An extremely well written and informative article on sharpening. Overtime we all get to love certain stones for our sharpening needs. I am a huge coticule fan, and although i have used all the others, i always come back to this natural stone above all others. Still trying to figure if i chose it or it chose me! NEver the less there are so many options out there it is not hard with a little time and effort to find the right combination for your needs.

For centuries, traditional barbers offering a wet shave used (and still do) a leather strop to produce a super fine edge on a cut throat razor and this sort of technique can be used to very good effect on plane and chisel blades. The leather is dressed with a lubricant of some sort (machine oil, petroleum jelly or similar) and then a very fine abrasive paste is rubbed into the surface. When the blade is pulled (never pushed) over the strop several times, the effect is to continuously refine an already sharp edge; precisely what the barber is hoping to achieve on his razor.
Silicone Carbide whetstones on the other hand, are the fastest cutting of the three types of oil stones and the stones made by Norton are called Crystolon Stones. Also they too are graded as either fine, medium, or coarse stones depending on their grit. But, although these stones will not produce an edge as fine as Arkansas Oil Stones or India Oil Stones, their fast cutting ability makes them ideal for sharpening tools as well as for cutting the initial edge bevel on extremely dull knives or repairing the edge on damaged blades. Last, because they sharpen so quickly, it a common practice to start with a coarse Crystolon Oil Stone and then progress to either a medium or fine India Oil Stone and then to finish with an Arkansas Oil Stone.
A. The HR and HC series are very similar, but they do have some subtle differences. The visible difference is the color, the HR is white, while the HC is a light gray. In use, we recommend the HR for stainless, modern alloys as well as most high carbon steels. The more aggressive cut of the HR makes it the primary recommendation for most knives or tools. The HC series is used on many traditional high carbon steels. The HC is only available in a 4K, 6K and 8K so it tends to be used in conjunction with the HR for many situations. The HC does tend to polish high carbon steel well and if often used in sharpening straight razors, high quality Japanese beauty shears, and traditional Japanese high carbon steel knives and tools. If you are sharpening a variety of knives and tools, the Shapton HR series will be more versatile.

This article is not about how to sharpen a knife, check this article instead, but briefly, a coarse stone is critical, it has the potential to raise a Burr quickly and make a dull knife sharp quickly. The correct use of pressure enables us to form a burr, remove the burr and then do some coarse stone refinement and thus create a very sharp knife. This sensation is motivation, it is a confidence builder and will enhance your sharpening experience, so believe me when I say that a coarse stone is your first priority. I recommend a 400, 600 or 800 grit. After that, depending on the knives you are sharpening strive to obtain stone combination, such as a 400 – 1,000 – 5,000 grit three stone combination is going to allow you to achieve knives sharper than most people have ever seen.
They are now offered in a very wide range of grits from extra, extra coarse 120g – 120 micron up to extra extra fine 8,000g – 3 micron. The initial cut with diamond stones is very aggressive but this disappears after a while as the stone ‘beds’ in. Some types of stone have a pattern of circular or oval holes across the surface and this is intended to carry away the sharpening swarf more easily. A little more care should be taken with continuous diamond stones, particularly the finer grits as the surface is liable to clog more quickly. Diamond stones can be used without any lubrication, but it’s generally recommended to use either water (make sure to clean and dry it afterwards), a light machine oil or WD40.
Whetstone has two different sides of grain for sharpening and polishing knife edges. These softer Japanese stones have several advantages over harder stones. Because they are softer, they do not become glazed or loaded with detritus. Plus, they are lubricated effectively with water rather than oil, but can be used with either. Submerge the stone in water for about 5 - 10 minutes. Continue to apply water while sharpening with the Whetstone Cutlery Two sided Whetstone Sharpening Stone. The stone releases small particles during the sharpening process; this powder in combination with water allows the sharpening. After a while you will notice a small burr at the edge. Now repeat the same process on the other side of the blade. Finally, turn the stone over and repeat the procedure, this time using the finer grit of the stone. In order to remove the remaining burr, pull the blade at an angle over the stone. Rinse the stone and clean off the grinding residue. Clean your knife with hot water.
Clamp-style sharpening tools use a clamp with several holes with predefined angles. The stone is mounted on a rod and is pulled through these holes, so that the angle remains consistent. Another system is the crock stick setup, where two sticks are put into a plastic or wooden base to form a V shape. When the knife is pulled up the V, the angle is held so long as the blade is held perpendicular to the base. Several cutlery manufacturers now offer electric knife sharpeners with multiple stages with at least one grinding stage. These electric sharpeners are typically used in the kitchen but have the ability to sharpen blades such as pocket or tactical knives. The main benefit of using an electric sharpener is speed with many models that can complete the sharpening process in one to two minutes. The disadvantage is that the sharpening angle is fixed so some specialized knives, like a Japanese style Santoku, may need additional attention to sharpen to the ideal angle.

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Shapton Glass 320, 500, 1,000, 2,000 and 16,000. I have the 4,000, and 8,000, they are absolutely fine, great in fact but I just don’t use them as much as the others. These stones excel on knives made of hard steel, the hardest steel is no match for these. This does not mean you can’t sharpen hard knives on the Naniwa brand of course, you can. I have been using this particular brand of stone for many years and I absolutely love them.
I personally don't like using honing oil when sharpening and much more prefer to use water. This stone can work very well with both. If you use water, just let the stone sit in a container of purified water for about 30 minutes before use and dry thoroughly after use. Blades come out very sharp and if you're not looking for an extreme sharpness, you can use this as a final sharpening step. Overall, I am very satisfied.
Our large selection of stones from many well-known manufacturers will allow connoisseurs to find the ideal stone for their needs. Because all manufacturers formulate their stones to emphasize a different mix of qualities, and because these qualities can vary widely between different stones, most woodworkers choose stones from several manufacturers to build up an optimal set of sharpening stones. Then again, once you get to know the characteristics of certain types of stone, you may find one supplier who will provide all the stones you need. Sometimes this can be an advantage. But there is no one size that fits all; each stone must fit your needs and work style.

Natural stones are quarried from deposits of a mineral called novaculite. The most available are called Arkansas Stones, and come in soft and hard grades, but Washita (coarser than soft Arkansas) and Queer Creek Blue (variable, but around hard white Arkansas) are also available. Novaculite has a mohs hardness of 6.5, equivalent to Rockwell Rc 69. Most knife blades are around 5.5 (Rc 59).
Cross-contamination of food can lead to serious health risks like food poisoning or unintended exposure to food allergens . If your kitchen staff members know how to prevent cross-contamination by correctly storing and preparing food, you can save the time and money that would be wasted on improperly handled food. By making the effort to separate your foods while storing and preparing them, sanitizing your kitchen surfaces and equipment, and practicing proper personal hygiene, you can create a safe and sanitary kitchen environment that is better for your customers, your employees, and your business. What is Cross-Contamination? Cross-contamination occurs when disease-causing microorganisms, like bacteria and viruses, are transferred from on