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Old 04-22-2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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Preferred knife sharpening techniques

What's your favorite knife sharpening techniques? I've seen people chef's knives as sharp as a scalpel or sharper, cutting through the toughest of foods like butter.

I've seen a French chef's video online of his method one time where he takes the knife and puts it at a 22 degree angle to a (wet)whetstone and makes a light pass up and back, from point to the heel, heel to point. And does this a 3 or 4 times and turns it over to do the other .. then he hones it with a few passes on the steel.

Does this work for others? In our moving process I've managed to lose my wife's whetstone and it's time to sharpen the knives now and was curious on whether I should get another (any preferred brands?) or go another method.

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Old 04-22-2009, 12:37 PM   #2
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Using the Edgepro Apex System is my preferred method. My knives have never been sharper since I started using this sharpener.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:45 PM   #3
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Using the Edgepro Apex System is my preferred method. My knives have never been sharper since I started using this sharpener.

Holy cow! Nice, but very expensive
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:53 PM   #4
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Yes very expensive. I would not have purchased it if I were paying cash. I got it threw reward points on my credit card. Now that I have it though, I absolutely think it is worth the money. I would go for the basic model if I had to pay cash though. That would save about $50 and would be just fine for kitchen knives.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:55 PM   #5
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You can effectively sharpen knives using any one of the many sharpening tools like the one GB posted, or with a series of stones. I use this one http://www.lanskysharpeners.com/LKCPR.php

The sharpening tools make life a little easier because they ensure you keep the proper angle of the blade against the stone. This is very difficult to do consistently without a LOT of practice.

BTW, a 22 degree angle is only one of the many angle options available. The type of knife, type of steel and intended use are all factors to consider when determining edge angle.
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Old 04-22-2009, 12:56 PM   #6
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I agree with everything Andy just said.

I just sharpened one of my knives to 10 degrees actually.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:02 PM   #7
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Yeah, I would think the lower the angle, the sharper it would be. The only problem I could see, and it's totally theoretical ... is that it makes the steel on the blade thinner and would require sharpening more ... but this is completely theoretical
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:09 PM   #8
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In theory that is correct. In reality, it depends on what type of steel you are sharpening. With German steel like you would find on a Wustof knife you would not want that steep of an angle because you are right that it would not hold the edge very well and would require sharpening quite often. With a harder steel (like some of the Japanese steels) they can hold up to a steeper angle.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:30 PM   #9
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My favorite set of stones consist of 1 each of Spyderco's 2" x 8" x 1/2" medium, fine, and ultrafine ceramic. I use the medium, fine, ultrafine and then some Flitz to try to maintain a 15deg bevel on each side of the blade and the ultrafine to do touch-up / maintenance sharpening at 20 deg. The stones are used dry. Light cleanup of the stones can be achieved using an eraser or piece of rubber wrapped around a cork. More thorough cleaning of the stones can be done with a paste made from water and Cameo stainless steel cleaning powder.
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freefallin1309 View Post
What's your favorite knife sharpening techniques? I've seen people chef's knives as sharp as a scalpel or sharper, cutting through the toughest of foods like butter.

I've seen a French chef's video online of his method one time where he takes the knife and puts it at a 22 degree angle to a (wet)whetstone and makes a light pass up and back, from point to the heel, heel to point. And does this a 3 or 4 times and turns it over to do the other .. then he hones it with a few passes on the steel.

Does this work for others? In our moving process I've managed to lose my wife's whetstone and it's time to sharpen the knives now and was curious on whether I should get another (any preferred brands?) or go another method.
Basic freehand technique comes in many forms. They all work but they're like people, each a little different. It's easy, and your knives will get sharp on your first try. The more you practice, the better you will get. My method is the same as used by Dave Martell, one of the best pros in the country. This vid of him will show some of the basics.



You can get by with a combination stone such as this 1000/6000 grit waterstone by King.

Once your knife is sharpened don't put any kind of steel to it as it will dull the blade. Steels of any type, ceramic preferred, are only to be used for touch ups between sharpening sessions, and used very lightly at that.

Buzz
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