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Thread: New to the world of knives

  1. #1

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    New to the world of knives

    Hi all! Thought I'd start a thread to ask some questions I have about knives and knife sharpening as it's all a wee bit confusing to a beginner. Well basically I'm new to the chef'ing world! Haven't been doing it long but I love it. And that's what brought me here, I think to be a better chef you need to learn every aspect not just the food and I believe that in cooking the saying 'a bad workman blames his tools' does not apply you just have to have the correct equipment, and a good sharp knife is essential! When started I got myself a 10" rosewood Victorinox and and diamond steel but now it has lost its edge and is a nightmare to work with. I was be very grateful if any of you lot had some sound advice for a novice! What are your thoughts on Victorinox? How should I go about sharpening and maintening my knifes edge? And how to do lot store your knives?

  2. #2
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    Welcome!

    I'd suggest starting to learn about sharpening, since you already have a serviceable knife you know and use. The Victorinox is quite good for the price. If you hang out here you'll probably spend way more than that eventually

    Sharpening & honing
    Here's what's probably the best resource on sharpening in English on the subject:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...F55079F53216AB
    The first 9 videos cover everything you need to know to sharpen your current knife. The other ones won't be as useful right away.

    Here's another good playlist, that's not as well organized by difficulty level as the above one:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...FGto9_PSkXWiN6

    For that you'll need to get a stone or two (no more to start!). Turns out someone was just recommending an excellent medium+fine grit combo stone for beginners, for just $36:
    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...3k-combo-stone
    Since it's so cheap, I'd say go ahead and get that. You'll learn what you like and dislike, and you can add more stones later if you want.

    Since you mention you have a steel, here's a a video on proper steel use:


    Storage
    At home, most people here probably use wooden magnetic bars. They can hold many large knives without scratching them (a problem with metal magnetic bars). Example: http://benchcrafted.com/Magblok.html

    Some people also use wooden blocks, but since we all tend to have so many large knives, it gets hard to find unless custom-made. Of course, if you have a lot of self-control or don't hang out on this forum too much, it gets easier
    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...m-Knife-Blocks

    There are also wooden drawer organizers such as this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Mundial-Solid-.../dp/B0009MG0JE

    Finally, you can always get sayas (Japanese-style wooden blade covers) for each of your knives and just keep them in a regular drawer. That's not ideal for non-stainless knives, but you don't have that concern yet.

    I don't think many pros leave their knives at work, too easy to get stolen... Instead they get excited about various knife bags, cases and rolls. Here's a recent thread:
    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...oll-do-you-use

    Knife shopping advice
    Just in case you were looking for an excuse to upgrade from the Victorinox, there's a standard questionnaire you can fill out so we can give you tailored advice:
    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...estionnaire-v2
    Just paste your answers as a new message in this thread, if you're interested.

    FYI, it will only make sense to upgrade if you have at least $75 to spend on a new chef's knife, I think. I would focus on getting your existing knife sharp first.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by perneto View Post
    For that you'll need to get a stone or two (no more to start!). Turns out someone was just recommending an excellent medium+fine grit combo stone for beginners, for just $36:
    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...3k-combo-stone
    Since it's so cheap, I'd say go ahead and get that. You'll learn what you like and dislike, and you can add more stones later if you want.
    And here's the link:
    http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/...oducts_id=1956

  4. #4
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    Diamond rods are pretty fine, so I think you have just been polishing the current edge (and if you use too much pressure rolling over the edge..). At some point, this is not enough, and you need to go down to coarser whetstones and do legit sharpening. Raise a burr, remove the burr, create a clean crisp bevel and all that. If you have been sharpening, but not thinning, then that needs to be addressed as well.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Sabaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve90 View Post
    Hi all! Thought I'd start a thread to ask some questions I have about knives and knife sharpening as it's all a wee bit confusing to a beginner. Well basically I'm new to the chef'ing world! Haven't been doing it long but I love it. And that's what brought me here, I think to be a better chef you need to learn every aspect not just the food and I believe that in cooking the saying 'a bad workman blames his tools' does not apply you just have to have the correct equipment, and a good sharp knife is essential! When started I got myself a 10" rosewood Victorinox and and diamond steel but now it has lost its edge and is a nightmare to work with. I was be very grateful if any of you lot had some sound advice for a novice! What are your thoughts on Victorinox? How should I go about sharpening and maintening my knifes edge? And how to do lot store your knives?
    Hello and welcome Steve90

    Your Victorinox has probably served you well and been sharpened with the diamond steel many times and may be deformed along the edge also? it's also a bit to thick behind the edge to become a good cutting tool for you and in need of thinning. yes?
    You need to get a coarse and medium stone to thin your blade or turn it in to someone that can do the thinning for ya.

    Learn some basic skills with knives and wet stones, then do some practice and you will never have any problem again with knives being a poor cutter

    I'm sure someone can provide u with a ton of clips how to sharpen and maintain your knives
    Vive pro omni die

  6. #6
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    That video was pretty good. Only diff. I put knife on underside of steel for other side still sweeping out. That way no chance of hitting the guard. Like he said only a couple light strokes is all you need to straight the edge.

    I do not care for diamond steels. The diamonds do some cutting of the steel as opposed to a totally smooth polishing rod that works well on Victorinox knives. The diamond steels are sold at the supply stores here cooks who use them eventually bugger up their edges, knives do not cut well at all. Bottom line is no substitute for freehand skills.

    Welcome to the Forum, plenty info. here to get your knife sharp.

  7. #7

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    Cheers for the advise lads! Looks like I'll need to get myself a stone! I forgot to mention I'm from England so I hope these websites ship that far lol. I've been having a read around different sharpening topics and I've read I need to get a stone flattened? And also that I shouldn't be using a diamond steel as they are too abrasive. What kind of honing rod do you recommend? Thanks again and sorry for all these questions just I work an absolute shitload and trying to find all this information from articles takes up time I don't have haha!

  8. #8
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    No problem shipping to the UK. The one I linked to actually ships from Japan, so UK or US doesn't make much of a difference:
    http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/...oducts_id=1956

    Flattening will indeed become necessary at some point. There it probably makes sense to spend a bit more and get a diamond plate right away.
    The cheaper kind of stone flattener (e.g. http://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/en/p...n-220-a102.htm) tends to wear unevenly over time and require flattening just like waterstones.

    The i-Wood 150 or 300 grit diamond plate here seems like a very affordable option: http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/...roducts_id=852
    I haven't tried it myself, perhaps others can comment on it.
    Here's some praise for the iWood plates: http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...Atoma-vs-other

    If you're short on cash, you can use drywall screen instead. I haven't tried that myself.

    For honing rods, you can probably stick with what you have right now and just make sure to use a very light touch.

    If you upgrade your knife later, you might stop using honing rods altogether.

  9. #9

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    a flattener that needs flattened, well that seems a wee bit pointless haha! ill do a bit more reading about this forum then get myself a stone, a flattener and a new honing rod as mines gone missing (as things seem to do in busy professional kitchens!) i also need a few new task specific knives such as carving knife, flexible filleting knife some others, do you reccomd sticking with vicroinox for time being while im a knife novice? i dont earn that much at the minute is why im asking

  10. #10
    Senior Member Sabaki's Avatar
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    Keeping your knives thin behind the edge makes sharpening so much easier and faster, i often use a "Taidea 5000grit" under the water tap, a couple of strokes and deburr on balsa strop creates a razor edge in seconds. i dont use honing rod anymore
    Vive pro omni die

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