Hello from Yorkshire
I'm a keen home cook who has mostly bumbled along with an uninspiring set of Richardson Sheffield knives and a few Wursthof Classics. Use a free hand whetstone to keep my cheaper blades sharp but am always too scared to go near the Wursthofs as I would be the first to admit I'm not great at it. A recent trip to Japan and the subsequent impulse buy of https://www.amazon.co.uk/Knife-Cult-Craft-Culture-Cooks/dp/1849498911/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479662290&sr=1-1&keywords=knife]this has really stoked my interest and I have been lurking for a few weeks.
First jobs are to buy something I feel comfortable sharpening my better knives with (maybe a Spyderco Sharpmaker) and to identify a santoku I picked up with minimal research in Japan, but mostly just to learn a lot more before making my next knife acquisition.
Welcome J... I'm new here as well. Welcome! You're gonna want to check out the sharpening sub forum.. ask questions... get answers... learn lots!!! Good luck on your new journey!
Btw.. me I freehand on stones
One thing, just sharing. Many years ago I had the spyderco sharpener. I was a bit afraid of going freehand as I thought I would "damage" the geometry of the knives I had at the time so it looked like a great option. The problem is that it comes in a predetermined angle, so if the knife you want to sharpen does not have a bevel at that same particular angle (and most likely it doesn't), then you won't be hitting the edge, thus you won't be making your knife sharper. Using those for hours and seeing no change in sharpness is definitely frustrating.
Fast forward, it's only recently when I went back onto knife sharpening and decided to finally give the japanese whetstones a chance. Although they have a bit of a learning curve, once you get the hang of it, they deliver crisp edges no automated system will give you. I would really suggest you do give them a chance.
Welcome! Where in God's own country are you? Lived in Leeds for about 5 years, Yorkshire is one of the greatest places in the world. Fact.
Welcome to the forum.
I'd echo suggestions that you go with waterstones. It's certainly intimidating to start with, but you rapidly get over it.
Whatever you decide, enjoy the journey!
Thanks for all the replies.
Sorry for the late reply, I was sure I had posted a reply and assumed it was awaiting approval but I think it's safe to assume something went wrong.
I will certainly persevere with the free hand use of a whet stone with some of my cheaper knives, I can't see myself letting myself lose on my nicer knives for a while.
I'm also from around Leeds! I love the place, a great mix of a decent sized city and the countryside close by and of course great beer!
So, have you read the whole book you linked to, and what do you think of it?
I liked it although I wouldn't buy it if you are looking to learn anything particularly new about knives if you are a keen reader of these forums. I have had mostly a passing interest in them purely as a tool for my cooking and whilst it helped clarify some of the Japanese knives for me (especially the single bevel knives) my understanding didn't come on leaps and bounds.
Originally Posted by DaveInMesa
What I really liked about it was the writing style and the photography. Instead of it being a reference book it was nice to sit down with a cup of coffee and read a section.
Oh, and introducing me to the concept of wabi-sabi which is (I believe) the idea of beauty in a well used item, which I think sums up an old chef's knife well.
So yeah, would recommend it as a coffee table style boo rather than a reference guide.
Thanks! Sorry for the delayed response.