New Kasumi Knife... Need help o.o
Hi everyone, I just bought my first Japanese steel knife. It's a Kasumi and it has a Rockwell hardness of 59-60. I'm trying not to use it as often until I can get a sharpening stone and a honing rod. But I have a few questions about this sexy knife:
1) What kind of honing rod should I get? Would a ceramic one suffice?
2) I intend to learn to sharpen this knife with a stone (practicing on cheaper knives first obviously), but I don't know which kind of stone I should get. I'm considering the Henckels Twin Stone Pro for $50. Are there are noticeable differences between this stone and others (of the same grit) or is a stone a stone?
3) What size stone would I need?
And can anyone provide me with some useful resources for learning to sharpen knives?
I'll answer in more depth if I have time or if you have questions later. This kind of info can get pretty elaborate. But here are some basics:
1) A ceramic rod is fine to use. But, especially if you're a home cook who uses whetstones, you might find you don't need a rod at all. A rod is useful for quick touch-ups and because it's easily portable. But a medium to fine stone can be used for touch-ups as well. Some people find a strop to be a useful alternative to a rod because:
- it can help create a more refined edge.
- it's something you can easily make at home with minimal expense
- it can help somewhat to deburr or remove wire edges after sharpening
Neither is strictly necessary. Depends on how you use your knives.
2) I have no experience with the Henckels stone. Nor have I read any reviews of that stone written by people who I know are knowledgeable about sharpening. It might be a good stone or it might not. I do however know of quite a few decent stones in that price range (or a bit below sometimes) that I have used or that have been recommended by well-practiced sharpeners. I recommend starting off with a waterstone (Japanese synthetic whetstone) in the 800-1200 grit range, or else a combination (two different grits) waterstone, with one side in that grit range. King makes good, affordable stones in that range, though some of their combo stones are problematic. A couple of the combo stones on amazon,com are decent stones for a beginner as well - not a long lifespan, but decent performance. There are many great premium stones available I could tell you about if you want to spend more.
You'll eventually find that you need to flatten out your waterstone. You could do this with something so simple as drywall screen on a flat surface (glass is popular). A lot of people, myself included, like using coarse or extra coarse DMT diamond stones for flattening, but these can be more expensive.
You might eventually find that you want more grits - perhaps a coarser grit for repairs or to speed up the sharpening of a very dull knife, or a finer grit[s] to make a more refined edge. I suggest learning to sharpen with a medium grit stone (1000 or so) and then crossing that bridge once you have some experience under your belt, because it can get complicated, and the main factor in a sharp edge isn't how many stones you have but how you use em.
3) Bigger stones are easier and faster to use, and generally last longer. But they're also more expensive. I'd say you want at least 1.5- 2 inches wide and 5-6 inches long. But a lot of good stones are bigger than this. Many of my stones are 70 mm by 210 mm, and that seems to be kind of the standard for medium- to high-end waterstones.
4) There are many great video tutorials on youtube, and a lot of good advice here on this site and over at the various knife forums. I'd suggest you take a look at the how-to videos on chefknivestogo.com (a good basic comprehensive series), and also the youtube videos made by occasional poster here, jbroida ( http://www.youtube.com/user/JKnifeImp... - these are a little more technical but also will show you some better, more precise techniques). If you search other threads here for tips like 'the magic marker trick,' you should find some decent basic advice as well.