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Thread: Knife Sharpening, (How to) my OCD habit

  1. #51
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    Has anybody used somebody like Blade And Butler? and sent their knives away to be sharpened?

    I have a set of knives that are Japanese VG10 Damascus steel with a Rockwell Hardness of 59-60. They are sharpened to a double bevel 15 degree angle and I would be reluctant to use a pull through sharpener that would compromise this. I can’t help but wonder whether it would be better to get them professionally sharpened when they reach the point that it needs doing. It would cost almost £50 to get 5 knives sharpened but,to me,that seems a reasonable price versus potentially buggering them up.

    Am I being overly cautious or does this seem a reasonable position to take?

    The blade on my Leatherman Charge Ti that I sharpened is 154cm steel with a Rockwell of 58-61. The Lansky kit I linked to earlier is slightly less than your cost to have your knives sharpened. I've decided that when I get a decent Japanese gyuto it'll be VG10 and I'll have no hesitation using the Lansky on that.

  2. #52
    Craftsman D3ckard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    You want Gordon to sharpen your knives?? Seriously though, why do chefs Use a steel if they are a bad solution?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #53
    Quote Originally Posted by D3ckard View Post
    You want Gordon to sharpen your knives?? Seriously though, why do chefs Use a steel if they are a bad solution?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    And why do all of the Knife Manufacturers sell them if they are not fit for purpose

  4. #54
    Master village's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3ckard View Post
    You want Gordon to sharpen your knives?? Seriously though, why do chefs Use a steel if they are a bad solution?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    He’s honing it not sharpening it. Honing, as I understand it, corrects ‘deflections’ in a knife blade and effectively syptarightens the blade. This will then have the effect of making the knife seem sharper as the blade is now back in the correct position.

    Thats my understanding anyway but if any knife experts want to correct me then please feel free!

  5. #55
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3ckard View Post
    Seriously though, why do chefs Use a steel if they are a bad solution?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    A sharpening steel is a bit like using a petrol can for your car fuel, they can keep things ticking along for a bit, but eventually you should go the the filling station to fill the tank completely.

  6. #56
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by D3ckard View Post
    You want Gordon to sharpen your knives?? Seriously though, why do chefs Use a steel if they are a bad solution?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianw View Post
    And why do all of the Knife Manufacturers sell them if they are not fit for purpose
    How to ruin the edge on a knife in 3.... 2..... 1......done....... 45 degrees?
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  7. #57
    Quote Originally Posted by ROBANNENAGY View Post
    The best way to sharpen knives is using good quality Japanese whetstones. Obviously when you start you're going to make a complete hash of it, so best to get hold of some old knives to practice on first to master the technique, but once mastered all other systems don't even come close.

    I find this guy's Youtube channel useful:

    http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOluHMoKJ6CrS0kcybhaThg
    I've just found his store and they do UK shipping; think I am going to be a few hundred pounds poorer by the end of today!

    https://store.burrfection.com/

  8. #58
    Craftsman D3ckard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJSmith View Post
    I've just found his store and they do UK shipping; think I am going to be a few hundred pounds poorer by the end of today!

    https://store.burrfection.com/
    Uh oh, this will not end well.

    Can I ask, what angle us best for general chefs knives? 30 degrees come up a lot?


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  9. #59
    Quote Originally Posted by D3ckard View Post
    Uh oh, this will not end well.

    Can I ask, what angle us best for general chefs knives? 30 degrees come up a lot?


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    Depends on the knife & usage, but yes from ~30 for "japanese" knives, up to 40 for "European" knives. Don't forget this is total angle, so you sharpening angle on each side is half of that (15-20 degrees).

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJSmith View Post
    Depends on the knife & usage, but yes from ~30 for "japanese" knives, up to 40 for "European" knives. Don't forget this is total angle, so you sharpening angle on each side is half of that (15-20 degrees).
    Probably not the ones commonly available here, but professional Japanese knives are often single-edged, being only sharpened on one side.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    He’s honing it not sharpening it. Honing, as I understand it, corrects ‘deflections’ in a knife blade and effectively syptarightens the blade. This will then have the effect of making the knife seem sharper as the blade is now back in the correct position.

    Thats my understanding anyway but if any knife experts want to correct me then please feel free!

    That's exactly right.

    I've used decent knives for decades and never owned a steel. They're a quick fix if your blade has a dink, or you want to impress people at a dinner party before you carve, but they do not, and cannot sharpen a blade.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Probably not the ones commonly available here, but professional Japanese knives are often single-edged, being only sharpened on one side.
    True, but probably not that common in our kitchens and if you have one, you'll know it. Global knives and similar would probably be most peoples understanding of a Japanese knife.

    Actually, I do have a single beveled Nakriri and you've reminded me I have no idea how to sharpen it! I need to watch some youtube videos :)

  13. #63
    Steels have their place. I used to fillet fish for a living. To do this safely and quickly you needed a super sharp knife.

    After a grind the blade would cut through fish like butter but after 20 minutes or so you'd top the sharpness up with a steel. Just 3 or 4 rubs on each side. Again that would last 20 minutes.

    After a week or so you'd notice the knife wasn't getting sharp again after using the steel and it would be time to regrind.

    Look in all the people that use knives regularly - and need them sharp - 99 out of 100 times they use steels. Butchers, chefs, fishmongers all use them because they work.

    Yes, the knife won't last for ever, but what do you expect from a tool you use hours and hours a day. It's the grinding that wears away the knife, not the steel.

  14. #64
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    I recommended Wicked Edge earlier. Their website answers the questions being asked about bevel types, angles and getting started.

    Enjoy..

    https://support.wickededgeusa.com/portal/en/home

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJSmith View Post
    True, but probably not that common in our kitchens and if you have one, you'll know it. Global knives and similar would probably be most peoples understanding of a Japanese knife.

    Actually, I do have a single beveled Nakriri and you've reminded me I have no idea how to sharpen it! I need to watch some youtube videos :)
    True for the general population but this is TZ and members likely to have a fine collection of specialist knives...

  16. #66
    Craftsman D3ckard's Avatar
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    Half of the problem seems to be I am trying to sharpen a knife with the steel! Clearly, it's not designed to do this job. OK, I understand I need a system to sharpen, and a strop to hone.
    In fairness, now I think about it, I used to work on fishing trawlers in the early '80s and we used those wooden french knives to gut the fish. We kept them razor-sharp using an oil stone, Opinel springs to mind. Blimey, I don't suppose I've thought about that for a very long time.

    You start out seeking advice, and end up in regressive memory therapy!

    All good, and again, much-appreciated chaps.

    Have a great (rest of your) day,
    Simon

  17. #67
    Master Maysie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    True for the general population but this is TZ and members likely to have a fine collection of specialist knives...
    ...many will have knives with a 'tactical' bias too....

  18. #68
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    Two whetstones in and still practicing. Getting better but still some way off passing the tomato test with ease. This approach has so far avoided anything more than just looking into the knife rabbit hole!

  19. #69
    Quote Originally Posted by D3ckard View Post
    Uh oh, this will not end well.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    This was too good to be true; it ships from the US so need to add import tax etc. Nevermind, most of the stuff can be sourced from the UK anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    True for the general population but this is TZ and members likely to have a fine collection of specialist knives...
    Yes, that's true.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonny Marco View Post
    I use a Minosharp on my kitchen knives. They get good reviews.

    https://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/en/...20time%20frame.

    Sent from my TA-1012 using Tapatalk
    Thats what i use on my global knives.
    Seems to work well keeping them sharp.

    I also have some cheap whetstones - though I have not got the hang of that yet.
    definitely one of those there is too much info to decide how best to sharpen.

    cheers

    matt

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Up until recently I have used a Lansky Kit with reasonable success.

    But - have invested in a Chef’s Choice electric sharpener - which is brilliant!

    I don’t think I paid as much as £160 though. It is 240v and has UK flat-pin plug fitted.

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chefs-Cho...72.m2749.l2649

    Now - all my knives have fantastic edges - passing the ‘ripe tomato test’.
    Used whet stones and stuff but used one of these for my Kai Shun knives for ten years and its brilliant

  22. #72
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    I found an old knife in the garage today, it's had some rough use, the edge is like a relief of the Himalyas! An ideal candidate for the Lansky kit. Sorry about the poor quality of the picture . . .



  23. #73
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    I Lanskyed an old blunt knife today. Very satisfying.

  24. #74
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Spent 20 mins on the old knife with the Lansky earlier. Took the roughness off with the extra coarse at 30deg, then got the bevel going with the coarse at 25 then 20deg, then ran through the medium, fine and extra fine at 20deg, finishing with the strop.

    Part way through . . .



    Nicely bevelled and polished, watch those fingers . . .


    Last edited by magirus; 1st November 2020 at 12:42.

  25. #75
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    Spent 20 mins on the old knife with the Lansky earlier. Took the roughness off with the extra coarse at 30deg, then got the bevel going with the coarse at 25 then 20deg, then ran through the medium, fine and extra fine at 20deg, finishing with the strop.

    Part way through . . .



    Nicely bevelled and polished, watch those fingers . . .


    An excellent example of what can be achieved with a simple system, maintaining the angle is the all important part and the Lansky achieves it very well. The only thing I would do differently is to start with the angle you intend to finish with.
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    An excellent example of what can be achieved with a simple system, maintaining the angle is the all important part and the Lansky achieves it very well. The only thing I would do differently is to start with the angle you intend to finish with.
    Indeed.

    With longer blades -you also require to do in stages along the length of the blade (and importantly at a curved tip) - to compensate for the longer distance/shallower angle to the pivot point.

    I like my electric sharpener more than the lansky now.

  27. #77
    Grand Master magirus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives;[URL="tel:5574068"
    5574068[/URL]]An excellent example of what can be achieved with a simple system, maintaining the angle is the all important part and the Lansky achieves it very well. The only thing I would do differently is to start with the angle you intend to finish with.

    I totally agree re start and finish angle, but the edge was so ragged I could see it would be quicker to start with a steep angle to quickly knock the rubbish off and then start a new bevel.

  28. #78
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magirus View Post
    I totally agree re start and finish angle, but the edge was so ragged I could see it would be quicker to start with a steep angle to quickly knock the rubbish off and then start a new bevel.
    I can see the reasoning. At the end of the day it's how you feel best, it obviously worked well. I suppose the blades I normally work on would start a lot more even.
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  29. #79
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    I was amazed at the edge I got with the lansky kit. It’s a bit of a faff compared to the water wheel, so don’t tend to do as frequently.

  30. #80
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mj2k View Post
    I was amazed at the edge I got with the lansky kit. It’s a bit of a faff compared to the water wheel, so don’t tend to do as frequently.
    Must admit for general kitchen knives for swmbo to use I tend to run them across a Trizact belt on the belt grinder which takes seconds. My favourite small Japanese knife always gets done properly though!
    “The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.”

  31. #81
    Craftsman D3ckard's Avatar
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    I have to confess, having researched the suggested sharpening systems (and others), I imagine I will quickly tire of the process, then go looking for a simpler alternative. Assuming I bought an electric sharpener, is the chefs choice the smart option? Given I am talking about relatively inexpensive Kitchen knives here, and not a Kill Bill style Hanzo Katana (love that film).

  32. #82
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D3ckard View Post
    I have to confess, having researched the suggested sharpening systems (and others), I imagine I will quickly tire of the process, then go looking for a simpler alternative. Assuming I bought an electric sharpener, is the chefs choice the smart option? Given I am talking about relatively inexpensive Kitchen knives here, and not a Kill Bill style Hanzo Katana (love that film).
    Depends if you can justify £150 on one. I felt I could. 20 seconds and you have a clean, ultra-sharp edge on a blade.

    Some people like the ‘process’ of hand sharpening (like the ritual of hand winding a watch every morning, or shaving with a cut-throat) - everyone is different.

    Chef’s Choice appears to get universal accolades

  33. #83
    I got the Chef's Choice and it arrived last week. The knives I used to test them on is a 15 year old block of Pro Cook kitchen knives. Inexpensive, but comfortable to use.

    Over the years I'd ground them with a bench grinder by hand, so they didn't have lovely pretty edges, but they worked fine.

    I have to say, it took longer than I expected - maybe 30 pulls on each side to get the required burr, but after sticking with it the burr appeared as did a professional looking edge. A couple of pulls in the finer grinder to remove the burr left the first knife in a state I hadn't seen for years. Very impressed.

    I repeated the process for 2 other chef's knives, 3 paring knives and my carving knife. All came out well. Because my hand grinding had left a lot of work to do, it took far longer than the advertised 10 pulls, but I expect the next time I repeat the exercise it'll be much faster.

    So far I'm happy with the purchase.

  34. #84
    Craftsman D3ckard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    I got the Chef's Choice and it arrived last week. The knives I used to test them on is a 15 year old block of Pro Cook kitchen knives. Inexpensive, but comfortable to use.

    Over the years I'd ground them with a bench grinder by hand, so they didn't have lovely pretty edges, but they worked fine.

    I have to say, it took longer than I expected - maybe 30 pulls on each side to get the required burr, but after sticking with it the burr appeared as did a professional looking edge. A couple of pulls in the finer grinder to remove the burr left the first knife in a state I hadn't seen for years. Very impressed.

    I repeated the process for 2 other chef's knives, 3 paring knives and my carving knife. All came out well. Because my hand grinding had left a lot of work to do, it took far longer than the advertised 10 pulls, but I expect the next time I repeat the exercise it'll be much faster.

    So far I'm happy with the purchase.
    Can I ask which one you bought?
    Thanks!

  35. #85
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Mine is the 1520

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Chefs-Cho...72.m2749.l2649

    It wasn't clear from the ad if it was 230v/UK plug - but It is.

  36. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    I got the Chef's Choice and it arrived last week. The knives I used to test them on is a 15 year old block of Pro Cook kitchen knives. Inexpensive, but comfortable to use.

    Over the years I'd ground them with a bench grinder by hand, so they didn't have lovely pretty edges, but they worked fine.

    I have to say, it took longer than I expected - maybe 30 pulls on each side to get the required burr, but after sticking with it the burr appeared as did a professional looking edge. A couple of pulls in the finer grinder to remove the burr left the first knife in a state I hadn't seen for years. Very impressed.

    I repeated the process for 2 other chef's knives, 3 paring knives and my carving knife. All came out well. Because my hand grinding had left a lot of work to do, it took far longer than the advertised 10 pulls, but I expect the next time I repeat the exercise it'll be much faster.

    So far I'm happy with the purchase.
    I've seen some reports of them scratching the sides of blades or making some heavier scratches in the cutting edge; did you see anything like that?

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