Here’s our latest “Know Your Knife Sharpener” interview. let me introduce you to Maksim, sharpener and owner of JapaneseNaturalStones.com. He has got some really interesting tips for us today.
1– Hello Maksim, can you tell us more about your business, Japanese Natural Stones?
2– What equipment would you recommend to a newbie Knife Sharpener?
3 – What’s your favorite water Stone in your lineup?
4– What’s the #1 mistake beginners make? How can they avoid it?
5– Looking back, what were the first challenges that you had when you started sharpening?
6– What’s your sharpening technique: Could you take us step by step through it?
How straight is the knife? does it need straightening or could i work around it?
What grit do i have to use firs? If i want to make a total new bevel i start with a 300 grit stone. If i just want to maintain the current bevel I start with 1000 grit
After that i use a 6000 stone and a Natural finishing stone that helps me remove the burr and make a nice finish.
Of course, it always depends on the knife and what condition it is in.
For rust removal and better finish i use fingerstones.
7– Do you think beginners should exercise on cheap knives, or not? Many people say it’s a bad idea to do it.
8– How do you test blades for sharpness?
Also i always try to look for Burr or wire edge, and try to remove it as much as possible, If you have wire edge or small straight burr your knife will dull after the first session.
9– How do you flatten your water stones? How often do you do this?
I try to use the corners of the stone as much as possible when i polish knives, And i have special stone only for URA (backside of the Single bevels knives). It is always flat as I only use it for that purpose.
Other then that i don’t think stones have to be 100% flat as the bevels on the knives.
10– How do you feel about sharpening angles and their importance?
Weak angle very low – For Yanagiba, Sujihiki slicing knives that don’t touch cutting board to much
Gyuto Angle chef knife – Have to stand some chopping and still be sharp!
Butcher Deba High angle – Have to cut true some fish bones and still be sharp!
As i said i never measured them, because it depends on how low or how high you can go with each knife as they all made from different steels. You really have to experiment.