View Full Version : Sharpening - time spent

10-16-2011, 11:00 AM
So ... tried to kill a few german knifes - didn't succeed - they came out great (for a newbie like me) :D

I have used a mixed approach of what I have seen and read and think I got a way that works for me. Thanks for all your suggestions/adwise :thumbsup2:

I'm using approx. 30 min. per knife - going from grit 400 - 1000 - 3000 - 5000 and strop on some cardboard (for now).

I was wondering how much time you guys spend sharpening a dull knife sharp - I'm all ears :biggrin:

Cadillac J
10-16-2011, 11:05 AM
Going through a full progression on a brand new or dull knife, I think 20-30 minutes is probably average for me. This is 600-1200-5000 with deburring between each stone, then stropping on leather+1micron diamond...most of the time is spent on the 600 setting the bevels where I want them.

Depending on the steel, asymmetry or bevels I'm looking for, etc. it could be longer or shorter than that. Once this is done, touch-ups on the 5K and strop only take 1-2 minutes.

10-16-2011, 11:27 AM
Depending on the type of edge I am looking to finish with, I start with either 400 or 1200, and it doesn't take me long to raise a burr with either. Then I go to a Rika or a Gesshin 5k, sometimes both. If I am not doing any major repairs, with deburring between each stone, each knife takes me 5-10 minutes. I usually only strop on a single surface, so that doesn't really take up much time.

10-16-2011, 11:44 AM
Hehehe... I think I've always been slow, and now that I'm being extra careful and methodical, I'm extra slow.

"Fast" for me yesterday with a petty that was in good condition to begin with took me 30 minutes (1k, 4k, finish). Gyutos and a nakiri that I redid from 500 up took me about an hour each (400/500, 1k/2k, 4k/5k, 8k, finish). A little deba that I had never "opened" properly and therefore had quite a bit to do actually went quicker than I thought - probably took me an hour with most of the time on the coarse stone (500, 2k, 4k). But I was working on some ginsanko single-bevels in my previous sessions, and I gotta say they took me a while to "open" properly.

10-16-2011, 03:04 PM
What kind of German knives are we talking about?

10-16-2011, 04:11 PM
I am about 30 min for a new knife, and probably 15-20 min if I go through a full progression on regular use knives.

10-16-2011, 04:18 PM
The time spent is highly dependent on the knife, steel, present edge and what finish I am aming for. For a fairly dulled gyuto without damages I guess 10-20 minutes will easily do it. (#320, #1500, Aoto JNAT, Oohira Asagi JNAT).For a yanagiba or usuba which demands the best possible finish I can easily use about 45-60 minutes. (#1500, Iyoto JNAT, Aoto JNAT, Oohira Asagi JNAT, Takashima JNAT or Hakka JNAT and finishing the edge with Oohira Shiro suita JNAT). If the edge is damaged or chipped you can easily double that. (#320, #1500....)


10-16-2011, 04:48 PM
For my work knives that are in good shape but have dulled slightly, I usually take about 30 mins to sharpen on an 800 and 4k stone. Sometimes I think I spend more time deburring that sharpening but it seems to pay off. The first time I ever sharpened a knife I used sandpaper and it took about 20 hours I think

Citizen Snips
10-16-2011, 05:14 PM
i sharpen every 2-3 shifts depending on how much my knife gets used in the respective shifts.

having said that, it takes me around 15 minutes to get it where i want it. lately i have been spending a few more minutes really looking at the wire edge/burr removal and the differences between going up and down in grits vs. only up and refining.

my progression of late has been 400, 4k, strop, 4k

Eamon Burke
10-16-2011, 06:13 PM
well done american steel, I can spend up to forty minutes per knife when finish sharpening. Cheapo factory steel, I average a minute per inch or less.

Pocket knives rarely exceed thirty seconds.

10-16-2011, 06:29 PM
for me:

New knife for the most part - 30 min (Tojiro Shirogami being the exclusion - it came with pretty much no edge and I had to make my own)
tune-up - 5-10 min
Old knife - 45min - 1.30 (depending on how old we're talking - I have spent 10 hours total on a knife before)
Regular use pocket knife - 5 min

10-17-2011, 04:10 PM
If you mean by German knives the common soft stainless forged ones by the large manufacturers:
it may take some time before you've got them thinned enough. Sometimes they're thick behind the edge.
Once thinning performed sharpening the edge is just a question of minutes: raise a burr at J400, deburr with cork, strop and deburr at 1000. You may add three strokes on leather. Done.

NO ChoP!
10-19-2011, 02:18 PM
I almost always have to set a new bevel being I'm a lefty, so I start on a 220 grit, working the one side predominately, all the way through 1000, 4000, and sometimes 8000, depending on the intended use. I have been playing around with stropping lately; balsa, felt different leathers; different pastes, sprays, etc... not sure any is better than plain old newspaper! LOL A full progression on a newly set bevel takes 30 minutes. Sharpening a set bevel takes less than 10 minutes....

10-19-2011, 04:48 PM
Simple jobs on fairly nice edges are 5-10 min. If you want to shave with it, it takes a lot longer. If you there are chips to work out or thinning that needs to be done, also a lot longer. I've spent about 3-4 hrs on a yanagi.

10-19-2011, 06:27 PM
I almost always have to set a new bevel being I'm a lefty, so I start on a 220 grit, working the one side predominately, all the way through 1000, 4000, and sometimes 8000, depending on the intended use.
I'm not so sure it does make a lot of sense to perform the complete progression after such a radical profile change. I would stop once I had a working edge. Next day or so I would have to reiterate the whole operation I guess.

10-19-2011, 08:45 PM
Depending on the blade, German figure 15 tops (gesshin 400, king 1.2, green brick and either Imanishi 4k or sanyo 6k) white, blue or AS normally 15-30 minutes (depending on how dull) Yet to sharpen a yanagi but that is soon to be corrected :)

10-19-2011, 09:03 PM
Took about half an hour per knife with yesterday's session. Those puppies worked up burrs really quickly and the rest of the process went smoothly.