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knife sharpening

 
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AeroChef



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:23 pm    Post subject: knife sharpening Reply with quote

I have a decent set of knives, however they are in need of sharpening. They came with a steel rod sharpener (you know the kind). Sadly, I am not very good at sharpening this way and I think it is because I don't quite know how.

Could someone explain any tips/tricks when using these?

Also, I feel as if the rod would be really bad on my knives. Are high pressure concentrations that will come from a rod like this okay for knives? I know everyone and their brother uses these, but I fear microfractures along the blade tip.

I do have experience with stone sharpening small knives. Do people ever use these for kitchen knives?
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Microfractures along the blade tip are not a problem. What you might notice after MANY years is a small notch develop right at the bolster where the blade makes initial contact with the sharpening steel and a slight loss of the very point (tip) of the knife, which doesn't matter to me because the tip, although not an absolute point, is still plenty sharp. If you need a microscopically fine, acute point on the tip of the knife, you can use a stone, to carefully hone the BACK (non-cutting) side of the blade by holding the stone perpendicular to the blade.

I could tell you how I do it, and I religiously take about 4-5 swipes over the steel every time I use a knife, but this is really something you need to see a series of good photos or a video and written description to learn. There probably is something on the internet to this effect.

WOW, look at what I just found:

http://www.gunterwilhelm.com/Steeling.asp

I don't do it this way, but this way certainly works. You can modify this technique for your own personal comfort, speed of stroking and ease of manipulation of the knife and steel.

I have used a stone about two or three times for very minor touch-ups on knives I have owned for 15-25 years. A stone is not necessary if you always steel before (or after) use.
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SirSpice



Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got this whetstone yesterday and have already sharpened almost all the knives in my house. Just soak it in water, station it on a towel, and you are ready to go.

This guide offers a very practical sharpening technique
http://users.ameritech.net/knives/ward.htm

The gist of the article is to sharpen at a very low angle (10) until you have a burr, and than move it a bit up (15) and take the burr off. You can than fine tune it on the smooth side which will make it sharper and smoother.

From there you'll want to use a gentle steel (like a fine ceramic steel) every other use. You probably won't need to sharpen the knife for months.
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Howard



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Chef Mike guy looks like he's narrowing the angle as the contact point approaches the tip of the knife. And medium pressure = too much pressure. Shock
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AeroChef



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thanks everyone! I think I'll give Chef Mike's method a try!
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SirSpice



Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a little suspicious about V sharpeners.
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirSpice wrote:
I'm a little suspicious about V sharpeners.


You should be. They'll ruin your knife's edge. Due to the fact your draw may not be steady, along with steady pressure, you blade will come out all wavy along the horizontal surface of the new edge. Take a look next time. And whether it be a motorized one or hand-pull, they remove too much metal and your knife's life expectancy will be greatly shortened. The cheap versions are even worse. So far I haven't found one good, professional knife sharpener that promotes them.

I have carnal knowledge of the ruinage of the edges.

Biggles
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SirSpice



Joined: 04 Dec 2006
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was referring to the V-sharpener in the video, I would never put my blades to one (nor would I spend the money on one when I have a perfectly good waterstone).
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DrBiggles



Joined: 12 May 2005
Posts: 352
Location: Richmond, CA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2007 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirSpice wrote:
I was referring to the V-sharpener in the video, I would never put my blades to one (nor would I spend the money on one when I have a perfectly good waterstone).


So was I. And other sharpeners as well, there are so many available to the huddled masses.

Biggles
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randmart



Joined: 11 Feb 2007
Posts: 3
Location: TN

PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:27 pm    Post subject: Knife sharpening Reply with quote

I am a woodworker, knife collector and a cook and over the past 30 years I have experimented with (and spent many$$ on) virtually every sharpening method including a variety of whet stones, leather stops, electric sharpeners. emery cloths etc. About 2 years ago I read an article about "crock stone sharpeners". Many years ago, people routinely sharpened their knives by repeatedly passing them over the rim of commonly used stone crocks...seemed the the angle was right and the kiln fired stone was hard and coarse enough to do a decent sharpening job. The author of the article went on to recommend a product using the same principal but with higher tech sharpening stones. I took a flyer and ordered one on line ...I believe it was about $35. It is, by far the best sharpener I have ever used. The product, manufactured by Spyderco is amazingly simple and easy to use. It consists of a base that holds 2 multi edged ceramic sharpening stones in an upright V shape at about a 30 degree angle. Two sets of stones ...medium and fine come with the sharpener. Sharpening consists of stroking the knife down the stone edges while holding it straight, starting with the medium stones and finishing with the fine stones. It takes a little practice, but the key is that the sharpener keeps the angle correct. I can put a razor edge on a a dull Shun chefs knife in a few minutes and my old high carbon Chicago Cutlery knives have never been so sharp. The beauty of this sharpener is that it removes an almost indetectable amount of steel and does not generate any heat that can detemper the edge. I still keep a good quality sharpening steel on hand for a quick sharpen.....but after a lot of years of experimentation this is the best I have found. They also make diamond stones for the sharpener which are very expensive. I bought a set to renovate edges on knives I collect, but for the average sharpening job they are not necessary. I am sure that similar types of sharpeners are out there but I have not really checked . At Christmas, I bought one for my son who is in culinary school and he and his fellow students are crazy about it.
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