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Don Nguyen
03-30-2013, 01:22 PM
I think I am getting decent with my sharpening, although I am still improving on many things.

I can get a knife to pass the 3-finger test, stick to the thumbnail, and push cut newspaper. It cuts food well.

I'm still working on getting a perfectly even bevel down the whole edge. My weaknesses tend to be the tip and heel, although they aren't too bad. I'm also working on removing as little metal as possible, but that's a tough one for me. One of my big problems I think is consistency. Each time I sit down and sharpen, I can get consistent angles, but I think I'm going at a different angle for each sharpening session. Maybe I'll just use a simple reference for the time being. Don't even ask me about asymmetry, I haven't got a clue how to approach that for a given knife.

My biggest problem though is getting a sense for what the knife needs, and seeing the big picture. I feel like I can get a knife sharp, but I am not a good sharpener (kind of like making decent bread through recipes, without understanding why the techniques work).

Any other things to consider? Thanks!

chinacats
03-30-2013, 01:26 PM
I'm not great, but have learned a lot by taking pics that I can blow up and see the 'damage' or the success. I do think the tips are my biggest weakness, but unless I pay close attention, I tend to neglect the heel area; sad because that area is usually fairly easy to get right. I think you've already discovered the 'touch,' going light enough to not remove much metal is also a good way to make for cleaner edges.

Pictures actually are the best way in my mind to 'see' the big picture.

Cheers

keithsaltydog
03-30-2013, 02:54 PM
Alot depends on your aim wt sharpening.I would often put thin bevels on carbons for fruits & vegitables,Gyuto & cleaver.My dedicated Lobster cleaver was also thin & lite,but put a micro bevel to go thru the shell.Convex edge even on my heavy bone cleaver.So depends on the job.

For alot of the show knives on this forum,a good looking even edge is the aim,& not to scratch the sides of the blade.When I started sharpening other's Damascus blades,had to slow down & be more careful thinning so the polished back bevel is even.

Move fast on the stones wt. my carbons,cause low starting angles,even the mud can scuff higher on the blade,but the blades cut well but do not look as nice.All of blade road must be sharpened,nothing worse than a neglegted high heel.

I think as you progress in sharpening,it is a flow of steel on stone.Not stopping,confidence of your angle set,continual movement fr. heel to tip.Flip the blade over same thing.

JohnnyChance
03-30-2013, 04:11 PM
Determining and executing the proper edge for the blade and it's jobs, burr removal, even bevels, proper thinning, consistency.

Chefdog
03-30-2013, 04:27 PM
IMHO, like everything else that you do in the kitchen it comes down to 2 things:
1- Understanding the principles and techniques you are using to accomplish the task at hand.
2- Consistently and successfully executing those fundamental techniques.

Whether its making an omelet, or cutting in a consistent bevel, you have to understand the theory behind what you're doing. Then you have to practice until you can deliberately execute the technique every time.

zitangy
03-30-2013, 04:32 PM
personally

we look and yet we dont see, we touch and yet we do not feel, we listen adn yet we do not hear. Generally either one is our main representational system or input visual ( see),audio (Hearing) or kinesthetic ( touch/feel). In the case of knife sharpening.. the primaryrepresentational system has to be the sense of touch which may not be heightened for some people. IT can be developed. I also assume that if we can use all our senses in what ever we do, the results wle be far superior. But alas, I found out only later in life that my main system was only visual and yet I do not see and was a mediocre performer. KNife sharpening made me realise that I have to engage my 5 senses when ever I can in any task.

For sharpening, we need to develop to the stage that our sense of touch is heightened. IT calls for practice and practice. After feeling the edge for the burr and sharpness/ keeness regularly and if we do focus on it adn try to remember the feeling of it, eventually our fingers will remember it. Once you get the hang of it.. you know which shld be yr starting stone, roughly how many strokes or just a few laps on the finishing stone..

to learn any skill, its like riding a bicycle..
step one.. you know you cant do it
step 2.. you try and fail and each time you get better
Step 3.. Can do stage but must focus as if not yu will make mistakes and fall
step 4.. persevere adn it till enter the subconscious adn you can ride while smoking or even talking on the phone and at teh same time looking at the birds!

The same step applies in our quest in learning to sharpen. The big picture became clear for me was when i realized the following
1_ when 2 acute angles meet..it has to be sharp. IF I want it sharper it has to be thinner adn lower angle
2. Sharpening is just about steel removal. AS the knife is tapered.. it is thus not surprising that the heel area needs more work as it is thicker. FOr teh tip area.. because of the curve it does not come to contact with teh stone. Has to be worked separately. So remove steel where it is required. So do what it takes to remove the steel.
3.The burr/ folded steel needs to be knocked off unless we magically can feel when to stop at the optimum point. we have to knock it off.
4. FInally I like to use thumb and middle finger to feel the thickness to feel the thickness of the blade.

So do what it takes to achieve yr objective adn of course know the purpose / what you are trying to accomplish specifically with each stroke adn , With a little concerted effort, it will enter the subconscious level..

I hope this helps..


rgds d

keithsaltydog
03-30-2013, 04:50 PM
Good points Zitangy.I use bicycle,babies learning to walk,& surfing as examples in my classes.

kalaeb
03-30-2013, 07:34 PM
If it works for you....

panda
03-31-2013, 12:16 AM
you're a good sharpener if you can get your knives really freaking sharp! that's all that matters to me anyway. even bevels, non scratched up sides, whatever, if the blade performs well then it's a good sharpening session.

Chef Doom
03-31-2013, 02:59 AM
+1 what panda said.

I basically look for the following.

1. Does it cut through the tomato with ease? Check

2. Does it cut with out causing the accordion effect? Check

3. Does it do 1 and 2 successfully 30 tomatoes down the line? Check

4. Repeat by replacing the underline with onion, bell pepper, meat of choice, etc.

bieniek
03-31-2013, 03:46 AM
Folks talk about the consistent bevels and what not. What about these knives that were ground unevenly so that the blades face is uneven and as a result youre bevel will never be straight all the way through. What about the blades that are thick? Sure enough you can sharpen the edge well, but is that really all tht matters?

So a good sharpener imho is a guy with enough experience to properly evaluate each blade and being honest with himself about what needs to be done [and not looking at the time spent/money he charges], and looks to the story of the blade.
Does the blade require thinning? Does it require polishing? What about handle? Straightness, steel, purpose, owner, use, quality all make difference, to me. Maybe not in the effort put but result expected.

Just the edge achieved is not even close to being the most important.

Lefty
03-31-2013, 04:46 AM
This thread's weirding me out a bit.

Don Nguyen
03-31-2013, 12:19 PM
Folks talk about the consistent bevels and what not. What about these knives that were ground unevenly so that the blades face is uneven and as a result youre bevel will never be straight all the way through. What about the blades that are thick? Sure enough you can sharpen the edge well, but is that really all tht matters?

So a good sharpener imho is a guy with enough experience to properly evaluate each blade and being honest with himself about what needs to be done [and not looking at the time spent/money he charges], and looks to the story of the blade.
Does the blade require thinning? Does it require polishing? What about handle? Straightness, steel, purpose, owner, use, quality all make difference, to me. Maybe not in the effort put but result expected.

Just the edge achieved is not even close to being the most important.

This is exactly what I was getting at! Thanks!


This thread's weirding me out a bit.

How so Tom?

Lefty
03-31-2013, 01:08 PM
I feel like sharpening is very over thought. I hope guys don't take this the wrong way, but a good sharpener maintains the original profile, except when a change is needed, and puts on an appropriate edge for the tasks at hand. They can also thin a knife properly, when it is needed. That's it, in my mind.

Poetry, shmoetry.

Mrmnms
03-31-2013, 03:14 PM
Happy Easter Lefty. I needed something to amuse me after feeding the tribe here . Thank you.

Gravy Power
03-31-2013, 04:13 PM
While we're at in, can someone describe what "thinning" is?

cclin
03-31-2013, 04:28 PM
What's the '3-finger test' by the way? Not familiar.

3-finger test (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k1o70tMHYM)

cclin
03-31-2013, 04:43 PM
While we're at in, can someone describe what "thinning" is?

In short‎, removing metal from the shinogi line down to the top of the primary bevel!!

brainsausage
03-31-2013, 05:26 PM
3-finger test (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k1o70tMHYM)

Thanks Charles, I've actually been wondering since the old forum what the test was, but its always slipped my mind to ask.

Pensacola Tiger
03-31-2013, 05:28 PM
While we're at in, can someone describe what "thinning" is?

As you sharpen, the knife gets progressively thicker, and a relief bevel needs to be ground to restore performance. This illustration is from a good sharpening article by Chad Ward, http://forums.egullet.org/topic/26036-knife-maintenance-and-sharpening/

http://www.egullet.com/imgs/egci/sharpen/sharpen4.jpg

Note that many knives come OOTB needing to be thinned.

bathonuk
03-31-2013, 05:46 PM
I believe that recording (if possible) your sharpening session is very helpful. I was doing a movie about sharpening yanagiba for Polish knifes forum and after that session I have learned more than after all my previous sessions. I had to edit movie, analyse it, watch it 100 times. Now I can see my mistakes and can't wait for another session to fix my mistakes. I highly recommend it to people who have problems with sharpening.

stevenStefano
03-31-2013, 06:02 PM
If it works for you....

I agree with this 100%. The way I sharpen probably isn't conventional but my knives perform exactly how I want them to so I see no reason to change. Knives are tools at the end of the day. It seems like sometimes people are scared of their knives

Gravy Power
03-31-2013, 11:27 PM
As you sharpen, the knife gets progressively thicker, and a relief bevel needs to be ground to restore performance. This illustration is from a good sharpening article by Chad Ward, http://forums.egullet.org/topic/26036-knife-maintenance-and-sharpening/

http://www.egullet.com/imgs/egci/sharpen/sharpen4.jpg

Note that many knives come OOTB needing to be thinned.

Thanks to all that have replied. Not that I'm at the point of needing to do this yet, nor have the skill, but how does one go about it? Lowest grit stone?

JohnnyChance
03-31-2013, 11:31 PM
Thanks to all that have replied. Not that I'm at the point of needing to do this yet, nor have the skill, but how does one go about it? Lowest grit stone?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=twP_05UEHIM

Chef Doom
04-01-2013, 12:33 AM
zitangy , you lost me around the second sentance. I gave up around half way through.

phan1
04-01-2013, 01:58 AM
Honestly, SPEED is a big issue as well. I've worked in some hardcore places where I had to sharpen my knife 3-4 times a day. If it's taking you 10 min to sharpen your knife, something's wrong. Now, I find it annoying if people take 15min + to sharpen their knives (which I'm sure is very common cause that's how long it took me when I was getting started). I know it's fun, but you can't spend all day sharpening your knives man!

zitangy
04-01-2013, 02:42 AM
zitangy , you lost me around the second sentance. I gave up around half way through.

Hi

What I am trying to say is that for most people, our senses are not fully heightened. Most people's senses are just average and we mainly use one of the them as our primary input

You will use the three senses for sharpening :

IF yours already is heightened.. yu will have a steeper learning curve. If not, then it can be developed.

a)Touch: You need it to feel the sharpness and keeness, thickness of blade and the feedback off the stone, to realize teh amount of pressure that you are applying, teh feel when it cuts thru food or paper ( when testing) etc so that you can determine what you you need to do to attain the outcome.

I really doubt that you can tell the sharpness of a knife just by looking at it.

b)Hearing: ( sound) the scratchy sound of the burr from teh stone which will tell you that its almost done, the sound when you do a cut test say on paper.

c)Eyes :( visual) the geometry, profile, width of the bevel, any wire edges ( held at an angle against the light), straightness of the blade etc.

I suppose in cooking if you are only dependent on yr sight only.. then if the other chef can use all his senses ( 1)eyes, 2)ears ,3)olfactory ( smell) adn 4)taste dn 5) touch.. he wld have a serious serious advantage.

from my observation, we didn't have a program in school to develop or senses further. Most of it is by chance during our childhood and upbringing and to what we are exposed to. I also noticed that the talented people are heightened in a few of their primary senses.. Hearing, touch and sight. Presumably of which I believe, they are using 3 highly developed input systems and as when compared to a person whose primary mode is just sight (eyes) in everything they do and when they look and do not even see... they wld be miles apart.

suffice to say that the knife makers needs all three to be highly developed. They need to be creative in solving problems ( do what it takes) too as only when the problem/ challenge is overcomed , the desired outcome wld be attained. YOU can't be doing teh same thing over and over and expect a different result. SOmehting has to be changed adn youn play with the parameters available ( angle, pressure, grits etc)

I also believe that it shld be applied to all the things that we do for better results/ performance.

Feel free to pm me. It is a different subject/topic altogether

as always.. be well and stay sharp
rgds
D

bieniek
04-01-2013, 01:18 PM
Thanks to all that have replied. Not that I'm at the point of needing to do this yet, nor have the skill, but how does one go about it? Lowest grit stone?

http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/8524-Yoshikane-petty-thinning-job?highlight=

Those kind of jobs are taking little more than 10 minutes.

tk59
04-01-2013, 05:56 PM
A good sharpener gets the most out of his blade. Ninety percent of it is getting your primary edge keen and basic thinning. The last ten percent (more for thicker knives) is maintaining/modifying the geometry and finish of the knife overall. This part is more subtle and sometimes tricky to accomplish but to me, that is the difference between something I feel like getting rid of and something that gets me hot and bothered every time I pick it up. I'd say, most people that give it a good try get fairly comfortable with getting the primary edge keen and eventually tailor the sharpening to the steel and the purpose. Most of the thinning jobs I've seen are rudimentary at best and leave a lot of performance untapped.

jaybett
04-01-2013, 06:20 PM
Honestly, SPEED is a big issue as well. I've worked in some hardcore places where I had to sharpen my knife 3-4 times a day. If it's taking you 10 min to sharpen your knife, something's wrong. Now, I find it annoying if people take 15min + to sharpen their knives (which I'm sure is very common cause that's how long it took me when I was getting started). I know it's fun, but you can't spend all day sharpening your knives man!


Am I missing something, you need to sharpen three to four times a day? What is causing your edges to fail, so quickly? I take longer then 15 minutes to sharpen, but my edges last weeks if not months, depending upon the knife. In a restaurant, I'd assume the edge would last at least a day, and maybe as long as a week.

Jay

tk59
04-01-2013, 06:28 PM
Am I missing something, you need to sharpen three to four times a day? What is causing your edges to fail, so quickly? I take longer then 15 minutes to sharpen, but my edges last weeks if not months, depending upon the knife. In a restaurant, I'd assume the edge would last at least a day, and maybe as long as a week.

JayI assumed he was doing some touching up or maybe he just cuts leeks and bones all day.

phan1
04-02-2013, 11:11 PM
Am I missing something, you need to sharpen three to four times a day? What is causing your edges to fail, so quickly? I take longer then 15 minutes to sharpen, but my edges last weeks if not months, depending upon the knife. In a restaurant, I'd assume the edge would last at least a day, and maybe as long as a week.

Jay

Well, I've mostly worked Japanese restaurants; some of which require absolutely the highest standards in knife cuts. I had to sharpen my knife before every prep task (onions, scallions, cucumber etc.). Some places, doing the work was nearly impossible if you didn't own a usuba. It really just depends on what your doing and what your restaurant expects of you. Some places I've only needed to sharpen once a week, others 2-3 times a day.

You can be sure that a lot of Japanese Kaiseki guys, particularly ones that take pride in their vegetable work, are sharpening multiple times a day. From my limited experience, Japanese chefs are less obsessed with polishing up their knives to super-high grits. They usually just use #1000 king stones and have a philosophy of "I sharpen my knives everyday anyway, what's the point of doing it 3-4 times across 3-4 stones in one sitting?". I understand that we're a community of knife nerds and obssessives that are always looking for the "holy grail" of sharpness, but it sometimes isn't very practical in real world settings.

Dave Martell
04-02-2013, 11:24 PM
A good sharpener is never content......and......would never use a Gizmo :D

Chefdog
04-02-2013, 11:48 PM
A good sharpener is never content...

This is a great point. After you get comfortable with putting a nice edge on your knives you'll start adjusting and tweaking your edges looking for something else. Whether it's different edges for different knives, or experimenting with different levels of refinement, or how to extract the most edge retention, or playing with micro-bevels, or convexing your blades, or altering asymmetry, OR........

labor of love
04-02-2013, 11:52 PM
This is a great point. After you get comfortable with putting a nice edge on your knives you'll start adjusting and tweaking your edges looking for something else. Whether it's different edges for different knives, or experimenting with different levels of refinement, or how to extract the most edge retention, or playing with micro-bevels, or convexing your blades, or altering asymmetry, OR........
yeah, ive been working hard on my microbevels lately...whatever it takes to improve edge retention...im definitely never content.

chinacats
04-03-2013, 12:07 AM
yeah, ive been working hard on my microbevels lately...whatever it takes to improve edge retention...im definitely never content.

I understand that from the pro's, but as a home user I am content to let them degrade so I can resharpen more often. I run fairly acute angles and beat hell out of an edge just so I can do it all over again. Oh and I suck at making a nice consistent microbevel :newhere:

labor of love
04-03-2013, 12:43 AM
I understand that from the pro's, but as a home user I am content to let them degrade so I can resharpen more often. I run fairly acute angles and beat hell out of an edge just so I can do it all over again. Oh and I suck at making a nice consistent microbevel :newhere:

well thats cool too!

bieniek
04-04-2013, 12:34 PM
Well, I've mostly worked Japanese restaurants; some of which require absolutely the highest standards in knife cuts. I had to sharpen my knife before every prep task (onions, scallions, cucumber etc.). Some places, doing the work was nearly impossible if you didn't own a usuba. It really just depends on what your doing and what your restaurant expects of you. Some places I've only needed to sharpen once a week, others 2-3 times a day.


Please dont get me wrong but
1. The highest standard with knife cuts and sharpening done on King 1k stone?
2. I could imagine sharpening a knife after every task but isnt that l'art pour l'art? I mean, How much spring onions, or cucumber for that matter, would you have to cut to degrade the edge so significantly, enough to sharpen again? It definitely is possible but this restaurant would have to be like 500 seater or something unlikely japanese.

Im not saying youre wrong or lying, just curious.

memorael
04-06-2013, 02:56 PM
Hi have stopped going beyond 1k for a while now and while I can notice a difference in sharpness to some extent I now prefer a 1k edge done properly over some other edges. The aggressiveness from the 1k is something you get used to and also I like how the the edge needs some action from your hand to cut. Edges that are to polished would some times slip past the cut I wanted to do or just make me feel like I lost touch with the knife. The cuts are as clean and I find no reason why a 1k edge can't be as good an edge as a 10k.

keithsaltydog
04-06-2013, 05:38 PM
Hi have stopped going beyond 1k for a while now and while I can notice a difference in sharpness to some extent I now prefer a 1k edge done properly over some other edges. The aggressiveness from the 1k is something you get used to and also I like how the the edge needs some action from your hand to cut. Edges that are to polished would some times slip past the cut I wanted to do or just make me feel like I lost touch with the knife. The cuts are as clean and I find no reason why a 1k edge can't be as good an edge as a 10k.

+1 agree a properly done med. stone edge works well for most prep work.

Benuser
04-06-2013, 08:21 PM
A good deburring is so much easier after a 2k.

Don Nguyen
04-06-2013, 10:17 PM
Taking an edge to a higher grit in general reduces the burr size, right?

Edit: Thanks for the responses everyone!

Chefdog
04-06-2013, 10:48 PM
Taking an edge to a higher grit in general reduces the burr size, right?

Edit: Thanks for the responses everyone!

As long as you're using increasingly lighter pressure as you move up in grits, then it should reduce the size of your burr. It's also possible to completely remove the burr at (for example) 1K, then move up to 4 K and create a new one. In that case, you'd have a larger burr at 4K than you did at 1K. Make sense? So I guess the answer then is, "It depends." And it's dependant on how YOU choose to sharpen.

I always try to deburr as completely as I can starting at my 1K stone, and then to raise only the smallest burr at the next stone, and again to deburr completely before stropping. I only sharpen to 4K, so most of the time I'm only using 2 stones, but when I start at the bottom (400), I'm comfortable jumping to 1K without removing the burr entirely.

Chef Doom
04-07-2013, 02:37 AM
So in other words the endless amounts of money that I put in to all these high grit stones was worthless? I might have to go out and seek a few refunds. I can't stand the constant backtracking that goes on around here. I demand an official apology.

bieniek
04-07-2013, 03:02 AM
Hi have stopped going beyond 1k for a while now and while I can notice a difference in sharpness to some extent I now prefer a 1k edge done properly over some other edges. The aggressiveness from the 1k is something you get used to and also I like how the the edge needs some action from your hand to cut. Edges that are to polished would some times slip past the cut I wanted to do or just make me feel like I lost touch with the knife. The cuts are as clean and I find no reason why a 1k edge can't be as good an edge as a 10k.

Yeah I tried that before too but found it 1K edge to be running away to fast on yanagis, so in other words not enough control over cutting. I like the 3K [or whatever it is from natural stone] range better for the gloss on the slice too.

As to the usubas on the other hand I like the edge more polished but I guess 1K edge could be sufficient depends on what you like. For me personally too grainy and I spent some weeks just stropping over and over again. When I was using synthetic stones I was polishing quite high in terms of grit to 8K [and on Naniwa SS] and stropping on loaded felt very pleasant feeling when the knife just slips through cucumber or pepper skins.

Just remember I really am using two stones JNS and binsui and this is providing me with plenty a bite yet the edge is more "controlable". I think its a good compromise for all edges but again usubas go to ohira, I dont have a clue about grit range but its plenty of bite [just different kind] there too.

Not too sure whether the honing process alone takes so much time? I would say most struggle with other peoples knives is initial bevel setting and thinning for most part. If honing takes 5 % of that time thats all.

bieniek
04-07-2013, 03:07 AM
So in other words the endless amounts of money that I put in to all these high grit stones was worthless?

Haha of course. Same with knives, isnt it?
Cause one thing that is not getting mentioned very often is that edge will not be better cutting in real life settings after additional honing.

zitangy
04-07-2013, 03:56 AM
As long as you're using increasingly lighter pressure as you move up in grits, then it should reduce the size of your burr. It's also possible to completely remove the burr at (for example) 1K, then move up to 4 K and create a new one. In that case, you'd have a larger burr at 4K than you did at 1K. Make sense? So I guess the answer then is, "It depends." And it's dependant on how YOU choose to sharpen.

I always try to deburr as completely as I can starting at my 1K stone, and then to raise only the smallest burr at the next stone, and again to deburr completely before stropping. I only sharpen to 4K, so most of the time I'm only using 2 stones, but when I start at the bottom (400), I'm comfortable jumping to 1K without removing the burr entirely.

ZZZ >> Pressure: it is subjective as we all are built differently. Some are heavy handed and some are generally gentle by nature.

Only by feel and experience you wld know the pressure required to achieve that objective. The finer the stone, given the same pressure applied, it will shave less steel? Below 1000 grit, when I am off form adn seem not to be able to get it done fast, I wld use a hone rod about the same grit adn do only cutting strokes.

removing burr is an important stage in sharpening as without it the edge is not pointy. I only use cutting strokes onto the stone as presumably it will break or cut off the burr and a few further additional strokes wld be needed as i believe that after it breaks off the edge wld be a little rounded. I wld apply alternating sides adn presumably that the pressure applied is the same. BUt alas, the way we hold it differs when edge is facing you vs spice facing you dooms us to problems as it applies different amount of pressure on the Blade. YOU will have to compensate.. Experience adn feel. That's why counting strokes per se is not a passport to a balanced edge ( no burrs)

Thast why if ONLY edge trailing strokes are applied in sharpening on both sides of a knife, burr removal can be a challenge. At the very least On one side must be a cutting stroke.

Grit size: GEnerally the smoother the stone, the finer the burr as it removes less metal per stroke and hence more strokes to remove the burr and the burr created on the finer stone is finer ;unless you keep on shaving steel to develop the big burr. BUt we all shld know how to feel for teh slightest burr. I remember reading that MArtel mentioned that it wld be good to remove burr on that particular grit stone before proceeding to the next smoother stone adn it makes sense as trying to remove burr on a finer stone which has less cutting power will require more strokes; unless the jump in grit is small. Having said that.. what ever works is fine. Like Don, I am always trying to make sharpening sessions more time effective.

Have fun and stay sharp...
C

xuz
04-07-2013, 04:12 AM
For kitchen knife, frankly I don't really pay much attention. Before dinner, 3 or 4 strokes on chosera 1k, 2 strokes on 5k and it's ready to go.
Consistency in bevel from heel to toe? Doesn't matter.
20 degree vs 40 degree leading angle? Same.
Is it uglier than a deer turd? Ditto.
I've once had a knife that got a chip after dropping it from counter, and I couldn't tell the difference; I'm sure the leg of lamb didn't notice the difference either. As long as the blade is maintained relatively well daily, it will perform well.




So in other words the endless amounts of money that I put in to all these high grit stones was worthless?

But of course there's the kitchen knife, then there's the hobby knife.
For me this is one of the 20 or so straight razors that I have/had in the past, and the yanagiba I pull out once in a while to try the bodyguard routine. (You know, Whitney Houston, scarf, katana.)
There's something VERY therapeutic about sharpening the edge to the point where it can effortless sever the molecular bonds that constitute the nature's very fabric.
Drop that hair on the straight razor honed on yellow green Escher. Ooooo.
Slice through that extra thin, slightly damp newspaper with your yanagiba honed on Suehiro Gokumyo. Aaaaaa.
I am also guilty of dropping several grand on hones over the several decades.
BUT! I can say that my relatively healthy mental health is in part due to the ZEN like practice of getting that perfect edge on these hobby knives. It's worth every penny! You hear that wifey?!!
There's something very calming and focusing about getting that perfectly consistent bevel from heel to toe.
And something very satisfying about effortlessly decapitating a strand of hair without the slightest of pressure.

Drumjockey
04-07-2013, 04:29 AM
I think a good sharpener... is still not the guy I see in my mirror. And I'm pretty sure he still has no idea what he's doing, but his edges are getting better, slowly:) Thanks for this thread, very helpful to see so many different takes on this!

keithsaltydog
04-08-2013, 02:41 PM
Carbon Steel Single Bevels & polishing stones go together like Fish and Poi

boomchakabowwow
04-08-2013, 03:47 PM
mmmm...poi.

memorael
04-09-2013, 09:23 AM
So in other words the endless amounts of money that I put in to all these high grit stones was worthless? I might have to go out and seek a few refunds. I can't stand the constant backtracking that goes on around here. I demand an official apology.

I wouldn't call the stones worthless, they still have tons of purpose. I still like taking some knives to the highest levels possible that I know of and can achieve. A 1k edge though done properly gives me the characteristics I look for on the knives that I use in my restaurant. There is no point in taking it beyond 1k when all my cuts are pretty rough. If I want though to cut something like black truffles I would not use a 1k edge, nor would I use a 1k edge for sashimi using a carbon knife. There is no one knife to solve all problems equally well, that is why variety is the spice of life. :thumbsup:

phan1
04-09-2013, 05:06 PM
Please dont get me wrong but
1. The highest standard with knife cuts and sharpening done on King 1k stone?
2. I could imagine sharpening a knife after every task but isnt that l'art pour l'art? I mean, How much spring onions, or cucumber for that matter, would you have to cut to degrade the edge so significantly, enough to sharpen again? It definitely is possible but this restaurant would have to be like 500 seater or something unlikely japanese.

Im not saying youre wrong or lying, just curious.

I absolutely believe the highest level knife cuts can be done off a 1k stone. Polishing it up to an #8000 will make your edge last longer, but it will take a bit more time to get there, so it kind of cancels out. Your better off keeping it simple and using your #1000 rather than using extra stones to push out an extra hour out of your knife.

As for needing to sharpen almost before every task, you would have to do it if your chef expected you to cut things as best as humanely possible. I'm not going to drop restaurant names, but there are probably less than 10 restaurants in the entire country that would expect you to do this, and I think all of them would be Japanese. You shouldn't have a slimy board after cutting green onions, and your herbs should not have any discoloration. It should look "alive" as my chef would say, as if the vegetable grew into tiny pieces rather than having been cut.

It's mostly about keeping that "bite" on your knife, and you'll notice that the "bite" on your knife deteriorates VERY quickly, hence the need to keep sharpening. And if you only "rock cut", that bite on your knife is going to be gone in minutes (seconds more likely). Your knife can still be technically "sharp" without that bite, but not good enough for green onions and delicate herbs. Such attention to detail can actually be done in fine dining, low seat restaurants (definitely under 100 seats).

As far as high grit stones being worthless, I don't think they are. I like having high grit stones to sort of "test the limits" of my knife. I'm sure you guys know, some steels respond differently to high grit stones. A VG10 versus a white #2 off a #12000 stone is pretty different...

chinacats
04-09-2013, 09:06 PM
It's mostly about keeping that "bite" on your knife, and you'll notice that the "bite" on your knife deteriorates VERY quickly, hence the need to keep sharpening. And if you only "rock cut", that bite on your knife is going to be gone in minutes (seconds more likely). Your knife can still be technically "sharp" without that bite, but not good enough for green onions and delicate herbs. Such attention to detail can actually be done in fine dining, low seat restaurants (definitely under 100 seats).


I'm no pro--maybe not even a good amateur, but I have to question an edge gone in seconds while making any style of cuts; sounds like a wire to me...:whistling:

Chef Doom
04-09-2013, 09:20 PM
What constitutes a good sharpener?

When Michael Mayers can lop off your head with one swipe, and then butcher a whole pig for a evening party, and then slice sashimi with the Jiro stamp of approval. Same knife, no touch up in between.

TheDispossessed
04-10-2013, 09:33 AM
i've been freehand sharpening for a little over a year now and feel i just recently got to a place i am happy with, where i am getting consistently good result with little time and steel lost. many thanks to jon broida for his videos, and the class he did at our restauarant, those both helped a whole lot. i took the plunge and invested in a set of gesshin stones (400, 2000, 4000) and quite enjoy using them. i'm a bit obsessive about sharpening but will not bring those stones to work or use the massively dished out kings lying around, so i bring my kit home daily and touch up my edges before every shift. with such routine maintenance i find i only ever use the 4k stone now, which believe me, will raise a burr very quickly on quality steel with little to no pressure. i follow this up by stropping on newsprint laid over the stone, no compounds or anything. i'm able to get my three primary blades done, oiled and put away in about 15 minutes.
the bottom line for me is a good sharpener is someone who cares, who takes pride in their tools and is always seeking improvement. i accord some respect in the kitchen not by who has the most expensive tools, but who cares for theirs the most.
sharpening my knives is my favorite part of my day. someone asked me what i think about when i sharpen and i realized, i think about nothing but sharpening, so it's very 'zen' for me in that way. not a lot of the rest of my day usually is...

memorael
04-11-2013, 09:14 PM
I dont sharpen as often as I used to, but when I do I notice that I no longer seek improving my edges with different higher grit stones but rather on how good I can do it with less tools. I also notice that when I sharpen I only think about what is going on and forget about everything else, I also make sure my fingers are out of harms way... seen plenty of bloody stuff happen. I also like doing crazy stuff most people wont try like taking a dmt xxc edge and polishing it only with a 10k and then trying to shave just to see if it works, and it does! I also agree that the best sharpeners arent the ones that try to get the best edge but try to make sure their work is done to the best of their knowledge. This usually takes care of the edge part since in hierarchy according to me looking for an edge is lower than making sure you do your best, this is how people improve since once you get good at what your doing you start noticing that there is a better way to do what you already are doing.

keithsaltydog
04-11-2013, 11:36 PM
Dispossessed,sounds good,we had the dished Kings at work too.Glad to hear your sharpening is working well.I've always enjoyed,it is relaxing after a busy day.

TheDispossessed
04-12-2013, 07:13 PM
thanks salty dog!

bieniek
04-14-2013, 03:07 AM
I absolutely believe the highest level knife cuts can be done off a 1k stone. Polishing it up to an #8000 will make your edge last longer, but it will take a bit more time to get there, so it kind of cancels out. Your better off keeping it simple and using your #1000 rather than using extra stones to push out an extra hour out of your knife.

As for needing to sharpen almost before every task, you would have to do it if your chef expected you to cut things as best as humanely possible. I'm not going to drop restaurant names, but there are probably less than 10 restaurants in the entire country that would expect you to do this, and I think all of them would be Japanese. You shouldn't have a slimy board after cutting green onions, and your herbs should not have any discoloration. It should look "alive" as my chef would say, as if the vegetable grew into tiny pieces rather than having been cut.

It's mostly about keeping that "bite" on your knife, and you'll notice that the "bite" on your knife deteriorates VERY quickly, hence the need to keep sharpening. And if you only "rock cut", that bite on your knife is going to be gone in minutes (seconds more likely). Your knife can still be technically "sharp" without that bite, but not good enough for green onions and delicate herbs. Such attention to detail can actually be done in fine dining, low seat restaurants (definitely under 100 seats).

As far as high grit stones being worthless, I don't think they are. I like having high grit stones to sort of "test the limits" of my knife. I'm sure you guys know, some steels respond differently to high grit stones. A VG10 versus a white #2 off a #12000 stone is pretty different...

I hear you but disagree.
Firstly about the finer edges lasting longer. Never happened to me guess thats why I changed 7 stone progression and 2 strops to 2 simple stones and a piece of leather.

I am not saying 1K edge is not useful, Im just saying theres much better to be taken out of the steel than just 1K. Few strokes on [even] somewhere around 3K and youre getting much much much better keener edge that slices cleaner.
If the chef expects sharpest thats respectable, but saying 1K is best for fine slicing is irresponsible. Nor it takes long time to hone a little more, and possibly be breaking of the wires.

Mrmnms
04-14-2013, 11:53 AM
A good sharpener is someone who can adapt their technique to produce excellent, consistent results with different types of knives and steels

phan1
04-15-2013, 01:47 AM
I hear you but disagree.
Firstly about the finer edges lasting longer. Never happened to me guess thats why I changed 7 stone progression and 2 strops to 2 simple stones and a piece of leather.

I am not saying 1K edge is not useful, Im just saying theres much better to be taken out of the steel than just 1K. Few strokes on [even] somewhere around 3K and youre getting much much much better keener edge that slices cleaner.
If the chef expects sharpest thats respectable, but saying 1K is best for fine slicing is irresponsible. Nor it takes long time to hone a little more, and possibly be breaking of the wires.

I'm not going to say 1k or any particular grit stone is "best" for fine slicing. I'm just saying that any high-level knife cut in a high-end Japanese restaurant can be done off a King 1k stone, because I've seen it and experienced it for myself. It's more important that your knife is "fresh off the stones" sharp; what grit you finish on is not really an issue. If you've seen Jiro Dreams of Sushi, there's a segment where everyone is simply sharpening on King 1k stones. I highly doubt they're following them up with 12k stones and leather strops...

xuz
04-16-2013, 01:40 AM
So after many decades of sharpening and cleaning pocket knives, I've got my first real bleeder recently.

Went through the whole shebang. 1k,3k,5k,8k,12k,20k,1 micron diamond, .5 and .05 micron CBN. Edge was so sharp that it could scare the whiskers by its mere presence and edge so frail it would get dull from the blow of a spring breeze.
I was cleaning the pivot, then I don't know what happened, but it snapped back on the back of my thumb.

Cut clean to the bone. No pain whatsoever. Must have cut straight through the nerves. It was about 1 inch laceration, could see slight bit of white layer, and of course the bone. Started bleeding like a fountain. Anyways, washed it down with some alcohol, put them bandage on with good pressure. Slept through the night, again no pain. Woke up next morning, opened up the bandage, and the gash was closed nice and good without any stitches. That was a nice surgical edge!!!

TBH, though, the real lesson is that a good sharpener should never get cut that badly handling a knife. From a more ZEN perspective, I think a good sharpener is the one with the alert mind.

Zwiefel
04-16-2013, 11:39 AM
So after many decades of sharpening and cleaning pocket knives, I've got my first real bleeder recently.

Went through the whole shebang. 1k,3k,5k,8k,12k,20k,1 micron diamond, .5 and .05 micron CBN. Edge was so sharp that it could scare the whiskers by its mere presence and edge so frail it would get dull from the blow of a spring breeze.
I was cleaning the pivot, then I don't know what happened, but it snapped back on the back of my thumb.

Cut clean to the bone. No pain whatsoever. Must have cut straight through the nerves. It was about 1 inch laceration, could see slight bit of white layer, and of course the bone. Started bleeding like a fountain. Anyways, washed it down with some alcohol, put them bandage on with good pressure. Slept through the night, again no pain. Woke up next morning, opened up the bandage, and the gash was closed nice and good without any stitches. That was a nice surgical edge!!!

TBH, though, the real lesson is that a good sharpener should never get cut that badly handling a knife. From a more ZEN perspective, I think a good sharpener is the one with the alert mind.

Ouch. I did something similar with a folder, but my index finger. Cut the tendon that straightens the most distal joint..now my finger is a bit crooked :)

No pain at all...and bled profusely. Same thing with all my kitchen knife nicks over the past couple of years too.

gregg
04-25-2013, 10:09 AM
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: Waaaah! what to do with my SS 8000?

gregg
04-25-2013, 12:57 PM
:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: Waaaah! what to do with my SS 8000?

(Sorry, got taken away for a plumbing incident just as I was intending to post something extra hilarious).