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Thread: Old Knives - New Sharpener - Help!

  1. #11
    Well, you can always ask the EP guys if they will work with you on swapping out what you got if its not really what you needed. They aren't a huge company and usually customer service comes with the territory of not pissing off what few customers you have.

    That said, there is a questionnaire stickied in the "kitchen knife" section(this one), and it will help to express your needs without requiring that you learn everything. There are links to definitions for some of the terms to clarify, and if you are thorough in your answers, people will guide you to many a great option!

    I'd suggest you make a new thread if you want suggestions like that, or else nobody's going to know you are asking in this thread, because of the title.

    If you decide to upgrade your knives and purchase something more high-performance, the basic EP Apex 1 won't cut it anymore(there's the rub!). So you can either see about downgrading your purchase and sharpen up the knives you know well(good option), or you can throw good money after good money and get knives that will appreciate an EP Pro with choseras(which is common advice around here. We're here to enable, not help :P )

    I'd suggest you sharpen yours. The difference between a dull knife and a well sharpened one is bigger than the difference between a mass-produced Japanese knife and a mass-produced German one.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by johndoughy View Post

    If you decide to upgrade your knives and purchase something more high-performance, the basic EP Apex 1 won't cut it anymore(there's the rub!). So you can either see about downgrading your purchase and sharpen up the knives you know well(good option), or you can throw good money after good money and get knives that will appreciate an EP Pro with choseras(which is common advice around here. We're here to enable, not help :P )
    I'm in learning mode here so, enable away.

    If I want to, as you say, "get knives that will appreciate an EP Pro with choseras" what kind of dollar threshold are we talking about?

    I realize the sky is the limit, but for one new 8" chef size what is the price range of the least expensive Japanese knives that will "appreciate an EP Pro with choseras"?
    Will this be hand made or mass produced? or is that question a can of worms too?
    $300?
    $500?
    $800?
    $1500?
    $2500?
    More?

  3. #13
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    Well, you could of got a Kramer for $51,000.
    Spike C
    "The Buddha resides as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain."
    Pirsig

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpikeC View Post
    Well, you could of got a Kramer for $51,000.
    LOL!!!

    Hand made will cost you upwards of $800 I think..

  5. #15
    Senior Member Benuser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgy Guy View Post
    I'm in learning mode here so, enable away.

    If I want to, as you say, "get knives that will appreciate an EP Pro with choseras" what kind of dollar threshold are we talking about?

    I realize the sky is the limit, but for one new 8" chef size what is the price range of the least expensive Japanese knives that will "appreciate an EP Pro with choseras"?
    $121.55 will do, Hiromoto AS with JCK. Or even less: Carbonext
    $105.00

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benuser View Post
    ...Carbonext $105.00
    +1 or a TKC (maybe the same thing).

  7. #17
    Senior Member Cadillac J's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgy Guy View Post
    If I want to, as you say, "get knives that will appreciate an EP Pro with choseras" what kind of dollar threshold are we talking about??
    You will realize that you don't have to spend a lot in order to get some amazing performing knives. For under $150 there are a plethora of gyutos that will make your jaw drop if sharpened properly...you don't need a +$1,000 custom to do this. In fact, as you learn more by sticking around here, you'll often here people say the performance difference between a $250 'mass-produced' j-knife and a $2,000 custom is very small--it is more in the aesthetics and what the knife represents that make it worth spending more.

    Based on the depth of your questions, I can already predict you are going to turn into a true knife knut...welcome aboard!

  8. #18
    Senior Member Avishar's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!
    Firstly, I would recommend telling any significant others or family members that your bank account may be subject to random large drops in finances; just remind them that its okay, its just an addiction! Secondly, I would recommend Chad Ward's book, An Edge in the Kitchen. Thirdly, when you start to get into freehand sharpening (stick around here long enough and it will happen!), check out Jon's videos at http://www.youtube.com/jknifeimports . Between these three you will have a solid foundation on how to start your foray into the wild world of sharpening.

    I also own an EP Apex, and I went with all the stock stones (Mine came with the 800 as well, which I don't think exists anymore but was replaced with a 1000) and polishing tapes, and then picked up the 1200 from Ben (experimental at the time), and a couple glass plates which I put medical tape with polishing compound (Mother's Mag) on. I picked up a couple extra 120s because at the time there were no better options for coarse grinding.

    When the new stones came out I picked up the DMT XC as well as the Shapton 5k, 8k, and 15k; I did this because the stock EP stones translate to Japanese grits that are covered until those above. I recommend the DMT because it cuts quick, but also can double as a competent flattener for your stones. I also chose Shaptons over Choseras because I feel that Shaptons work better in splash and go applications, which is what I find to work best with the EP situations.

    My procedure with the EP is to use each stone to raise a burr on the knife, then do a long pull stroke across the entire length of the blade, then if on a lower grit use a ceramic rod with a featherlight two swipes to ensure the burr is aligned, then to pull the edge across a cork or the corner of a cutting board to really make sure its all gone. Everyone seems to have their own way to do it, this is just what worked for me

    For your specific knives, I would recommend setting a 15 degree bevel and going up to the stock 1000 and perhaps polishing with the tapes if you can. I am aware that this is not the best for German knives, but when you do this and witness yourself what it looks like for an to edge start to lose its keenness you can really understand what people here are talking about when they tell you that about German steel limitations. This experience is better seen and experienced firsthand, than just believed by us crazies on the forum.

    After this happens, you can easily put on a microbevel at 18-20 degrees up to 600 grit and congratulate yourself because you've just technically went through the process of thinning behind the edge and also creating a compound bevel, and in the process learned and understood more than the majority of people out there will know about knife sharpening! The only thing I would be concerned about is the thickness of your blades right now, if you've put it through the Chef's choice for 20 years it might still be likely to wedge a substantial amount, which is when your edge will be sharp but you will curse at root vegetables and potatoes and butternut squash for preventing your knife from going through without excessive force!

    Finally, I would recommend that you become proficient with the stock stones before progressing onto all the fancy aftermarket stones. Mastering the 220 and 320 will go a long ways in helping you understand the true potential of each stone, don't push too hard or use too much downward pressure, end with feather-light swipes, and keep the stones flat (especially the 120)!

    Disclaimer: This is just the way I do it, thus it has no scientific or empirical evidence stating that it is the best, and by no means is the only way. Follow my advice at your own risk

    PS Talk to Jon Broida (Japaneseknifeimports.com) on here if you want to find some Japanese knives that can handle your stones, Dr. Naka can also help you out with finding some J-knives as well. If you want to buy American, see the kitchen knifemakers section below on the main forum page and prepare to be blown away!

  9. #19
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    Thanks so much guys, and maybe gals.
    I really appreciate you taking the time to help a new guy.
    Yes, I'm a geeky, OCD nerd and obsessing over some obscure thing that few people know exists is my forte.

    I'm sure I wanna jump in and buy one or two good knives, a 200 to 250mm and a 75 to 100mm.
    I'm glad to know I don't have to spend too much to get decent obedient metal that will let me play with the big boys.
    I just have to begin the process of learning about the different knives.
    I want to find out what you get for your money at various price points between $100 to $1000.

    I wonder if knives are like wines.
    Anyone can just plop down $50 on a bottle wine assuming it's better than a $30 wine but not as good as a $100 wine - but there is not a direct ratio of price to quality - PLUS that doesn't even take into account personal taste and preference.

    Naturally I want the most knife for my money; I suspect some are overpriced and others excellent values.
    If I perceive an $800 knife competes with knives in the $1500 range (even though my knowledge has not grown into it yet) I'll buy it.
    I hate buying what I will later upgrade (Henckles GRRR!.)

    I suspect large price differences, like say $100 to $700, DO translate into a indisputably better knife, perhaps not 7x as good though.
    Many product are like this where once you get up into the higher end stuff you have to spend larger amounts to get smaller improvements.
    That $51,000 Kramer IS worth every penny to someone.

    Looks like Jon has some great Youtube vids of his knives which are a great introduction.

    BTW, anyone know the gender breakdown here? 80% male? 90%? 100%?
    I doubt it's 50%.

  10. #20
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    I agree with the TKC/carbonext; also go for the 240 mm rather than the 210. The 240 will weigh significantly less than its German counterpart and the extra length is extremely helpful once you get used to it

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