Taidea Sharpening Whetstone
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Taidea Sharpening Whetstone
Combination sharpening stones from Taidea for hand sharpening or use with the EZESharp system for razor sharp, consistent edges.
These are double-sided whetstones from Taidea in various grits from rough sharpening in edges straight from the belt grinder or sharpening a factory knife for the first time, to high-grit stones for polished edges.
They start at a rough 180 & 600 grit stone and end all the way up at 3000/8000 grits.
The 180 & 600 is a good starting point for the first time you are sharpening up a knife, to help remove metal and set the new bevel angles. If getting only one stone, this is probably it.
Material: Corundum, an aluminium oxide product that slowly wears away while being hard enough to sharpen to a razor edge.
Dimensions: 180 x 60 x 28 mm of sharpening stone plus anti-slip silicone foot for ease of use.
How to use:
- the stone can be lubricated with water or oil before and during use
- place the knife with edge facing away from you and lift spine slightly off the stone
- If holding the handle in the right hand, place two fingers from the left hand 1/3 from the tip, middle of the blade for support
- sharpen by dragging the knife towards yourself, edge facing away
- use light moves, do not press hard down on the knife
- Try to kee the spine off the stone at a constant height of about a 20 cent coin
- You can use circular motions or straight drags back towards you while moving the knife sideways, sharpening from heel to tip
- continue doing so until you feel a burr* on the underside of the blade (this is the one instruction that matters to get a sharp blade)
- turn knife over and repeat on the other side, aiming to do as many strokes as on the first side
- Every now and then pour some water or oil over the stone to wash away steel particles and clean the stone with a rough brush before putting it away.
- A clogged stone can be cleaned with kerosene or honing oil and a brush
Why sharpening fails: (or "more detail than you probably wanted on sharpening")
If you do not keep going until you get a burr you can feel, the knife will not be sharp.
You are then just wearing away at the sides of the blade without making that side meet the other side of the knife in the middle.
If the sides do not meet, the side you are sharpening will not "fold over" onto the other side creating a burr you can feel.
If you do not sharpen until you get this burr, the edge is still a flat area between the two sides you are sharpening and the knife will never be sharp.
The cutting edge is the point where these two sides meet and if you stop before the sides meet, the knife will not be sharpened.
This sounds complicated until you feel the burr the first time and it suddenly makes sense.
The first time on a new knife it can take a while to get a burr. The steeper the angle you sharpen (the higher you raise the spine off the stone), the longer it will take and the stronger the edge will be.
For kitchen knives we mostly do not want a strong edge, we go for a thin, sharp edge so keep the spine low down towards the stone for a lower sharpening angle. Placing a 20 cent coin on the stone under the spine is a good starting point to show you how high to keep the spine. You may adjust this up or down based on blade width, spine thickness and what the blade will be used for, but it is a good starting point for your average kitchen knife with a 2-3 mm spine and 150-220 mm blade.
A coarse stone will give you a burr that is easy to feel with a careful touch with your nail or fingertip. It is an overhanging thin piece of steel, like foil, that is bent over and you feel it nicking your finger when touching very lightly for it.
A finer stone will give a burr that is harder to feel, so if in doubt, start with a coarse stone.
One more thing: when you sharpen a new knife you will spend time (2-15 min) on getting that first burr, then when flipping the knife over it will come back much faster but you need to keep going for the same amount of time to keep the edge centered on the knife. Try to time yourself or count strokes or find another way to do about the same amount of steel removal on the other side.
Then when changing to finer stones it will go much faster, the edge is now set and you are just refining scratches towards a more polished edge.
Polished or toothy edge?
Some like a really toothy edge, excelling at cutting things that are hard outside and soft inside. this is why bread knives are serrated. Tomatoes are another good example of something that is easier to cut with a toothy edge than a polished edge.
A toothy edge is done by skipping grains, going from a fairly coarse stone to a fine stone without the grains inbetween, for instance 400 and then 1000 and no more.
A polished edge is generally sharper than a toothy edge and can do very clean, effortless cutting but will need touching up more often than a toothy edge. A polished edge is achieved by going grit by grit up to a fine stone of several thousand. Grit size can be thought of like how many pieces per grams, so the higher number of grits means more "pieces" of sharpening material, and therefore a finer stone. A 1000 grit stone is much finer than a 240 grit stone.