Keeping kitchen knives sharp

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guitarguy
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Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby guitarguy » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:17 pm

Anyone have any tips for tools to easily keep kitchen knives sharp? Do those dinky little sharpeners that you just slide the knife through really work? Or do you need like a stone type tool that you slide the blade up and across?

I'm not really up to snuff on my knife sharpening skills...but need to be.

Our main knife that gets daily use is a non serrated edge chef's knife with a stainless steel blade...that's the main one that needs to be kept sharp.

I also have a pocket folder that could use a touch up every now and then.

Any recommendations?

smitcat
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby smitcat » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:28 pm

A two sided stone with a 'rougher' and 'finishing' side will put a much better than average edge on a decent quality blade.
With that said it does take a bit or practice and 'knack' until you get good at using a sharpening stone and so practicing with less than 'valuable' knives is a good start.
There has never been a case where I cannot take a knife that was sharpened with a "dinky little sharpener" and not improve the edge very noticeable within a couple of minutes.
The difference after sharpening is very noticeable and my wife will ask for a resharp when they appear somewhat dull.

SurferLife
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby SurferLife » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:31 pm

I bought some ceramic knives which are known to keep their razor edge for what has seemed like indefinitely. They have some downsides in which you can't apply lateral force (smashing garlic), so I still keep some steel blades around which are rather dull. Being that I have the ceramic when I need to cut something, I don't even worry about it.

harikaried
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby harikaried » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:34 pm

Got this on Amazon for $6 two years ago:

KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener, Black
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B001CQTLJM

It has worked great, and I've brought it to others' to sharpen their knives. Run the knife through the "coarse" side several times, wipe, then "fine" side. Test by slicing a piece of paper.

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WiscoTrout
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby WiscoTrout » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:39 pm

Since I never could get the knack of a traditional whetstone, I bought a Tri-Angle Sharpmaker from Spyderco. It's a bit pricey, but it's fairly fool proof and quickly puts a nice edge on all our sharp kitchen implements, including serrated knives and scissors. I sometimes even travel with it if I know where I'm going is probably going to have dull knives that I will need to cook with (i.e., my in-laws). :wink:

WiscoTrout

MI_bogle
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby MI_bogle » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:44 pm

My best tip is that once you get a nice edge on the knife, use care to keep it there.

Don't be banging the knife into hard objects, or by cutting on hard surfaces (looking at you, glass cutting boards and granite countertops!)

Wash by hand

Store them in a knife block


A whetstone is best for sharpening, but the cheap ceramic knife sharpeners are ok too

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BolderBoy
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby BolderBoy » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:50 pm

On recommendation of user RodC, I purchased one of these:

http://www.worksharptools.com/sharpeners-28/power-sharpeners/work-sharp-knife-and-tool-sharpener.html

If anything, he understated how well it works. My expensive chef's knives had become pitted and dinged over the last 20 years with visible nicks in the blade. The various stones that I tried (and spent a lot of time with) did little. Less than 15 seconds with this sharpener and the nicks / dings / pits were gone.

Now I'm religious about using my sharpening steel and the knives are dangerously sharp all the time.

Highly recommended.
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barnaclebob
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby barnaclebob » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:58 pm

First and foremost you need to start with knives that don't have crappy metal which wont hold an edge well. I don't know exactly how to tell this but Wustoff seems to be good. I sharpened my in laws Kitchenaid branded knives last summer and you'd have a tough time breaking skin with them by now.

Second you need to frequently use the honing steel like every other time you use the knives. Make sure its not a diamond steel like what came with my Caphalon knives. It really does make a difference and don't be afraid of messing the edge up, you wont unless you try to. I haven't needed to sharpen my wustof's since they were new, they are 1 year old. My Caphalon Katana series knives are nearly due for a sharpening after about a year or maybe a little longer since their last sharpening.

Finally, I use a Wicked edge sharpening system and can't recommend it enough. I haven't tried other cheaper methods that may work just as well such as Lansky but I just know the wicked edge works well if you go up to 1000 grit or better. I wouldn't use the electric things that you slide the knife through. They may turn a really dull blade into an adequate one but probably wont give you a truly sharp knife. I tried using one of these types many years ago and wasn't impressed, I don't think they have changed much since.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:06 pm, edited 6 times in total.

pshonore
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby pshonore » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:59 pm

Supposedly there are three qualities in a knife of which you can have any two on a given knife:

1: sharpens easily
2: holds an edge
3: looks good, doesn't stain (like stainless steel)

I use an earlier model of this:
https://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-120 ... 00004S1B8/

sport
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby sport » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:11 pm

I once went to an demonstration on the care of knives. It was held at a local store and the demo was given by a Henckels factory representative. His advice was not to use any abrasive method. He said that removes metal from the knives. He recommended using only a sharpening steel. He said that a steel restores the edge whereas the abrasive methods create a new edge. He also mentioned that a good steel is magnetized, so any small particles that come off the blade remain stuck to the steel. Therefore, there is no need to wipe a knife after using a steel. If you start with a sharp knife, and use a steel regularly to keep it sharp, there is no need to do anything else. A steel is not difficult to use.

lazydavid
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby lazydavid » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:31 pm

pshonore wrote:I use an earlier model of this:
https://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-120 ... 00004S1B8/


I have essentially the same thing, works well on good quality knives (ours are all Wustof) that haven't been honed on the steel as often as they should be. You can use the third stage on its own in place of the steel, but I never bother to take it out unless I need to set a new edge.

Spirit Rider
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Spirit Rider » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:37 pm

BolderBoy wrote:Now I'm religious about using my sharpening steel and the knives are dangerously sharp all the time.

A small quibble. I keep my knives safely sharp. A dull knife is more dangerous, because it requires more effort.

leonard
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby leonard » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:10 pm

Wicked Edge Sharpening system.

It's quite expensive - but works extremely well.
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Bengineer
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Bengineer » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:11 pm

OP, I'd have to admit I'm a little into sharpening cutting edges.

For my kitchen knives, of which I have a spectrum of quality from cheap and effective Forstners to a Wusthof or two, I use a steel (not a ceramic or gritted sharpener) to burnish the edge before each use. This straightens up the edge, micro-nicks and cleans off any deposits. The knives (Wusthof, better Henckels) with harder steel last quite a while before I need to sharpen them.

I sharpen all of my knives with a fine (maybe 400-600 grit) 2"x6" diamond hone (not necessarily recommending it, but for example). A little water, set the angle to about 20 degrees , 8-10 strokes each side alternating a-b. I can shave the hair off my arm or slit a sheet of paper with ease at that point. Sharp enough for kitchen work, maybe too sharp, but I like them that way. If they won't glide through a tomato without hesitation, it's off to the bench for a touch-up. An extra fine (800-1000 grit) stone is overkill for the kitchen. You can sharpen a 10" cook's knife on a small stone, but it's tedious. You'll want it up on a stand so your knuckles clear the bench. I just made a pocket for my stone in a scrap of 2x wood, which I clamp down when sharpening. A rubber mat or a stone with a holder with a non-slip bottom as some stones come with would work as well.

You'll need a coarser stone or something like the worksharp mentioned if you've knicked the blade, say by hitting sand or something in unwashed greens. I have a large 3x10" three-stone coarse-medium-fine oilstone from prehistory that I use for edge cleanup like this. A coarser diamond hone would be my choice now. I'd think if you find a medium-fine 2x6" or 2x8" diamond hone, you'd be good to go for most work. you can get a tubular or conical diamond hone for the scallop-edged serrated knives. Toss the ginsus. :happy

random_walker_77
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby random_walker_77 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:30 pm

I'm very partial to this Lansky Blademedic. Works very well, and the tapered diamond rod is nice to have for grinding away dings and for sharpening serrated knives.

https://www.amazon.com/Lansky-3143-PS-M ... blademedic

The rada is also nice to have sitting on the counter for day to day honing. Use this every couple days as a foolproof alternative to a steel and you won't have to use the sharpener as much: (if you press down harder, it will also sharpen by removing a little metal) https://smile.amazon.com/Rada-Cutlery-S ... B001692XPE

btenny
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby btenny » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:46 pm

We have tried a lot of different sharpening services and a few friends doing it for us. Teh sharpening works for while but then we need it repeated. I guess we just do not get them sharpened right or buy good enough knives. Because my wife always ends up going to the store and buying a new set of serrated knives every few years. She just puts the old set out in the garage and gets a new set. She has done the math and says it is cheaper to buy a $20-$30 full set of knives and use them for 4-5 years and then start over. Our current set is six Komichi Japanese knives from Costco for $19.95. I know our "good knives" cost $7ish to sharpen. So her math is good.

Good Luck

chabil
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby chabil » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:28 pm

guitarguy wrote:Anyone have any tips for tools to easily keep kitchen knives sharp? Do those dinky little sharpeners that you just slide the knife through really work? Or do you need like a stone type tool that you slide the blade up and across?

I'm not really up to snuff on my knife sharpening skills...but need to be.

Our main knife that gets daily use is a non serrated edge chef's knife with a stainless steel blade...that's the main one that needs to be kept sharp.

I also have a pocket folder that could use a touch up every now and then.

Any recommendations?

I use a stone that has two sides, but I have forgotten which is which. I just run my knife edge a few swipes this way and few swipes on the other side and they are good enough to slice tomatoes. I do it whenever the the knife annoys me. I have ordinary knives, Cuisinart and something else and they go into the dishwasher and are stored on a rack.

Chip
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Chip » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:37 pm

Bengineer wrote:I have a large 3x10" three-stone coarse-medium-fine oilstone from prehistory that I use for edge cleanup like this.


Hey, I have one of those, too (mfg by Norton). Was that you in the cave next to mine? :D

OP, I have recommended this sharpener to friends who don't share my perfectionist knife-sharpening tendencies. It works pretty quickly but takes a good bit off the blade each time. As others have mentioned, use a steel to true the blade between infrequent sharpenings.

Teague
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Teague » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:42 pm

Spirit Rider wrote:
BolderBoy wrote:Now I'm religious about using my sharpening steel and the knives are dangerously sharp all the time.

A small quibble. I keep my knives safely sharp. A dull knife is more dangerous, because it requires more effort.


I've heard this over the years, and am still trying to figure out if it applies to all cases. There is some truth to it, certainly.

What I've seen is that a dull knife is more likely to slip, so more injuries, yes.

On the other hand, a surgically sharp knife (I sharpen my own and keep those in a separate drawer) while less likely to slip, can get you really good with even a slight contact, when the average knife may not have broken the skin. On the upside, those wounds hurt less and heal very nicely.

jayjayc
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby jayjayc » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:17 pm

A lot of good advice here on how to sharpen a dull knife. Once you get the sharp edge, here's what you should do to maintain it:

1. don't put it in a dishwasher where the edge will bang around.
2. store the knife with a cover, or in a knife block, or a magnetic bar (to prevent the edge from banging around)
3. use a honing steel
4. use a knife friendly cutting board (end grain wood is best. glass is worst)

Rodc
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Rodc » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:45 pm

pshonore wrote:Supposedly there are three qualities in a knife of which you can have any two on a given knife:

1: sharpens easily
2: holds an edge
3: looks good, doesn't stain (like stainless steel)

I use an earlier model of this:
https://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-120 ... 00004S1B8/


Yes. Stainless steel is rarely as good as old fashioned high carbon steel knives when it come to ease of getting a razor sharp edge that lasts.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

Rodc
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Rodc » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:58 pm

sport wrote:I once went to an demonstration on the care of knives. It was held at a local store and the demo was given by a Henckels factory representative. His advice was not to use any abrasive method. He said that removes metal from the knives. He recommended using only a sharpening steel. He said that a steel restores the edge whereas the abrasive methods create a new edge. He also mentioned that a good steel is magnetized, so any small particles that come off the blade remain stuck to the steel. Therefore, there is no need to wipe a knife after using a steel. If you start with a sharp knife, and use a steel regularly to keep it sharp, there is no need to do anything else. A steel is not difficult to use.


I thought the steel was not abrasive? :)

I have and use a Henckels steel.

Useful and does keep a knife sharp much longer than not using one. But it does not allow one to defy the laws of physics. :)

The edge will eventually get worn and the knife will eventually need to be sharpened.

I used to use Norton waterstones, I have up to 8000 grit that I use for woodworking tools. 1000 or so is pretty good for kitchen knives (you can dry shave if you have good steel and use 8000).

But I got lazy and got the sharpener BoulderBoy mentions up stream - very easy to bring a knife to razor sharp. While it does remove steel, once you get a good bevel to the correct angle with the first use, you can just touch up with the highest grit which removes a very small amount of steel - more polishing the edge than grinding it.

As to dangerously sharp - I have cooked in many friend's kitchens and would say almost no one keeps knives what I would call sharp. I would go farther and say most people do not really understand what sharp is because they have never experienced it, or only very briefly when they first brought home a good knife. They never learn to really be careful with knives because they can be a little sloppy and not get cut. But once you have your knives razor sharp every little mistake is a cut finger. For example, maybe you are used to a certain resistance, say peeling a potato, and now, Zip!, the knife goes through like the potato is not even there, smack into your finger. In that sense, for many people finally getting super sharp knives is dangerous.
Last edited by Rodc on Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

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Pajamas
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Pajamas » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:09 pm

Sharpening grinds down the blade and should only be needed every few years at the most, unless the knife is used daily by a chef or butcher.

A honing steel should be used frequently to realign the edge and keep it razor-sharp. (There are also diamond-covered sharpening steels.)

Wusthof provides good information about knife care.

http://www.wusthof.com/care-and-sharpening

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dumbbunny
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby dumbbunny » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:12 pm

harikaried wrote:Got this on Amazon for $6 two years ago:

KitchenIQ 50009 Edge Grip 2 Stage Knife Sharpener, Black
https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B001CQTLJM


+1. I take this unit to my friends' houses and sharpen their knives while watching sports games that I don't subscribe to.
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SheReadsHere719
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby SheReadsHere719 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:21 pm

Another +1 for for the 2-stage knife sharpener for interim touch-ups. I also go to Sur La Table once or twice a year for a professional sharpening. They frequently offer a BOGO deal on sharpening chef's knives, especially around the holidays, so it comes out to $5 for both. Between the interim, at-home sharpening and the biannual Sur La Table sharpening, my chef's knives get near-daily use and have stayed in great shape for a number of years.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby fourwheelcycle » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:26 pm

I tried many of the manual sharpening tools and techniques noted above, but I never could get my knives sharp quickly and consistently. Finally I bought a Chef's Choice 15 Trizor XV EdgeSelect Electric Knife Sharpener at Amazon and I have used it ever since. It has always worked quickly and effectively. It is designed for Japanese knives with edges sharpened to 15 degrees rather than the more typical 20 degree edges of western knives, but after much reading I concluded western knives can reasonably take the narrower edge. I have a mix of western and Japanese kitchen knives and I have now used the Chef's Choice sharpener to change all of my 20 degree knives to 15 degrees.

I have no problems keeping all of my knives perfectly sharp. The western knives, including pocket knives, are working fine with their new 15 degree edges.

Silverado
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Silverado » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:39 pm

Chip wrote:
Bengineer wrote:I have a large 3x10" three-stone coarse-medium-fine oilstone from prehistory that I use for edge cleanup like this.


Hey, I have one of those, too (mfg by Norton). Was that you in the cave next to mine? :D

OP, I have recommended this sharpener to friends who don't share my perfectionist knife-sharpening tendencies. It works pretty quickly but takes a good bit off the blade each time. As others have mentioned, use a steel to true the blade between infrequent sharpenings.


We have one of the linked ones. Like it for our cheapo knives that take a beating.

random_walker_77
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby random_walker_77 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:49 pm

Silverado wrote:
Chip wrote:
Bengineer wrote:I have a large 3x10" three-stone coarse-medium-fine oilstone from prehistory that I use for edge cleanup like this.


Hey, I have one of those, too (mfg by Norton). Was that you in the cave next to mine? :D

OP, I have recommended this sharpener to friends who don't share my perfectionist knife-sharpening tendencies. It works pretty quickly but takes a good bit off the blade each time. As others have mentioned, use a steel to true the blade between infrequent sharpenings.


We have one of the linked ones. Like it for our cheapo knives that take a beating.


I had one of these too, but gave it away. The accusharp does a really good job and was my favorite fast sharpener until I got the Lansky blademedic. The downside w/ the accusharp is the hand position made me a bit nervous, even w/ the plastic guard. I think the Lansky's results are just as good, and even better if you use the diamond honing rod/ceramic sharpener. And of course, the Lansky will sharpen serrated knives too, though that's a lot more work. Using the Lansky, the business end of the knife is pointing in a safer position. Here's a video review of the Lansky, which influenced me to try buying it (I was looking for something to sharpen serrated knives but ended up using it for all of my knives): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za32c1LGIjk

Spirit Rider
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Spirit Rider » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:40 pm

Teague wrote:
Spirit Rider wrote:
BolderBoy wrote:Now I'm religious about using my sharpening steel and the knives are dangerously sharp all the time.

A small quibble. I keep my knives safely sharp. A dull knife is more dangerous, because it requires more effort.

I've heard this over the years, and am still trying to figure out if it applies to all cases. There is some truth to it, certainly.

What I've seen is that a dull knife is more likely to slip, so more injuries, yes.

On the other hand, a surgically sharp knife (I sharpen my own and keep those in a separate drawer) while less likely to slip, can get you really good with even a slight contact, when the average knife may not have broken the skin. On the upside, those wounds hurt less and heal very nicely.

It is true that a sharper knife is more likely to cut the skin, but it is ultimately the force that will do the most damage.

A significant problem is that many people mistake the difference between sharpness and bevel angel. An excessively shallow bevel is not necessarily a good thing. It gives the appearance of being "super sharp", but the edge will be very susceptible to rapid dulling.

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TxAg
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby TxAg » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:44 pm

$4 on Amazon: Smiths Consumer Products CCKS Pull-Thru Knife Sharpener, Portable


I keep one in the drawer for kitchen knives and one in my hunting pack for skinning/quartering.

It is a cheap and easy system and works every time on cheap knives and expensive knives. No need for anything fancy.

Tamales
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Tamales » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:08 pm

Some have mentioned you have tried hand sharpening using waterstones or oilstones. It's challenging, drawing the kitchen knife across the stone while maintaining the exact same angle (ignoring whether it's the "correct" angle) for the full length of the blade, and for each draw of the blade across the stone. If you don't keep the angle the same with every pass and at every point along the blade, you just create steps or flat spots in the edge (uneven sharpness at best, but it will still cut).

Lots of alternatives have been shown. The reason the low-cost fixed-angle sharpeners work on any knife is because the angle they are set at is larger than the angle your blade is (supposed to be) sharpened at. So it grinds a secondary bevel rather than the correct (smaller) angle. It works, and the knife cuts, but it's not as sharp as it can be. Maybe you care, maybe not, but there's a tradeoff between the bevel angle and the sharpness (larger angle not as sharp as smaller angle). If you ever wanted to return to the original smaller angle, you have to remove a fair bit of metal.

One sharpening system that hasn't been mentioned is the EdgePro system, invented and manufactured by a guy in Oregon. With this, the process is different and you draw a waterstone across the knife, and the stone is mounted to a fixture where you set the angle to match the grind of the blade, and it holds that angle exactly as you draw the waterstone across the knife, with minimal effort on your part. Here's a short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01JAaz1vUkE . If nothing else, the use of a sharpie to monitor that the grind angle is right is a neat trick.
I realize it costs more than most here would want to spend and I'm just putting it out there as a point of reference, especially for those who have hundreds of dollars in expensive knives. Lots of other sharpening videos and tips at their website.

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daveatca
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Chef's Choice

Postby daveatca » Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:31 pm

https://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-120 ... 00004S1B8/

How much do you have "invested" in knives?

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BolderBoy
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby BolderBoy » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:40 am

Spirit Rider wrote:
BolderBoy wrote:Now I'm religious about using my sharpening steel and the knives are dangerously sharp all the time.

A small quibble. I keep my knives safely sharp. A dull knife is more dangerous, because it requires more effort.

It was a joke... I definitely agree that a dull knife is more dangerous in my hands.
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Teague
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Teague » Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:16 am

All this talk of fine blades reminds me of the story of the expert swordsman....

Aspiring student: Your reputation is beyond compare, master, but might I respectfully ask to see a demonstration of your skill?
Expert Swordsman: There is a fly in the container before you. Please release it.

The fly is released. In less than one second the swordsman draws his weapon, produces a blinding flash of steel, and returns his blade to its sheath. They fly continues uninterrupted, and flies out the nearest window.

Student: Master, I am sorry to say this, and with all due respect, but I believe you have missed.

Swordsman: You look but you do not see. That fly shall never reproduce.

DoubleClick
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby DoubleClick » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:19 am

It took me a while to realize that 95% of knife maintenance is not sharpening (involves taking metal off) but honing (no metal taken off, only straightened). I hone quickly almost every session, and my knifes are extremely sharp all the time. I now sharpen about once a year.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001N0UL ... ref=plSrch

gutterman
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby gutterman » Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:27 am

This system works well for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bailuQUh2mY

I had to use different height blocks of wood to sharpen the existing bevel angle just right for different knives. Using the marker as he does in the video helps figure that out. If that is too confusing, you can just use any piece of wood and after a while you will create a new bevel angle that matches the height of your wood. It just takes more work the first time.

He also has a video for sharpening scissors

smackboy1
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby smackboy1 » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:24 am

sport wrote:I once went to an demonstration on the care of knives. It was held at a local store and the demo was given by a Henckels factory representative. His advice was not to use any abrasive method. He said that removes metal from the knives. He recommended using only a sharpening steel. He said that a steel restores the edge whereas the abrasive methods create a new edge. He also mentioned that a good steel is magnetized, so any small particles that come off the blade remain stuck to the steel. Therefore, there is no need to wipe a knife after using a steel. If you start with a sharp knife, and use a steel regularly to keep it sharp, there is no need to do anything else. A steel is not difficult to use.


With all due respect, that Henckels factory rep doesn't know jack about knives. He doesn't understand the difference between honing the edge (which is all a steel can do) and sharpening the edge (which by definition, must remove some material).

All honing with a steel can do is straighten out the edge if it's been bent during use - perhaps by cutting on a hard surface. By restoring the proper orientation of the still sharp edge, the knife can continue to be used without the need for sharpening.

When the knife edge is dull by being worn down from use, no amount of honing will improve the edge. It's rounded and the only way to restore sharpness is to create a new edge. This can only be done by removing metal using an abrasive. It's true that continued sharpening will eventually remove so much metal the knife will have to be replaced, but unless you work in a professional kitchen, that's going to take a long long time.

Some knives are notorious for having a bolster design where the cutting edge does not extend all the way through the heel (see picture below). Henckels has designs like this (often for their knives which may not be truly forged throughout the blade). When sharpening these types of knives, do not sharpen all the way to the heel (unless it's a filet knife). You will not be able to remove material from the bolster and it will result in a gap between the cutting edge and the cutting surface at the heel of the knife. Very annoying when cuts don't go all the way through!

Image

I used to use ceramic water stones and hand sharpen my knives, but there is a steep learning curve to get a razor's edge and it is time consuming. I now use a manual Chef's Choice 463 Santoku/Asian recommended by Cook's Illustrated. The 15* bevel Japanese knife edge angle is sharper and I like it more than the European 20* bevel. Between sharpenings I use a steel to hone the blades for maintenance.

https://www.amazon.com/Choice-463-Pront ... ner++asian
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

barnaclebob
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby barnaclebob » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:24 am

Rodc wrote:
sport wrote:I once went to an demonstration on the care of knives. It was held at a local store and the demo was given by a Henckels factory representative. His advice was not to use any abrasive method. He said that removes metal from the knives. He recommended using only a sharpening steel. He said that a steel restores the edge whereas the abrasive methods create a new edge. He also mentioned that a good steel is magnetized, so any small particles that come off the blade remain stuck to the steel. Therefore, there is no need to wipe a knife after using a steel. If you start with a sharp knife, and use a steel regularly to keep it sharp, there is no need to do anything else. A steel is not difficult to use.


I thought the steel was not abrasive? :)


Anytime you rub two things together material is removed. Its just a question of how much. I definitely get metal dust on the magnetized end of my honing steel.

miles monroe
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby miles monroe » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:39 am

btenny wrote:We have tried a lot of different sharpening services and a few friends doing it for us. Teh sharpening works for while but then we need it repeated. I guess we just do not get them sharpened right or buy good enough knives. Because my wife always ends up going to the store and buying a new set of serrated knives every few years. She just puts the old set out in the garage and gets a new set. She has done the math and says it is cheaper to buy a $20-$30 full set of knives and use them for 4-5 years and then start over. Our current set is six Komichi Japanese knives from Costco for $19.95. I know our "good knives" cost $7ish to sharpen. So her math is good.

Good Luck


thats exactly what i do; i've never spent more than $20 for a set at costco.
Last edited by miles monroe on Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Rodc
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Rodc » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:24 am

barnaclebob wrote:
Rodc wrote:
sport wrote:I once went to an demonstration on the care of knives. It was held at a local store and the demo was given by a Henckels factory representative. His advice was not to use any abrasive method. He said that removes metal from the knives. He recommended using only a sharpening steel. He said that a steel restores the edge whereas the abrasive methods create a new edge. He also mentioned that a good steel is magnetized, so any small particles that come off the blade remain stuck to the steel. Therefore, there is no need to wipe a knife after using a steel. If you start with a sharp knife, and use a steel regularly to keep it sharp, there is no need to do anything else. A steel is not difficult to use.


I thought the steel was not abrasive? :)


Anytime you rub two things together material is removed. Its just a question of how much. I definitely get metal dust on the magnetized end of my honing steel.


Of course. :)

I just found the inconsistency of what the Henckel rep said humorous. Perhaps I should have highlighted that better (as I have modified my quote above).
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

barnaclebob
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby barnaclebob » Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:15 pm

Rodc wrote:Of course. :)

I just found the inconsistency of what the Henckel rep said humorous. Perhaps I should have highlighted that better (as I have modified my quote above).


Many times sales people will dumb down concepts with anecdotes such as "honing steels don't remove metal" because in a way its true. The goal is not to remove metal but it slowly does until the bevel is no longer correct due to inconsistencies in hand honing or until the micro/secondary bevel is too big for the hone to be effective. That's when a sharpening is required.

Tamales
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Tamales » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:32 pm

Anybody have any thoughts on how to sharpen a small bird's beak knife like this one:
Image

Flat stones just don't work. Need some sort of small diameter rods I guess.

Rodc
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Rodc » Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:06 pm

Tamales wrote:Anybody have any thoughts on how to sharpen a small bird's beak knife like this one:
Image

Flat stones just don't work. Need some sort of small diameter rods I guess.


Something like this:
http://woodworker.com/small-diamond-con ... archmode=2

or

http://woodworker.com/180-grit-gouge-st ... archmode=2

If you have a drill press you could try gluing 1000 grit paper (autobody shops carry up to 2000) to a small rubber sanding drum like this (might work in a hand drill if you put the knife in a vise, or wrap a wooden dowel in 1000 grit paper):

http://woodworker.com/1-x-2-x-14-rubber ... 29-003.asp

Lots of options here:

https://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/Carv ... g-C30.aspx

FWIW: easier to use a large diameter that better fits the curve of the blade that a small diameter.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.

tacster
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby tacster » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:31 pm

Tamales wrote:Anybody have any thoughts on how to sharpen a small bird's beak knife like this one:
Image

Flat stones just don't work. Need some sort of small diameter rods I guess.

Looks like a good candidate for a Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker.
INSERT PITHY QUOTE HERE

jasper
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby jasper » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:27 pm

Santa brought me this one, based on recommendation of my elk hunting buddy
This thing works great, the honing thing that came with the butcher block for the knife set from our wedding can't compare

https://www.smithsproducts.com/product/50047/

Now my grandfather had one of these, or something similar

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Grindin ... 1067236967

This thing was a beast. You could shave with a knife from his house. It would grind blades down to a sliver, but you could literally shave with it

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lthenderson
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby lthenderson » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:27 am

lazydavid wrote:
pshonore wrote:I use an earlier model of this:
https://www.amazon.com/Chefs-Choice-120 ... 00004S1B8/


I have essentially the same thing, works well on good quality knives (ours are all Wustof) that haven't been honed on the steel as often as they should be. You can use the third stage on its own in place of the steel, but I never bother to take it out unless I need to set a new edge.


I have sold a lot of these for Chef's Choice and haven't been compensated for a single dime. Everyone who uses my knives and asks how I sharpen them, I plop this thing out on the counter and show them. It is easy to use and keeps them very sharp. They then go out and buy their own.

I also use mine for my pocket and hunting knives.

reisner
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby reisner » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:02 am

A King waterstone, 1000/6000 grit.

miles monroe
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby miles monroe » Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:19 am

alton brown uses a guy who comes to his house (his equipment is in a van) periodically to sharpen his knives.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:42 pm

miles monroe wrote:alton brown uses a guy who comes to his house (his equipment is in a van) periodically to sharpen his knives.

Any links to where I can buy such a van and do it myself?
PJW

Teague
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Re: Keeping kitchen knives sharp

Postby Teague » Fri Jan 13, 2017 8:05 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
miles monroe wrote:alton brown uses a guy who comes to his house (his equipment is in a van) periodically to sharpen his knives.

Any links to where I can buy such a van and do it myself?
PJW


Sure, right here:

http://www.rollingsharpeningstone.com/the_franchise.php


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