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Old 10-12-2008, 07:09 PM   #1
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Honing questions...

First off, I'm no knife expert nor care to be...
I have a set of Henkels I love.
I'm using an old hone from my gramma. Cheapie I'm sure.
Do they go dull? It works, I think its 40 years old.

Also, how often should I be honing? Dh says every use. My brother has the same knives and I can get cut just looking at his....

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Old 10-12-2008, 07:54 PM   #2
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Does the hone go dull? No. You can use it forever.

DH is right. You should use it before every time you use your knives for optimum performance. It is not the end of the world if you do not, but it is an easy and quick thing to help maintain your edges.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:56 PM   #3
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Oh man GB, really, did you have to tell me he was right AGAIN?!?!?!

Thanks :)
I figured he was right anyway, it's his weekend to be and he's on a roll......
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:58 PM   #4
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suziquzie View Post
First off, I'm no knife expert nor care to be...
I have a set of Henkels I love.
I'm using an old hone from my gramma. Cheapie I'm sure.
Do they go dull? It works, I think its 40 years old.

Also, how often should I be honing? Dh says every use. My brother has the same knives and I can get cut just looking at his....
Assuming your steel (hone) is a grooved steel steel (repitition required): You said "Do they go dull?" Are you asking about the knives or did you mean the singular referring to the steel itself? If it is the steel, it won't dull for a long long time. It is nothing more than a highly hardened file - those grooves you know. The steel is much harder than your knives. You hone or sharpen when the knives fail to cut as you require. That's it.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:31 PM   #6
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yup I meant does the hone go dull or lose its sharpening ability.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:11 PM   #7
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I also have learned to sharpen before each use, and I am happier with the results when I do. But I have Chicago Cutlery, not Henkels. Would love to have a set of them, not that the Chicago Cutlery is bad, they are good for the price.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:15 PM   #8
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I have Henckels and I use the hone every time I wash and put away my knives. It just takes a few seconds and the knives are at their best the next time you need them.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:22 AM   #9
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Also, how often should I be honing? Dh says every use. My brother has the same knives and I can get cut just looking at his....
Maybe in a home kitchen you can hone before every use, but I've never seen that done in a restaurant kitchen.

Most chefs will hone the knives they're going to use at the start of a shift and then hone again if the edge feels as though its going dull. In a normal 12 hour shift I'll hone my chef's knife which I use for most of my cutting no more than 3 times.
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Old 10-14-2008, 05:15 AM   #10
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My hone, I call it a "steel", is not grooved, it is smooth. I use it, before cutting.

I am not sure if smooth is better/worse than grooved. It was in the cupboard when I bought the house. It's long, about a foot.

I also have Henkles, love 'em.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:54 AM   #11
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My hone, I call it a "steel", is not grooved, it is smooth. I use it, before cutting.

I am not sure if smooth is better/worse than grooved. It was in the cupboard when I bought the house. It's long, about a foot.

I also have Henkles, love 'em.
You have what is called a glass smooth steel and it is used for realigning a rolled edge on soft steels which include 99% of the knives available. Eventually the edge will become fatiqued and bits of it will break off. This is when the knife needs resharpening. A grooved steel is a file and will resharpen, but at what I consider a very crude level.

I haven't used a grooved steel in years. I realign my softer knives with a glass smooth steel and, when needed between sharpenings, slightly hone my hard steel knives with either a ceramic or a micro grooved borosilicate (glass with boron) steel.
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Old 10-14-2008, 04:33 PM   #12
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Provided it's not all nicked up, I'd rather have that 40 year old smooth steel than most new ones. I have found no good use for the grooved steels but smooth ones work well. Like Buzz, I prefer the glass "steel" to an actual steel one. I also have three ceramic hones of varying sizes and grits. They work very well so long as a light touch is used.
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Old 10-14-2008, 06:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Adillo303 View Post
My hone, I call it a "steel", is not grooved, it is smooth. I use it, before cutting.

I am not sure if smooth is better/worse than grooved. It was in the cupboard when I bought the house. It's long, about a foot.

I also have Henkles, love 'em.
In my experience daily maintenance consists of touching up the edge of knives used daily with a smooth steel. When the smooth steel does not bring back the edge to the point where it will fillet a cocktail knapkin it's time for a grooved steel. When the grooved steel does not restore the edge, it's time to rebevel the edge with bench stones. The bench stone rebeveling is required every 3 to 12 months for frequently used knives, depending on the Blade Steel and frequency and manner of use. Only downside to highly sharpened knives is wear and tear on dish cloths & towels if you can't get the wife to not stroke the blade when she's washing & drying them.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:35 PM   #14
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When the smooth steel does not bring back the edge to the point where it will fillet a cocktail knapkin it's time for a grooved steel.
I don't know anyone into high end sharpening who uses a grooved steel anymore. Under magnification, they reveal a ragged edge that saws but does not "cut" well so this step has been eliminated. When the edge comes apart, it's time to thin, sharpen, and polish the blade.

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