Originally Posted by PanchoHambre
Ok I was looking through old threads and this one is the most applicable to my situation.
I have quite a few knives, a few good ones and quite a few not so good. Mostly the cheap ones are still allegedly "forged" they all REALLY need a sharpening.
I bought but never used a stone (2 sided) and a steel (cheap ones from the restaurant supply store)
I would like to be able to sharpen my own knives as bringing them all to Fante's will break the bank. and the cheap ones are certainly not worth the cost of sharpening.
Some are SS and Some are Carbon Steel
Some tips on getting started would be appreciated... I really don't need a collection of over sized butter knives.
The cheaper knives I don't really care about keeping pretty or hurting so I would start with them... If I cant get them to be useful I will just chuck them. But if I can get them sharp enough for basic use that would be nice because I dont always like to worry about treating things nicely sometimes it is easier to have things I am not afraid to bang around a but.
The Whustof Santoku and the vintage Sabatier I am more hesitant to touch.... The Whustof has held its edge nicely despite quite a bit of use but it is getting duller. The Sabatier is an old carbon steel knife I picked up.. I have never used it but I would like to.
A few pointers that helped me when I was learning the skill
- Your ears are the best guide to tell you if you're using the stone correctly. You want to be grinding metal off the edge, not sliding it over the stone.
- Use the whole length of the stone and sharpen from tip to heel evenly.
- Speed comes with time, be prepared to take it slowly to ensure that you have consistency when you're learning.
- Consistency of angle is the single most important thing.
- The 'countdown' method takes longer but produces better edges.
For me I find it takes about 3 months to get a new knife into the shape that I want it where it takes and holds the edge consistently. I'll grind a new edge onto it then use it for a week, lightly sharpen, use it for a week, lightly sharpen etc. It seems to be a case of repeatedly taking 2 steps forward and one step back gets the best results for me.
Don't be afraid of the santoku, I find that they are very easy knives to sharpen because they have a relatively short blade and no bolster. For some reason I always find Sabatiers the most difficult to sharpen.