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Additional stone for my sharpening kit?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by Papilio, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Papilio


    Sep 6, 2019
    Hello Guys,
    I like to sharpen my smaller Knives with Pocket Stones. Now I ask myself if my sharpening kit is complete or if I need additional stones.
    Stones I have (Grit given in JIS):
    - Soft Arkansas (400-600 Grit)
    - Opinel Natural Sharpening Stone (1.500 Grit)
    - Fällkniven DC4 (Ceramic about 4.000 Grit?); I don't like the diamond side that much.
    - Coghlan's Sharpening Stone (120 + 700).
    The last stone is a 3'' stone, the others are 4''.
    And a strop with honing compound.
    Is a Soft Arkansas good enough to start with when your blade is dull? The stone seems to be quite smooth. Would a coarser stone be a good idea? The Coghlan's could do the job (and it does, as the blades get quite sharp), but I don't like the size; 3'' is too small, 4'' more handy.
    Maybe something like https://www.smithsproducts.com/4-dual-grit-sharpening-stone ?
    Although the "finer" side could be redundant, because it is not that different from the Arkansas.
    I don't like Oilstones and I prefer splash and go.
    What do you think? Any advice?
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  2. wade7575


    Apr 3, 2013
    What kind of steels are you planning on sharpening,I myself don't use Arkansas stones because they are not aggressive on a lot of the PM steels I sharpen but knowing what kind of steels you are planning on sharpening would more helpful for anyone who's going to be viewing this thread.
  3. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    You didn't specify for what steel alloys.
    Some that I am very pleased with that can still be hand held are the Shapton Glass stones on aluminum backs. (the aluminum is for mounting in a sharpening jig).

    They are thin but I have never worn one out and have been using them for years.
    I have a pile of these from 120 to 4K. The 4K is good for hair whittling edges with no strop. (as long as it is in the sharpening jig). The narrow stone here is the 120 and it is too soft because I believe it is made by another maker than the other Glass stones which are plenty hard and hold up very well.

    I spend a lot of time using these; Norton water stones. This yellow one is 8,000 and is one of the better 8k stones on the planet from my view.
    It's probably too short from what you said your preferences are.
    I get these by cutting them from larger bench stones. I suppose you could cut it the long way (or get someone to cut it). I just use an old very coarse bimetal hack saw to score the stone then break it off. Kind of like a brick layer's technique.

    Next up are Spyderco's Sharpmaker triangle rods. I don't have a Sharpmaker I just hold them in one hand and my knife in the other. Even works very well for touching up M4 steel as long as there isn't much in the way of damage to take out.

    And last but not least my diamond paddles that I carry with me everyday to work.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
    KennyB likes this.
  4. Wowbagger


    Sep 20, 2015
    Here is another way I hold them.
    Also a good tip I got here in the forums is to radius the corners on a diamond plate or coarse sand paper and use the corner to get into recurve blades or just for when you need the stone to cut more aggressively (higher force the smaller the surface area).
    KennyB likes this.
  5. Papilio


    Sep 6, 2019
    Thanks for the replies. My experience is that the Arkansas is indeed not aggressive enough. The edge has to be still sharp. With a dull edge it took a long time and it still felt dull. So I think a coarser grit wouldn't be a bad idea. And I wonder if the step from the Soft aRkansas to the Opinel might be too far. Maybe something around JIS 1000? Or do I overact? ;)
    Mostly I sharpen utility knives. Swiss Army, Opinel Carbone, some kitchen knives with a softer steel, an old Boy Scouts knife (1.4034).
    Kitchen knives for example Zwilling J.A. Henckels Friodur Stainless, Wüsthof Silverpoint (stainless, no idea what kind of steel is used), WMF (1.4116).
    Thanks to mention the diamond paddles. I have a Super Fine EZE LAP Hone & Stone, too. I use that one mostly for garden tools. I know that they are available in (extra) coarse, too. But I would prefer a smaller stone. Works better for me to sharpen the blade in circular motions on a stone instead of moving sharpener over the edge.
  6. Mr.Wizard


    Feb 28, 2015
    The 6"x1" size popularized by Edge Pro and now other guided sharpeners make good pocket stones. The Boride Engineered Abrasives T2 formulation should be good for the steels you listed, and a 1/4" thick stone is plenty strong without a metal backing plate so save money and buy a bare stone. Be prepared to condition the stone using loose SiC grit to get the best performance from it.
    mycough likes this.
  7. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Papilio, you don't have a coarse stone in your set up. I'm meaning something around 100 grit. So, you can rebevel or correct an edge. Since you prefer pocket stones, one can get a 180 grit SiC 2"X 4" stone at ACE Hardware. DM
    mycough likes this.
  8. Papilio


    Sep 6, 2019
    I like this way to make your own pocket stone as most stones are too big / too heavy. But I am not a handyman. There is an interesting stone but I would need a clean cut. How do you straighten the cut side? On that foto it looks rather uneven and wavy.

    Which grit do you suggest?

    That's what I was talking about in post #1. What do you think about the Smith's? The finer grit is quite close to the Soft Arkansas, so it is probably not the best choice.
    Do you think a coarse stone is enough or do I need other grits? The Soft Arkansas is a medium grit stone (400 - 600 JIS). Maybe a fine grit (800 - 1.000 JIS)?
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  9. Mr.Wizard


    Feb 28, 2015
    @Papilio I think a 220 T2 should fit your needs, although I haven't used that particular stone. The 320 T2 I have works well and wears very slowly. The stone works with either oil or water, and it is a dense (nonporous) stone that only needs a little oil to float the swarf which is good for a pocket stone IMO. (On the bench I prefer water and more porous stone that stays wet longer.)

    By the way, although these are usually sold in dozen boxes you can find a web retailer that sells "PRICED ONE STONE EACH" if you search.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  10. jpm2


    Nov 19, 2014
    I picked up their 2x4 combo stone a few weeks ago. Removes edge damage fast. They list it as 60/80 grit, not sure what standard. It's ace hardware item 21161.
    I melted vaseline into mine and often use it dry now. When it starts loading, I put a few drops of drug store mineral on it and continue sharpening. After a couple minutes, wipe it clean.
    It's fast, easy, effective, minimal mess, portable, and at $6 a bargain... one of my favorite small stones.
    Think I'm gonna pick up a few more for gifts.

    EDIT: See post #18 below.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
    mycough likes this.
  11. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    @Papilio , yes it looks like that Smith stone would work. It's a 100 grit & a 240 grit. I've worked on those SiC grits and you can get a decent edge on the fine.
    @jpm2 , I've seen that grit (60/80) posted on the ACE website. I suspect it is a misprint. My stone is like 80 grit for the coarse and 180 grit on the fine side. Norton sells a med. grit stone and They label it as 180. Yes, on the coarse side of my stone I do like you and use Vasoline. Mine is the 2"X 8" and it's PLU# is 21165. They are made in U.S.A.. I was glad I got one because that size is not easy to find. A fast cutting coarse stone. DM
    mycough likes this.
  12. CasePeanut

    CasePeanut Gold Member Gold Member

    May 25, 2018
    The Baryonx pocket stones made by @FortyTwoBlades are great. The American Mutt would be an easy and cheap way to add the coarse stone you need. The Arctic Fox would handle finer duties well.
    FortyTwoBlades likes this.
  13. Baron Mind

    Baron Mind

    Mar 30, 2018
    Using edge pro stones or kme stones open you up to a ton of possibilities. 1x6 or 1x4. DMT aligner stones are another solid option.

    Go to jendeindustries or gritomatic and browse their selection of EP and KME stones. Practical Sharpening is another good site.
  14. Alberta Ed

    Alberta Ed

    Jun 29, 1999
    DMT Duofolds will sharpen anything. Various grits available.
    MtnHawk1 likes this.
  15. drail


    Feb 23, 2008
    Baronyx does have some really nice stuff. Check out his website.
  16. Papilio


    Sep 6, 2019
    Thanks for all your replies. Well, that are a lot of suggestions. I will need some time to browse all those shops and stones. And I need to check whether they ship to Europe. The Mutt looks good, but is a 3''.

    I still have problems with those grit ratings. A Soft Arkansas is a medium grit stone, let's say ~ 600 compared to a Japanese Stone. 100 & 240 grit (manmade stone), well...is that JIs, too? I mean, we don't have to talk about 100 grit (extra-coarse). This would give me the coarse grit I need in my kit. But 240? I don't know how to compare them to the Soft Arkansas. Is that redundant or still coarser than the Arkansas?
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  17. Mr.Wizard


    Feb 28, 2015
    I didn't realize you were in Europe. You might want to contact BORIDE directly and ask about international distributors. Incidentally I just learned that they now have sample kits in the 1/4" X 1" X 6" size, so you might consider a set if you already have to pay significant shipping. A set of T2 stones in F150, F220, F320, F400, F600 is $31.58.
  18. jpm2


    Nov 19, 2014
    I'm going to back peddle on these stones until further notice, looks like I jumped the gun.
    Earlier comment was after sharpening a few kitchen knives, but something's not right with hard high carbide steels like maxamet and rex45.
    They are not nearly as affective as my Norton jb8 with these steels, glazing fast and shedding almost no grit. I'm now questioning if they are silicon carbide, like the website description says.
  19. KennyB


    Jan 19, 2010
    I would imagine you could just flatten it as you would normally with a waterstone. Flattening stone, diamond plate, or a nice smooth piece of sidewalk. Heck you could actually just rub it against the stone you broke it off from.

    What I'm curious about is how to break the stone without a vise. Score it, then stick a chisel in there and give it a whack?

    It's a great idea, I've always wanted a pocket stone made of the same stuff my Norton 1000 is made of.

    But just FYI, Norton already makes some pretty small stones, including some in "slip" shape so they have a radius on them already. I don't think they're in the same material they make the waterstones out of though.
  20. David Martin

    David Martin Moderator Moderator Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2008
    Papilio, when I state a grit I'm meaning ANSI. A 240 SiC grit is not close to a soft Arkansas. You should find a grit chart that gives the different standards. I have all 5 of the Arkansas grade stones but rarely use them except on a axe. DM

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