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Sharpening Knives


weinoo
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I like the Edgepro, but I need much more practice to get good with it.

When I started hand sharpening I bought used knives on ebay or at thrift stores to practice on. When I got my EdgePro I did the same thing but needed only maybe 3 or 4 to really get the hang of it.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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I use waterstones. I have a combo 250 /1000 and a 4000. I only need to use them about once a year, regular maintainance with a ceramic stick. I didn't feel like spending on a stone holder system , so came up with this homemade kludge. It is basically a stepstool made out of cedar with drainage holes straddling an old rubbermaid container. I want to pick up a nagura stone for the 4000 king stone , right now I am using the 1000 to help with initial slurry setup but a 4000 nagura would be better and help keep it true.

waterstone2_zps1b724982.jpg

Edited by Ashen (log)

"Why is the rum always gone?"

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I have Spyderco Sharpmaker with some added coarser diamond stones. Don't care for that much at all.

What did you not like about the Sharpmaker?

As you mentioned, it's too slow. I also found that, for me anyway, maintaining the knife in a true vertical orientation was more difficult than it seems. Last, the angle on the diamond stones was different than the ceramic due to base of the rods being loose in the sockets, requiring me to shim them. That made setup longer than the EdgePro.

Mark

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I want to put into words what it is that I don't like about the edge pro, so bear with me. It is exactly its selling point, that you put a consistent angle at all times on the edge, that I don't like. The tip problem is emblematic of this. Basically, the bevel at the tip is always too wide in comparison to the bevel along the edge. Well, that is because the same angle is being put on an area of a knife where the grind of the knife is not the same, hence the edge pro is grinding (sharpening) a wider bit of metal than on the other parts. That isn't the biggest deal in the world, but it tends, over time, to leave a birds beak on the tip which looks bad and is kind of annoying. With stones you can follow the geometry of the knife, so you are keeping a consistent bevel but the angle of it changes with the angle of the knife. The compound bevel issue is similar. Yes, compound bevels are fine, but putting a 10-15 or 15-20 compound on a knife doesn't keep you from creating the same problem of thickening that you get by just sharpening at 15 or 20 or whatever your bevel is. As long as the secondary bevel is still greater than the grind of the blade, which is usually something in the 5-7 range or so, you are still thickening the knife. Better just to lay the secondary bevel (they all have one in some degree or another) on the stone and grind until you get just up to the edge, then put your normal bevel on. That keeps the knife in better shape.

So, I guess it is the fact that the edge pro sets an angle and unthinkingly applies it to the knife that I don't like. My hands can react to the stone and the knife allowing me to be, perhaps, less perfectly consistent as far as angle, but more effective as far as sharpening.

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One of my discerning bros maintains you only need to sharpen a quality knife once and then hone it thereafter thus maintaining the exactingly bevelled cutting-edges. I hand sharpen my cheap knives once or twice a year or as needed on an oxide stone and steel the rest of the time.

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One of my discerning bros maintains you only need to sharpen a quality knife once and then hone it thereafter thus maintaining the exactingly bevelled cutting-edges. I hand sharpen my cheap knives once or twice a year or as needed on an oxide stone and steel the rest of the time.

A lot depends on what your definition of sharp is. Mine has changed radically since getting into sharpening.

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One of my discerning bros maintains you only need to sharpen a quality knife once and then hone it thereafter thus maintaining the exactingly bevelled cutting-edges. I hand sharpen my cheap knives once or twice a year or as needed on an oxide stone and steel the rest of the time.

A lot depends on what your definition of sharp is. Mine has changed radically since getting into sharpening.

Mine too. My friend uses an accusharp on his expensive blades which I claim eats away too much metal with each pass and is considered sharpening. He counters (rants) that a bevel angle consistent with manufacturer's specs is maintained. I remain unimpressed with his honing technique and finish my beer.

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Those volunteers who do know what a sharp knife cuts like are satisfied with the edges I put on with my EdgePro. We are good enough friends that they would tell me if it were otherwise. Some have complemented me for providing sharp knives.

I rotate the knives on the front of the jig as I approach the tip. I have not noticed the "bird's beak" phenomenon as of yet.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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Those volunteers who do know what a sharp knife cuts like are satisfied with the edges I put on with my EdgePro. We are good enough friends that they would tell me if it were otherwise. Some have complemented me for providing sharp knives.

I rotate the knives on the front of the jig as I approach the tip. I have not noticed the "bird's beak" phenomenon as of yet.

I have no complaint about the edge the edge pro puts on. They can be great. My worries are more about how they affect the longevity of the knives. But sharp knives are always good.

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I have sharp knives. I like to keep my knives sharp.

For me I see no point in a kitchen to have scary sharp knives. The drag and suction of the food you are cutting as you are cutting makes the extra sharp edge not noticeable. The sharper the edge the faster it gets dulled and damaged.

But I can see for many people, it feels good to have a blade that actually, and literally can split a hair.

There are knife sharpeners in many farmers markets, for not much money, on a belt sander or a motorized stone, they get your kitchen knives very sharp in a few minutes and everyone is happy.

dcarch

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longevity of the knives

I cant see how the EP would decrease the longevity of knives.

re; "Razor Sharp" there is a long and interestng discussion about this over on the Knife.forum re kitchen knives.

using the EP as a ref most there say no point in going past 600 with good technique

my system goes to 1000, and thats not really necessary. but fun. I will say my two small paring knives 'sing' when done carefully to 1000.

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Agree.

EP will increase longevity because it's automatic maintenance of correct angles. Very little metal will need to be removed if you always grind your knife at the same angle to get the knife sharp.

By hand, you are always over and under the correct angle, and more metal will need to be removed.

dcarch

longevity of the knives

I cant see how the EP would decrease the longevity of knives.

--------

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Agree.

EP will increase longevity because it's automatic maintenance of correct angles. Very little metal will need to be removed if you always grind your knife at the same angle to get the knife sharp.

By hand, you are always over and under the correct angle, and more metal will need to be removed.

dcarch

longevity of the knives

I cant see how the EP would decrease the longevity of knives.

--------

You are begging the question here. If there is a single correct angle for any given knife, then the EP would be fine, though still insufficient for retaining cutting performance over time due to the issue of the lowest thinning bevel still being too steep, but since there is no correct angle along the blade of the knife, rather several angles at different areas, the concept of holding the "correct" angle isn't a feasible one.

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Agree.

EP will increase longevity because it's automatic maintenance of correct angles. Very little metal will need to be removed if you always grind your knife at the same angle to get the knife sharp.

By hand, you are always over and under the correct angle, and more metal will need to be removed.

dcarch

longevity of the knives

I cant see how the EP would decrease the longevity of knives.

--------

You are begging the question here. If there is a single correct angle for any given knife, then the EP would be fine, though still insufficient for retaining cutting performance over time due to the issue of the lowest thinning bevel still being too steep, but since there is no correct angle along the blade of the knife, rather several angles at different areas, the concept of holding the "correct" angle isn't a feasible one.

We must understand, 95% (may be 98%?) of the kitchen knife users do not need to sharpen their knives to the so called "correct angle", they only need to sharpen their knives better than they can if they were to do it by hand. For most of them, "several angles at different areas" on one single knife is not of much meaning.

For many of them, it is perfectly reasonable to get a good knife (not a very good knife) and use one of those motorized grinder which can only grind at one angle, regardless of knife type. Those machines will kill a very good knife in just one use.

dcarch

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Those volunteers who do know what a sharp knife cuts like are satisfied with the edges I put on with my EdgePro. We are good enough friends that they would tell me if it were otherwise. Some have complemented me for providing sharp knives.

I rotate the knives on the front of the jig as I approach the tip. I have not noticed the "bird's beak" phenomenon as of yet.

I have no complaint about the edge the edge pro puts on. They can be great. My worries are more about how they affect the longevity of the knives. But sharp knives are always good.

Frequent sharpening might shorten the life of a knife by a small degree if done correctly but I would have to ask myself if I would rather have a dull knife outlive me or a very sharp knife that I may have to replace once in my lifetime

Edited by scubadoo97 (log)
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Those volunteers who do know what a sharp knife cuts like are satisfied with the edges I put on with my EdgePro. We are good enough friends that they would tell me if it were otherwise. Some have complemented me for providing sharp knives.

I rotate the knives on the front of the jig as I approach the tip. I have not noticed the "bird's beak" phenomenon as of yet.

I have no complaint about the edge the edge pro puts on. They can be great. My worries are more about how they affect the longevity of the knives. But sharp knives are always good.

Frequent sharpening might shorten the life of a knife by a small degree if done correctly but I would have to ask myself if I would rather have a dull knife outlive me or a very sharp knife that I may have to replace once in my lifetime

I have seen knives' scales fall apart, blades bent, edges chipped, tips cracked off --- I have never seen knives' life shortened by regular sharpening.

May be a chef's knife becomes a paring knife? Still a useful knife.

I have a couple of good knives ($15 each) that I use for regular (abusive) cutting. As soon as they get dull, I take them down to my basement shop and 5 seconds each side on my 400 grit 4" belt sander, they will be very sharp for at least 2 to 3 months. Belt sander can take away a lot of metal.

dcarch

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Oh great we're having this argument again.

Yeah, power tools can ruin a knife in no time flat. Not only do they remove a lot of material, they also heat it, potentially affecting the blade's hardness (and therefore its potential sharpness).

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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What's the use of a good argument if you can't have it more than once?

If we let it go too long we'll forget the fun of getting our knickers in a knot!

And to keep the post on topic: My global chef's knife, sharpened on my Edge Pro Apex is the perfect tool for getting aforementioned knickers out of a knot.

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PastaMeshugana

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There is one specific factor for me that made the EdgePro an attractive choice. I have very poor hand/eye coordination and have essentially monocular vision which means my depth perception is poor. The EP does the work of maintaining the angle I have chosen as I sharpen a knife. I don't have to guess or hope I have it right. By design it is right each time I use it.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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