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Thread: Sharpening knives

  1. #1
    PeteF Guest

    Default Sharpening knives

    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."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Solvang, CA, USA
    Posts
    333

    Default

    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
    I just like to make stuff.

  3. #3
    J.Ramsey Guest

    Default

    EZ Sharp paper wheels on bench grinder,after using them you'll forget about the stones.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    7,693

    Default

    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
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Tipp City, Ohio
    Posts
    1,698

    Default

    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!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    633

    Default

    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/sharpen...e-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.

  7. #7
    PeteF Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete F
    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.
    Last edited by PeteF; 02-20-2011 at 03:17 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,078

    Default

    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.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Palo Alto, California
    Posts
    1,276

    Default

    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:

    Cheers,

    Frank Ford
    HomeShopTech

  10. #10
    PeteF Guest

    Default

    Frank, how do you maintain a constant angle on the diamond stone? Or do you just freehand it?

    Pete

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