Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself

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bartl
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2011/07/04 23:39:17 (permalink)

Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself

I have a number of good knives (and a few mediocre and cheap ones, although my "laser" knife is GREAT for slicing bread). I have always gotten them professionally sharpened. Now, I have read that you should never use "do it yourself" sharpeners on god knives, and that they are just as good as the pro's.
 
I know that there have been threads on knife sharpening, but none of them are about the pro's and con's of DIY vs. professional.
 
Any insights?
 
Bart
#1

21 Replies Related Threads

    Foodbme
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 01:06:09 (permalink)
    Good knife sharpening is an acquired skill. I let the Pro's do it at http://www.phoenixknifehouse.com/. They do a fantastic job for just $3-4 bucks for wheel sharpening and a little more for hand sharpening.
    #2
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 08:22:25 (permalink)
    Ask the person who cuts your hair who, sharpens their scissors.
    Also, if you're friendly with someone working at your favorite restaurant where you live, ask them where or who sharpens their chef's knives.
    Most towns and cities have professional knife sharpeners who regularly visit these people. None of these professionals sharpen their own knives or scissors. 
    #3
    kland01s
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 09:14:11 (permalink)
    You have to be careful though, I've taken knives to supposed "pros" and have had really bad results. Asking is the best way to go, forget looking in the Yellow Pages.
    #4
    brisketboy
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 09:44:00 (permalink)
    After years of telling myself I could do just as good a job and after hundreds of dollars on sharpening kits from Acadamy and Cabela's Iand mail order catalogs  stopped kidding myself and let a pro do it. From my humble Buck 110 to my set of Henkel's chef knives this guy is superb. If your gonna spend that kind of money on a set of knives, Yep, I agree, let the pro's do it.
    #5
    edwmax
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 10:18:48 (permalink)
    It depends on if you know what you are doing!   Some don't know how; or have the patience to do it correctly.    ... If the Pro uses a wheel to sharpen, then hand the knife back, FIND another Pro that knows how to do the job correctly.     On a wheel. a butcher knife will look like a boning knife in a couple of years.
     
    My knives are 30 years old and the blades (carbon steel) still look the same width as they were when new.   I use a wheel every 2 or 3 years to straighten the edge if needed; then sharpened by hand on a flat stone. It only takes 4 to 6 strokes on the stone every couple of weeks for a good usable kitchen knife.   A kitchen knife does not need a razor sharp edge and won't hold it anyway.
    #6
    deepfryerdan
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 10:50:12 (permalink)
    Sharpening knives is like chili recipes. Everyone likes it a different way. The only reason this applies to knife sharpening is because people have different ingredients in their chili much like everyone has a different kind of knife.
     
    I think how you sharpen your knife is very dependent on the grade/quality of your knife. My cheapies get sharpened using one of those . For my good knives, I use a local sharpener. The guys that have been open for years and years are obviously doing something right (not to discredit the new guys).
    #7
    edwmax
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 12:29:07 (permalink)
    deepfryerdan
    .....
    I think how you sharpen your knife is very dependent on the grade/quality of your knife. My cheapies get sharpened using one of those . For my good knives, I use a local sharpener. The guys that have been open for years and years are obviously doing something right (not to discredit the new guys).

     
    Grade & quality of the knife steel only determines how well it will hold an edge and how often it needs to be sharpened.      ... A blade made of soft steel, will need to be sharpened often.    .... A Blade that many people claim to be too hard (to sharpen) will hold an edge a long time when correctly sharpened.    There are many website with good instructions for using a flat stone.   Get an Arkansas stone or another good quality stone at least 6 to 8 in long.   .... A wheel will quickly grind away too much steel; when a few hand strokes on a clean stone will sharpen the blade without excessive removal of steel on expensive knives (or any knife).
    #8
    DawnT
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 12:50:01 (permalink)
     I've done very well using an electric Chef's Choice 3 bay sharpener that I'll do the knives once a year or so and steel occasionally. It puts a wicked, but not a wire edge on the blade that holds well in a two step procedure without scoring the sides of the knife or eating much metal. The sharpener can also do serrated knives like a bread knife. It's easily paid for itself.
    #9
    Pigiron
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 13:54:31 (permalink)
    I second the recommendation of the Chef's Choice sharpener.  After a long, fruitless search to have my knives sharpened professionally in Manhattan (the retail shops are all gone and the restaurants either do them in-house or have them done by a commercial grinder), I took the recommendation of the Chef's Choice from America's Test Kitchen.  It does a better job than I had expected- you just have to READ and FOLLOW the instructions, or you will destroy your knives. 
     
    Side story- now that I live in the suburbs, and have the luxury of an automobile for the first time in 2 decades, I drove out to a knife store that advertised pro sharpening.  Their "pro" sharpening was nothing more than an employee using a Chef's Choice machine. 
    #10
    bartl
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 14:13:26 (permalink)
    I know what Ed means by hardness of knives. I have a vanadium steel knife that I picked up for $20 around 1980 or so from a Japanese store (one in New York). It was my first decent knife, and I stopped using my food processor for slicing after getting it. Fast forward a couple of decades, where wife and Kids used the knife on ceramic plates and glass cutting boards in spite of my begging them not to. I took it to a local place, and it was cutting as good as new. I've gotten some more decent knives and a couple of good ones, since, and as I mention, I get them all professionally sharpened (costs me $5 each, although they have 3 "free sharpening days"  every year, when I can get two knives sharpened, and I usually take advantage of it.
     
    For my pocket knife, I use a sharpening stone and oil.
     
    Bart
    #11
    the grillman
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 14:59:05 (permalink)
    there are a couple locally owned grocery stores here in St Louis that if you take your knives to the service meat counter, will sharpen them for free.  Limit 3 knives per visit.
     
    they do a nice job, and the price is right.  works for me!
    #12
    tsores
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 15:17:37 (permalink)
    Once or twice per year I sharpen all my knives by hand.  I use both sides of a two-sided flat stone followed by a steel. 
     
    There are a couple knives that need a professional's touch.  The blade edge is no longer flat on one.  A couple more need some real grinding in addition to just a new edge being created.
    #13
    MiamiDon
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 16:16:26 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    Good knife sharpening is an acquired skill. I let the Pro's do it at http://www.phoenixknifehouse.com/. They do a fantastic job for just $3-4 bucks for wheel sharpening and a little more for hand sharpening.


    According to the web site they do belt sharpening and waterstone sharpening.
    #14
    Foodbme
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 16:54:41 (permalink)
    MiamiDon
    Foodbme
    Good knife sharpening is an acquired skill. I let the Pro's do it at http://www.phoenixknifehouse.com/. They do a fantastic job for just $3-4 bucks for wheel sharpening and a little more for hand sharpening.

    According to the web site they do belt sharpening and waterstone sharpening.

    You are correct sir. I couldn't see exactly what they were doing in the back room but I heard a motor running and assumed it was a grinder. However they do it, they do a great job! They also sell very high-end Japanese knives as well as the European knife brands. Some of the Japanese knives go for upwards of a $1000.00! Every time I go in there, there are guys & gals in white coats, checkered pants and clogs standing or sitting around talking soups & stews so I figured it's the place to "Get 'er Done!
    #15
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 17:41:24 (permalink)
    I have a prep cook from Afganistan who seems to have a natural talent with a knife sharpner.
    #16
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/05 21:24:26 (permalink)
    chewingthefat

    I have a prep cook from Afganistan who seems to have a natural talent with a knife sharpner.

     
    How is he with an IUD?
    #17
    DawnT
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/06 01:05:32 (permalink)
    You sure you didn't mean IED? Think he'd have a real problem using an IUD. Then again, Chewies has people coming in off the street to wash their kittys in his sink, so just about anything stranger then fiction is possible there.
    #18
    Foodbme
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/06 02:26:22 (permalink)
    IUD????? IED???
    Very Different - One causes an explosion-------One prevents an explosion!!
    #19
    DawnT
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/06 02:42:07 (permalink)
    There's got to be a joke somewhere in this.
     
     Did you hear about the Afagani terrorist who got an IUD and IED mixed up? She caused an entire tank crew of soldiers to fail a paternity test and blew her GYN to smithereens.
     
     
    #20
    dabaxter
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/08 23:37:15 (permalink)
    I bought this knife sharpener at Amazon for under $30 and it makes our knives very sharp.
     

     
    I can't imagine paying someone to do this.
    #21
    chewingthefat
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    Re:Professional Knife Sharpening vs. Do It Yourself 2011/07/09 11:32:06 (permalink)
    DawnT

    You sure you didn't mean IED? Think he'd have a real problem using an IUD. Then again, Chewies has people coming in off the street to wash their kittys in his sink, so just about anything stranger then fiction is possible there.



    #22
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