YASQ (Yet Another Sharpening Question)

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Forum topic by Tim S. posted 10-05-2015 03:10 PM 773 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tim S.

3 posts in 944 days

10-05-2015 03:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sharpening waterstone diamond stone

TLDR: What do you think of this sharpening system? Coarse Dia-sharp (8 inch, 325grit), 1000 grit King water stone, 6000 grit King waterstone.

I know similar questions have been asked a million times, but there is A LOT of conflicting information out there about sharpening. As a beginner trying to put together my first tools, I want to balance start-up cost with long term value (e.g. I’m trying to avoid buying crap that will need immediate replacement and spending 1000’s on a hobby which might not stick). Anyhow, I can find the 3 items above for under $90, but I’m wondering 1) are the king stones any good? And 2) am I skipping too many grits?

More generally, do you think those stones are worth it, or am I better sticking with Scary Sharp (sand paper) until I’m willing to shell out the $200+ for a range of diamond and/or high end water stones?


-- Tim.

7 replies so far

View waho6o9's profile


8162 posts in 2539 days

#1 posted 10-05-2015 03:22 PM

HTH and a belated welcome to LumberJocks!

View djwong's profile


176 posts in 3182 days

#2 posted 10-06-2015 02:52 AM

The answer to your question depends on what you are sharpening, and whether you plan to use a sharpening jig, or go at it freehand. In my opinion, King stones are excellent for learning freehand sharpening on. They have good feedback, are very forgiving (ie.not very fast), and are cheap. The 1000 is a fast wearing stone, so you will have to flatten often, and it also requires pre-soaking. The 6000 is a splash and go stone.

The grit jump is doable, but you will have to spend more time on the next higher grit to eliminate the previous stone’s scratches. I use a King 800, a shapton 2000, a natural Aoto stone (~4-5K), then a natural stone finisher. I use to end with a naniwa snow 8000.

If you plan on using a jig to sharpen, then you may want to get harder stones, like naniwa, shapton or sigma. Nothing wrong with scary sharp, other than cost and dealing with adhesive residue.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

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Tim S.

3 posts in 944 days

#3 posted 10-06-2015 03:44 AM

Thanks for the responses. I decided to just go for it. I did pick up a jig, although I like the idea of learning freehand sharpening. I will be sharpening some new Narex chisels, and am hoping to pick up some fixer-upper vintage planes from eBay.

-- Tim.

View TheFridge's profile


9249 posts in 1448 days

#4 posted 10-06-2015 03:48 AM

Diamond stones are good for a very flat reference but I find my self usIng paper to do most of the cutting and the diamond stone as a reference.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View rwe2156's profile


2881 posts in 1443 days

#5 posted 10-06-2015 12:32 PM

You should be ok, as you gain experience you may want to add different stones and/or grits.
Plane irons you can get by with but chisels need to be razor sharp.

The only thing I would suggest is you might want something between 325 and 1000.

You may also want to consider going higher than 6000 but if its working for you just stay there.
I don’t think you need to go over 12,000.

FWIW, I have 325, 600, 800, 1250 in diamond and 4000/8000 in water stones.
I have found a 350 water stone gets the job done better than the 325 diamond.
For touch ups during work, I go 1250, 4000, 8000 and sometimes skip the 4000.

IMO feehand sharpening is worth learning because you’re back to work in a couple minutes no fussing.
However, on a new set of chisels, I tend to use a jig at least the first time just to make sure of the angle.
I will periodically go back and reset the angle with a jig because I have a tendency to drift to high.
Not as critical with plane irons, but can be with chisels re: edge retention (lower angles decrease).
Cut a couple blocks of wood at your desired angles and use as trainers.
I would also give some thought to hollow grinding, but not absolutely necessary if you’re not set up for that.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bondogaposis's profile


4680 posts in 2313 days

#6 posted 10-06-2015 12:53 PM

there is A LOT of conflicting information out there about sharpening.

Not really conflicting, there are just a lot of ways to skin a cat. The best advice is to pick one and go with it.

What do you think of this sharpening system? Coarse Dia-sharp (8 inch, 325grit), 1000 grit King water stone, 6000 grit King waterstone.

That is an excellent system, and is similar to what I use and have used for more than 30 years. Pick up a Nagura stone to go with it and you will be able to work up a nice paste on the 6000 grit stone. The only draw back to this system is you can’t let the stones freeze.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View AESamuel's profile


77 posts in 1185 days

#7 posted 10-25-2015 08:33 PM

That setup will do you great. The waterstones will almost definitely need flattening out of the box, just use a piece of flat glass and wet n dry to flatten the stones (drawing a grid with pencil will give you a guide for the low/high spots. Just be careful not to dig the blade in by using too high an angle. It happened quite a lot when I was learning with waterstones.

For many years I used only a 1000/6000 combination stone and a strop (glue leather to wood and use blue polishing compound) and it’s only recently I moved to diamonds only.

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