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Old 07-23-2007, 10:41 PM   #1
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Using your steel

OK, I’m curious about this, and I know it’s really going to come down to “comfort”, but how do you use your “steel” between knife sharpenings (obviously speaking of “smooth” edges and not serrated edges).

Short version – I know steel doesn’t sharpen your knife, but it does “re-align the edge” (and I expect many a thesis on the metallurgical aspects of knife edges – and they are welcome!).

I prefer to push the blade away from me on my steel, but I see many a TV chef pull the blade down the steel toward their hand (and very quickly I might add). So, what do you prefer, push away or a draw down? And why?

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Old 07-23-2007, 11:46 PM   #2
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I push the the blade away from because thats just the way that I feel more comfortable.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:18 AM   #3
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I push away from me as well. I learned how to use my steel by placing the tip on a table and pushing away. I no longer hold the tip on a table, but I still use it in that direction.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:58 AM   #4
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I draw toward the handle, holding the steel almost vertically.
Have tried "safer" methods, but they just feel wrong.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:11 AM   #5
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I hold the steel horzontally and draw the blade towards the handle.
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keltin
Short version – I know steel doesn’t sharpen your knife, but it does “re-align the edge” (and I expect many a thesis on the metallurgical aspects of knife edges – and they are welcome!).
I didn't quite catch your reference to "serrated". If you're talking about knives, yes. If you're talking about steels, the word is grooved. Smooth steels do one thing and one thing only. They realign the edge and should be used BEFORE using the knife as the blade edge will actually roll slightly while at rest, so realign prior to use for maximum performance.

Grooved steels remove metal. They do not realign. Unless this is all you have available to RESHARPEN, toss them in the recycling bin. There are ways to get a much better edge.

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Old 07-24-2007, 12:10 PM   #7
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It doesn't make any difference if you push or pull, but there are two important things. The first is to use VERY light pressure. The second is to maintain the correct angle throughout the stroke.

The angle?

If it's factory non-Japanese or something ground up in your Chef's Choice, use 25 degrees.

If it's from Japan, or a Shun electric sharpener, or from my kitchen, use 15 degrees.

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Old 07-24-2007, 02:16 PM   #8
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I agree it doesn't matter if you pull or push. I for one push one side and pull the other. But what is important how often you use one. I suggest using every time before using your knife. That will keep knife from getting dull, and also will help decrease need for sharpening.
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:51 PM   #9
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Regarding another use of the steel.

How many of you use the steel to hone you knife before you put it away vs. putting the knife away unhoned and then honing when you take it out to use it?
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
Regarding another use of the steel.

How many of you use the steel to hone you knife before you put it away vs. putting the knife away unhoned and then honing when you take it out to use it?
Always the latter. See my post #6 above.
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