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Thread: Shapton 30K, talk me out of it

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Matthews View Post
    Suehiro Cerax 20000 has the same allure to me.

    It's a pointless vanity that I desperately want.
    https://www.mtckitchen.com/suehiro-g...rpening-stone/
    The Shapton 16k is 0.92 micron. The 30k is 0.48. The Suehiro 20k is 0.50. Sounds like a better deal at roughly $100 less than the Shapton 30k and only 0.02 difference in grit size. I have heard good things about the Suehiro Cerax stones. I would probably end up with that one if I felt the need to go beyond my Shapton 16k, which, by the way, I can’t even remember the last time I used because I haven’t been using straight razors lately, and that’s mostly what I use that stone for. For knives, I find the Chosera 10k is as fine as I ever need, and frequently I stop at the Shapton 8k, or Chosera 5k, depending on the knife (type of steel, intended use, bevel angle). Sushi knives and single bevel knives benefit from finer grits, as do high carbon versus stainless steel. I do sometimes sharpen carving chisels to 16k if I am doing some sort of detail work in tricky grain, but mostly I stop at 5k for woodworking tools other than chisels, and strop with green chromium oxide. Chisels I go to 8k or finer. This is generally speaking, as I play around with lots of different stones.

    Just remember that beyond 8k, really the difference is minimal and much of the difference is lost after a few uses, but it is fun trying to get the finest edge possible. I fully admit to being at this level of “sharpaholic” and spending more than needed on stones just to see how sharp I can get stuff. I add this disclaimer to ensure I don’t suggest to the general public that they have to go “to infinity and beyond” for every sharpening.

  2. #17
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    The grit size on the Sueiro 20, elluded me. What did seem interesting is one of the claims made in the sales pitch:

    Straight razor sharpeners will love this stone as, depending on individual skill, HHT4/5 are easily achieveable without stropping.
    That is definitely a stone for straight razor users more than for woodworking. HHT is the Hanging Hair Test method of testing for sharpness. It is beyond the testing of sharpness by arm hair shaving, end grain shaving or paper cutting. It is the next level of sharpness.

    Resistance isn't always futile.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #18
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    To satisfy my curiosity, I looked at the HC and HR series Shapton 30K stone on the Sharpening Supplies site.That stone is on sale for US $324.00, normally $360.00. At those prices, I would not need to be talked out of buying one. With my 73 year old clumsy hands, I would be sure to drop it! https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Water-Stones-C4.aspx

  4. #19
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    If you want to try the sub micron surface, without spending a lot of money, the next time you order something from Lee Valley, order a sheet of the .5 micron, and .1 micron Diamond Lapping film. I did, and had a spare Granite Surface Plate for when Woodcraft used to sell them, on sale, for 25 bucks. I liked it so much, that I have kept it on the drainboard of my sharpening sink, for several years now. https://www.leevalley.com/en-us/shop...d-lapping-film

    It is fragile though, to a sharp edge, so you can only back up with the cutting edge. It lasts a Long time, if you remember to only go backwards. I doubt mine has been changed any more frequently than once a year, and probably less than that. Once you take an already sharp edge to it, it takes a very few strokes, so it doesn't suffer much wear from each use.

    To me, having an edge "too sharp", is like having a girlfriend that is too good looking. Neither is a reality in my opinion. Since my sharpening setup is already sitting out, ready to go, there is almost no extra work involved to take it all the way. The sharper it is to start with, the longer you have before it needs honing again, and the extra time in use is always way longer than the extra 10 or 15 seconds it takes, but that's with my setup. If you have to drag sharpening stuff out every time you use it, the number of stones will make more of a difference.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    ... and had a spare Granite Surface Plate for when Woodcraft used to sell them, on sale, for 25 bucks. ...
    An alternative to a granite plate is float glass. If you can't score some scrap free, LV has a "Glass Lapping Plate" for $15 intended for use with the lapping film they stock.

  6. #21
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    An experiment in progress...Richlite fingerboard with Diamond paste. For $20, it's an interesting substrate.

    I had a stash of diamond paste in three "flavors" already. Richlite is just compressed paper.

    So far, it's easy enough to handle but I can't say the results are appreciably different than two stones and a strop.

    https://richlite.com/products/guitar...-black-diamond

  7. #22
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    I have the Shapton 30k. Got it for very cheap from a kind woodworker years ago. It rarely gets used, I prefer ending on a sigma 13k for synthetic water stones, a Jnat, or a nice oilstone. If you are buying the Shapton 30k full price; don't. It doesn't feel very nice, good bit of stiction, and Shaptons are hard on most diamond plates and my elbows when flattening.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney Markunas View Post
    I would vote for you already being at the point of diminishing returns. If I were shopping, some interesting lumber or some other tool I want but don't really need would come way before a stone that fine and expensive. I absolutely cannot fathom using something like that on a neighbor's kitchen knives. Honestly, for many kitchen tasks I think I'd rather have a little bit of tooth than something polished on a 30K grit stone. Don't let perfection get in the way of good enough.
    There are kitchen knives and there are kitchen knives. My wife has several really good non stainless steel Japanese knives that are now beautifully sharp. You can spend hundreds of dollars even thousands on a single sushi knife. Not sure how happy a Japanese Sushi chef would be with your technique.

  9. #24
    I've also been interested in the 16k stone (which you already have) and the 30k you're considering. As I've read this thread, it sounds like a Shapton 30k is 0.49 microns. Lee Valley claims their green honing compound is about that size ("The average size of scratch pattern it leaves behind is 0.5 microns.")
    Link

    I use the LV compound on a piece of hard leather mounted to a block of wood. Is honing this way actually comparable to the 30k stone as it seems, or is there some difference I havent figured out? I'm not trying to be a wiseguy or anything - just trying to learn from you all.

    Thank you.
    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frederick Skelly View Post
    I've also been interested in the 16k stone (which you already have) and the 30k you're considering. As I've read this thread, it sounds like a Shapton 30k is 0.49 microns. Lee Valley claims their green honing compound is about that size ("The average size of scratch pattern it leaves behind is 0.5 microns.")
    Link

    I use the LV compound on a piece of hard leather mounted to a block of wood. Is honing this way actually comparable to the 30k stone as it seems, or is there some difference I havent figured out? I'm not trying to be a wiseguy or anything - just trying to learn from you all.

    Thank you.
    Fred
    Fred I donít find them to be comparable. Since stropping rounds over the edge slightly each time we do it. The Shapton 30 k doesnít. But it also doesnít cut nearly as fast as the 16k.
    I would say it is a good polishing stone if you had the right steel to see the difference.
    Aj

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Hughes View Post
    Fred I don’t find them to be comparable. Since stropping rounds over the edge slightly each time we do it. The Shapton 30 k doesn’t. But it also doesn’t cut nearly as fast as the 16k.
    I would say it is a good polishing stone if you had the right steel to see the difference.
    Thanks AJ!
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  12. #27
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    Stropping on a pliable surface (leather) works for those sharpening by hand because the already sharp edge doesn't have to be presented at just the perfect angle. It will, of course, also round over the edge, to some degree. If one uses a guide, there is no reason to use a pliable substrate, but you can still use the same sub-micron grit range with a flat hard backing, and not worry about dubbing the edge. Either is really just a further refinement of an already sharp edge.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barney Markunas View Post
    I would vote for you already being at the point of diminishing returns. If I were shopping, some interesting lumber or some other tool I want but don't really need would come way before a stone that fine and expensive. I absolutely cannot fathom using something like that on a neighbor's kitchen knives. Honestly, for many kitchen tasks I think I'd rather have a little bit of tooth than something polished on a 30K grit stone. Don't let perfection get in the way of good enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Sloan View Post
    There are kitchen knives and there are kitchen knives. My wife has several really good non stainless steel Japanese knives that are now beautifully sharp. You can spend hundreds of dollars even thousands on a single sushi knife. Not sure how happy a Japanese Sushi chef would be with your technique.
    David, You did mention sharpening knives for a neighbor in your original post. You did not mention sharpening speciality knives for a discerning wife.

    A bit of tooth on a knife may be useful for some tasks. For other tasks the 'tooth' can become a snagging point in delicate slicing.

    Candy, my wife, used to always slice tomatoes with a serrated knife. They came out a mess. For me, a test of sharpness of a kitchen knife is how thin it can slice a tomato without 'sawing' the tomato. Now, Candy has me slice the tomatoes when we have burgers or other foods that need sliced tomatoes.

    When the wife will easily agree that having super sharp kitchen knives is a good thing, why are you asking a bunch of knuckle dragging Neanderthals about getting the next step in super sharp?

    If you can afford it, my suggestion would now be to go for it.

    BTW, let your wife know when you sharpen the knives. One time when Candy wasn't notified the first time she used a knife its sharpness gave her a fright. That may be what "Scary Sharp" is all about.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  14. To the OP... my neighbors aren't sushi chefs - they don't own yanagibas made by the descendants of swordsmiths; much more likely that they are folks that have Cutcos rattling around in a drawer or a block of Henckels that they received as a wedding present decades ago. If my neighbors were sushi chefs, it is very unlikely they would come to me for sharpening help - they'd do it themselves or take their babies to a specialist sharpener.

    I could easily be wrong but I'll stick with my contention that it is a lot of money to spend for what is likely to be a miniscule improvement in the end result. I'd feel differently if you were sharpening microtome blades, but for not if you are working on chisels and kitchen knives. My dad used to tell me that most fishing lures were really designed to catch fisherman more than fish. I think a 30K stone is probably the sharpening equivalent. Enjoy your purchase regardless of what you decide.

  15. #30
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    Thanks again everyone for your input. To close the loop, you have talked me out of buying the 30K stone (at least for now anyway). Instead, I am using my Christmas gift money to buy a Lie Nielsen #164 low angle smooth plane. It's considerably cheaper and I suspect will be more useful!

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