Chad: I hope you are still available for questions. After reading your very informative article, I ordered a Spyderco 204, and the Japanese utility knife from Lee Valley (both are quite nice). It doesn't seem as if the 204's preset angles are right for the utility knife; how would I maintain this blade using the 204? Also, what does one do if one drops a knife and dents the edge? Thanks. --PR
Sorry for the delayed reply, my ISP's been a bit wonky the last couple of days.
Congrats on your purchases. Both the Spyderco sharpener and Lee Valley knife will serve you well. The angle on the Lee Valley knife is a little odd and doesn't lend itself to maintenance on the Spyderco unless you want to rebevel it. I wouldn't recommend it just yet. It'll be fine for a while. What I do with mine is use the "Mousepad Trick" or a simple hard-backed strop loaded with CrO2 paste (both available from Lee Valley). That lets you maintain the factory angle for quite a while before having to do any serious sharpening. Do not
use a grooved steel on the knife, you'll just chip out the knife.
The carbon steel sandwiched into the soft stainless is very
hard by Western kitchen knife standards. It'll stay sharp for a long time if
you rinse and dry it thoroughly every time you use it -- maybe even during cutting if you're going through a lot of acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits or onions. The acids will attack the edge and degrade it far more than cutting will. You've got to keep this knife clean and dry.
If you've dented the edge, you can use a smooth steel or a very fine grit ceramic rod (700 grit+) to roll the edge back into position. It'll take a while, but it's better than sharpening away the impacted area. If it's a major dent, lay the knife flat on a work surface and use the steel or rod as a file, stroking toward the edge with light to moderate force to slowly fix the dent. The really nice thing about this knife is that if you completely
screw it up, it's only $16 to replace it
Edited by Chad, 16 September 2003 - 11:12 AM.