Sharpening Knives

Post
John A
Filet Mignon
2006/03/11 10:10:11
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

Phishmonger
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/11 10:31:58
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.
John A
Filet Mignon
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/11 13:00:58
Thank you, which model do you have? Their description indicates that the machine does the job of a steel.

John
prisonchef
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/11 13:54:21
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
Michael Hoffman
Double-chop Porterhouse
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/11 16:07:30
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.
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/11 21:08:00
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.
John A
Filet Mignon
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/12 16:04:13
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
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/12 16:53:06
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.
stevencarry
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/12 16:58:09
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.
rjb
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/12 17:28:28
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.
BT
Filet Mignon
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/12 22:10:21
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.
Pigiron
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/13 01:56:33
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/
John A
Filet Mignon
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/13 11:53:33
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
essvee
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/13 12:04:49
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.
prisonchef
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/13 12:39:25
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.
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/15 12:30:52
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.
Jeza
Junior Burger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/18 01:04:43
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.
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/18 14:26:28
Jeza,
Slap the person who told you that crap.
Jeza
Junior Burger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/18 20:05:37
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....

V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/20 13:57:14
ok, he can kick your butt...ignore him.
porkbeaks
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/20 14:33:04
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
prisonchef
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/20 16:23:20
jeza,
guess you found out karate kid didnt know diddly about globals or any other japanese knife.
Jeza
Junior Burger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/20 18:56:24
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?
prisonchef
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/21 16:13:51
ok,
just one tiny little question to answer your above question.
are your knives single bevel???
Jeza
Junior Burger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/22 05:13:49
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.
Jimeats
Filet Mignon
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/22 06:18:33
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
bassrocker4u2
Double Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/22 06:44:11
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?
V960
Double Chili Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/22 14:10:03
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.
prisonchef
Cheeseburger
RE: Sharpening Knives 2006/03/22 17:52:29
bassrocker,
under the fridge?????
musta been from the "early days" huh???