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Old 01-11-2005, 11:38 PM   #11
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Alton always has the best toys!

Tonight I saw him take the handle off a pepper mill and attach a cordless drill to grind the pepper faster ....

The "multicut" would be a great tool to have ... if you take the time to learn how to use it, and use it correctly. You could do some serious damage with it otherwise (light stoke and it is a steel - a heavier hand and it is a grinder) - but you're not likely to get into any trouble with a simple steel.
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Old 01-11-2005, 11:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
Alton always has the best toys!

Tonight I saw him take the handle off a pepper mill and attach a cordless drill to grind the pepper faster ....

The "multicut" would be a great tool to have ... if you take the time to learn how to use it, and use it correctly. You could do some serious damage with it otherwise (light stoke and it is a steel - a heavier hand and it is a grinder) - but you're not likely to get into any trouble with a simple steel.
So should I just go with 9" Shun steel? Seems small for a 10" blade.

This seems harder than picking out knives! Too soft and you shave off the steel (digging into can also damage the blade), to hard and you grind your knife.

I know I am staying away from anything with the wrd Diamond or Ceramic in it.

Oh yeah and BTW....

it was REALLY cool one day when I was watching good eats and he was at Great Eastern Mussel Farm. That is about 1/4 of a mile further down on the road that I live. I was pretty impressed that Alton Brown himself has gone within a few hundered feet of my house..... wicked!
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Old 09-12-2007, 04:46 PM   #13
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I'm almost positive that experts suggest that the steel be longer that the knife. I'd start there...

C. Steeling

A steel is a metal rod attached to a handle with a small hand guard. It is used to complete the knife sharpening process and maintain a sharp cutting edge. This step is necessary to straighten the knife edge by lining up the little teeth that are not readily visible. Frequent steeling will keep the knife edge straight and sharp. The mirror smooth steel for razor sharp edges is the best suited for meat knives. The ideal length of the steel is 10-12 inches.
The steel should be held firmly in the left hand (if right-handed) or right hand (if left-handed) almost diagonal to the body but with a slight upward tilt. This permits the free movement of the knife across the steel without drawing it too close to the supporting hand. The heel of the blade should be placed against the near side of the tip of the steel at a 5-10 degree angle, with a sweep of the blade down along the steel toward the left hand during a quick, swinging motion of the right wrist and forearm. The entire blade should pass lightly over the steel. The knife should be returned to a position on the opposite side of the steel with the same motion repeated. A double stroke procedure can be used which permits the knife to contact the steel on both the downward and return strokes. A dozen strokes of the knife are usually sufficient to return the edge on a knife that is not very dull. Most workmen continuously steel the knife (once every few minutes) while work is being performed. To test the knife for sharpness and smoothness of edge, run the edge of the blade lightly over the flat of the thumb nail. If the knife slides easily, it lacks the proper sharpness. A sharp edge will dig into the nail and a rough or wire edge will rasp the nail. Another method for testing sharpness involves moving the ball of the thumb lightly over the blade edge, while the amateur usually tests the knife by shaving the hair of the forearm.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:25 PM   #14
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[quote=Dartssnake;481654]straighten the knife edge by lining up the little teeth that are not readily visible. Frequent steeling will keep the knife edge straight and sharp. The mirror smooth steel for razor sharp edges is the best suited for meat knives. The ideal length of the steel is 10-12 inches.
The steel should be held firmly in the left hand (if right-handed) or right hand (if left-handed) almost diagonal to the body but with a slight upward tilt. This permits the free movement of the knife across the steel without drawing it too close to the supporting hand. The heel of the blade should be placed against the near side of the tip of the steel at a 5-10 degree angle, with a sweep of the blade down along the steel toward the left hand during a quick, swinging motion of the right wrist and forearm. The entire blade should pass knife that is not very dull. Most workmen continuously steel the knife (once every few minutes) while work is being performed. quote]

Whoa. So much bad information and speculation on this site. I don't even know where to start so I'll keep it really short, then show you the way. First of all, I use all pro equipment and KNOW what I'm doing. The above mentioned 5-10 degree is, for the purpose, impossible. YOUR edges are sharpened at 25 to 35 degrees per side from the factory. Let's say 25 degrees. In order to realign a rolled 25 degree edge, the (SMOOTH, NOT GROOVED) steel must be at a 25 or greater angle. Anything less and it is impossible to push the edge back to its original position because it won't even touch any part of the edge.

As to the "workmen" comment, packing house employees might have to steel their blades twice a day and have them resharpened monthly. A home chef needs a resharpening about once a year.

Please quit guessing and goto the following places. They are stuffed full of professional knife sharpeners and chefs. Read, ask questions, and learn:

knifeforums in the kitchen In the Kitchen (Topic list) - Knifeforums.com - Intelligent Discussion for the Knife Enthusiast - Powered by FusionBB

knifeforums keeping sharp Keeping Sharp (Topic list) - Knifeforums.com - Intelligent Discussion for the Knife Enthusiast - Powered by FusionBB

blade forums maintainance, tinkering, and embellishment Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment - BladeForums.com

Buzz - sorry to nag, but this site might know a lot about cooking but not much about sharp edges, the one thing that keeps me in the kitchen.....
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:44 AM   #15
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As opposed to meat packer employees, sandwich carvers who need a razor sharp knife to cut very thin slices of often soft meat, typically steel their slicing knives quite frequently.
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:13 PM   #16
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25 to 35 degrees? That is the angle advised for an axe...the chopping-down-trees kind of axe.

I don't know what kind of food you are cutting in your kitchen, but I would much prefer to use one hand and a slicing motion, rather than a two-handed swing to chop my Vidalia onions.

19 degrees is the steepest angle I EVER heard for a professional kitchen knife, unless you are discussing a bone-chopping cleaver.
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Old 09-14-2007, 03:27 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartssnake View Post
25 to 35 degrees? That is the angle advised for an axe...the chopping-down-trees kind of axe.

I don't know what kind of food you are cutting in your kitchen, but I would much prefer to use one hand and a slicing motion, rather than a two-handed swing to chop my Vidalia onions.

19 degrees is the steepest angle I EVER heard for a professional kitchen knife, unless you are discussing a bone-chopping cleaver.
You missed something. Mass produced knives are generally factory sharpened to 25 degrees per side or greater. That's why the Chef's Choice 110 electric sharpener that most people use has the final honing angle set to 25 degrees. Why is that? First of all, all those knives are composed of 440A stainless steel or a variety thereof. It's finest attribute is that it is heavily loaded with chromium which makes it highly stainless because they correctly assume that most of their customers are going to abuse the knives. For any given steel,the larger the edge angle, the longer the edge will hold before resharpening is required. If the edge is 20 degrees, it will need to be resharpened sooner than an edge at 25 degrees. Taken to the extreme, a hammer is "sharpened" at 180 degrees and lasts a long time between sharpenings. LOL

Only one 440A knive resides in my kitchen, a forged Forschner chef's knife that I use on bones. The rest of my blades are made of SG2 powdered steel, VG-10, Aogami super steel, and a couple of French Sabatiers with carbon steel hand forged prior to WWII. My slicers are sharpened to 10 degrees per side and most everything else is 15 degrees with a 10 degree back (secondary) bevel.

How do they cut? A Wusthoff from a department store scares me because there is a tendancy to not cut well. I have a 12 3/4" chef's knife that will almost, but not quite, fall through a tomato under its own weight, whereas the store bought model might slip off the side and cut me. Ouch. Sharp knives are always safer as long as you give the edge the respect it deserves.

BTW, my axe is approximately 25 degrees.

Buzz
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