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Knife Sharpening

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,728
161
NORCAL is the hizzle
For those who are serious about your blades, what method do you use? I've been using a service for my kitchen knives and want to learn to do it myself. Have heard mixed results about the chef's choice electric sharpeners, and I don't know how to use a stone. My quiver is a combination of traditional (Henckels, wustoff) and more modern asian (global) blades, with different edge angles. Thoughts?

Edit: Yeah I searched and saw the thread from a while back, just curious for more thoughts.
 

narlus

Eastcoast Softcore
Staff member
Nov 7, 2001
24,658
25
behind the viewfinder
i've got a Chef's Choice, and it works pretty well. was also highest rated in Cooks Illustrated. a stone seems like a PITA.

my problem is that i don't use my steel regularly, and let my knives get too dull, so it takes quite some time to get them back to good shape. i'm trying to be good w/ using the steel at each use.
 

Damo

Short One Marshmallow
Sep 7, 2006
4,604
20
French Alps
I'm using a Global ceramic 'steel'. It seems to be a bit better than a normal steel. I have heard that there are pretty good sharpening tools out there these days, but call me old-fashioned....
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
48,435
2,717
In a van.... down by the river
I have an Chef's Choice electric and a steel. I prefer the steel. I do use the electric when blades are really dull. Just received a Wusthof 8" for Xmas. What a nice knife.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,473
3,234
Sleazattle
I have a large stone from my days as a sort of machinist. It might not be the accepted way of sharpening kitchen knives but it works and is fun to do after a beer or ten.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,728
161
NORCAL is the hizzle
I have a large stone from my days as a sort of machinist. It might not be the accepted way of sharpening kitchen knives but it works and is fun to do after a beer or ten.
From what I can tell most purists and professionals actually prefer a stone, but they also say it's an easy way to ruin a knife if you don't know what you're doing. Like me.
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
0
Toronto
I use the Fiskars wheel to keep sharp knives sharp and a MAC ceramic steel to hone them to 'stupid sharp'.

but for sharpening dull knives, I use the Chef's Choice 120 electric.

Sad thing is, for good Asian knives you need to stay away from most of the electrics [including the Chef's Choice 120 or 110] but there is a semi-decent specialty CC for Asian blades - it just didn't get a good review.

For Asians, by hand, bubbah.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,473
3,234
Sleazattle
From what I can tell most purists and professionals actually prefer a stone, but they also say it's an easy way to ruin a knife if you don't know what you're doing. Like me.
I've screwed up an edge but never to the point I couldn't fix it. My one really nice knife I sharpen with a clamp on guide, makes it much harder to screw up. I use an old heavy leather belt as strap to finish off the edge, but for most uses the coarser finish from the stone actually works better.
 

apefeet

Chimp
Aug 25, 2005
9
0
upstate new york
you guys might think this sounds crazy but if you want a super sharp, and longer lasting edge...bring them to a respectable barber shop and let them have their way with them
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
you guys might think this sounds crazy but if you want a super sharp, and longer lasting edge...bring them to a respectable barber shop and let them have their way with them
That bitch at Supercuts better not even look at my knives.
 

Nobody

Danforth Kitchen Whore
Sep 5, 2001
1,492
0
Toronto
Chef's Choice makes a version for asian knives. Sadly, it seems nobody makes one machine for both. It seems it wouldn't be too hard to make one with adjustable guide angles but maybe there's more to it than that.
That's the CC i was mentioning not getting a good review...
 

skatetokil

Turbo Monkey
Jan 2, 2005
2,384
0
DC/Bluemont VA
I got a little 100 grit wheel grinder from sears for about $20. It's wet/dry and it works pretty good for rough work and then I finish on a fine bench stone.
 

BikeMike

Monkey
Feb 24, 2006
784
0
I've been wrestling with this issue off an on for the last couple of months. After doing a ton of reading I got a combo waterstone (King 1000/6000) and then a coarser diamond plate (DMT 8x3 coarse). I started off on knives that I wasn't going to be heartbroken over messing up once or twice, and just went at it. I made some rough angle guides (folded pieces of paper to get 22.5* angle) and checked the angle every so often. It takes a lot of patience and practice to hold a decent angle. I still get mixed results sometimes, but I've managed to get a few jobs turn out quite nicely. In general I've noticed the more patient I am and the more time I spend on it, the better it turns out.

The Edge Pro Apex is a slick solution to the problem of holding a consistent angle, but it's expensive. Then again, the cost of decent stones adds up quickly. I've yet to work up the confidence to take my Japanese gyuto to the stones, but it'll happen some day.

The most awesome way to go would be a huge-ass water wheel. However, they're both difficult to obtain and hugely expensive (as in more than a car).

Edit: Curved blades give me troubles. Straightish blades are pretty simple. Wide blades are also easier than skinny blades. And stropping the knife on a mouse pad covered with fine sandpaper is super easy and gets noticeable results. Obviously it's not for traditional Japanese knives (the chisel ground ones), and it works best on knives that already have a convex grind, but with some patience it'll help out a good bit with most western cutlery--and it's low risk (for the knives).
 

dan-o

Turbo Monkey
Jun 30, 2004
5,145
1,207
If my blades go to crap I'll use a stone but I rarely let them go dull. I rinse them immediately so they never need scrubbing and steel them before they go back in the drawer.
 

Timekiller

Monkey
Oct 9, 2006
697
0
NJ
Just bought a 1X30" belt sander. It works awesome, I slowly work my way up to a leather belt to finish. I can easily shave with my knives.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,728
161
NORCAL is the hizzle
Bit the bullet and picked up a chef's choice 130 yesterday. So far I am pleased. In a very short time I had my two main blades back in good shape. Not a sharp as the services I've used in the past, but pretty damn close, and I expect to get better results as I get more familiar with it. I can't see how it would take off a lot of metal unless you use the first stage too much, which should not be needed so long as I keep the edges in decent shape.
 

Dolt

Chimp
Oct 25, 2004
31
0
Sup,

When using the steel...make sure you don't overuse it. You can roll an edge pretty easy. Also, keep the edge much longer by not trying to saw through the cutting block.

Dolt.
 

Dolt

Chimp
Oct 25, 2004
31
0
Here's a decent 3-stone system.

http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Norton-3-Stone-IM200-System-P31C0.aspx

Unless the blade is very old, you don't have to put alot of work into maintaining an edge. On the 3-stone kit, the coarse stone is overkill on new knife. Grinders and electric sharpeners take off quite a bit of metal from the blades surface...shortening the knife's life. Also, the thicker the blade the harder it is to get a razor edge.