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Knife Sharpening Systems - EdgePro, Apex


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It should be noted that there are two kinds of people when it comes to high-end home sharpening. There are people who just want to have a great edge on their knives, and are looking for the easiest and most effective way of getting one. And then there are people for whom home sharpening is a hobby in and of itself. Those in the former camp are likely to appreciate the EdgePro, because it's the easiest way to get an amazing edge without going to the time and trouble to develop a new skill that doesn't particularly interest them. Those in the latter camp -- the sharpening hobbyists who are likely to touch up their knives on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis -- are going to gravitate towards freehand sharpening and things like Japanese water stones.

Personally, I can't be bothered to acquire the skills that would allow me to effectively sharpen (and not ruin) my knives freehand. All I really care about is that I have a nice sharp edge at the angle and degree of polish I want. If there was a home machine that did that, I'd use it.

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It should be noted that there are two kinds of people when it comes to high-end home sharpening.  There are people who just want to have a great edge on their knives, and are looking for the easiest and most effective way of getting one.  And then there are people for whom home sharpening is a hobby in and of itself.  Those in the former camp are likely to appreciate the EdgePro, because it's the easiest way to get an amazing edge without going to the time and trouble to develop a new skill that doesn't particularly interest them. 

As someone who is (also) in the former camp, I think Sam hit the nail on the head.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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That is very likely true Sam. I wonder if there's any kind of correlation of the type of knives used in each of those camps. Latter camp being the high performance knives and the former camp being whatever was on sale at Walmart.

Hahaha...just kidding about the last part but seriously though... With the cost of the Apex being so much higher than that of Japanese stones I wonder how likely these people who just want a decent edge on their knives are willing to spend that much when they don't have any knives costing over $40. There are exceptions of course but it seems expensive for the typical home cook to own and I don't see them buying it anymore than I see them buying a $200 Blazen or Takeda gyuto.

Also, I can't imagine the Apex not taking some time to learn how to properly get that sharp edge it's capable of. Sure, you may be able to hook it up and away you go, but there has to be learned techniques and processess that are necessary to get that desired edge. Same thing of waterstones. The very first time I sat down with my stones and the Korin video, my old knives were sharper than they've ever been. Doesn't mean I'm now proficient at it nor does it mean the knives can't get any sharper. The Apex may be more accurate for the newbie but I still see this as comparing apples to oranges. Two different methods of sharpening both with their own learning curve. I can gaurantee it that Mary Jane Housewife will have as much problem with the Apex as she would with waterstones.

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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I can only speak for myself, but here's my experience with the Edge Pro:

I own a very large set of custom-made and antique carbon steel knives. I'd assume that most anyone who was willing to shell out for an EdgePro at least has Wusthoff or Global knives, or something like that. These are perfectly good knives, used by famous chefs around the world.

When I bought my EdgePro, I spent around 20 minutes looking over the instructions, set it up and began sharpening. I had a hair-shaving edge on my very first try. Can't say that my technique with the Edge Pro has "improved" too terribly much with experience, because it really is that simple.

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It should be noted that there are two kinds of people when it comes to high-end home sharpening.  There are people who just want to have a great edge on their knives, and are looking for the easiest and most effective way of getting one.  And then there are people for whom home sharpening is a hobby in and of itself.  Those in the former camp are likely to appreciate the EdgePro, because it's the easiest way to get an amazing edge without going to the time and trouble to develop a new skill that doesn't particularly interest them.  Those in the latter camp -- the sharpening hobbyists who are likely to touch up their knives on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis -- are going to gravitate towards freehand sharpening and things like Japanese water stones.

Personally, I can't be bothered to acquire the skills that would allow me to effectively sharpen (and not ruin) my knives freehand.  All I really care about is that I have a nice sharp edge at the angle and degree of polish I want.  If there was a home machine that did that, I'd use it.

I am a moderatly-experienced home cook; I own three Wusthof knives; a chef's knife, a Santoku knife, and a paring knife. I currently use a hand-held honer that's not bad but not great, but I long for a really, really sharp knife. If I were willing to spring for this system, do you think it would be appropriate for me, or is there something else I should consider?

Of course, I was hoping to have Our Famous Chad Ward teach me a thing or two about sharpening knives, since we lived in the same city, but he took off in search of greener grass, and very likely found it.

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Personally, I can't be bothered to acquire the skills that would allow me to effectively sharpen (and not ruin) my knives freehand.  All I really care about is that I have a nice sharp edge at the angle and degree of polish I want.  If there was a home machine that did that, I'd use it.

Thank you for that perspective. In my case you're very correct that I wanted to learm the skill as well as wanting sharp knives. I kow can keep a decent edge on my pocket knives, fishing knives and kitchen knives. I've asked a friend who has done hand-sharpening for a long time to help me improve my skills.

With the cost of the Apex being so much higher than that of Japanese stones I wonder how likely these people who just want a decent edge on their knives are willing to spend that much when they don't have any knives costing over $40. There are exceptions of course but it seems expensive for the typical home cook to own and I don't see them buying it anymore than I see them buying a $200 Blazen or Takeda gyuto.

I do not ever see the day I will spend more than $40 or $50 for a knife. The bulk of my cooking style leans more toward rustic so I'm not trying for, say, really closely matched julliened carrots. I enjoy sushi but son't ever intend to learn to make my own, etc.. Beyond wanting to learn the skill the cost of a few stones to start learning with cost me all of about $25.00. When I understand more about what I am doing I may opt for better quality stones. Putting out the money for a sharpening system may have kept me from ever trying.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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I wonder if there's any kind of correlation of the type of knives used in each of those camps.  Latter camp being the high performance knives and the former camp being whatever was on sale at Walmart.

oh no octave-boy. i think it's more like people who want to use their knives to cook, and those who want to have them to obsess over.

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HA! I do take comfort in the fact that there others that are more obsessive than me. Unfortunately they're not here to back me up. :hmmm: Besides, I do use every single one to cook with and one of them to almost cut my thumb in half. If it was dull, it would've slid down my thumbnail instread of cut through it....hmmm, makes one wonder. :blink:

Edited by Octaveman (log)

My Photography: Bob Worthington Photography

 

My music: Coronado Big Band
 

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If it was dull, it would've slid down my thumbnail instread of cut through it....hmmm, makes one wonder.  :blink:

I'd like to slap silly whoever came up with that shibboleth about a dull knife being more dangerous than a sharp one - I've always caused more self-inflicted wounds and "whew, dodged a bullet there" moments with my sharp ones than any dull ones at friends' houses....

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Huh. Once I figured out how to set it up, I now just unfold it and stick it on a table, easy as can be. Not sure what the Transformers reference means.

Well there just don't tend to be a lot of moving parts or adjustment screws on any of the stones I've used.

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To me, the EdgePro is one of those (kitchen) inventions, that once I got, I can't believe I lived without it...

It's literally so simple, intuitive and easy to use, that anyone should be able to get knives that are significantly sharper than anything they've used at home before.

I've sharpened my knives with stones for over 10 years, and in all that time never got an edge equal to the one I got the first time I used EdgePro. Now granted, I didn't spend hours with knives and stones; I didn't obsess over the edge...but now I'm going to be doing double-bevels and back flips!!

And when a product like this, which would literally allow 99.9 % of people who sharpen (or would like to but are afraid to try) at home to improve the final product, appears on the market and is reasonably priced, I just gotta tell!

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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It took me less time to learn to sharpen a knife with a whetstone than it took to learn to knit. It's a pretty simple manual skill, about on par with learning to dice veggies efficiently. So don't let the time investment scare you.

As far as danger goes, I'd far rather have a sharp knife than a dull one. I've given myself an awful lot of minor cuts with dull knives. I've noticed that cooks who use plastic cutting surfaces tend to favor duller knives than I do. I work on wood cutting boards, and food stays where I put it. The force I have to use with a dull knife is more likely to cause movement than anything else. On plastic, it seems to slide around with minimal force and make a sharp knife feel less safe.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...

I've done a 180 this fall. I enjoy being able to sharpen my knives free-hand but "have seen the light" concerning really repeatable results. I've asked Mrs. Santa for the Edge Pro Acme to be under the tree come the 25th. I put other things on my wish list also so she asked me what on the list I most wanted. It was hands-down the Edge Pro.

I've got a 10" F.Dick chef's knife that will be the Edge Pro's trial-by-fire should Mrs. Santa bring me my grown up's new toy.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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I've done a 180 this fall.  I enjoy being able to sharpen my knives free-hand but "have seen the light" concerning really repeatable results.  I've asked Mrs. Santa for the Edge Pro Acme to be under the tree come the 25th.  I put other things on my wish list also so she asked me what on the list I most wanted.  It was hands-down the Edge Pro.

I've got a 10" F.Dick chef's knife that will be the Edge Pro's trial-by-fire should Mrs.  Santa bring me my grown up's new toy.

Well, I certainly hope that you have been very good, or you may just find a rusty vegetable peeler in your stocking! :laugh:

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Santa brought my Edgepro Apex a month early. Ill have to leave some Foie Gras out for the old boy.

Ill echo all of the sentiments about the EdgePro.. definitely the best sharpening system of its kind-

infinitely better than he clamp type devices like Lansky. Putting a bit of tape on the blade is a minor inconvenience considering the perfect edge that you get from the system.

The Edgepro Apex comes with 3 different accessory packages and Id recommend the ' Complete '

package since it includes an 800 grit waterstone for a truly hair splitting edge.

I ordered mine from Accurate Sharp

which offers it somewhat less than the Edgepro site, has plenty of additional stones available and theyre also having a really sweet 50% off clearance on Forschner, Messermeister and Mundai knives. The only thing that I'm adding is a diamond hone, in the event that I need to work out a nick or change the bevel on a knife with extra hard steel.

" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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I'd like to slap silly whoever came up with that shibboleth about a dull knife being more dangerous than a sharp one - I've always caused more self-inflicted wounds and "whew, dodged a bullet there" moments with my sharp ones than any dull ones at friends' houses....

I think there's some truth to this ...

A dull knife is flat out dangerous because it's more likely to slip on the surface of food, and it also urges you to use bad technique, like leaning on the knife with a lot of force. These two things together lead to knife disasters.

A razor-sharp knife discourages this kind of thing, because you learn to use gentle pressure, and it rarely slips anyhow. But they seem to like cutting you just for blinking at the wrong time. In the five years I used my German knife (sharp, but not ridiculously so) as my main knife, it only cut me once, and it was while I was washing it while drunk. But I've lost count of how many times my new Gyuto has cut me in the last couple of months. But to be fair, much of this has been from learning to sharpen on stones (ha! back to the original topic) and unfamiliarity with such a light blade. Luckily the cuts have been minor, and have healed fast.

Sharp and dull might just be dangerous in different ways.

Notes from the underbelly

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Get rid of any regular metal grooved steels.  The only ones to use are the ceramic, included in the kit and a smooth glass rod.

Agreed.. I micro chipped the Hell out of my Tojiro DP Gyuto - most likely from the grooved Henkels steel that I was in the habit of using , and I have pretty good form with a steel.. just as described in the E Gullet knife sharpening tutorial. I may be wrong, but the ceramic rod that comes with the Edgepro seems to be a very fine grit sharpening rod similar to those on' V ' style sharpening systems so I wonder if it actually re aligns the edge like a steel or simply does a quick re sharpening ?? Ive heard that a leather strop with a rigid backing is a good alternative to steeling as well, and I think that using a 'Razor ' Strop on your kitchen knives has an unmatched coolness factor.

Ive given myself a few 'learning cuts' lately most notably while cutting Supremes from a Key Lime with my Hiromoto AS 240mm Gyuto while slightly buzzed. ( worth every drop of blood and while the feeling of lime juice in a fresh cut really has to be felt to be fully appreciated , theres something about a Gin & Tonic with a couple of Key Lime supremes in it that would be right at home in the Pegu Club )

" No, Starvin' Marvin ! Thats MY turkey pot pie "

- Cartman

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It goes against some of the conventional wisdom, but I find that a steel works really well on my Japanese knives. The effect is the same as with Euro knives; it restores the feeling of a freshly sharpened edge after the knife has seen some use.

If you already use a steel very delicately (which I believe works best on any knife), you won't have to adapt much. Especially with harder steels, you want to wipe out any images of t.v. chefs holding a steel in the air and swiping wildly. The steel goes vertically against a cutting board, and you restore the edge with just a few very light, even strokes. Maybe a couple on each side.

It's best to use a smooth steel like the Hand American borosilicate glass steel or their metal version. While I don't think it's at all true that a grooved steel acts as a file or creates a "toothy" edge (if used correctly), it does concentrate much more pressure and is probably too agressive to use on brittle knife edges.

When the steel doesn't work any more, I go to the strop, which is loaded wtih abrasive compound. It actually polishes away a bit of metal. It's faster and easier than the stones, but not as fast and easy as a steel. When this no longer works, I go to the stones or abrasive papers, and the cycle starts over again.

Notes from the underbelly

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  • 4 weeks later...
I've got a 10" F.Dick chef's knife that will be the Edge Pro's trial-by-fire should Mrs.  Santa bring me my grown up's new toy.

Mrs. Santa did not dissapoint me.

Things that I was concerned with before getting it:

Set-up: Let's see, about 2 minutes to get it out of it's case, fill the water bottle and such. So not an issue to have worried about.

Learning Curve: The training video, while not a high-tech production, was very clear on usage. I worked on 3 different knives after watching the video and had success.

Tear-down/clean up (related to set-up above): simple straightforward design and their custom case make it as simple to put away as to get out.

So on to my first experience.

I started with the F.Dick 10" chef's knive that I had been working on by hand previously. Made a little progress but this knife must be made with some steel that was tempered in the flames of hell. So I moved on.

I had a cheap 7" slicing knife that I put a better edge on in about 10 minutes. Note that is really is a cheap knife - something I picked up for my volunteer cooking and won't care if it gets lost or stolen.

I moved on to my trusty 10" Chicago Cutlery chef's knife that I've had for over 20 years. In less than 15 minutes I had an edge that was a significant improvement over the hand-sharpening I had done earlier in the year.

Conclusion: With some practice I think I will be able to keep my knives sharper than I would have ever guessed. I'm happy with this sharpening system and can echo the endorsement that those who have gone before have offered. It's good stuff.

ED for spelling even after I re-read it.

Edited by Porthos (log)

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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I used both German and Japanese knives and just could not get a Grade A edge. I don't know what it was. I had plenty of time to get the technique down pat.

I would say it definitely sharpened well enough for a home cook, but for my needs at culinary school simply was not sufficient. I could spend 20 minutes on the Edge Pro and not get an edge anywhere close to 5 minutes on the waterstones.

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