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Questions regarding Tormek and sharpening of Japanese carbon steel knives

Started by JCB, October 27, 2022, 06:24:19 AM

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This would be my first post as a member of the Tormek Community.
I have been interested in knives and knives sharpening for many years.  I have a number of carbon steel Japanese kitchen knives.  To date I have been sharpening with the TSProf K03 system using Chosera stones.  I have a Tormek 8 which I have used to sharpen a number of different kitchen knives in the more "middle of the road" quality.
I have only used the leather wheel with the Tormek honing compound and a leather wheel with chromic oxide which Dr Kraichuk (RIP) described on YouTube.  I also use his angle setter up for FVB.
To date I have been too "chicken" to actually sharpen the knives on the Tormek wheels.
I was wondering if anybody with more experience could give me some guidelines
I am also not quite sure what is meant by "super steel".  Does this referred to the type of steel or the Rockwell hardness?
Thanks for your help
Kind regards

3D Anvil

Welcome!  I don't know that there's an accepted definition for "super steel."  I'm a bit of a steel nerd so for me it generally means a powder metallurgy steel that contains a high percentage of vanadium carbides, e.g., Maxamet, Rex 121, 10v, 15v, s90v, M398, etc. 

As far as sharpening wear resistant steel goes, I also follow Dr. Kraichuk's advice, which is to stick to diamonds and/or CBN and deburr at or very slightly higher than the exact sharpening angle.

I believe that most Japanese kitchen knives are not made with super steels (by my definition) and can be sharpened satisfactorily on the Tormek SG stone.  I believe you can still purchase Dr. Kraichuk's deburring book from the Knife Grinders Australia website.  It provides a wealth of information, including the specific deburring protocols he developed for many different steels.


I have a Japanese marking knife, and I have sharpened it with the SG grindstone, followed by the SJ grindstone.  Works quite well for me.
Rich Colvin - a reference guide for sharpening

You are born weak & frail, and you die weak & frail.  What you do between those is up to you.


I assume you're not talking about traditional japanese knives (wa-bocho as in deba, usuba, yanagiba, kiritsuke, takobiki and the like), so the T8 will do.

These "occidental-style" japanese knives (yo-bocho such as sujihikis, gyutos, gokyujos, honesukis, ...) are indeed not made out of super steels, or you wouldn't have been able to sharpen them with chosera stones, and they wouldn't have been made using traditional methods. So you're pretty safe using traditional Tormek methods.

Stay away from the T8 with wa-bochos, as you will mess up the blade : tip, edge, ura will come out wrong.


Hi Guys,
Thank you for the replies.  The Japanese knives that I have are  Aogami/Blue super carbon steel, double beveled The traditional single beveled knives that I have [Deba, Usuba and a Yanagiba] are White No2 high carbon steel.  The single beveled knives have to be sharpened on wet stones the traditional way.  The double beveled knives I have been sharpening  on a TSprof with chosera stones.  As mentioned I have used the leather wheel with Tormek paste, followed by chromium oxide paste.  I follow up with light hand stropping and have been able to get some sub 60 Bess scores.  Used correctly the edge retention is remarkable.  I was thinking of just using the Tormek and was wondering what grinding wheels to use.
I am fascinated by the history and skill/workmanship of the Japanese blacksmiths.  Please do not ask me why I would like to have a knife with a Bess score of 50.  I cannot think of one good practical reason except that I love preparing food with the with one of those.
I actually enjoy most knives and find great pleasure in sharpening them to the best of my abilities ...... makes my friends happy.  There is always room for improvement so I was delighted to find this forum
The second question was is that I am not sure what a super steel is.
Kind regards

3D Anvil

I believe that the abrasive in Chosera stones is aluminum oxide, which is the same abrasive that's in the SG stone and the Japanese stone (and PA-70 compound), so those stones should work well for you.