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Thread: How the heck do I sharpen this thing?

  1. #1
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    How the heck do I sharpen this thing?

    I have been on several forums in the past on a variety of subjects, and having done that I know what it can be like when a noob drops by and asks a huge question that (a) has an answer that is too big and intricate to dump in one post or (b) has been rehashed a thousand times before if one would only look.

    However, I've never dropped into a place as daunting or expansive as knife sharpening. I've been interested in it for a while. I've read Leonard Lee's Complete Guide to Sharpening and digested minute parts of it. I've got an Edgepro and have been sharpening my own knives for a while, but good gracious you guys have taken this to a whole other level! I'm impressed!

    On to my question. I've had a Forschner 8" Chef's for about 3 years and haven't really worried that much about experimenting on it because I got it for $15 on Amazon. The reason I wanted to upgrade, however, is that no matter what I did, the edge retention was awful. I would get it sharp enough that I enjoyed using it, but it would lose the edge in less than a week of casual home use with regular strokes on a honing steel. Anyway, I got a Miyabi Kaizen 8" Gyutou for Christmas. Much better feel, edge, and weight than the Forschner. But now how in the world do I care for it?

    Basic questions:
    (1) The only sharpening equipment I have is the Edgepro Apex system with the 220 and 320 stones and the ceramic hone. Is this going to work to sharpen the Miyabi? Any guidance as to a good place to start reading or given in the post would be most appreciated.

    (2)What'd I do wrong with the Forschner?

  2. #2
    I think the answer to your question #2 is that Forschner is a piece of junk knife, which is also why it was only $15. The steel is just too soft to hold good edge for long.
    To #1 I am not familiar with the system, but for me hand sharpening > gizmo sharpening any day. If you want to learn hand sharpening grab a 1/6k King combo and learn on it , in the mean time educate yourself about various stones and what is most commonly used progression and when you are ready start upgrading if you want.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply!

    Buying any stones right now is not an option. We're on a very aggressive budget (read: don't spend anything!) and so the only option I have for the immediate future is what I already have on hand.

    Prior to posting, I found this article:
    http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/sh...hlight=edgepro

    which answers a lot of questions. But how do I know the properties of my knife? Is there a back bevel? Is it asymmetrical? Where do you find this info?

  4. #4

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    hi, i have the same knife...the miyabi. I sharpen mine on a 1000/6000 combo stone and strop the edge. From what i've seen the edge pro is pretty good but with your knife you would be better getting some higher grit stones for it as the miyabi can take a much better edge then your forschner.

  5. #5
    Since I'm forced to read "don't spend anything", my only recommendation would be to look through your cupboards for a ceramic coffee mug. Use the unfinished ring on the bottom of the cup as a sharpening surface. Your main problem is that your grits for your sharpening system are too low. Even with the Forschner, you can go up to around 1k, and with the better steel on the Kaizen, you can go up a lot further. In the future, if you have a little money to splurge, the cheap option is the king 1k/6k combo stone already mentioned. You can just strop on newspaper at that point as well.
    On a side note, I've yet to actually try to bottom of a coffee mug, but Murray Carter talks about it and I'm sure it has a finer grit than the other two stones you're using at the moment.

  6. #6
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    !!Warning!! Noob question...what does going up in the grit of the stone do for the finished product?

  7. #7
    The higher you go up in grit, the more refined your edge is going to be. The courser the grit, the more "toothy" that edge is going to be, and the finer the grit, the more "polished" that edge will be. The toothier an edge is, the weaker it is going to be. If you think of the edge of your knife as a mountain range, the lower grit is going to have large peaks and valleys. These large peaks won't have a ton of material around them to support them during cutting, and can bend causing a dull knife. As you go up in grit, these peaks and valleys aren't as pronounced, and actually start to support each other to add strength to the edge. IMO, the final grit that you sharpen a knife on, will depend on what the purpose of that knife is, and will fall between 1k and 8k for kitchen knives. I like a toothier edge for slicing, and a more refined edge for chopping, but what works best for you will come down to experimenting with each finish.

  8. #8
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    That's the first time I've ever heard an answer to that question that made sense to me.

    So what stones should I look to buy in the future? I have heard the King combo stone thrown around a lot, but it also seems to be derided often in favor of more expensive stones. And can the edge pro do the job if finer grit stones are used?

  9. #9
    The King combo stone is recommended to first time sharpeners because it is cheap. This does not make it a bad stone, but there are better options out there for more money. But, as with knives, it's better to get started on something inexpensive, before blowing a lot of money on something that you have no experience using. This way, you get first hand experience, and if it is "right" for you, and you want to invest more money, you'll be able to ask better questions to get what "you" want. Examples of these questions may be, "how is the feedback", "does it work up a lot of mud", "what kind of finish does it produce", and so forth.
    As far as the edge pro goes, it can do the job if finer grit stones are used for sure. The grits you have now would mainly be used in fixing chipped blades, or setting new bevels, as they take off a lot of metal. For just touching up an edge, you could just start at the 1k grit stone, and work up from there. If you're interested in sharpening free hand, I've got an old Norton 4k/8k that's just collecting dust that I wouldn't mind sending to you for free. PM me if interested.

  10. #10
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    If you are on a budget you could buy a pice of brass that you could use as a edge pro blank, than you have to flatten it in a pice of marble with some sandpaper. And you could use ti to attach wet sandpaper on it. Its not perfect but could be a temporary fix that is quite cheap.

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