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[PDX] Knife Sharpening


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Anyone know a good place to get your knives sharpened in town? I had a mall cutlery store do it last time and it was a pretty weak job. I know Sur La Table does it, but I'd rather go to someone who really knows what they're doing. Any suggestions?

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We half-heartidly looked around and didn't find anybody that made us feel comfortable handing over our 100 year old sabatier knives to. What to do? We bought one of these after reading about them for years on rec.food.equipment. Yeah, maybe we're control freaks. Anyway, we haven't had the time to use it yet, what with working until 8 and then trying to finish all the various cooking projects we have going (ba ku teh, lamb briyani, candied citron, kimchi, etc..) but we plan on trying it out this weekend. If you like, I'll report back on how it does.

regards,

trillium

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Trillium, you're going to love your EdgePro. It's an amazing setup. I would, however, caution you to practice on a cheap knife or two before working on the good ones. It takes a couple of knives to get used to the machine and learn to adjust/tilt the tip to the right spot.

Chad

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Thanks for the tip. How cheap are we talking? I think the most replaceable ones we have are a couple of Sabatiers that were sold under the Cuisine De France label (not the elephant and stars or running devil like our others). One is a utility knife (mini 6 inch cooks knife) and one is a paring knife. We were thinking of starting with the utility knife...it's that or a swiss army knife, but after watching the video it seemed too small to learn on.

regards,

trillium

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Several recs for it here on eGullet I noticed, too, in the knife topics. I'm in The Dalles today. Maybe I should call them up and see if I can get a demo.

I would like to find someone in Portland who really knows what they're doing, though. Unlike you, I don't trust myself with this.

You'd think Portland would have a few people who did this sort of thing. There are so many knife enthusiasts in this area -- even a couple of knife makers -- that you'd think there'd be both the demand and the supply. Maybe I should go to a knife show sometime, but it's not my kind of thing.

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btw, that zukinx is me, my previous alias.

One thing: is the sharpener good for both Japanese style knives and European style knives? I have a Global along with my European knives. I'm also thinking of getting something like a Shun or Hattori just to have a really kick-ass chef's knife rather than just my 8" "Solingen" whatever that truly is.

Trillium, you should just pick up a cheap Wal-Mart stainless stamped knife for like $10. You could practice until it's a letter opener.

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Several recs for it here on eGullet I noticed, too, in the knife topics.  I'm in The Dalles today.  Maybe I should call them up and see if I can get a demo.

This might solve several problems! Definitely ask for a demo. And, ExtraMSG, Ben Dale offers to sharpen a knife for free as a way of demonstrating the ability of the EdgePro. Send him your knife.

Curious? Skeptical? Want to see up close what an EdgePro will do? Send us any knife along with return postage, and we'll put an EdgePro edge on your knife free of charge.

Of course, you're under no obligation to purchase one of our machines, but we'll be surprised if you can resist, once you see the edge you could create yourself.

It's best to send something small and inexpensive, like a pocket knife. We haven't lost anything yet, but you know the post office (so if you send us your $500 handmade knife, please insure it.)

For a FREE sharpening demo, send your knife to:

EdgePro Demo

c/o Ben Dale

P.O. Box 95

Hood River, OR 97031

Include return postage (and insurance if necessary).

From the EdgePro website.

Chad

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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Thanks for the tip. How cheap are we talking? I think the most replaceable ones we have are a couple of Sabatiers that were sold under the Cuisine De France label (not the elephant and stars or running devil like our others). One is a utility knife (mini 6 inch cooks knife) and one is a paring knife. We were thinking of starting with the utility knife...it's that or a swiss army knife, but after watching the video it seemed too small to learn on.

regards,

trillium

Yup, the 6" utility is a good place to start. It doesn't take long to get the hang of the EdgePro, but there are a couple of nuances. I'm glad you got the video. As bad as the quality is, it helps a lot in figuring out how to set the stop and angle the knife as you move toward the tip. There are a couple of things to think about. You might consider The Magic Marker trick as a way of helping set the angle.

The Magic Marker Trick

One of the easiest ways to ensure that you are matching an existing bevel is to coat the edge with magic marker. As the magic marker is abraded away by the sharpening stone. you will be able to see where the metal is being removed and whether you have matched the angle properly. Once you have coated both bevels with marker, take a swipe or two down your stone. If the marker is wiped off over the width of the bevel you have matched the angle properly. If your angle is too high, only the marker near the very edge will be removed. If your angle is too low only the marker near the shoulder, above the edge, will be removed. Recoating the edge as you sharpen is a good way to ensure that you’re holding the correct angle throughout the process. No matter what type of sharpening system you use, the magic marker trick will save you a lot of time and frustration, especially in matching an unknown angle on one of the guide or rod-style systems.

From my Knife Sharpening & Maintenance tutorial in the eGCI.

If the aesthetics of the knife are important, put a strip of painters tape or masking tape on the blade, leaving the edge exposed. A slurry of metal particles and swarf from the stone can build up on the blade table, scratching your knife. The tape will keep that from happening. I don't worry about it, but I don't really care what my knives look like, either.

Soak the stones. Really soak them. I keep them in the sink under a couple of inches of water when I'm sharpening my knives. It makes a difference.

Oh, and forget the squeeze bottle. Try a simple plastic spray bottle set to its tightest stream when hosing down the stone between passes. It's a little neater and does a better job cleaning out the swarf.

Which reminds me, using the EdgePro can get messy, just because of all the spraying or spritzing you do to keep the stones clean. You'll get grit and water all over your countertops unless you keep a couple of paper towels under the body of the EdgePro. I also set mine up next to the sink so I can swing the arm over the sink to spray down the stones. That makes the whole process much neater.

Have fun and let us know how it goes!

Chad

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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I've already PM'ed ExtraMSG, and although I haven't yet done mercenary work, I have an Edgepro, and know how to use it. :smile: As with all pushers -- er, promoters -- um, whatever, the first one is free. :biggrin:

I'm not really advertising anything here, because there's nothing to advertise, but PM me if you're interested.

I wouldn't trust MY knives to a commercial sharpening service, but then, I've never had to.

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George & Son Cutlery

..and Portland Cutlery, also downtown (the 2 are within about 2 blocks of each other), are the only places I'd take knives for sharpening.

I'm going to Hood River this weekend, so maybe I'll look at the Edgepro. I use a Japanese water stone, and it does a great job.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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I've never used an Edge Pro - sounds good. I learned on a tri stone years ago and that's all I use for my home knives.

Before I sold my meat business, where I had well over 50 knives, I took them to George and Son. Whatever you do, stay away from the mobile guys with the truck mounted sharpening machine. I let them give me a free demo once and while the edge was sharp, it was also wavy and uneven. The knife would catch on the board. They also ground a lot of the blade off.

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