One of the most frequently asked questions I get from those who are using a wet stone knife sharpener, is "How long do your kitchen knife sharpening stones last?" I can tell you approximately how long they will last, but I’d also like to talk about the variables that can drastically affect the lifespan of the wet stones while sharpening.
120 grit stone = 30-40 knives
220 grit stone = 150-200 knives
400 grit stone = 200-300 knives
600 grit stone = 350+
1000 grit stone = 350+
You will notice that the coarser Edge Pro sharpening stones wear faster. There are a couple reasons for this. First, the particles (grit) that make up the coarser stones are bigger. So as each particle breaks away, you lose a bigger piece of the stone.
The other reason, is that when you're sharpening really dull knives, you will do the bulk of the work with the coarser stones. So you basically end up putting more “mileage" per knife on them. That is why we make the 120 and 220 grit stones a little thicker than the other wet knife sharpener stones. Learn how to use sharpening stones below.
RECOMMENDED USE FOR EACH SHARPENING STONE:
120 grit Sharpening Stone - I rarely use this stone. When I do use this stone, I use it for “thinning” (aka secondary or relief bevels). Note: So although it is rated as the fastest wearing stone, I don’t go through many of them, because they are rarely used.
220 grit Sharpening Stone - This is the stone I will begin sharpening most knives with that have never been sharpened on the Edge Pro Sharpening System. The 220 is a great stone for medium metal removal, for cutting in a new bevel, and develops a burr that is easy to feel.
400 grit Sharpening Stone - I will begin with the 400 if a knife is in pretty good shape, and I don't anticipate having to remove a lot of metal. Some people who are looking for a real "toothy" edge will finish with this stone, but I prefer to finish with at least the 600.
600 grit Sharpening Stone - This stone is ideal for finishing most kitchen knives.
1000 grit Sharpening Stone - The 1000 grit stone is just below a polished finish. I use this stone as a bridge between the 600 and polish tapes.
Polish Tapes - I will polish folding knives, hunting knives, tactical knives, and Japanese kitchen knives . . . most knives.
Exception: standard kitchen knives. Regular kitchen knives require micro-serrations left by the stones and ceramic hone so they will cut vegetables with skins. The Japanese Kitchen knives are much thinner and harder. We sharpen them at a lower angle, about 17 or 18 degrees so they take a much finer edge and will cut vegetables with skin easily. Plus the polished edge lasts much longer than the micro serrated edge. You do not use the ceramic hone on the polished edge.
Resharpen with the finest stone possible. On kitchen knives you can re-sharpen with just the 600 or 1000 grit stones. On Japanese Kitchen Knives just use the Polish Tapes. However, if you make several passes and do not get an edge, then drop back to a coarser blade sharpening stone.