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Old 09-24-2006, 02:06 AM   #21
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Well, I broke down and bought a Chef's Choice sharpener from EdgeCraft. I'm not patient enough to learn how to use some of those other systems (an I'm also a bit of a klutz with my hands), and this one is virtually foolproof, even if more expensive than most. My Wustoff 6" chef was getting too dull for the steel to have any effect, so I had to do something.

It took all of 30 seconds to put a perfect edge on the knife, and it does not require using a steel to keep it sharp. In fact, the instructions say that a steel will not have any effect on a blade after running it through the 3rd stage on the sharpener ( I haven't tested it, but I figure they know what they are talking about). The knife slices a tomato paper thin, slice after slice, and doesn't even seem to dull itself against the cutting board. I also tried it on one of my wife's Cutco blades (8" chef, not one of their double D serrated blades)... worked fine on that too.

According to the instructions, you only need to use the 3rd (honing) stage most of the time once you have the knife properly sharpened through all 3 stages, and if that doesn't do the job, then you only need to hit the 2nd stage once to prep it again for honing. The 1st stage is rarely used after the 1st sharpening. Used properly it removes no more steel than is required to just keep the knife sharp.
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Old 09-24-2006, 02:26 AM   #22
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Rick, this sounds excellent! Thanks for telling me about it.
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Old 09-24-2006, 03:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerco
A true steel is not honing or sharpening or anything, it's simply straightening the "bent" micro edge of the blade.

I was under the impression that straightening the micro-edge was honing...

My understand was that honing straightened metal, while sharpening actually removes metal to make a sharper edge.
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Old 09-24-2006, 09:04 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook
I was under the impression that straightening the micro-edge was honing...

My understand was that honing straightened metal, while sharpening actually removes metal to make a sharper edge.
It might be an artifact of where I learned to sharpen which was woodworking. In woodworking, you don't ever use a steel and all sharpening is called honing. Using a steel is simply called "steeling". I quickly googled steeling and found this site: http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/foods/458...58-004.html#L3.

Again I'd like to point out that the steels we use (like F. Dick) are most definitely "sharpening" and removing metal. A true steel has a polished surface, only works on razor sharp edges (very very small micro-serrations) and is very difficult to use. Apparently if you know how to use it though it's the best. I have a burnishing rod used to draw a burr on card scrapers I may have to try on my knives one of these days.
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Old 09-24-2006, 11:04 AM   #25
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I took a look at my steel (not diamond coated). It doesn't have hash-marks like a file or many other steels I've seen. It does have long vertical grooves parallel with the rod though. I don't ever get gray metallic dust when I wipe it down after, so I think mine is more for straightening the edge.

The stones I use are an old bunch. Three in total, and each with a progressively finer grit. They are mounted on an axle that is set in a small tub. You can then rotate the stones through a bath of mineral oil. I've tipped it over once - and it sucks to clean up...

I practiced on my old knife for awhile before taking my wusthofs to it. Wouldn't do it any other way now! If you drag the edge perpendicular to your arm you can actually shave hair off. It pretty much falls through anything it touches with little to no pressure. The steel will keep that quality at least three months or so depending on how much I cook.

I wrecked one Wusthof trying out Wusthof's knife sharpener - the one with two carbide bits set in a mold that you drag the knife through. The edge came out like h-e double hockey-sticks. I flipped out, but the store wouldn't refund me, so I ended up buying a third one (I keep a back-up) and threw this one in my outdoor BBQ box for hacking up chickens. Needless to say I broke the Wusthof sharpener and chucked it so nobody else would pull it from the trash and wreck their knives.
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Old 09-24-2006, 12:03 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by college_cook
I was under the impression that straightening the micro-edge was honing...

My understand was that honing straightened metal, while sharpening actually removes metal to make a sharper edge.
A steel technically is just an edge straighener, and only works if used regularly. If the knife edge is allowed to fold over too far, the steel won't work and the knife must be resharpened. Eventually the edge will start to break off rather than just folding, also necessitating resharpening. It will suffer from metal fatigue just like any other piece of steel that is bent back and forth too much.

I'm a machinist (33 years) and in our trade honing is a finishing operation that DOES take off metal, albeit a very small amount, most often for finish sizing holes and bores or other extremely close tolerance surfaces, usually to within .0003 to .0005 (ten-thousandths) of an inch. It is a form of grinding. We use various types of abrasives in many grit sizes for different grinding, honing, and lapping operations, but all do remove a certain amount of material.

The honing stage on the Chef's Choice model 120 that I have removes the burr and puts a 3rd finshing angle on the edge, which is why a steel is not recommended on a knife sharpened this way.
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Old 09-24-2006, 01:32 PM   #27
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Smile Anne

I would take your Wusthof Knives to a professional sharpener. I have some great knives and that is what I do.

Happy Sunday

Jill and Jolie
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Old 09-24-2006, 02:59 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
I took a look at my steel (not diamond coated). It doesn't have hash-marks like a file or many other steels I've seen. It does have long vertical grooves parallel with the rod though.
This is the kind of steel that I use and it definitely "sharpens" and there is dust afterward. Run your finger along yours and It will turn silver (unless you wash it after use )


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Mosher
I wrecked one Wusthof trying out Wusthof's knife sharpener - the one with two carbide bits set in a mold that you drag the knife through. The edge came out like h-e double hockey-sticks. I flipped out, but the store wouldn't refund me, so I ended up buying a third one (I keep a back-up) and threw this one in my outdoor BBQ box for hacking up chickens. Needless to say I broke the Wusthof sharpener and chucked it so nobody else would pull it from the trash and wreck their knives.
Your knife is totally salvagable - if you're not comfey doing it yourself, take it to a pro and they'll put a nice edge on it with a belt sander or grinder.
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Old 09-24-2006, 04:50 PM   #29
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I tried bring it back with the stones I have, but like you said, I think it needs to have a fresh grind put on it.

I just ended up buying another one, because they were on sale and I'm lazy.

Those bits in that shapener are way to hard. The edge it put on looked like someone dragged it across a grinding wheel and let it skip three or four times. I knew it was toast the first time I pulled it through. I could hear and feel it...

Of course some people swear by them. I have a pretty steady hand myself (I can maintain the proper angle with steeling or grinding on my stones), but that thing was like using a wood-chipper to polish a piece of fine furniture...
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:33 PM   #30
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I've owned and used 4 Wusthof knives for 15 years...the 10" chef's, the boning knife, the paring knife and a serrated edge. I've gotted very good at sharpening the chef's knife on the stone and then refining the edge with the steel, however for the boning knife and the serrated, I take them to a professional. I am however intrigued by the new Edgecraft 130 platinum, its supposed to get a "sharper than factory" edge, even on serrated. Do you think?
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