with stones. A touch confused about whether I can just take the burr off with cork at the end, or need to also get a strop. This stuff gets a bit pricey by the end.

                                              1. re: strangemd

                                                Congratulation on the EdgePro. Which version of EdgePro did you get?

                                                There are so many ways to take the burr off, so you should use what works best for you. You can take the burr off by stropping on a sharpening stone at a slightly higher angle. You can remove the burr with an old leather belt, newspaper, jean pants, cork....etc Dave Martell advocates hard felt for example. I would just try the cheaper opinion for now, like a newspaper and an old (flat and smooth) leather belt for now.

                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                  I ordered the EdgePro Apex Custom Chosera kit, as it seems to give me just about everything I could possibly need and was only $40 more than the Apex4, though i don't get the hone. That also satisfied my immediate need to spend some money, so I'll sharpen all my Globals and then decide what else to buy later.

                                                  1. re: strangemd

                                                    Nice setup, pretty much all the grit size you will need. Now, be ware that your Global knives have a convex grind so it will takes a bit longer to form the burr in the beginning.

                                                2. re: strangemd

                                                  You don't need a strop. You can deburr by stropping on newspaper, then taking a few strokes into cork or soft wood - very gently. Might not even need that much with an edgepro - been a while since I used one. I recommend deburring (gently) after each stone in your progression though, and not waiting for the end.

                                                  Here's a video where Murray Carter shows how easy it can be:
                                                  Look at 2:30 or so.

                                                  The main benefit of a strop, should you choose to get one, is that you can maintain a very sharp edge between sharpenings without having to pull out the edge pro. It shouldn't do much (anything really) to improve the edge an edgepro can create with its finest tape.

                                                  BTW strops, should you choose to get one, are easy and cheap to make yourself.

                                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                                    Thanks very much for all the advice. I have 15 people in the house all weekend, and I'm the cook, so by the end my knives will certainly be ready for some sharpening.

                                                    1. re: strangemd

                                                      I thought I should point this out:
                                                      I work at Williams Sonoma. These knives are still on sale, and they are still around. In fact, I am going to buy one tomorrow, myself. They are not available online, but many stores still have them in stock. Go to a local store, and ask for a list. If the store you are in does not have the knife you want, you can drive to a farther out store that has it(I am, so I can get the discount), or they can ship the knife to you.

                                                      Rule of thumb is the shipping is about 15% the cost of the item.