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Steeling Shuns

 
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Qamel



Joined: 13 Mar 2009
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:22 pm    Post subject: Steeling Shuns Reply with quote

So, I just got my first "real" knife, which was a simple Shun Classic 8" Chef's knife(http://www.amazon.com/Shun-Classic-8-Inch-Chefs-Scallops/dp/B0000Y7L8U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top). I love the knife a lot, so I decided to also get a Sharpening Steel(http://www.amazon.com/Shun-DM0750-Sharpening-Steel/dp/B000139H7I) for it. I figured I'd get the Shun brand since that was the knife I had.

The question I have is if the vertical grooves on the steel are going to mess up the knife? I saw a few reviews that indicated as such.

As an aside, I bought one with Scallops to prevent sticking - how much does that really help?

Thanks!
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1000
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been using a grooved steel on the same set of Wusthof knives for 30+ years now - and I don't see any "damage" - there is the theory that as the grooves are more aggressive than a plain glass rod they maintain the sharpness over a longer period of time meaning fewer trips to the stones and longer knife life.

people who want to shave with their kitchen knives have different opinions from regular cooks about how sharp is sharp, and should there be any ragged edge under 10,000 power magnification, the knife is not sharp.

fortunately, everyone gets to form their own opinion based on their own use and habits.

I bought (a cheapie) knife to see about the dimples - about the only place I see a difference is slicing cucumbers.... no disadvantages, but the "lets food slide off the knife" is a bit overdone, imho.
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SirShazar



Joined: 30 Jul 2007
Posts: 89

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The classic way of sharpening kitchen knives are grinding wheels, oil-stones, and grooved steels. These methods produce serviceable results, but they won't restore the edge on your Shun to the way it started. I like to take a page from woodworkers and straight razor aficionados when I sharpen knives. That means waterstones, and leather hones.

A leather hone (or strop) is very simply a piece of hard, flat leather that is attached to a flat medium (like a plank), and rubbed with an abrasive compound (like chromium oxide). It's cheap (tool leather+plank+glue+compound < $20), and it will restore the edge much more efficiently then a steel. The only disadvantage is that you can't use it in the middle of cooking.

I do use a ceramic rod on my soft-steeled boning knives and Chinese cleavers, but for my expensive Japanese knives I stick to polishing stones and strops.
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Jim Cooley



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 314
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two steels: a newish one with deeper vertical grooves, and my grandfather's which is either worn smooth so the grooves are almost nonexistent, or it came that way.

Depending on the condition of the edge, I'll use either. The new one seems to chew off a lot more metal, so unless I'm in a hurry and don't have time to sharpen my knives, I settle for a few swipes with the old one.

I have only carbon steel knives, so a swipe or two is almost always required before use. I suspect because of the soft nature of the metal, a tiny bit of rust or corrosion works its way into the edge between use, or it just wears faster.

What I DON'T do is use the newer steel very often. Oh, sure, it'll give me a quick edge -- but it's only temporary and the knives will need real sharpening much sooner.

I don't think I've heard anyone mention listening to the sound of the knife on the steel. I think that's my best measure of how well I've sharpened up the edge. Anyone else have this experience?
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 355
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Steeling Shuns Reply with quote

Qamel wrote:
So, I just got my first "real" knife, which was a simple Shun Classic 8" Chef's knife(http://www.amazon.com/Shun-Classic-8-Inch-Chefs-Scallops/dp/B0000Y7L8U/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top). I love the knife a lot, so I decided to also get a Sharpening Steel(http://www.amazon.com/Shun-DM0750-Sharpening-Steel/dp/B000139H7I) for it. I figured I'd get the Shun brand since that was the knife I had.

The question I have is if the vertical grooves on the steel are going to mess up the knife? I saw a few reviews that indicated as such.

As an aside, I bought one with Scallops to prevent sticking - how much does that really help?

Thanks!


Hay, the ones with the vertical grooves will not mess up your knife. And, the scallops do help with larger objects such as fruits and large hunks of meat. The theory is there's less surface area for stuff to stick to. You'll find it far more obvious when you strip large game after a good hunting trip.

Biggles
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1000
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

interesting observations, Jim -

I too have a steel from my grandparents age - it's like a fine pebble texture vs. the grooved thing.

not sure about the "sound" but a definite yes on "feel" - when I pull a knife out of the block I always give the edge a gander 'across the light' - dings or flat spots are readily obvious. if I observe multiples of non-edged blimpets I steel it with the grooved steel.

there's a detectable/noticeable different in 'drag' on the steel between the first and - say - third pass.

curious on the carbon steel thing - carbon steel is reputed to be (generally) harder and hold an edge better than stainless materials....

the most blatant example in my arsenal is the santoku knife - couple of things to that: it's an el-cheepie $20 retail in the supermarket stainless ie soft(er?) knife - sharpened asymmetrically - to a smaller cutting edge angle. the smaller angle means 'easier' to distort, hence more noticeable drag on the steel. going almost flat on the 'back' side and shallow angle on the 'front' side seems to work wonders (on the grooved steel) for me.

I got it just to see if the 'shape' is really all it's cracked up to be. my experience says 'yes' - the flatter (less belly) to the blade make chopping / dicing stuff less work than dragging out a big 10 incher that has a longer flat to the edge shape. realize, I'm not doing fifteen pounds of onions ala restaurant style needs - for me, two stalks of celery or half an onion is a typically 'quantity' under the knife.

quite to the contrary, I find the grooved steel lengthens the time between needed stone sharpening. I do try to observe the original 13-14 degree agree angle when steeling. I go to the stones twice a year - the most noticeable "need" is typically the tip/point wearing down to 'blunt' - which I observe to be problematic when trying to open the plastic wrap on something - or slice off the top of the giblet packet, for example.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Wusthof and Henckels knives that are 15 to more than 30 years old have been steeled with a grooved steel for sharpening on a regular basis and I have not seen any damage to the blades from doing so. They are all suitable for shaving. If a knife actually needs to be refinished because of an accident or very heavy use, especially like a chef's knife might endure, I have a method that works very, very well for me, creates any blade angle I want, and only about ten of my forty knives have been treated using my special technique, which I'm sure the other knife aficionados and fetishists would be horrified to hear. Big smile I have never used a waterstone, and at a time when I was into stropping, believe it or not, a piece of seat belt material, rubbed with a tripoli bar will put a very fine polished edge on the knife. The seat belt material is especially nice because you can use a piece three feet long (much longer than a razor strop) and give the knife a nice long stroke.
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dubie



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:51 am    Post subject: Steeling is NOT sharpening. Reply with quote

All that steeling a blade does is bend back the edge when it bends. A steel does not remove any metal. It is a HONING steel, not a SHARPENING steel.

Thank you.
Dubie
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1000
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree with the blanket statement "steeling does not remove metal"

there are varying styles of a steel. I have a grooved one - and it will remove fine bits of he knife blade where it was dinged bent - if I wipe down the knife and/or steel with a tissue you can see the ittybitty chunks.
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dubie



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you are correct, I may have jumped the gun when saying that it doesn't remove metal. However using the term Sharpening Steel bothers me because it is not truly sharpening the knife. You may say, "but it is sharper once I run it on the steel, thus "sharpening steel". I have a problem with this because when you truly sharpen your knife you are creating a new edge that has been dulled beyond steeling. No amount of running your knife on the steel will bring that edge back. Thus it is not a sharpening steel.

yes, I like the word thus.

I would also like to apologize for my rant, and in no way meant to hurt or offend anyone (if i did) in the process.
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1000
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no offense taken here!

I think the marketeers call it a sharpening steel because after using it - subject indeed to 'you can't sharpen a butter knife with a steel' - the knife is "sharper."

I have steels that have a very very fine pebble type surface that likely would not remove any metal other than the odd burr. and there are folks who insist one should only use a glass rod for a steel - (huh?) - and then there's ceramic steels and diamond steels....

there are great debates about "What is the best knife?"
the only thing it proves is that people have personal preferences, and preferences develop from needs and use. not every person on the globe has the same "need" nor does every person on the globe employ their knife in exactly 'the same method and use'

statements like "You should only buy Brand X" just don't fly in my book - and I've seen long involved threads of Brand X is the only knife to buy and I had Brand Y and it sucked followed immediately by somebody else who has had Brand Y for thousands of years and likes them.

go figger.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Sharpening steels" DO remove metal. Ones with deeper, more widely spaced groves will remove more metal than steels with shallow, closely spaced grooves. Furthermore, a sharpening steel definitely sharpens. If I can shave hair off my arm after, but not before I use the steel, it is most certainly sharpened the blade. I speak from my experience with Henckels and Wusthof knives and F. Dick 14" regular cut and F. Dick 14" Dorkoron sapphire (fine) cut steels.

So we don't go off the deep end on this, it is possible that different brands of knives used against different manufacturers' steels may have varying results.
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Make It SHARP



Joined: 10 Nov 2009
Posts: 1
Location: North Texas

PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"[Will the] vertical grooves on the steel are going to mess up the knife?"

Yes. Sort of. Let me explain.

The type of knife that you have has an edge that is ground flat, traditionally a little more on one side than the other. The edge comes polished and scary sharp. The Japanese typically don't use steels on their knives like westerners do. Instead, they touch up the edge regularly with fine grit water stone.

Any metal sharpening steel is going to leave a rougher scratch pattern on the blade edge than an ultra fine grit water stone. Once you use it, the factory edge will be gone. There is no good way to tell how rough of an edge a steel will leave on a knife because there is almost never grit, micron, or any other quantifiable rating by the manufacturers. That being said, using a metal steel is not the worst thing in the world and using a water stone by hand and doing it correctly is incredibly difficult. The Shun steel is convenient and easy because the handle washer is cut at 15 degrees so you don't have to guess whether are holding the correct angle or not. I've never seen that feature on any other sharpening steel.

As for the comments about what kind of steel might be the best...

Glass is smooth, will realign an edge without removing metal, and can break. Smooth stainless steel steels are available and will accomplish the same thing. Myself and others recommend smooth steel steels to the restaurants we service only due to the tendency of ceramic hones to break in the sometimes abusive environment of a busy kitchen. My experience with diamond hones are that they "eat" steel and then clog up with the steel it just ate and stop working as well. Diamonds are almost always overkill IMHO.

Myself and most of the professional sharpeners that I talk to almost unanimously use and sell ceramic hones to their customers. The Idahone ceramic hone is the most popular. This because it is relatively inexpensive, long enough for big knives, and has a grit rating of 1200. It removes verylittle metal. This isn't a commercial for this particular hone though. There are other ceramic honing rods that are just as good if you look around.

Spyderco, Lansky, and other companies sell a ceramic crock stick system that is useful for many people. The ceramic rods are held at a particular angle of 15, 20, or 25 degrees in a wood or plastic base.
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MelaniePalmero



Joined: 29 Jul 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jul 29, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject: Knife Sharpening Reply with quote

Hi Qamel! Regular basic sharpening steel will do, it isn't necessary to be coming from the same brand or with your knife set. As long as it has its very fine grind on it, then it's good to go. Check some more of these tips from Chef Phil's vid. [/url]
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