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Old 01-06-2008, 12:27 PM   #41
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I'm in the camp that a dull knife IS more dangerous. I've experienced it firsthand--and I've got some pretty mad knife skills, if I do say so myself. The dull part isn't the part that's dangerous--it's that little section of the knife that for whatever reason is still sharp and throws your slice stroke off.

As to sharpening....when it comes time to sharpen my blades, they go to a professional. No exceptions. The ceramics go to the manufacturer, the metal knives earn a call to the mobile knife sharpener. It only costs a couple bucks a knife and best of all the guy will come to you so you don't even have to pack anything up and drive somewhere. Though I will give a nod to something Anolon has recently made. They bill it as a sharpening system...kind of hard to explain but basically it's got 3 slots with 3 different stone wheels in them, you fill it with water and use it on the knives.

I don't use the first 2 stones at all because they're sharpening stones and as I said, the pros are the only ones that do that to my knives, but the 3rd one is a honing stone, and it works wonderfully. I like it better than my honing steel. Got it at Macy's for like 20 bucks.

Edit: Linky Anolon.com - Cookware, Bakeware, Cutlery, Accessories, Serveware, Tools and Gadgets
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:50 PM   #42
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Thats the one! Thanks for the advice :) Perhaps I'll do a 17 and then a 20 just to get a bevel.
You don't even need to! If your kit came with a "dogbone" crock stick, give the newly honed edge a few strokes on either side just like you would with a steel. That should establish a nice microbevel. You could go next-level, but that requires a strop!

Regarding relative danger levels of keen and dull knives, I'd have to say they have equal inherent dangers. The distinction, in my mind, is that a dull knife may inspire the user (the direct and solely culpable cause of knife accidents) to make bad choices, i.e. pushing too hard, losing control while paring, and not paying attention to what's in front of the edge.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:00 PM   #43
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FWIW I consider a dull knife somewhat more dangerous than a sharp one, although the degree to which this is true is probably overrated unless a knife is very dull. A very dull knife requires the use of a lot of force and that can be quite dangerous.

If you do cut yourself with a very sharp blade you often won't even feel pain, you just see the blood and go hmmm, how did that happen? The resulting cut will probably be a clean one though that will heal with minimal scarring.

Ask me how I know.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:55 AM   #44
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When you cut or scrape yourself, depending on where the cut or scrape is, tiny nerve cells that might be in the area are severed, which usually causes a short period of numbness and loss of feeling.

Then when the feeling comes back, the wound stings almost as if you put salt or alcohol on the cut!
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:15 AM   #45
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You don't even need to! If your kit came with a "dogbone" crock stick, give the newly honed edge a few strokes on either side just like you would with a steel. That should establish a nice microbevel. You could go next-level, but that requires a strop!
I have no idea what a dogbone crock stick is but I don't think my kit came with one. It just came with the clamp and three stones with different grits, I got a super fine stone as well.

As to sharp vs. dull I think a dull knife is more dangerous for a couple reasons, first the pressure needed when cutting is greater so you have more of a chance for the blade to slip. The clean cut made by a sharp knife is MUCH better than a rigid cut made by a dull one, especially if it is bad enough to need an appendage sewn back on
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:10 PM   #46
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I have no idea what a dogbone crock stick is but I don't think my kit came with one. It just came with the clamp and three stones with different grits, I got a super fine stone as well.

Knick, knack, paddy-whack.

Maybe my kit came with one because it was a vendor deal or somesuch. Who can say?
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:55 PM   #47
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Dull Knife

The dull knife will require more pressure and as a result go deeper into flesh. Really dull isn't that much different than sharp. Remember a knife is a tool and as such it should be maintained in the best possible condition (sharp and clean). It will wear out if it is kept sharp but if it sharpened properly, that is to do the job it was designed to do, it will still last an incredibly long time. I have a boning knife that was my father-in-law's (he was a professional butcher with a shop) and that knife is older than me and most of you put together. It is high carbon steel and is worn pretty well but it will still take an edge in an eye-blink. The same is true of my favorite hunting knife. I have a filet knife I made about 30 years ago from an old hand saw and brother I can tell you a few swipe on a crock stick and you can shave the hair on your arm. Are these knives wearing out? Absolutely! Will I give them up to buy something shiny and new? Absolutely not! These will last me as long as I can hold a knife. Another trick an old barber taught was to use a razor (the same is true for knives) for a while then set it aside for a couple of months and use another razor. This will allow the steel molecules to re-align. Maybe it's true maybe it isn't but the next time you buy a knife buy two identical ones and try that. You will find the knife that sat will sharpen easier.
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Old 01-07-2008, 01:11 PM   #48
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There is some truth to the idea that the steel "realigns." When you use a knife the cutting edge can "roll over" a bit. When you use a steel you're gently rolling the edge back to straight. Steel will "rebound" after being used, thus it's recommended that you steel before use, not after. I don't see why a razor would have to be set aside for a month, though- this rebounding happens much quicker than that.

Certainly a well maintained knife can last almost indefinately. My dad has a butcher knife he got from his father in law; the knife is well over 100 years old! The carbon steel blade was a mess when he found it, but after cleaning the rust off and honing it up again, the knife took a very keen edge. And I suppose it may well still be usable in another 100 years!
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:00 PM   #49
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The dull knife will require more pressure and as a result go deeper into flesh.
I do not really agree with this. With a dull knife you will push harder. That can cause you to slip which could result in a nasty cut. I do not think that the cut will necessarily be deeper than if cut with a sharp knife though. Do not forget that with a sharp knife the blade moves through things easier so it is simple to have a very deep cut with minimal pressure.
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Old 01-07-2008, 08:46 PM   #50
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I agree with GB.

A sharp knife can slice deeper simply because it's so sharp. My worst cut by far came with a sharp knife.

Dull knife, sharp knife, you get cut when you are careless. If you are paying attention to what you are doing, you know right away how sharp your knife is and automatically adjust to accommodate that.
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