Wicked Edge (WEPS) Chosera Stone Progressions…So Many Possibilities!

If you’re new to using the Wicked Edge Precision Sharpener (WEPS) or are considering Chosera stones for the WEPS, please be sure to read the introductory guide first, found here.

Now that the Chosera stones are available on the Wicked Edge website, as well as the Jende Industries site. the question of picking  stone progressions naturally follows.  The purpose of this blog post is to explore some of the reasoning behind the myriad of possible progressions with the Choseras on their own, and in conjunction with the stock WEPS diamond plates. This is a topic that can be very simple, or can be amazingly complicated. Just ask Clay Allison how long I can keep (and have kept) him on the phone discussing reasons for using each Chosera stone in different contexts.

In order to keep things on a more sane level, I will not discuss progressions that include the other WEPS accessory plates, stones and strops in this post – it would never end, for sure! (You should’ve seen my first draft of this post!!)

It is assumed from this point that you are familiar with the grit rating chart from the the introductory guide (here and also linked to the post mentioned in the beginning of this article) and that you are using the stock WEPS diamond plates up to #600.

I think there are 3 ways to approach choosing progressions with the Choseras and WEPS stock diamond plates:

  1. Grit Categories
  2. Sharpening a particular knife or steel type
  3. What combinations did you choose, Tom?

1. Grit Categories

Grit categories consist of Coarse, Medium, and Fine. This is perhaps the simplest, (almost) no-frills method of choosing a progression. For any sharpening application, you would simply need only one from each category.

Coarse stones are the work horses, removing metal faster in order to repair or (re)profile an edge. The #400, #600 and #800 Chosera stones fall into this category. With the WEPS stock #400 and #600 diamond plates, you can  feasibly skip this level and go directly to the Medium Chosera stones. But as pointed out in the introductory guide, the #400, #600 and #800 can all remove the deeper scratches that can be left by the WEPS stock diamond plates, thus reducing the workload of the higher grit stones in the long run.

Medium stones (1K, 2K, 3K) serve several purposes. Medium stones still remove enough metal to alter the shape or profile of an edge, and can even do repairs (with 1K being obviously faster at it than a 3K). They also create very usable edges – many people are quite happy using “only” 1K edges (although I don’t personally know any, but I’ve heard about them… 😀 ). The perfection of the edge shape coming off the WEPS makes a medium grit edge even more effective, too. Lastly, the medium grit stones prepare an edge for the fine grit stones.

Fine stones (5K, 10K) are your polishing stones. In this category, 5K and the 10K Chosera really fit together when used on the same paddle, even though they are both “fine” grits. These put the shine and the shave on the edge, and take a medium grit edge to a whole new level of sharpness that, in my experience over the years, changes people’s views about what sharp can be and do.

Possible progressions based on Grit Categories: 

  • 400 or 600/1K + 3K/10K – This is the “easiest” progression that spans the entire range of Choseras with the fewest number of stones.
  • 800/2K or 3K + 5K/10K – This progression compliments using the WEPS #600 stock diamond plates.
  • 800/2K or 3K – This is a “single paddle” progression that compliments the WEPS #600 stock diamond plates and produces an admirable medium grit working edge on just about any brand of knife.

2.Sharpening a particular knife or steel type

For this approach, knowing the type of steel and it’s hardness comes in handy, as it is related more to the level of refinement a steel will take and hold. Higher end brand names with specifically named steel types and/or hardness can usually take and hold an edge of any level quite well, and will benefit from almost any progression of Choseras. Lower end brand name knives are often made from softer steels which don’t have the structure or the rigidity to hold edges well past 5K.

* Disclaimer* Since I  personally don’t have experience with any steel past HRC 63 with the Choseras, the progressions listed are with blades of HRC 63 or less in mind.

Possible progressions based on knife or steel types:

SOFTER STEELS (HRC 55 and below)

  • 800/2K or 3K – This is an optimal “single paddle” combo for softer steels, IMO.
  • 400/1K + 3K/5K – This spans the optimal range of Choseras on softer steels.

HARDER STEELS (HRC 56 and above)

  • 800 or 1K/2K + 5K/10K – This progression compliments the WEPS #600 stock diamond plates.
  • 600/1K + 3K/10K – This progression spans the range of Choseras with the fewest number of stones.
  • 1K/5K – This a “single paddle” progression following the WEPS #600 stock diamond plates.

3. What combinations did you choose, Tom?

Since I am fortunate enough to have all the Chosera stones to choose my progressions from, here are the configurations I chose for my paddles:

  • 400/600
  • 800/2K
  • 1K/3K + 5K/10K

If you’re interested in why – here’s why :

I chose the 400/600 combo because I  use the  400/600 stones to remove deeper scratches left by the stock WEPS diamonds. I use the 600 for harder steels and the 400 for softer steels before progressing to my other stones (either 800 or 1K Chosera). For most routine maintenance afterward I usually only need to go as low as the  800 or 1K  Chosera to refresh an edge, so I don’t return the these lowest grits unless there is serious work to be done or I use the WEPS stock diamond plates.

My main progression is the 1K/3K + 5K 10K because I take most of the knives I sharpen on the WEPS up to 10K, and this is my preferred path.

I’ve had debates with people about why I chose the 3K over the 2K  in my main progression, and my reason is simple –  because I chose to use the 800/2K combo as a one-two punch for softer steeled knives and for knives that I don’t take up to 10K. Truth be told – the 2K and 3K are pretty interchangeable if surrounded by the 1K and 5K. It is also too late – my stones are already mounted to the paddles! 😀

Conclusion

So there it is – a little insight into the possibilities of the Chosera WEPS stones progressions. I hope these approaches have explained some of the different ways to help you choose the optimum progression for your needs. Just remember, there is no perfect universal progression for every single knife but all of the progressions suggested will work for just about any situation.  And while having the full set of Choseras for the WEPS is probably the best overall solution, trust me –  it doesn’t necessarily make choosing any easier – but it sure does make things a whole lot of fun!

😀

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One Response to “Wicked Edge (WEPS) Chosera Stone Progressions…So Many Possibilities!”

  1. WEPS Stock Diamond Plates and Chosera Stones Progression in Pictures « Jende Industries Blog Says:

    […] Jende Industries Blog The Ramblings of an Obsessed Sharpener « Wicked Edge (WEPS) Chosera Stone Progressions…So Many Possibilities! […]

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