The only immediate value I see in using cheap (SS or otherwise, but nowadays cheap seems to automatically mean SS)
knives for learning many aspects of sharpening is that one overcomes fear. Want to put a hummer to the knife? Fine!
Want to learn to operate a sander? No problemo. Your hands are not shaking, because your loss is capped with $2, and
you don't have to observe the (likely ugly) consequences of your experiment and wish you never touched that piece
with your clumsy hands.
Will you learn everything you need to work with good steel? No. Can you learn something (being conscious about
the deficiencies of the material at hand)? I think why not.
Just to chime in here, I think two salient points can be made that satisfy everybody.
LKH9 is relatively new here, barely 3 months in (so don't feel like a long-time senior member is picking on you cab_club, most forum regulars are 100% friendly) but is damned good at sharpening stainless by holding very accurate angle using jigs or his hands. He has a good method that is probably not typical. It isn't as easy as sharpening carbon. I think we can agree, then, that it takes skill to do so. But it seems he also habitually picks fights around here that are rooted in that skill, insisting that various folks are wrong because he is good at sharpening soft stainless. That could merely be how he phrased things (as I interpret them), but most folks around here are quite welcoming to new folks, especially the sharpening gods of the forum whose skill is unparalleled.
I think it still stands that it is nice to learn on carbon and there's no reason to look down on that. I personally have made a point to fix up old carbons and gift them to people who want sharp knives because most stainless just doesn't feel worth the effort for the edge retention, as it dulls so quickly. But maybe I am just too lazy to get soft stainless scary sharp like LKH9 does (impressively successfully). It is clear that soft stainless CAN be made sharp with certain techniques, but I and many others find carbon more responsive and fun in the long run. To each his own.
Now please just get along, folks. It's dangerous when people pick fights with knives in their hands!
My apologies to everybody again. Hope you weren't disturbed. And of course I recognize LKH9's skill.
Which I'm planning to match sometime soon. Yeah!
Believe me, it doesn't take a lot of time to touch up those crap SS knives. When I do need 1 hour+ to sharpen a SS knife, it's because I want to modify the crap factory bevel, that takes heap loads of efforts to grind by hand. When that secondary bevel is done, the primary/microbevel should be quick to happen. 5-10 mins to touch up a not too dull SS knife, about 6-7" in length. Pass a paper cutting test and it's complete. So fun in fact I'm still waiting for friends to offer me cheap knives to sharpen. Weeks ago, I even tried to sharpen a pair of stainless scissors which was ridiculously dull, it was back to push-cutting sharp on paper, 1st attempt on scissors.
I just feel this forum is a bit different, I've been to some other forums before and those people hardly ever mention about blade material when it comes to sharpening skills, some even say "any steel can be turned into razor blade", quite true. This is the first place I ever hear of this so commonly, no offense!
Over here, carbon kitchen knives are almost non-existent except from butchers and those old Chinese food shops. Kiwi brand stainless knives are the most widely available product, everyone seems to have one in the house.
That sounds like a sensible limitation, gotta work with what's available. It's clearly better than having dull stainless knives. I think we can all agree that caring for our tools, regardless of how fancy they are, is a primary concern around here.
Coming from a place where I can get a box of dinged up old carbon blades for $5, it is easy to default to those and suggest the same to others, though that isn't true in other places (like the UK where knives cannot be sold on eBay). It also makes sense that pro restaurant folks favor whatever retains a good edge for a few work days. We've all got our opportunities and limitations that lead to our preferences. There's no harm in making the best of what's.
I'd say the OP can buy carbon if he would like to, or continue refining his technique on stainless, but with something other than waterstones. If you go carbon, newboy, I hear a guy might sell you his Rader for $10,000....
Re-posted, account prob on Dailymotion. Mod please help edit the above post.
Sorry for being rude, but instead of capturing videos you'd better fix that broken tip.
Originally Posted by LKH9
The Butchers & old Chinese guys in your area are the smart ones.
Maybe it is not his knife and the owner said nothing about the tip ... or maybe it is for a child and a knife without a tip is preferred?
Originally Posted by icanhaschzbrgr