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Old 02-14-2014, 11:39 AM   #1
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Exclamation ISO a low maintenance chef's knife

A couple years ago I came here for help to find a good knife. I am the 'average' home user and probably use it to cut one thing a day, so not a lot of work. I ended up landing on a wusthof chef's knife. I also got an edgemaker kit as per you guys' recommendation.

Out of the box it was extremely nice and sharp. But my main issue is that I have to sharpen it pretty damn often to keep it sharp, after a couple uses of not sharpening, walmart knives could put it to shame! After some reading, it turns out wusthof knives are great but they have softer steel than many others, so need to be sharpened more often.

Can you guys recommend a reasonably priced chef's knife that will stay sharp for as long as possible, minimizing sharpening needs.

Thanks!

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Old 02-14-2014, 12:26 PM   #2
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Do you use a hone on the knife after each use?
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:30 PM   #3
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The metal honing rod? No I do not. To be honest I've stayed away from that thing like the plague. I can't imagine me running my knife through it at the right or even the same angle every time. Seems like I would do more harm than good
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Old 02-14-2014, 12:32 PM   #4
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I have a set of three sizes of Wiltshire Staysharp kinves. They have a sheath with a sharpener inside. We have the sheaths mounted on the wall. I don't have this particular knife, but this is the idea:



They aren't nearly as nice as my Henckels and don't get used as much, but they do get used and they are always sharp.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:04 PM   #5
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The metal honing rod? No I do not. To be honest I've stayed away from that thing like the plague. I can't imagine me running my knife through it at the right or even the same angle every time. Seems like I would do more harm than good
Learn to use it! The edge has a tendency to "fold" over during use. The steel allows the edge to be reshaped to true, thus maintaining the knifes sharpness. I don't know if ceramic knife blades require sharpening, but you might want to check into them, if you don't want to maintain your stainless.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:24 PM   #6
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Don't try to flap the hone and the knife around in the air, like TV chefs do. Real chefs and good cooks don't do that.

Put a kitchen towel on the counter and rest the tip of the hone on it, to prevent slipping. Then place the knife at about a 20-degree angle and run it down each side of the hone, pulling it toward you to sharpen the length of the blade. Repeat about 10 times on each side. Wipe the knife and get cooking!
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:26 PM   #7
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The metal honing rod? No I do not. To be honest I've stayed away from that thing like the plague. I can't imagine me running my knife through it at the right or even the same angle every time. Seems like I would do more harm than good
Wusthof makes a great knife. It will perform well if properly maintained. Honing is proper maintenance. If you're not going to hone your blade after every use, it won't stay sharp. That's true for any knife.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
I have a set of three sizes of Wiltshire Staysharp kinves. They have a sheath with a sharpener inside. We have the sheaths mounted on the wall. I don't have this particular knife, but this is the idea:



They aren't nearly as nice as my Henckels and don't get used as much, but they do get used and they are always sharp.
I have one like that Taxi, and it's the only knife in my kitchen that's always sharp. I think I'll order another one! The knife police may arrest me, but I hate to sharpen knives.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:11 PM   #9
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Wusthof makes a great knife. It will perform well if properly maintained. Honing is proper maintenance. If you're not going to hone your blade after every use, it won't stay sharp. That's true for any knife.
+1.
I have Wusthof chefs knives from the Grand Prix and Pro series and never had similar problems.
Is it possible that the problem is the cutting board? Not all plastic/poly is created equal, same for bamboo, and even hardwood cutting boards have many different grades.
In the era of high performance Japanese blades, German knives still have a place IMHO precisely because of their tolerance towards abuse and low maintenance.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Wusthof makes a great knife. It will perform well if properly maintained. Honing is proper maintenance. If you're not going to hone your blade after every use, it won't stay sharp. That's true for any knife.
I hone my knives before every use. Stirling won't hone them, so even if I did it after every time I used them, I wouldn't know it had been done since the last use.
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Old 02-14-2014, 05:32 PM   #11
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I don't think it matters when you hone them except in a situation like yours. SO uses my knives at times and knows it's OK to use, wash and dry them but not to put them back on the wall. I hone them before they go back up so they're ready to go.
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:08 AM   #12
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Do not be afraid to hone your knives. Embrace the process. It is not only important, it is necessary. Your knives are not getting dull. They are still sharp. The sharp edge has just folded over. Honing will correct that.

I know what you mean about thinking you will do more damage than good, but it is not true. If we were talking about sharpening then I might agree, but honing and sharpening are different animals. Many people get confused about this because a honing steel is sometimes called a sharpening steel even though it does not sharpen. Hone slowly and don't use much pressure. The weight of the blade itself is enough. Go slow. Speed does not gain you anything. Wustof makes a very good knife. It is not going dull after a few uses unless you are cutting on a bad surface like glass or marble or something other than plastic or wood. Honing is absolutely what you need to restore the blades edge to where it should be.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:16 AM   #13
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Ceramic knives are very low maintenance. But you do have to be careful not to chip them.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:45 AM   #14
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I would ask the folks at your local market where they get knives sharpened, then take yours in for a new edge. In my area it costs about $2.50/knife plus $1.00/inch. About $10.00 for a chefs knife. Then begin your maintenance routine with a sharp knife and not a dull one.
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:50 PM   #15
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The guy that sharpens my knives recommended a ceramic honing rod, so that's what I bought and absolutely love it. The thing about these rods is that you don't have to pay a lot of money to get one that works well. I've seen them selling for as much as $225, which is simply ridiculous. I paid around $20 for the one I have.

You also don't have to be super accurate with the angle. Just get it in the ballpark. Use your fingers as a guide to get the angle right. The thing to keep in mind is that you are not "sharpening" the knife with a honing rod, but rather using it to return the blade back to "true". You also don't want to bear down on it too hard. Just lightly and smoothly stroking the blade across the rod a few times on each side will do the job.

Good video here that demonstrates different techniques you can use:
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:33 PM   #16
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I heard in a YouTube video that when honing a knife, it's better to err on the side of too flat an angle than on too sharp an angle. Too flat will just take a little longer. Too sharp an angle and you might nick the edge.
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Old 02-15-2014, 01:55 PM   #17
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I hone "horizontally", but move the knife to below the hone for the other edge.
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:00 PM   #18
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OK so my cheap knife block set I bought for the steak knives came with a honing rod. Can I use this one, or does it have to be a decent quality one to not damage the knife?
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:03 PM   #19
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It does need to be a decent quality one to not damage the knives, but decent quality does not have to mean expensive. If the steel is smooth and not ridged then you should be OK from my understanding. Someone who knows better can confirm that part for you though.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:14 AM   #20
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Generally a knife that stays sharp longer will require more work to sharpen. If you want something that will stay sharp for a very long time, consider getting a Richmond knife in M390. Not cheap but the edge will last and last.
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