Sharpening Kitchen Knives

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drmoss_ca
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Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by drmoss_ca »

I have a set of Porsche Design knives, which are elegant but not so easy to sharpen, being stainless. After a bit of experimentation, I have settled on the following method.
1. If really dull, I use a pair of combination Norton stones 220/1000 and 4000/8000, freehanding the desired angle. Generally no need for the 220.
2. Mostly it's just touching up, so I have settled on a good steel and two variations. First is a Messermeister DS-12M 12" 800 grit diamond steel. Ten strokes each side using the rod held vertically and stroking downwards. It doesn't look as skilled as the traditional chef's method, and it's slower, but it easier to keep the right angle, which is a matter of feel and listening for the edge being ground.
3. Then a ceramic rod, DMT CS2 12" 2200 grit, used the same way.
4. Finally, a Winco 12" stainless steel, also used vertically.

I'm very pleased with the results I'm getting. My vegetable knives can slice a tomato paper thin, and the spare carving knife I use as a bread knife can slice my homemade wholewheat bread without crumbling it at all. Fewer crumbs to sweep up!
What do you do?
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Sam
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by Sam »

I have but two, what I would call chef-quality, knives. I have used the Spyderco blade system that has a ceramic stone and done that twice to the knives, but I also have a rod that I use after each cutting, and then I wipe the blade down
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by brothers »

brothers wrote:
Re: Kitchen knives

Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:26 pm
Ever since I first read this thread I have been very curious about the Chef's Choice diamond hone knife sharpener. My daughter had asked me to sharpen her kitchen knives that had been given to her when she moved into her own home and had to get the kitchen set up. Last week I sharpened her knives the old fashioned way by hand. The edges were in bad shape but they came around with a bit of time. That made me start thinking about the Chef's Choice sharpener.

Just a couple of days later when my wife and I were in Fredericksburg TX we visited a very well-stocked specialty store that specializes in all things related to cooking. To my surprise when I walked into the area where the knives are displayed I spotted a new Chef's Choice sharpener that had been discounted about 25% as it was the last one in stock. Of course I bought it and was eager to try it out. We returned home yesterday and today was a good day to try it.

I found an older knife that I had stored away a few years ago when we got a new set of kitchen knives. It was a good knife but the old edge was in bad shape. I followed the directions and was able to modify the old knife's bevels to 15 degrees. It took some time, but the result was great. We used that particular knife this evening when it was time to prepare dinner.

Thanks to all of you guys who turned me on to this sharpener. Now I'm looking forward to using it on the rest of our good knives. It seems to be a well-designed and built appliance that isn't difficult to use. This will save me a lot of time, and also we'll be able to keep our knives as sharp as they should be at all times.
It's been a year and a half since I bought this knife sharpener, and once I had all of my knives on the correct bevel, they've been wonderful. One of the best investments I've ever made. I only wish I had known about this way back when. Better late than never!
Gary

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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by EL Alamein »

I've got to get with the program on this. I use an electric sharpener we received as a wedding present. Works OK but nothing to write home about. In time I'll try free handing on my stones to see if I can do better.

I will say that I do steel my knives regularly and it does make a difference. Just recently on another forum someone suggested that instead of steeling with the edge leading one should try it like stropping with the edge following. I tried it and it was superb. Hopefully, long term, it turns out to be a good practice. Time will tell.

Chris
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by drmoss_ca »

I have done that, using the steel edge first with usual pressure, then edge trailing with very light pressure. I agree it can add an extra level of sharpness, but one that is really for knife geeks rather than a chef. Sharp enough is what I need, rather than the sharpest!
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by fallingwickets »

just yesterday test kitchen posted a video about the 'best' rod to use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCh4iKDYAC0 As an aside i have a ceramic rod which i use several times a week and have always been happy with the results

A year or two ago i switched from the regular chefs choice to the 15 degree one and of course i have no complaints, but about 6 months ago I treated myself to a 1000 grit Suehiro CERAX whetstone and maybe its just pure coincidence because I'm dangerously inept around these things, however it seems to me that the knife stays sharper after a whetstone sharpening than it does after a run through the chefs choice

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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by John Rose »

I'm lucky if I remember to occasionally run the edge across the unglazed bottom of a coffee mug.
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by ShadowsDad »

Gary awhile back I asked for a Chefs Choice XV sharpener and after testing the new sharpening angle on a few knives decided to resharpen all of them to the 15° angle. I'd never go back to the European sharpening angle. The sharpener took off a lot of metal initially to get them to 15° but after that it's just sharpening and no huge metal removal.

Oh, I nearly forgot... the reason for the knife sharpener? I'm just not good at sharpening knives by hand. Now a razor I can sharpen to get an edge sharp enough for a great shave, but a kitchen or field knife? That eludes me.
Brian

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Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by brothers »

Same here Brian. It's too late for me, but maybe sometime soon some brilliant and open-minded genius will come up with a similar electric sharpener that can put a wicked sharp and smooth edge on my favorite straight razor. It's all science and technology. There'll be a small clique who'll laugh smugly and say "it'll never work" and "stop rocking the boat". To them I say BS --- :lol: And seriously, the razor sharpener will probably be created by the same manufacturer who is currently making and selling the knife sharpeners discussed above. I'd buy it. Proof lies in the fact that kitchen knives are easily sharpened by the same hardware used to sharpen straight razors. Not much of a challenge to engineer such a machine. The price will necessarily be influenced high or low due to the fact that they may or might not sell a lot of these due to supply and demand.
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by CMur12 »

I get confused by the different types of Chef's Choice sharpeners. I know that many of them are differences of exterior casing material or finish, but there appear to be two main types in the $125 to $150 price range.

Does one type produce the "Trizor" edge and one a standard 15-degree edge? If so, which is which.

(When I read the product descriptions, the difference isn't clear.)

Thanks.

- Murray
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by EL Alamein »

With the talk of Chef's Choice sharpeners you guys got me interested in what electric sharpener we were given and that I use. It's right here in the garage with me (where I sharpen my kitchen knives) in a cupboard. It's a chef's choice diamond sharpener. I have no idea how it stacks up against others though.

Like I said, it does OK but nothing to write home about.

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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by CMur12 »

My mother had a one of the less expensive Chef's Choice models, with two sharpening slots, which I found largely ineffective. I'm hoping that the more expensive models are better.

- Murray
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by ShadowsDad »

Murray I have the Trizor XV. It sharpens to the 15° angle but also will sharpen an edge for the easiest cut in veggies or meats. I ignore that and just get the knives as sharp as possible. One doesn't want to touch the edge because the slightest pressure will cut the skin. Ask me how I know. It'll also touch up a serrated knife. Once the basic angle is made from the blunter Euro' angle, and that can take some time to do, it sharpens knives in a heart beat. Just follow the directions. I had one field knife that took hours to correct the angle on. It does look like alot of steel is being wasted as one goes from a 20° angle to the 15, but it's only that steel that would have come off had it happened at the factory. Once done it never happens again unless someone sharpens it at the 20° angle again. I keep most people away from my knives. Most folks don't respect the cutting edge of a knife and scrape it along the cutting board to gather product together when it's so easy to use the back of the blade. It's just laziness or lack of understanding that prevents that correct use. But sharpen to 15° and you'll also seek to prevent abuse of the fine edge.

Gary, I use the scary sharp method of making a shave ready honed razor. It uses a piece of float glass and sheet abrasives. The difference between using the method for wood working and shaving is the grit of the "papers" used. Then finishing up with CrOx or diamond and stropping. Just google Scary sharp method and if you have questions get back to me on how to proceed for a shaving edge. The straight razor has a built in jig that sets the correct angle. It's the spine of the blade and the key to a sharp shaving edge is just the weight of the finger holding the razor and no more than that. More downward pressure equals a less sharp edge that won't shave. I don't exactly hone straight razors but I do hone segments of straight razors that I use in my Rolls Razor. Same technique is used for both. Or you can get stones and keep them flat. Scary sharp just throws the spent abrasives sheets away and one grabs new ones as needed. Nothing ever affects the flatness of the float glass unless it's dropped so there's no maintenance there unlike stones. I've also used scary sharp for my kitchen knives, but again, I'm no good at that.
Brian

Maker of Kramperts Finest Bay Rum and Frostbite http://www.krampertsfinest.com/
Or find it here: Italian Barber, West Coast Shaving, Barclay Crocker, The Old Town Shaving Company at Stats, Maggard Razors; Leavitt & Peirce, Harvard Square
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by CMur12 »

Thanks for that explanation, Brian.

I treat my knives with respect, much as you described. I never scrape a blade along the cutting surface; I always use the spine for that, like you do. I also use an Asian-style cutting board/block, which is a simple end-grain round of fir. It is soft, porous wood, which is easier on the knife edge, while still resisting wear. Wood is also claimed to be naturally anti-bacterial, especially when softer and more porous.

- Murray
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by Gareth »

I also use a honing rod - my grandfather is a retired master butcher so he taught me how to use it properly.

A few months ago I got in the habit of using the rod each time before using the knives. I've been amazed just how much sharper and therefore useable the knives are as a result. I tend to use what I call 'the tomato test' to determine if a knife is sharp enough for my relatively amateur use.

Gareth
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Re: Sharpening Kitchen Knives

Post by brothers »

CMur12 wrote: Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:21 pm I get confused by the different types of Chef's Choice sharpeners. I know that many of them are differences of exterior casing material or finish, but there appear to be two main types in the $125 to $150 price range.

Does one type produce the "Trizor" edge and one a standard 15-degree edge? If so, which is which.

(When I read the product descriptions, the difference isn't clear.)

Thanks.

- Murray
Murray, I don't know what the differences may be, all I know is mine is the 315 XV model.
Gary

SOTD 99%: soaps & creams, synthetic / boar / badger brushes, Colonial General razor, Kai & Schick blades, Superior 70 aftershave splash + menthol + 444
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