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Old 11-26-2006, 10:11 AM   #1
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Home Knife Sharpener?

hey gang, been awhile. i had some problems with my personal life recently but have been on track for a couple months.

question: my wife went to visit her family for thanksgiving and said her mom had this knife sharpener, that worked really well, and it only cost 40$. Vague description im sorry is all i can muster - she said it was black and you just kind of ran the knife through it.

i have some high end knives and i am kind of skeptical about just running them thru some piece of equipment, i would assume a skilled artisan should be sharpening them.

Thoughts? Opinions? Knives in question are stainless, not carbon,


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Old 11-26-2006, 10:15 AM   #2
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wow i just got a thought on my head...lol allow me to add to that.

i noticed when im at a butcher shop or at the place that serves me BBQ (good old texas bbq) the butcher or employee cuts several strokes, then he picks up that long metal apparatus, a whetstone or something? and he just gives the knife several strokes. such an apparatus came with my knives, a thin 12-15" sharpener device but ive been wary of using it.

So whats up? Why do butchers sharpen their knives after every use? Should i do this? I assume there is some degree of skill involved?

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Old 11-26-2006, 10:21 AM   #3
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If you have any knives you care about, you dont wanna run them thru an electrical sharpener (as they take off way too much metal). The best thing you can use is a Tri-Hone whetstone. It takes a little experience (and heres a little help with it http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=26036 ) and patience to get them sharp, but its well worth the money.
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:27 AM   #4
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As far as the sharpening steel is concerned, all that does is hone the knife. After some use, the edge on your knife tends to slightly lean to one side or the other. The honing steel mainly keeps your knife edge aligned. Once you have a sharp knife, its good to use the steel before every use, but it wont sharpen a dull knife.
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:56 AM   #5
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Sgt.Pepper is right on. The steel will only align the bur.

There are some hand stroked redi-sharp tools that should be available at your local restaurant supply shop. They will sharpen, versus hone, and are inexpensive, and don't take near the amount of steel of as a whirling, electric knife "grinder".
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:28 AM   #6
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There have been few discussions about knife sharpening. Look GB's sugeston, he has some good sharpening system. Me, I just use old sharpening stone.
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Old 11-26-2006, 12:19 PM   #7
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I sharpen my knife every morning (while the coffee is brewing) I use a very very fine mesh/grain sharpening stone that I got out the machine shop before it got closed down.
I also would be Very circumspect about passing my blade through an Unknown, so I know where you`re coming from there!

in MY opinion, you cannot beat doing something like this Manualy and with the right grade stone, I won`t even use a Steel on my blade.
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Old 11-26-2006, 12:19 PM   #8
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Hi M-L-B, have not seen you in a while, welcome back.

Until a couple of years ago I did not understand anything about knife sharpening.

But the web is great and would recommend Googling a bit. You can learn the basics very quickly.

Yes, the ideal way to sharpen is the hone, which I have several of, and then often use the steel to take off the burr.

But I am lazy and rarely used the hones, so purchased one of the electric sharpeners. And I am a fan.

Yes I know it will take too much off the knife but I do not care. I don't use the knives all that much so they don't dull often. We are just home cooks and there are only two of us, and I find that method works fine for us.

If I have to buy another knife or two I will.

Just my way of doing things, and I recommend the approach to no one.
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Old 11-26-2006, 01:19 PM   #9
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Welcome back MLB. We were wondering where you went.

Stay away from electric sharpeners like Sgt. Pepper said. They take off too much metal and are not kind to your knives. They are fine from knives you do not care about, but I know how you feel about your blades and you would not be pleased with the results.

A stone is a great way to go, but it takes practice to get it right. I am personally to nervous to learn how to use it on my own. Some day I will buy a practice knife and a stone and do it though as it is a skill I would love to have.

In the meantime, there are many systems out there that do a great job. This is the system I am using right now and I am extremely happy with it. It is very easy to use and puts a great edge on my knives.
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Old 11-26-2006, 01:46 PM   #10
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I'm a real big fan of the regular old sharpening stones. Get yourself a set with medium, and fine grain, and that really probably the most you'll ever need. I know in some of your posts a while back you inquired quite a bit about the japanese knives, and they are traditionally sharpened differently than the western knives but still able to be sharpened at home, just as easily.

The difference b/w a western knife and some japanese knives is that your edge will look like a V or like a |/ Googling ablut knife sharpeneing yields great results, and as someone mentioned, its easy to learn a lot quickly.

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