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Combination sharpening stone V individual stone

u
ukjason Nov 25, 2011 10:04 AM

I recently purchase a JCK carbonnext 210mm gyuto and now need to get a sharpening stone. I saw this one on their web site.

Have you heard anything about JCK whetstone ?

http://japanesechefsknife.com/WhetSto...

Just because I'm buying their knife maybe I should use their stone, kinda liking the 1000/4000 combo. Whats your though on combo stones or is individual stone better?

  1. cowboyardee Nov 25, 2011 06:56 PM

    There are a few downsides of combo stones - one side will always tend to wear out faster than the other, and this can be problematic as the stone gets near its last legs; one grit can briefly contaminate the other when you flip the stone but otherwise keep it in place; you don't necessarily get your absolute favorite pick at each grit. But frankly, unless you intend to sharpen knives by the dozens or professionally or something, only that last one will be much of a factor. The upsides of a combo stone are more obvious - I feel that a combo stone can be a good deal for a new sharpener, and a good learning experience vs buying just one stone (that said, I use mainly individual stones now).

    For the JCK stone in particular -

    Upsides:
    - JCK tends to sell good products. The guy who runs it seems to know knives and supplies, and he picks good products to sell. Incidentally, if you email him, he can sometimes tell you things about it that aren't apparent in the description. Hardness, manufacturer, how long of a soak it takes, etc
    - I can tell that's not a king stone, and I really dislike their 4000 grit, so that's a relief
    - 1k/4k is a nice place to start for your first two grits. A fairly reasonable jump, while 1k is low enough to start out with for most jobs and 4k is high enough to finish on and still get a feel for a polished edge

    Downsides:
    - It's not too big for the price
    - I can't find any credible reviews of this particular stone. The only testimonial I've seen is from someone new to sharpening.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any great recommendations for combo waterstones available in similar grits. One of the biggest reason I use individual stones is because the stones I like are only available that way.

    So it comes down to a question - do you want to boldly go where none of us internet sharpening nerds have gone before?

    1. SanityRemoved Nov 25, 2011 05:10 PM

      The main issue with anything combo is that if one part wears out then what do you do? I don't have any experience with JCK stones but there aren't many tools that truly have perfectly matched accessories. The general idea is why reinvent the wheel? So knife makers make knives and stone makers make stones. To pair them is akin to saying that everyone's tactile feel is the same.
      Some people may like a specific stone and others may dislike it. Water stones eventually wear out so the opportunity to try another brand of stone exists. If you dislike both stones in a combo then you have to get 2 more stones.

      1. u
        ukjason Nov 25, 2011 04:50 PM

        no one else has an opinion

        12 Replies
        1. re: ukjason
          Chemicalkinetics Nov 25, 2011 04:51 PM

          Maybe it is Thanksgiving. Or maybe most people have not used JCK stones.

          1. re: ukjason
            Eiron Nov 28, 2011 09:39 AM

            "no one else has an opinion"

            Around here?? Are you kidding? :-)

            Here's my recommendation:
            http://www.mikestools.com/Sharpening-...
            Get both the 1200 and 6000 grit stones for USD $51.45

            That's almost 30% less than the JCK combo stone, and they'll last much longer.
            That will give you both a sharpening grit (1200) & a polishing grit (6000), with a manageable jump between grit sizes.

            1. re: Eiron
              petek Nov 28, 2011 12:40 PM

              "Get both the 1200 and 6000 grit stones for USD $51.45 "

              Excellent advice.. $50. for 2 stones = nice!!

              1. re: petek
                Chemicalkinetics Nov 28, 2011 12:47 PM

                He lives in Canada. Is there any issue of shipping and custom and tax..?

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                  petek Nov 28, 2011 01:10 PM

                  "He lives in Canada. Is there any issue of shipping and custom and tax..?"

                  Right.. There's always issues with cross border shipping,duties and taxes,no way around it unfortunately.(free trade my arse)

                  He can try Lee Valley.They carry some nice stones..but not at those prices.

                  http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page...

                  1. re: petek
                    Eiron Nov 28, 2011 01:47 PM

                    I thought about the US/Canada difference, but decided to suggest Mike's Tools anyway. That way, there's a comparison to other online stores.

                    I think the closest match from Lee Valley is going to be the (large) 1200 grit stone & the (standard) 4000 grit stone. Since the 1200 has no base, you can save a few $ by getting the 4000 w/o base & then use them both on the same anti-skid mat. That would make it only USD $57.20 for both. There may be a significant shipping & duty savings, too.

                    The real-life advantage here is a more reasonable jump between grits (1200-4000). The theoretical disadvantage is not as high of a polish (4000 vs 6000). But I've never used a 4000 grit stone, so I don't know what the actual difference in polish might be. Also, the standard-sized 4000 grit stone is slightly smaller than the 6000, while the large-sized 4000 is slightly larger than the 6000 (but so much higher priced!).

                    1. re: Eiron
                      petek Nov 28, 2011 03:17 PM

                      "The real-life advantage here is a more reasonable jump between grits (1200-4000)."

                      I haven't found the jump between 1k and 6k to be too big of a step,but I'm not going to be entering any sharpening contests any time soon :D,works just fine for me.

                      I'm very curious about the Sigma Power Select II stones they sell at Lee Valley.There's a pass around happening over at KKF.Some good feed back so far.

                      1. re: petek
                        Eiron Nov 28, 2011 04:35 PM

                        Yeah, I've been using only my two 1000 and 6000 stones. It's definitely manageable, and obviously a popular pairing (considering so many combo stones use those grits). But I think I'd prefer the slightly smaller gap of 1200/6000 for my own sharpening. Now, that's working with VG-10 steel, & the CarboNext was definitely easier to work on my stone combination than I find VG-10 to be.

                        Those Sigma PS II stones sound interesting. They're using the term "ceramic" in a different context than how it's usually used. I have two ceramic stones, and they're literally slabs of fired ceramic - very hard with non-existant wear. By contrast, these Sigma stones have very hard ceramic particles in a very soft carrier material, so they'll wear like regular waterstones (although the ad copy says you work them less so that they actually wear away slower). If I were REALLY into waterstones, I might spend the 5X I did for my stones & give 'em a try.

                        But I'd have to be REALLY into it... :-)

                        1. re: Eiron
                          Chemicalkinetics Nov 28, 2011 05:06 PM

                          I don't know about you two. When I had my combination 1000/6000 stone, I find it a bit time consuming and difficult to make that jump.

                          "By contrast, these Sigma stones have very hard ceramic particles in a very soft carrier material, so they'll wear like regular waterstones "

                          I don't know much about these stones, but if these stones are like what you said, then they would be great for Dave5440 who has very hard (>HRC64) knives.

                          "I might spend the 5X I did for my stones "

                          These Sigma stones aren't that expensive, are they? The 1000 grit stone is more expensive than typical 1000 grit stone, but, interesting, its 10,000 grit stone ($94) is actually about the same or possibly cheaper than the average 10,000 grit stone.

                          I do like Lee Valley selection for the Sigma Power Select II stone: 1000, 3000, 10,000. Basically, every three fold, which is a good jump.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            u
                            ukjason Nov 28, 2011 06:10 PM

                            I have a question
                            Ceramic Vs Wheatstone Vs grit stone is one better or are we justing talking price?

                            (I think Wheatstone and grit stone is the same thing right?)

                            1. re: ukjason
                              Chemicalkinetics Nov 28, 2011 07:18 PM

                              Whetstone is the most general term for a sharpening stone. Any sharpening stone is a whetstone -- let's it be waterstone, diamond plate, natural stone...etc. The word "Whetstone" comes from whetting:

                              http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whetstone

                              Ceramic stone is a bit tricky because many stones can be technically called ceramic. Aluminum oxide, silicon carbide stones are ceramic. I don’t know what a “grit stone” is.

                              As for the best sharpening stone, that depends on what you are looking for. I would argue that the preference of sharpening stones is more subjective than that of the knives.

                              For example, Naniwa Super stones give extremely polish mirror like finish and require no water soaking, but it is very soft and easy to gouge:
                              http://www.paulsfinest.com/Naniwa-Super-Stone-Sharpening-Stones/
                              King stones occupy a huge market. In general, King stones are relatively inexpensive and yield good results, but it is soft and wear off fast:
                              http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/page.aspx?p=67177&cat=1,43072,67175
                              Sharpton Glass stones wear off slow, remain flat for a long time, and are splash-and-go stones, but they are very hard and known to lack feedback feeling.
                              http://www.fendrihan.com/strops-hones-shapton-c-116_76_79.html

                              For your first tone, I won’t worry too much because you don’t necessary know what you want until you get it. I would, however, advise you to focus on waterstones and avoid oil stones.

                              *Edited*
                              When we wrote '1000 grit stone', we meant '1000 grit - stone', not '1000 - grit stone'. In other words, we were talking about stones with particles of 1000 grit size. Much like you would describe a '100 grit sandpaper'

                              http://www.amazon.com/3M-SandBlaster-...

                            2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              Eiron Nov 29, 2011 08:37 AM

                              Chem, I agree that the jump from 1000 to 6000 is a little difficult, especially if you’re just starting out. I bought that grit pairing simply because it was commonly suggested, & because so many combo stones paired those grits together. Obviously, it works. But I think *I* would’ve been better off starting out with a 1200 (or maybe even a 2000) with the 6000. Since all the knives I was sharpening were new w/factory edges, & I was going to maintain the edges long before they got close to being “dull,” then I really didn’t need to start out with such a low grit & such a large gap between grits.

                              I don’t know anything about the Sigma stones, beyond what LV says about them. Yes, it sounds like they’re excellent for harder steels. When I bought my stones from Mike’s Tools I paid around $48 for the 1000 & 6000 pairing. Since the Sigma stones don’t cover the same range with only two stones, I’d buy all three. That’s $235, & 5x my $48 is $240. :-)

                              I would like to add a 3000 grit stone to my collection. The best buy I can find is from Epicurian Edge. It’s a nice-sized, large stone for $38.

            2. Chemicalkinetics Nov 25, 2011 10:41 AM

              ukjason,

              I am just repeating what I wrote in the other post. No, you don't have to buy JCK stones for JCK knives. The JCK stones do look ok. Just to give you an example. Here is a $300 Michel Bras 1000/3000 grit stone from Williams Sonoma:

              http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

              It is one of the worst value item I have seen. You certainly don't want to go by the "Michel Bras stones for Michel Bras knives" in this case.

              I vote for a individual ~1000 grit stone and buy additional stones as you need them. That being said, either choice (individual vs combination) is fine.

              P.S.: Make sure you practice on some inexpensive knives before jumping to your new CarboNext knife, also you may want to get a diamond stone for lapping (flattening the waterstone).

              4 Replies
              1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                petek Nov 25, 2011 07:41 PM

                "I vote for a individual ~1000 grit stone and buy additional stones as you need them."
                +1
                My 1k stone is wearing out a lot faster than my 6k.I'd recommend buying a 1k-1200k stone first and see how that works out for you.Later down the road you can pick up a 5k-8k stone,anything over that(IMHO) is overkill...but that's just me :)

                1. re: petek
                  Chemicalkinetics Nov 25, 2011 08:29 PM

                  Just teasing you :)

                  "1k-1200k"

                  You mean 1.2k, right? 1200K is a lot. :)

                  "you can pick up a 5k-8k stone"

                  I have a that feeling too. It isn't that you cannot put a >10,000 grit worth of edge. You can, but it won't last. So it is not very useful.

                  Are you expecting your Konosuke HD this year? What length will you or had you order? Thanks.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    petek Nov 26, 2011 03:41 AM

                    "You mean 1.2k, right? 1200K is a lot. :)"
                    That's what I meant to say..apologies doctore

                    "Are you expecting your Konosuke HD this year?"
                    I sure freakin hope so! :D Apparently there was a back up of orders for Rosewood handles,but I think I should have her by next week(fingers crossed) just in time for the crazy christmas rush..

                    I ordered a 240mm BTW

                    1. re: petek
                      Chemicalkinetics Nov 26, 2011 08:14 AM

                      Cool. I didn't know what is your prefer gyuto size. 240 mm sounds good.

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