Finally I was ready to use my Chosera 5K and 10K stones. Would they really make the edge sharper than the stock stones?
The knife I was going to sharpen was a Laguiole knife custom made by Renaud Aubry for a bunch of Dutch knife nuts. It had a blade of 12C27 steel with a hardness of 57-58 HRC.
I started with the usual progression of 100-200-400-600-800-1000 grit stock diamond stones followed by the 1200 and 1600 grit stock ceramic stones. I sharpened the edge at 20 degrees per side. See the pictures below.
Then it was time to use the Choseras. They are thicker than the stock stones, so I needed an angle cube to mount them properly. I was prepared for some fiddling, but this really was a breeze. I also did not need change the rod joints by 90 degrees, something I had seen some people do.
One of the reasons (although not the main reason) I initially chose the Wicked Edge over the Edge Pro was that the stock stones could be used dry. However, the Choseras are water stones. So I soaked them for 5 minutes and made sure I kept them wet during sharpening. Fortunately, it did not become a water bath: the Choseras need only a minimal amount of water and as soon as soon as the water or the slurry drips off, you have used too much water. (Obviously it did drip off the first time I used them, but I quickly learned :).)
Sharpening using the Choseras was easy, not really different from the stock stones. Although they do feel smooth, very smooth.
After the 5K Chosera stones, the edge had become only slightly sharper than after the 1600 ceramics: it did push cut paper, but the edges of the cut were slightly ragged. Not surprising, since the 5K Choseras rank about the same on the grit comparison chart as the 1600 ceramics.
However, after the 10K Chosera stones, the edge was truly sharp. It shaved arm hair without any problem and did push cut paper like butter. (I am saying push cut here, no cheating by secretly slicing!)
Would it shave my face? I tried. Well, it would. But only with a lot of effort.
I stropped the edge using 1 micron diamond spray on balsa, followed by 0.5 micron spray on balsa. I finished using plain top grain leather strops.
See what a beautiful mirror edge the Choseras create.
The knife did not yet pass the hanging hair test. But would it shave well?
I tried again… And yes, I could shave with it!
When I started sharpening seriously a few months ago, my mission was to get a knife so sharp I could shave with it. Mission accomplished! :D