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 Sharpening Knives

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John A

  • Total Posts: 4295
  • Joined: 1/27/2006
  • Location: Daytona Beach, FL
Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/11/06 10:10 AM (permalink)
I do not imagine any of you use a Chef’s Choice knife sharpener but I would appreciate your opinions of these things for an amateur. I have never been able to master the art of sharpening by hand and am considering one.

Thank You,

John

 
#1
    Phishmonger

    • Total Posts: 217
    • Joined: 10/15/2003
    • Location: Putnam, CT
    RE: Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/11/06 10:31 AM (permalink)
    Hi John... I own one of these sharpeners and have had good results with it. The only caution, which I discovered after CAREFULLY reading the instruction booklet, is you CANNOT use a steel to touch up the edge. If you do, the edge is ruined. I find it great for keeping my most used knives ready for work. Especially great with paring knives.
     
    #2
      John A

      • Total Posts: 4295
      • Joined: 1/27/2006
      • Location: Daytona Beach, FL
      RE: Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/11/06 1:00 PM (permalink)
      Thank you, which model do you have? Their description indicates that the machine does the job of a steel.

      John
       
      #3
        prisonchef

        • Total Posts: 296
        • Joined: 2/13/2006
        • Location: st augustine, FL
        RE: Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/11/06 1:54 PM (permalink)
        john,
        if you have single bevel oriental or japanese knives under no circumstances should you use the electric sharpener. i would however recommend that if you want a truly honed edge and have to use an electric that you invest in a large piece of what is called "cat's tongue" leather, some 15,000 grit aluminum oxide powder and a large piece of hard chrome leather. this will allow you to hone or polish the edge or "set" it without using a steel. myself i use japanese waterstones and the leather honing method. makes a steel rather superfluous and it produces a more durable edge.
        jack
         
        #4
          Michael Hoffman

          • Total Posts: 17848
          • Joined: 7/1/2000
          • Location: Gahanna, OH
          RE: Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/11/06 4:07 PM (permalink)
          Unless you wanted to spring for around $350 to acquire one of Edgecraft's professional Chef's Choice machines, I'd recommend against the things. I had a consumer version. It did put a nice edge on blades, but it also meant that you couldn't use a regular steel. Yes, the machines do have their own "steel" slot, but inasmuch as you normally steel a knife before, during and after every use that means you'll be pulling out and plugging in your Chef's Choice machine several times a day. Plus using the machine to steel takes a heck of a lot more time than using an actual steel. Plus, considering the prices, a couple of good stones and a steel are lots more money-friendly.If you have a difficult time using stones properly, you can always get a Lansky or Gatco sharpener. They're not expensive and anyone can get a terrific edge with either one of them -- and, you can use a regular steel anytime you want. After having put several of my knives through my Chef's Choice I finally took them in and had them reground to put a normal edge back on the blades, and I haven't used the thing since.
           
          #5
            BT

            • Total Posts: 3589
            • Joined: 7/3/2004
            • Location: San Francisco, CA
            RE: Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/11/06 9:08 PM (permalink)
            I'm with you John and I have used a Chef's Choice since they came out in the 80's. I have a moderately expensive 3-slot electrical version (top of the line when I bought it decades ago), but I find myself using a newer, smaller 2-slot manual version more often because I keep it next to my cutting board and when a knife seems a little dull (slicing resistance noted) I give it a quick sharpening. I've read all the "issues" about the difference between the edge it puts on knives and the traditional edge but results are what matter to me and after a quick, simple use of the Chef's Choice, my knives are much sharper. A steel does not actually sharpen knives. It straightens out or "adjusts" (honing is probably the precise term) the edge but to really sharpen a dull knife you have to use a stone, preferably varying grits (coarse to fine) and it's just too much trouble--especially when you are starting to prep a meal and notice your knife is dull--unless you are an expert. Lazy, inexpert folks like me most often just make do with dull knives, but with the Chef's Choice we don't have to.
             
            #6
              John A

              • Total Posts: 4295
              • Joined: 1/27/2006
              • Location: Daytona Beach, FL
              RE: Sharpening Knives Sun, 03/12/06 4:04 PM (permalink)
              Thanks all. BT, you're the man. After reading your post I went to Target and bought the manual Chef's Choice you mentioned, it does the tick on my stainless knives. I was going to buy one of the top of the line models, you saved me over a hundred bucks. If you ever get to Daytona Beach I owe you one.

              Thanks,

              John
               
              #7
                BT

                • Total Posts: 3589
                • Joined: 7/3/2004
                • Location: San Francisco, CA
                RE: Sharpening Knives Sun, 03/12/06 4:53 PM (permalink)
                quote:
                Originally posted by John A

                Thanks all. BT, you're the man. After reading your post I went to Target and bought the manual Chef's Choice you mentioned, it does the tick on my stainless knives. I was going to buy one of the top of the line models, you saved me over a hundred bucks. If you ever get to Daytona Beach I owe you one.

                Thanks,

                John


                It's possible you'll have to pay up. I get to Daytona Beach annually because all of my family lives in Ormond (North Peninsula). I was there for Christmas 2005.
                 
                #8
                  stevencarry

                  • Total Posts: 359
                  • Joined: 2/18/2006
                  • Location: San Rafael, CA
                  RE: Sharpening Knives Sun, 03/12/06 4:58 PM (permalink)
                  BT, since you like this subject. Tell me why it seems everywhere I've seen and read the experts say to NEVER sharpen knifes, let a pro do it.
                   
                  #9
                    rjb

                    • Total Posts: 451
                    • Joined: 12/15/2003
                    • Location: Bronxville, NY
                    RE: Sharpening Knives Sun, 03/12/06 5:28 PM (permalink)
                    I used to use a Chefs Choice and felt it was mediocre at best. I've used a DMT diamond stone (the large one) for some time now and its fantastic, providing you take the time to develop some proficiency at keeping a consistent blade angle. That plus a steel every time I pick up a knife keeps them shaving sharp.
                     
                    #10
                      BT

                      • Total Posts: 3589
                      • Joined: 7/3/2004
                      • Location: San Francisco, CA
                      RE: Sharpening Knives Sun, 03/12/06 10:10 PM (permalink)
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by stevencarry

                      BT, since you like this subject. Tell me why it seems everywhere I've seen and read the experts say to NEVER sharpen knifes, let a pro do it.


                      Because they do the best job and don't "ruin" the edge like doing it yourself can. I realize the Chef's Choice is a compromise. Most people who use one do. But I don't feel like hauling my knives to a pro on a regular basis--and since I live so near the CA Culinary Academy, there's a knife sharpening shop only 2 blocks away. It's harder for most people. And like I said before, it's the results that count. I can certainly tell the difference in how my knives cut after sharpening them with the Chef's Choice so I'm happy with it even though I know it has a different type of edge than a pro would put on it.
                       
                      #11
                        Pigiron

                        • Total Posts: 1384
                        • Joined: 5/11/2005
                        • Location: Bergen County, NJ
                        • Roadfood Insider
                        RE: Sharpening Knives Mon, 03/13/06 1:56 AM (permalink)
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by stevencarry

                        BT, since you like this subject. Tell me why it seems everywhere I've seen and read the experts say to NEVER sharpen knifes, let a pro do it.



                        I wholeheartedly agree. No knife sharpening gadget will EVER do one-tenth the job of a professional sharpener, and you'll more than likely ruin your good knives. I mail my knives to Mr. Leonard in
                        Virginia. He does a simply amazing job for $4 per knife.

                        http://www.mrleonardknifesharpener.com/
                         
                        #12
                          John A

                          • Total Posts: 4295
                          • Joined: 1/27/2006
                          • Location: Daytona Beach, FL
                          RE: Sharpening Knives Mon, 03/13/06 11:53 AM (permalink)
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by BT

                          quote:
                          Originally posted by John A

                          Thanks all. BT, you're the man. After reading your post I went to Target and bought the manual Chef's Choice you mentioned, it does the tick on my stainless knives. I was going to buy one of the top of the line models, you saved me over a hundred bucks. If you ever get to Daytona Beach I owe you one.

                          Thanks,

                          John


                          It's possible you'll have to pay up. I get to Daytona Beach annually because all of my family lives in Ormond (North Peninsula). I was there for Christmas 2005.


                          Let me know when.

                          John
                           
                          #13
                            essvee

                            • Total Posts: 425
                            • Joined: 2/14/2002
                            • Location: Oakland, CA
                            RE: Sharpening Knives Mon, 03/13/06 12:04 PM (permalink)
                            If you take care of your knives (don't store them in a drawer, put them in the dishwasher or the dish rack, etc.), own a good steel and use it properly, don't cut on the counter (I like wood boards instead of plastic, I think they treat the edge better), you only need to have your knives reground twice or even once a year. Not to disparage the folks who wish to pursue better living through electricity, but the old-fashioned way isn't so odious and difficult. My two cents.
                             
                            #14
                              prisonchef

                              • Total Posts: 296
                              • Joined: 2/13/2006
                              • Location: st augustine, FL
                              RE: Sharpening Knives Mon, 03/13/06 12:39 PM (permalink)
                              can someone explain to me why i,as a professional chef,would ever entrust the very tools that i use to make my living to anyone else?? by sharpening your own knives you have the ability to;
                              1- find the bevel angle that best suits your style and needs
                              2- allows you to recognize the differences in the steel your knives are composed of and thus fine tune the type of steel to the job at hand.
                              3- by using the proper whetstones it will increase the life of your knives as you will not have as much metal removal during the sharpening process.
                              4- by using either a steel or leather strop system to hone the dge you will reduce the times that the use of a stone is required to touch up your blade
                              sorry i went kind of off but to me sharpening a knife is as much a part of being a chef as cost controls are.
                               
                              #15
                                V960

                                • Total Posts: 2429
                                • Joined: 6/17/2005
                                • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                                RE: Sharpening Knives Wed, 03/15/06 12:30 PM (permalink)
                                I have to laugh...I use a solid brick 95% of the time I sharpen my knives. I put it under running water and go to town. I learned this from a sushi chef who kidded me about my hard, medium and soft stones...not to mention the super expensive water stones I bought in Japan.

                                A 50 cent brick works just great. Keep a constant angle(10-15 %) and you're fine. Electric sharpeners?...not for me.
                                 
                                #16
                                  Jeza

                                  • Total Posts: 18
                                  • Joined: 3/17/2006
                                  • Location: Auckland , NZ, XX
                                  RE: Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/18/06 1:04 AM (permalink)
                                  Depends on your knives.

                                  Use diamond block sharpeners if you use ceramic or crystalline steel knives like Globals.

                                  Use stone and steel for heavy steel knives like Tridents.
                                   
                                  #17
                                    V960

                                    • Total Posts: 2429
                                    • Joined: 6/17/2005
                                    • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                                    RE: Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/18/06 2:26 PM (permalink)
                                    Jeza,
                                    Slap the person who told you that crap.
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Jeza

                                      • Total Posts: 18
                                      • Joined: 3/17/2006
                                      • Location: Auckland , NZ, XX
                                      RE: Sharpening Knives Sat, 03/18/06 8:05 PM (permalink)
                                      Richard Geen Head Chef of Amanapuri resort group. Brayden Birss Sous Chef Nicholsen St Restaurant London (aka Anton Callucio's restaurant) also backed him up on that.

                                      I have a 20 piece set of globals that I have used for 20 odd year. The blades on them are very very good, and extremely sharp. I used a steel on one and it pretty much ruined the sharpening of it. However I don't mind being wrong on this, its just what has worked for me.

                                      I should also add Brayden was the captain of the NZ karate team for 10 years, so I won't be slapping him...ever....

                                       
                                      #19
                                        V960

                                        • Total Posts: 2429
                                        • Joined: 6/17/2005
                                        • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                                        RE: Sharpening Knives Mon, 03/20/06 1:57 PM (permalink)
                                        ok, he can kick your butt...ignore him.
                                         
                                        #20
                                          porkbeaks

                                          • Total Posts: 2202
                                          • Joined: 5/6/2005
                                          • Location: Hoschton/Braselton, GA
                                          RE: Sharpening Knives Mon, 03/20/06 2:33 PM (permalink)
                                          This inexpensive knife sharpening system was recommended to me some years ago by a knife guy at a gun show. My 20+ year old set of Wusthoff's is always sharp and it's pretty easy to keep them that way. YMMV, pb

                                          http://www.edgemaker.com/4_step.htm
                                           
                                          #21
                                            prisonchef

                                            • Total Posts: 296
                                            • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                            • Location: st augustine, FL
                                            RE: Sharpening Knives Mon, 03/20/06 4:23 PM (permalink)
                                            jeza,
                                            guess you found out karate kid didnt know diddly about globals or any other japanese knife.
                                             
                                            #22
                                              Jeza

                                              • Total Posts: 18
                                              • Joined: 3/17/2006
                                              • Location: Auckland , NZ, XX
                                              RE: Sharpening Knives Mon, 03/20/06 6:56 PM (permalink)
                                              Prisonchef,

                                              I dunno, my blades are still really good and all I have ever used is a diamond block sharpener. Dale Drake (ex head chef at River cafe London and our former exec chef)used it for a while on his globals and loved it. However he was moving onto heavier steel knives like Tridents as he found them easier to use.

                                              Brayden is a very good chef and it was from his advice and the guys I bought my knives off that I bought the diamond sharpner.

                                              Is there something else I should use?
                                               
                                              #23
                                                prisonchef

                                                • Total Posts: 296
                                                • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                                • Location: st augustine, FL
                                                RE: Sharpening Knives Tue, 03/21/06 4:13 PM (permalink)
                                                ok,
                                                just one tiny little question to answer your above question.
                                                are your knives single bevel???
                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  Jeza

                                                  • Total Posts: 18
                                                  • Joined: 3/17/2006
                                                  • Location: Auckland , NZ, XX
                                                  RE: Sharpening Knives Wed, 03/22/06 5:13 AM (permalink)
                                                  No. I stopped sharpening for a single bevel because nof the use my knives suffer. Boning for example I needed bevel on both sides. Keep in mind htis isn't professional, as I am not a chef, just personal for home.
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    Jimeats

                                                    • Total Posts: 3175
                                                    • Joined: 8/15/2005
                                                    • Location: Ipswich Ma
                                                    RE: Sharpening Knives Wed, 03/22/06 6:18 AM (permalink)
                                                    quote:
                                                    Originally posted by V960

                                                    I have to laugh...I use a solid brick 95% of the time I sharpen my knives. I put it under running water and go to town. I learned this from a sushi chef who kidded me about my hard, medium and soft stones...not to mention the super expensive water stones I bought in Japan.

                                                    A 50 cent brick works just great. Keep a constant angle(10-15 %) and you're fine. Electric sharpeners?...not for me.
                                                    V960, Thanks tryed that brick trick yesterday on an old knife that I hardly use, I must say damn decient. I didn't use water though why the water? I'll continue to take my good knifes to the tinker he dose a great job and only 2 bucks a pop. Chow Jim
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      bassrocker4u2

                                                      • Total Posts: 534
                                                      • Joined: 11/12/2003
                                                      • Location: new holland, PA
                                                      RE: Sharpening Knives Wed, 03/22/06 6:44 AM (permalink)
                                                      back in my corporate days, we had a service come by every two weeks. picked up all the knives(i think like a couple dozen), and had replacements ready. only charged 20-40 dollars a month. freshly sharpened were real nice, but by the time the two weeks were up, you sure could tell it was time.
                                                      i looked all over, here in savannah for a stone, or any type of sharpener for a long time to no avail. one day, i found one at the restaurant, been there the whole time! it got knocked behind the freezer, or sinks, or something. anyway, it is the long round rod type with a handle. after a few attempts, i can do o.k. with it.

                                                      havent seen a posting from 'scallion' in a long time...he still around?
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        V960

                                                        • Total Posts: 2429
                                                        • Joined: 6/17/2005
                                                        • Location: Kannapolis area, NC
                                                        RE: Sharpening Knives Wed, 03/22/06 2:10 PM (permalink)
                                                        Chow Jim,,
                                                        The water carries away the metal as the brick cuts it away. Generally Europeans and Americans usee oil stones and Orientals use water stones.

                                                        Brick works a bunch better than you would have thought it didn't it. I still use a Japanese water stone on my super expensive Aritsugu knives but almost everything else gets the brick.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          prisonchef

                                                          • Total Posts: 296
                                                          • Joined: 2/13/2006
                                                          • Location: st augustine, FL
                                                          RE: Sharpening Knives Wed, 03/22/06 5:52 PM (permalink)
                                                          bassrocker,
                                                          under the fridge?????
                                                          musta been from the "early days" huh???
                                                           
                                                          #29
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