Archive for January, 2018

Suehiro Stones for the KME Sharpener- GC 180 and R 1K – an Economical Progression

January 8, 2018

I decided to kick off the new year with some of our Suehiro stones for the KME Sharpener. Using the GC 180 and R 1K Suehiro stones, I took a very dull and neglected blade and brought it back to life using a minimalist approach. The results speak for themselves, proving that you can get some very respectable edges with economical stone alternatives. And although you can only pick 2 options from Good, Fast, or Cheap, choosing wisely is the key.


Since the Suehiro stones are waterstones, they will need to be presoaked, especially upon the first use. Do not use oil with these stones. A small dish or tub of water will do. The GC 180 is thirsty, and the R 1K may bubble for a minute. I usually add a small capful of soap or bleach to my stones to kill anything in my tap water and to keep the stones sanitary.


While the stones took a bath, I set up the knife in the KME. This was an old Herder Reed Knife, which is essentially a hollow ground razor in a handle. I lined up the spine with the first line on the KME jaws and made sure the both sides were even, since there are no flats for the jaws to grab.

I then set my angle, which in this case was dictated by the limitations of the narrow blade. I set the angle so the stones would just clear the jaws. It ended up being around 25 degrees. I was ready to put the Suehiro GC 180 into the KME handle. Since one side of the stones are labeled, it is highly recommended to use only the unmarked side, so as to keep the stones clearly marked over time.

Ready to sharpen, here’s what our edge looked like under the scope – first is the macro picture, then the micro picture. You can see the rust and overall lack of shape or edge in both pictures. The microscope pictures were taken with a Veho-400, and macro image size is 10mm high by 13mm wide while the micro images are 0.75mm high by 1mm wide.

Herder Before – Macro

Herder Before – Micro


Using the Suehiro GC 180, I began scrubbing away at the edges. I did approx 200 strokes per side, adding a spritz of water as necessary to keep viscosity. I use a 7ml bottle, and 1-2 spritzes is enough to keep things alive for a while. The 180 will require more water in general, as it is more porous in nature.


The Suehiro GC 180 is a rather coarse stone, which literally gives its life to the cause of speed (remember – good, fast or cheap). I won’t try to fool anyone, but the stone dishes as a result of its sacrifice. All coarse grits dish. It’s a curse, really because they get the most use. Ideally, you would use a belt sander or the XX-Coarse diamond KME stone first to set the bevel, and then use the 180 to clean things up in the transition to the 1K, which is a decent working sharp, and only 3 stones. I felt the burr after about another 100 strokes per side. Here are the resulting macro and micro images.

Herder, Suehiro GC 180 Macro

Herder, Suehiro GC 180 Micro

Not bad, and a big difference.  The edge is jagged, yes, but it is defined and ready for the next step to the Suehiro R 1K. But first, I want to show the dishing of the stone. It looks worse than it is. On a small length like 4″ for the KME Sharpener, the abrasion happens in such a concentrated area. We will flatten the stone afterward and you will see it’s not so bad.


So, onto the Suehiro R 1K. I wiped off the 180 residue and prepped for the 1K by using the olde sharpie trick instead of the stone thickness compensator. Basically, jab the tip of a sharpie (or permanent ink marker) into the blade and slide it across, Seppuku style – it marks both sides of the bevel in one swoop. It kills the tips of the markers, though.  🙂

Then onto the Suehiro R 1K, and I tested to see if just a couple light strokes would remove the sharpie line, and it did. So I didn’t need to further adjust the height/angle of the stone, despite the slight dishing from the GC 180.

With the R 1K, the intention is to remove the 180 grit scratches and smooth over the edge with the 1K scratches to get a working sharp edge. I did about 100 scrubbing strokes per side, checking for a burr, which appeared with no problems, as per the sharpie trick, and then switched off to a pyramid progression of 30-20-15-10-5-3-1-1-1-1-1-1 per side, with a light touch.  The idea behind finishing with the pyramid is to minimize the burr buildup, allowing for the edge of the edge to be as intact as possible. Here are the results under the scope.

Herder, Suehiro R 1K Macro

Herder, Suehiro R 1K Micro

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself! Then it was time for the cleanup. Lapping is an essential step in sharpening to keep waterstones clean and flat in order to yield the best results with precision sharpeners like the KME. This can be done with wet/dry sandpaper, SiC powder on glass, or, probably the easiest method, is with a diamond plate. No matter what method you employ, the technique is the same. 1. Mark the stone with a pencil. 2. Lap in alternating configurations 3. Repeat until all pencil marks are gone. Step 1 is marking. That’s easy!

Step 2 gets a little more complicated. Bascially, I do a series of 5-10 strokes in a “straight line”, then switch to an askew in one direction, and then an askew in the other, then back to center. I found this changes the pressure points to even everything out.

Straight lapping first

Askew one direction – but keep the lapping motion straight.

Askew in the opposite direction – but keep the lapping motion straight.

Step 3 is making sure all the pencil markings are gone. I generally repeat step 2, and will use more or less strokes per position depending on how much pencil is left. In the example below, I ended up doing only 3-5 in each position since we were pretty close already.

Repeat until all pencil marks are gone!!!

Ahhhh! That’s better!

And remember how badly the stone looked dished? Well, it looks normal again. Keep in mind, there will be a gradual increase of difference between the coarser and finer grit stones as time goes on.

As for the R 1K, it barely showed any signs of dishing, and was clean in 3-5 strokes per position.


Total time on the knife, including sharpening, lapping, pictures and microscope fiddling was about 30 minutes. Actual sharpening time was about 10 minutes, max. Of course, your times will vary depending upon blade condition, thickness, length, and steel type. I totally understand that not everyone wants to, can, or even needs to drive a Ferrari or Lamborghini. With the Suehiro GC 180 and Suehiro R 1K, it makes a no frills, yet very respectable and economical progression option for your KME Sharpener.

FInd these, and other fine stones for the KME Sharpener on our website:


Jende Bar Bag – for Mixologists and Bartenders

January 3, 2018

We finally figured out how to get all of your bartender and mixology gear into one bag – and with style! The Jende Bar Bag is what you want if you are serious about your spirits!

Now you can be the classiest person behind the bar, with room for your shaker, icepicks, strainers, knives, spoons, tongs, and even enough room for a bottle of your favorite Spirit (or kilo of your favorite recreational drug*)


Built like classic steamer luggage, the Jende Bar Bag will hold up for generations, and is available in all the same custom colors as the Jende Knife Rolls. You can even laser your logo or name!

*Drug Mule Clause: You must return all drugs to us once bag is successfully delivered. Alternative payment in kidneys and other vital organs is negotiable.

The Jende Bar Bags are custom made to order, and usually require about 3 weeks for production.