Author Topic: Knife sharpener  (Read 16090 times)

Offline tumarkin

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2012, 02:38:01 PM »
I hone the edges every time I use the knives, but AFAIK honing just straightens the edge, and doesn't make it sharper.

That is correct, but honing with the steel will preserve the edge and you won't need to sharpen the knife as often. My understanding (and practice) is that japanese water stones need to be wet. Actually, you soak for 5 minutes or so to saturate them before use, and rinse them clean after use.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2012, 02:51:53 PM »
That is correct, but honing with the steel will preserve the edge and you won't need to sharpen the knife as often. My understanding (and practice) is that japanese water stones need to be wet. Actually, you soak for 5 minutes or so to saturate them before use, and rinse them clean after use.

Yeah, Kenji says to soak them for at least 45min, because if the stone dries out while sharpening you'll knick your blade. I've seen some western-style sharpening setups that recommend using some oil-type lubricant. I use oil when I cut threads and the like, but apparently oil is really bad for the water stones. I looked on the Spyderco website, and they specifically said not to use any oil or water when using their stones, so I don't know how those work. I'll give it a shot this afternoon on some of my crappy knives and see if I can get the hang of it.
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Offline euge

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2012, 03:08:24 PM »
Look on youtube for some sharpening videos. There are various techniques. I sweep the blade across the stone away from and then towards myself. You'll get a feel for the angle. I do eight strokes on each grit and then hit it with the steel.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2012, 03:57:09 PM »
It went pretty well. I was pretty intimated by using the stones and free-handing it, but I managed to make all of the knives sharper than they were when I started. I did a cheapo cleaver, a cheapo chef's knife, a cheapo paring knife, the Shun santoku, and the Shun paring knife. The Shuns were the hardest to sharpen, I'm not sure if it was because of the shallow angle, or the hard steel. The cheap knives were all pretty easy to sharpen.

I kind of eyeballed each knife as I was sharpening, and tried to end up with the point of the blade in the center of the knife. All of the cheap knives easily cut a ripe tomato when I was done. The santoku wasn't evenly sharp, so one part was pretty good, but another portion wasn't great.

None of the knives got sharp enough to shave with, but they all (except the santoku) could easily cut through onions, and handled ripe tomatoes pretty well too. So you don't really need to do that good of a job for them to be "sharp enough."

I'm sure they'll get sharper as I get more practice. I can definitely see why people like the waterstones. After one or two knives, the ceramic stones would load up with metal shavings, and lost their bite until I washed them out.

EDIT: After I posted this, I read Euge's advice. I didn't know you're supposed to use the steel after you sharpen the knives. Once I hit them with the steel, they were all sharper, and the cheap paring knife was sharp enough to cut hair.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 04:09:26 PM by nateo »
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Offline punatic

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2012, 06:00:35 PM »
I've been using a Chef's Choice 110 on my Wusthof knives for 15 years.  It is an excellent sharpener.  I use a steel on my knives before each use.  The steel is not for sharpening.  It is for polishing out micro-fine nicks in the knife's cutting surfaces.
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Offline MDixon

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Online gmac

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2012, 09:15:06 PM »
I use a Lansky sharpening kit.  It's not super fast but it produces the best edge of anything I've ever used.  Easily shaving sharp.  I've stopped sharpening knives for other people because they aren't careful enough and cut themselves.  It's happened twice, once quite badly because they didn't realize just how sharp a knife could be.
http://lansky.com/index.php/kitchen-blade/
Which set you do have Gmac?
Just the basic 3 stone set. I like the consistency of the angle. Not that you can't do it by hand but the gauge ensures you have it right each time.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2012, 07:16:24 AM »
I use a Lansky sharpening kit.  It's not super fast but it produces the best edge of anything I've ever used.  Easily shaving sharp.  I've stopped sharpening knives for other people because they aren't careful enough and cut themselves.  It's happened twice, once quite badly because they didn't realize just how sharp a knife could be.
http://lansky.com/index.php/kitchen-blade/
Which set you do have Gmac?
Just the basic 3 stone set. I like the consistency of the angle. Not that you can't do it by hand but the gauge ensures you have it right each time.

cool. i think i may spring for this. thanks.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #23 on: June 17, 2012, 10:41:21 AM »
I get mine professionally sharpened every 18 months or so and use the steel in between to keep the edge.  Going to get them sharpened at the end of this month actually.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2012, 10:52:43 AM »
I use a Lansky sharpening kit.  It's not super fast but it produces the best edge of anything I've ever used.  Easily shaving sharp.  I've stopped sharpening knives for other people because they aren't careful enough and cut themselves.  It's happened twice, once quite badly because they didn't realize just how sharp a knife could be.
http://lansky.com/index.php/kitchen-blade/
Which set you do have Gmac?
Just the basic 3 stone set. I like the consistency of the angle. Not that you can't do it by hand but the gauge ensures you have it right each time.

cool. i think i may spring for this. thanks.
I'm liking this set up too.I have a lot of sharpening to do. My GF is a chronic blade abuser.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2012, 11:10:51 AM »
My GF is a chronic blade abuser.

That's a good point. If you're like me, and your knife skills aren't great, your edge won't last long, whether you hone the knives or not. There is an episode or two on Good Eats that cover knife skills, and Kenji at Serious Eats has a whole series on knife skills.

I'm obviously still new at this, but that Lansky kit seems too coarse. The Spyderco stones I used were 1200 and 2000 US grit. The 1200 was plenty coarse to get a decent edge on the cheap knives in 15-20 strokes. I'm sure the Lansky kit will get your knives sharp, but I wonder if it'd take off more material than you really need to.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 11:16:01 AM by nateo »
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Offline punatic

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2012, 11:50:42 AM »
My GF is a chronic blade abuser.

That's a good point. If you're like me, and your knife skills aren't great, your edge won't last long, whether you hone the knives or not. There is an episode or two on Good Eats that cover knife skills, and Kenji at Serious Eats has a whole series on knife skills.

I'm obviously still new at this, but that Lansky kit seems too coarse. The Spyderco stones I used were 1200 and 2000 US grit. The 1200 was plenty coarse to get a decent edge on the cheap knives in 15-20 strokes. I'm sure the Lansky kit will get your knives sharp, but I wonder if it'd take off more material than you really need to.

That is all well and good, but the proof is in the cutting.  How do the knives perform when being put to work?  Do you want tools or toys?
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Offline phillamb168

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Knife sharpener
« Reply #27 on: June 17, 2012, 12:30:01 PM »
Arkansas stone.


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Offline nateo

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2012, 01:15:24 PM »
That is all well and good, but the proof is in the cutting.  How do the knives perform when being put to work?  Do you want tools or toys?

I'm not sure what your point is. As I mentioned before, without knowing what I was doing, I got the knives from too dull to dice an onion well to sharp enough to easily slice a ripe tomato. I also got some nice, very thin radial slices of onion, something I was having trouble with before I sharpened the knives. What else would you want the knives to do? 
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Offline MDixon

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Re: Knife sharpener
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2012, 02:02:41 PM »
If you can take a page out of a magazine, roll it to create a curve and take the knife (watch your hand) and take a slice out of the page to create a long skinny ellipse...your knife is sharp.
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