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Old 02-03-2009, 02:35 PM   #1
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Should I sharpen this knife?

Newb here! My daughter gave me a cheap chefs knive from Walmart for Christmas. Already threw the packing and label away . The knive seems dull. Do I need to sharpen are put a edge on this new knive before I use it? It is a Chicago Cutlery brand knive if I remember right. If so, where do I buy a sharpener or stone, steel, etc.? My set of Miricale Blades are sharper then this knive. Thanks, Dave.

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Old 02-03-2009, 02:55 PM   #2
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When I had cheap knives, I used a cheap hand sharpener that I bought at a grocery store. I sharpened them frequently, a couple times a month to keep them sharp. I now have two good knives that I take to a knife shop to get sharpened, about every 6-8 months.
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:40 AM   #3
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Check on Amazon.com and search for knife sharpeners. You can spend a little or a lot.

I wouldn't buy a very expensive one just to sharpen that one Chicago Cutlery chef's knife, but if you do get more into cooking you'll probably want to pick up a couple of good knives, in which case I would suggest getting a decent sharpener of some sort.

At least on Amazon there are user reviews to help guide you a bit, although you have to use a little common sense in wading through them. Some people don't know what the heck they're talking about, others have an axe to grind, but most seem to be pretty straight forward.

There are several threads on knife sharpening on Discuss Cooking, but take the comments with a grain of salt as some posters are really into the subject and have hundreds if not thousands of dollars invested in their knives, and they have very elaborate sharpeners and routines to care for them. The average cook would probably be happy with something a lot simpler and cheaper, especially if they have less expensive cutlery.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:30 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotch View Post
There are several threads on knife sharpening on Discuss Cooking, but take the comments with a grain of salt as some posters are really into the subject and have hundreds if not thousands of dollars invested in their knives, and they have very elaborate sharpeners and routines to care for them. The average cook would probably be happy with something a lot simpler and cheaper, especially if they have less expensive cutlery.
So you're advising to take with a grain of salt the knowledge that comes from those who actually know what they're talking about? Sounds like bad advice to me. Even inexpensive knives with relatively poor steel can be made very sharp with a couple of water stones. Ask my neighbors.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:42 AM   #5
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Scotch just means if you are the average chef you do not need to go as all out as some on this thread do. Knives are a hobby for some here and they do more elaborate things than the average person.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:14 AM   #6
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Hi, I thought I heard somebody say, "Chicago Cutlery." I use them, almost exclusively. Buy them in thrift stores for pennies on the dollar and clean 'em up. The older knives are made in the US and are better steel than the new ones. Better crafted blades, too, at least the stamped ones. Yes, they are cheap. I should add that I am not a working chef, or even a cook. I prepare my own meals and cook for and with friends. Make breakfast once a week at the local homeless shelter. I sharpen my CC with a whetstone the first time, and thereafter with a ceramic stick, and finish with a CC steel. Once they are sharp, the edge is easy to maintain, using the steel more often, the ceramic less often. They are light, well balanced, affordable and work well for most home users. You may eventually want a more expensive knife, but a CC chef's knife is a good place to start. I use my CC 8" chef's daily, and have no complaints.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:29 AM   #7
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I second gadzooks opine. ( no grain of salt required)
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:31 AM   #8
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Saphellae your right I'm not going to go all out. I do not cook for a living. I'm just trying to improve my cooking in my own kitchen. I should have paid better attention before my mom passed away and I would have learned something about cooking.
Scotch, thanks for your advice about Amazon.com, I'll look in to that. This is the second time you have helped me out with advice. Your advice
seems to come from common sense for my level of cooking. I appreciate it very much. Do you cook for a living or just hobby/enjoyment? You seem to have allot of knowledge on cooking. Thanks for taking the time to respond guys, like I said I appreciate it very much! Dave Lange
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzard767 View Post
So you're advising to take with a grain of salt the knowledge that comes from those who actually know what they're talking about? Sounds like bad advice to me. Even inexpensive knives with relatively poor steel can be made very sharp with a couple of water stones. Ask my neighbors.
I think grain of salt was maybe not exactly what he meant. What I took from his comment, and I agree, is that some of the information given by our knife experts, while completely accurate and very helpful, is way above the heads and wants of many typical users. People who use knives just to cook, but don't really have a love affair with their blade will not care that they can get an actual razors edge. Somewhat sharp will be sharp enough for them. They generally want and easy quick cost effective solution to having their blades work for what they need in the kitchen.

While the advice given by many of our experts is excellent advice, it is often way more than what some people are looking for. For those people, sometime a chefs choice electric sharpener is exactly what will make them happy. You would never consider running your nice Japanese blade through one, but for the person who does not even know what kind of knife they have and probably would not have much of a problem replacing them after 5 or 10 years if they are too beat up then learning to use a stone is not going to be an attractive proposition.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:45 AM   #10
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I might add that a dull knife, no matter what its pedigree, is a PITA to use, and a really sharp knife, even from a thrift store, can be a joy in the kitchen. The craftsman who has the final word in how well your knife cuts is you.
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