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PeteF
02-20-2011, 03:12 PM
I know there are lots of guys here who are involved with knife making. So I'm keen to find out a simple, low cost way of touching up the edges on some good quality German brand kitchen knives using either my Japanese water stones or simply a diamond stone. However I'd also been interested in other methods of sharpening that don't involve some absurdly expensive, available only in [country of choice] device.

Pete

PS I'm counting on you guys. This will make my wife very happy and provide another 12 months worth of justification for having many thousands of dollars worth of tooling and machinery, thereby allowing me to say "Well, you think they're sharp, if only I had a [insert next machine desired] I could make them REALLY sharp. Such a shame I don't have it." :D

Pete F
02-20-2011, 03:29 PM
I sharpen my shun kitchen knives using Norton whetstones, starting at 1000 grit, then 4000, then 8000. They get really sharp. The very first time I did it I got them sharper than the knife shop did.

There is a tutorial on knife sharpening on rouxbe.com, but you have to join to see it - which I do recommend if you like to cook. I always have to re-watch it before I sharpen, because I only do it every six months or so, and I've been meaning to write up some notes to keep with the stones. I'll try to get that done and post them here.

-Pete

J.Ramsey
02-20-2011, 03:30 PM
EZ Sharp paper wheels on bench grinder,after using them you'll forget about the stones.:)

Alistair Hosie
02-20-2011, 03:30 PM
Just buy an electric knife sharpener ,or get one of the little handheld units you simply draw your knife accross it,and it comes up a treat . I have one of those but I would maybe prefer the electric on same principal but easier if you have athritus.Alistair

cuemaker
02-20-2011, 03:31 PM
Paper wheels will get you the sharpest...Then its the Edge Pro... and then its the Spyderco sharpener...

After saying all that, I use a medium India stone to bring into shape if I need it, then a translucent Arkansas stone for the edge.. which works for me.

Lots of opinions out there, the above is just mine...

Oh, if you want a machine, build yourself a 2x72 belt sander.. that will do just damn fine also!

bruto
02-20-2011, 04:14 PM
If you just need to touch them up, and if they're not (ugh) serrated, get a really good sharpening steel and use it regularly. Here's a video with more than you ever wanted to know about this: http://www.videojug.com/film/sharpening-a-knife-with-a-steel

If you do this, other honing will be rarely needed. I usually use a largish medium oilstone on a good knife, and a sanding belt then the stone on a salvaged knife that's been murdered by a previous user.

My mom used to use an electric sharpener, and after a few years all her knives looked like fillet knives, but with the edges ground back so far they were blunt unless you re-ground the sides as well.

PeteF
02-20-2011, 04:14 PM
I sharpen my shun kitchen knives using Norton whetstones, starting at 1000 grit, then 4000, then 8000. They get really sharp. The very first time I did it I got them sharper than the knife shop did.

There is a tutorial on knife sharpening on rouxbe.com, but you have to join to see it - which I do recommend if you like to cook. I always have to re-watch it before I sharpen, because I only do it every six months or so, and I've been meaning to write up some notes to keep with the stones. I'll try to get that done and post them here.

-Pete

Thanks Mini-Me ... or is that Maxi-Me :)

The problem I have with using stones etc is maintaining a consistent angle on the edge. I cut a wedge at the appropriate angle (I can't recall what it was now, but searched at the time) from some wood, and yes that works but wondered if there was a better way.

Edit: They're beyond a steel to reform the edges, and agree, there's no way I'd be putting them through a typical electric knife sharpener. I understand there are a few good ones out there, but the typical ones simply destroy knives.

gwilson
02-20-2011, 04:46 PM
I don't like electric knife sharpeners,OR the simple carbide sharpeners you draw your knives through. Especially don't lie the electric ones because they tend to leave a burr on the blade. The other kind can,too. The last thing you need to eat is stainless steel burrs. If you use stones,there is less risk of burrs. Be sure to draw the knives through the corner of some wood,and carefully check for any remaining burrs.

Frank Ford
02-20-2011, 04:49 PM
Keeping them touched up frequently is what works best for me. I just use a little diamond pocket hone I keep in a kitchen drawer with all the other unsorted items.

While you're at it, take a few licks on the ol' potato peeler from time to time:

http://www.frets.com/HomeShopTech/ShopTips/149.jpg

PeteF
02-20-2011, 05:01 PM
Frank, how do you maintain a constant angle on the diamond stone? Or do you just freehand it?

Pete

beanbag
02-20-2011, 05:45 PM
I got this advice from a knife sharpener:

Don't used high speed grinding devices because that overheats the edge.
Just a normal stone is all you need, once you get good at maintaining the angle.
You don't need to use a fine stone because you want to leave the edge with micro-serrations anyway. These serrations help you cut thru tomato skins.

I have a set of sharpening stones called Lansky

http://www.lanskysharpeners.com/

Is it basically a stone with a contraption to keep the knife at a certain angle. Being a machinist, I'm sure you can make your own "keep your knife at a certain angle" device.

I sharpen my knives with a convex edge, i.e. it has a primary and secondary relief.

Those ceramic or rough metal sticks are for "honing", not sharpening.

PeteF
02-20-2011, 06:37 PM
Being a machinist, I'm sure you can make your own "keep your knife at a certain angle" device.

Yeah, I put my compound mitre saw at the appropriate angle and sliced off a piece of hardwood :D "Machinist"? ergh, maybe. Practical? Yes! I just wondered if there was a better way.

I'm definitely no knife expert, but my understanding is that the traditional "steel" straightens the edge of the knife as it gets rolled to one side or the other in use. It doesn't actually sharpen the blade much at all. I know there are now ceramic and diamond devices that look the same, and they do actually hone the edge, but take reasonable skill and practice to use well.

boslab
02-20-2011, 07:06 PM
is there such a thing as too sharp? i use a ceramic wheel sharpener in the kitchen, when ive gone bonkers and super sharpened the ol sabatier, the edge will give out easily, little nicks and wotnots.
butchers use a steel on stainless knives as they reckon it hardens the edge, probably true, what do you think?
mark

PeteF
02-20-2011, 07:26 PM
is there such a thing as too sharp? i use a ceramic wheel sharpener in the kitchen, when ive gone bonkers and super sharpened the ol sabatier, the edge will give out easily, little nicks and wotnots.
butchers use a steel on stainless knives as they reckon it hardens the edge, probably true, what do you think?
mark

Mark, I hadn't heard that. "Dunno"? As I mentioned, my understanding is a steel straightens the edge as it gets rolled over. Eventually they need to be rehoned, and I guess every now and then ground back and the bevels re-established. Is it possible that the process of rolling that micro-edge back to straight actually minutely work hardens the stainless steel edge? All I know is that butchers make it look easy :D

Carld
02-20-2011, 07:41 PM
I used to use a silicon stone, shaving soap and a strop like a barber taught me but now I use a diamond lap like Frank showed and lap it on the rough side of my leather belt. It's usually sharp enough to shave with so I guess it works for me.

wierdscience
02-20-2011, 07:59 PM
I just use a whetstone and then power stop with a spiral sewn buffing wheel charged with Rouge using a reducing count.

Bruce Griffing
02-20-2011, 10:14 PM
I sharpen and follow with honing on a hard felt wheel charged with green chromium oxide. If the knife is not too dull, just honing on the wheel works well. It takes a few seconds per edge. You have to make sure the wheel is turning away from the edge for this to work without catching the edge on the wheel. Here is a link to the wheel...

http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p=32983&cat=1,43072,43080&ap=1