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View Full Version : Thoughts for edge angles in commercial kitchen



cannibal
09-02-2011, 10:15 AM
In the building I work at we have a restaurant in the bottom floor that I frequent. I talk to the people in the kitchen there often and earlier this week I was talking to the line cook and the manager about how they sharpen their knives. Turns out the guy they usually use just went AWOL and they have not sharpened their knives in about two and a half months. He asked if I wanted to pick up where he left off, and I leapt at the idea. I get to sharpen a good amount of knives...and they're going to PAY me for it! :happy2:

So to my actual question...The knives in their kitchen are stainless, mostly dexter or forschner. I am thinking i'll sharpen at 17 or 18 degrees up to a 5k stone, and then put a 23 or 24 degree micro-bevel to retain the edge over extended use. Does this sound optimal for general use in a small restaurant?

The place is closed over the weekend so I told the guy that I would take his knife home today to sharpen it so he could try it out for a week or two. He knows I'm not a "pro" sharpener, and I wanted them to be confident I wasn't going to ruin all their knives.

aaronsgibson
09-02-2011, 10:20 AM
Well the problem is how hard are they on them. If they are like the few I'll sharpen at my work I'll just do about a 20 degree on them with no micro and that will last about a week using a King 1k/6k stone. So you might want to either ask or even better try and see how hard they use them. If it's super hard then I would almost just do the 24 degree on it and leave it at that. But that's my .02$. But I think you'll do fine sharpening them.

jgraeff
09-02-2011, 10:28 AM
personally id just find the bevel already on them and touch them up really good, is should be 18-20, and ya id add a microbevel but i wouldn't go higher than 25 on that type of steel, i have a forschner chefs knife and i can get it really sharp but if i do a microbevel like i do on my other gyutos it will just ruin the edge it can't take the steep angle of it.

Benuser
09-02-2011, 10:50 AM
I guess they will need a lot of thinning...

tk59
09-02-2011, 10:54 AM
Well the problem is how hard are they on them. If they are like the few I'll sharpen at my work I'll just do about a 20 degree on them with no micro and that will last about a week using a King 1k/6k stone. So you might want to either ask or even better try and see how hard they use them. If it's super hard then I would almost just do the 24 degree on it and leave it at that...

This is what I would do. I don't know that I'd go beyond 1k either. Many pros don't feel refined edges are aggressive enough.

ecchef
09-02-2011, 11:05 AM
I guess they will need a lot of thinning...

On a stamped D/R or Forschner? You're kidding...right?

Vertigo
09-02-2011, 11:15 AM
I'd follow the bevels set by the previous sharpener, and stick to a 1k edge like TK suggested. Not only will the 5k+ edge be wasted on the cooks (more than likely), but taking soft bubblegum steels like you find in a Forchner to 5k is ... I donno, like putting a spoiler on your 1988 AMC Eagle wagon. Sure, it's there when it's sitting in your driveway, but the first time you get it on the road the damn thing blows off.

Dave Martell
09-02-2011, 12:21 PM
Think low grit dual bevels at about 18/20 deg. If I was in your shoes & only had stones I'd use a 500x stone (max) and de-burr with a ceramic rod as my first choice. I'd ask for opinions and adjust from there. If they like this then continue them all this way but maybe once in awhile tweak one knife for testing and ask for opinions on this one.

The thing is that these knives are soft & thick and have no edge holding ability. If you refine the edge too much they will fail quickly, leaving them coarse/rough will not only allow for them to tear through the food (I know sounds awful) but will also provide them with what they expect from their knives. And while I can understand wanting to give them something more than they're used to (impress them) I also know from experience that you'll be better served to meet their immediate expectations than to blow them out of the water on day #1 just to gave to come back on day#2 to re-sharpen. :2cents:

Benuser
09-02-2011, 01:12 PM
On a stamped D/R or Forschner? You're kidding...right?

No. Knives that have been neglected (just steeled) have become quite thick right behind the edge. In those cases thinning is the major part of the sharpening job.

jgraeff
09-02-2011, 02:08 PM
i gotta disagree on the 1k edges for pro environments... i mean I'm not sharpening expert by any means, however i do work in a pro kitchen and i use to only have a 1k stone a couple years ago. I can tell you now i much more prefer a more refined edge to work with and it also holds up much better. Id say 3-5k is perfect for restaurant use but thats just my .002 from personal experience

99Limited
09-02-2011, 04:05 PM
i gotta disagree on the 1k edges for pro environments... i mean I'm not sharpening expert by any means, however i do work in a pro kitchen and i use to only have a 1k stone a couple years ago. I can tell you now i much more prefer a more refined edge to work with and it also holds up much better. Id say 3-5k is perfect for restaurant use but thats just my .002 from personal experience

I think I'd defer to what Dave suggested. When a professional gives advice, take it and run with it.

cannibal
09-02-2011, 04:34 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback.
After reading some of the posts i went down to take a look at one of the knives and it looks like they were sharpened on a grinder. I'll stick with a 500 grit for now and wider angles, and then in the future I'll give the line cook a sample of what stainless sharpened on a 5k is like.

Thanks again everyone for the help :thumbsup:

Eamon Burke
09-02-2011, 04:36 PM
Definitely don't overdo it! Microbevels, strop progressions, measured angles...these are not needed/appreciated on those knives in that environment. For a home, you can go with giving them a bit better edge on crappy knives, because they are less abusive than pro kitchens.

It would help to see how they use them, but the #1 priority in sharpening pro kitchen tools is aligning the edge properly. Remove small chips, make the edge bevel meet squarely, and deburr it. Any more is not only a waste of time, but might actually turn them off(you'd be surprised).

You know what, just do it, check on them in 7 days, come back and post here. Tell us how shocked you are at the damage that a week has done. You'd be surprised!

tk59
09-02-2011, 04:50 PM
...i do work in a pro kitchen and i use to only have a 1k stone a couple years ago. I can tell you now i much more prefer a more refined edge to work with and it also holds up much better. Id say 3-5k is perfect for restaurant use but thats just my .002 from personal experience I think it's okay to put a few strokes on your edge with a higher grit stone but a true 3+k edge would lose its toothiness pretty quickly. Then again, if you use a grooved steel, you will instantly add microchips/serrations that will aid in cutting but before long, it would behave more like a 500 grit edge or coarser. If you used a 1k rod to touch up, that would be a little better... Sorry, I don't get it. 3-5k on a Forschner?

ThEoRy
09-02-2011, 10:06 PM
i gotta disagree on the 1k edges for pro environments... i mean I'm not sharpening expert by any means, however i do work in a pro kitchen and i use to only have a 1k stone a couple years ago. I can tell you now i much more prefer a more refined edge to work with and it also holds up much better. Id say 3-5k is perfect for restaurant use but thats just my .002 from personal experience

On a J-blade sure. Take it up to 5-6k. Or yanagis up to 8-12k whatever. On ****** house knives forshner knife pro whatever 1k max. The steel is just too soft and fails too easily.

goodchef1
09-02-2011, 10:50 PM
I assume these blade steels are soft, so it will tend to roll rather then chip. Try 3-5k, and 15-18 degrees. Steeling would be frequent, but should provide increased and adequate performance throughout the shift.