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Old 12-06-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
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I ordered a sharpener

I bought myself a present and ordered this sharpener last night.
I bought it from here though. Cheaper and free shipping I can't wait to get it. My Japanese knife is still dang sharp, but it needs sharpened nontheless. And I want to bring my Dexter Russell Chinese knife up to snuff. I figure this kit will get me going and I can always add more stones and a strop if my heart desires. This kit starts with a medium stone and is "supposed" to take you to a mirror finish. I might play around with the edge guide that comes with it, but I'm more looking forward to trying the method Buzz posted, using a ridged wheel chock and resting the stone holder on it at the appropriate angle, then merely keeping the blade level.
Yay, something to do while I'm watching the tube
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:35 PM   #2
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The Norton Hard Translucent Arkansas can give a polished finish. The Washita is more aggressive. The India stones seem to be succeptible to wear. Think you'll need an extra pair of eyes if you want to watch the tube while sharpening.
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:43 PM   #3
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I can't wait to hear how it works out for you. Congratulations on what looks to be a very nice purchase.
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:25 PM   #4
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Thanks GB. I don't think it will bring back to life some of my really dull knives, not without a coarse stone, but then I started thinking..... why would I want to use my olde knives? (lol). I'll grab one of them when I want to cut cheese or frozen hot dogs.

I'll keep my eye on the India for wear, Bill. And on my sharpening and not the TV ;^)
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Old 12-07-2008, 01:29 AM   #5
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That looks like a very sensible bit of sharpening kit.

I have 4 whetstones, although I only use the coarsest on blunt knives that need an edge re-established.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
Thanks GB. I don't think it will bring back to life some of my really dull knives, not without a coarse stone, but then I started thinking..... why would I want to use my olde knives? (lol). I'll grab one of them when I want to cut cheese or frozen hot dogs.

I'll keep my eye on the India for wear, Bill. And on my sharpening and not the TV ;^)
You should use your old dull knives to practice your sharpening technique. I believe your India stone has one relatively coarse and one 'finer' side and could be useful for restoring the bevel on your dullest knives.
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:36 AM   #7
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I was seriously looking into wetstones, j, but the fact that they needed dressed right out of the box put me off. And I realize that flattening them is a relatively easy job, but I wanted something I could use right out of the box.

I'll grab an old knife that isn't too bad off to practice on first.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:45 AM   #8
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I've been using a steel on my knives and I thinks it's time to get a sharpening device. Can I get suggestions on a good place to start.
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Old 12-07-2008, 12:39 PM   #9
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I couldn't even tell you where I started (lol).
I got some advice privately, read comments on various websites, called up a few places and spoke with them (including a professional knife sharpener), Norton's actual website (it's linked from the Norton store link I posted) is a good site to help you figure out what the different stones are used for. It even has a question and answer feature to steer you towards kits or stones suited to your needs. And I also drew on past experience sharpening my hunting and filet knives.
What it came down to me was, I wanted a kit or system with its own stone holder, and I wanted a "typical" sharpener, not a mechanical type system. I already have a Lansky and from past experience I didn't even feel like breaking it out, even though it is a good system, just not one I was interested in using on large knives.
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:50 PM   #10
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I've been using a steel on my knives and I thinks it's time to get a sharpening device. Can I get suggestions on a good place to start.
How sharp do you want to get your knives?

If you want to get seriously sharp you need to invest in a couple of stones and put the time and effort into learning how to use them. There are some scary people on these forums who go well beyond that.
If you go that route I'd recommend getting at least two stones. One with with a ~300-400 grit that will be used to re-establish the bevel and another at ~800-1200 grit to smooth and polish the edge.
I prefer using a hard German stone for the coarse grinding and soft Japanese stone for the polishing.

If you just want them sharp enough to keep an edge for domestic use there are a number of systems you can use. Some that I've seen used that do the job are:
- Furitech system
- Ceramic wheel sharpeners, Global being the best.
- Electric sharpeners. Be very careful as a bad electric sharpener will strip away all the metal in your knives before you can blink. Shun and Wusthof have electric sharpeners released under their brand names and these are names that I do trust.

I am personally very scared of any diamond sharpeners, although that might not be entirely rational.

The important thing is not to oversharpen your knives as you'll be left with a set of beautiful metal toothpicks if you do. For home use you will never need to sharpen your main knife more than once a month
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:29 PM   #11
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I've been looking at the Global whetsones. They talk up the ceramic qualities of their stones. Is there any truth to that? Are you still using a rod/steel during daily use or just sharpening when you feel it's needed? Global also states that using a traditional steel will damage their knives and a diamond or ceramic rod should be used???
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:53 PM   #12
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I use the steel several times a day and sharpen once a week. A steel hones (realigns the edge) where a stone sharpens (grinds a new edge).

One of the chefs in my kitchen uses Global knives and doesn't treat it any differently to his other knives. I don't honestly know if what Global say about ceramic steels and all that is an according to Hoyle truth, but some people believe that Japanese and Western knives need to be treated differently. I haven't looked into Global too closely as I don't like the ergonomics of their knives, but the general impression I get is that they are marching to the beat of a different drum when it comes to honing and sharpening. Having said that I still think their ceramic wheel sharpener is the best of its type and is perfectly acceptable for home use provided that it isn't over-used.

Also ceramic and glass steels (and ceramic knives for that matter) aren't used in professional kitchens because of the risk of breakage so I've never looked closely into their properties.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:33 PM   #13
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Very cool info, jpaulg.

It gets so dang technical when speaking of Japanese knives. I actually spoke with someone last week who lead me to believe I might have been better off with a western knife if I was going to undertake my own sharpening. And maybe he was right, but give me the chance (lol).
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:38 PM   #14
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it's not the steel , but the degree of hardness in japanese knives. A steel is generally around 61RC, and some japanese knives can be as high as 65RC. Also improper technique can cause alot of chipping.
On japanese style knives with double bevels, I hear the borosilicate rods work very well. Using any "steel" in a traditional single bevel japanese knife is a nono.

Sharpening on a stone really isn't that difficult, it's just something that takes some practice. There's also quite a few sharpening systems that use stones that can help you.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:23 PM   #15
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Very cool info, jpaulg.

It gets so dang technical when speaking of Japanese knives. I actually spoke with someone last week who lead me to believe I might have been better off with a western knife if I was going to undertake my own sharpening. And maybe he was right, but give me the chance (lol).
The way same people get about their knives other people get about their steels.

Here's a link to site that has some really really good info on steels.
The Steel Doctor - Custom and Refurbished Butcher's Knife Sharpening Steels

Pre-war F Dicks and Williams Smithfields have the best reputations, but I'm getting to the edge of my knowledge
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:08 PM   #16
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it's not the steel , but the degree of hardness in japanese knives. A steel is generally around 61RC, and some japanese knives can be as high as 65RC. Also improper technique can cause alot of chipping.
On japanese style knives with double bevels, I hear the borosilicate rods work very well. Using any "steel" in a traditional single bevel japanese knife is a nono.

Sharpening on a stone really isn't that difficult, it's just something that takes some practice. There's also quite a few sharpening systems that use stones that can help you.
Well said. Germanic steels are worse than useless with Japanese knives because of their softer relative hardness. Ceramic or borosilicate steels work well.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:02 PM   #17
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I've been using a steel on my knives and I thinks it's time to get a sharpening device. Can I get suggestions on a good place to start.
I have used a variety of sharpeners over the years and like the Spyderco Sharpmaker. It comes with video instructions and is easy to use.

I've also been happy with an electric Chef's Choice sharpener, but when I moved to Australia, the different electrical system here ruled that out.

The best? EdgePro - expensive, precise, any angle, any grit
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:10 PM   #18
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The best? EdgePro - expensive, precise, any angle, any grit
Expensive - yes
Precise - yes
Any angle - yes qualified to 10 degrees minimum with the Apex model
Any grit - No. You are stuck with the EP stones available.

I am a happy owner of an EP Apex, however, free handing on 8" stones costs no more, offers any angle you want, is much faster, and is personally much more satisfying.
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Old 12-08-2008, 07:54 PM   #19
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Any grit - No. You are stuck with the EP stones available.
Sorry. You're right. Only grits 120, 220, 320, 800, 3000 & 7000 are available from Edgepro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzard767 View Post
I am a happy owner of an EP Apex, however, free handing on 8" stones costs no more, offers any angle you want, is much faster, and is personally much more satisfying.
I think this falls under the different strokes for different folks category.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:23 PM   #20
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Sorry. You're right. Only grits 120, 220, 320, 800, 3000 & 7000 are available from Edgepro.

I think this falls under the different strokes for different folks category.
You may lay on the sarcasm as you wish but the fact remains that the grits you listed are nothing compared to what is available in waterstones, not to mention that different stones of the exact same grit feel and react totally differently, something of which it seems you may not be aware. I have nothing against the EP. You don't have to defend it. I have one and it works great, but I can produce much better edges using other medium.

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