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  1. #1

    Sharpening and Maintenance 101

    So basically after working as a line cook for a while I've landed a job at an upscale restaurant in the kitchen. However, my knowledge of knives is admittedly (and embarrassingly) lacking. The knives I'm used to are cheap, replace every 30 days that the restaurant supplied. No sharpening tools, just a honing steel. At my new job we are required to bring our own knives and are obviously responsible for maintenance and care of our own knives.

    When I'm researching how to sharpen and care for knives I'm getting conflicting answers. Some say hone first then sharpen, others say the opposite. Some say use a whetstone, others say use a natural or water stone. Some say this grit is what should be used others say this. It's all very conflicting and confusing for someone new to "nice" knives.

    Is there a good book or online resource that details everything A-Z about maintenance and sharpening? I have a lot of questions but find it hard to get quality answers. Basically what I'm looking for is a complete walk through of step 1 to finish so I can apply this new knowledge to my new set of knives for work.

    I have recently bought a Wustohf classic Chefs knife, Wustohf classic boning knife, Shun Pro Usuba and Shun Classic pairing knife.

    Also, might sound stupid I know but can any honing steel be used on any knife? For example lets say my Usuba has a different type of steel blade than my Wustohf, can both be used on the same honing steel? Same thing for sharpening stones?

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Here are some quick links

    Botorf:
    http://sharpeningmadeeasy.com/

    chad:
    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?...nd-sharpening/

    Verhoeven:
    http://www.bushcraftuk.com/downloads...nifeshexps.pdf

    Videos

    Murray carter's channel has some interesting vids
    http://www.youtube.com/user/CarterCutlery?feature=watch

    Jon @ JKI has a few vids,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKeSR...Qlg2c34fUCA5Y=



    'scary sharp' basically sharpening with abrasive films, like wet and dry, this demonstrates it quite well:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4--HIDogrc8


    Others will be along with more details

  3. #3
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    Welcome

  4. #4
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    Wusthof: You need a steel and a 500 or lower grit stone.
    Shun: You might want a ceramic rod and add a 1000+ grit stone.
    Use your knife until it isn't working to your standards then use the steel or the rod. When that doesn't get you edge back to where you want it, go to the 500. For the Shuns to got the 1k+ grit after the 500.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    Wusthof: You need a steel and a 500 or lower grit stone.
    Shun: You might want a ceramic rod and add a 1000+ grit stone.
    Use your knife until it isn't working to your standards then use the steel or the rod. When that doesn't get you edge back to where you want it, go to the 500. For the Shuns to got the 1k+ grit after the 500.
    So I cant use a higher grit stone (6k) on either of these knives?

  6. #6
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    You could use it but the steel of the wurstoff is too soft and wouldnt keep the edge for long. So is a waste of time

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ams View Post
    So I cant use a higher grit stone (6k) on either of these knives?
    6k counts as a 1k+ stone.

  8. #8
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    The shun can use higher grit stones.

  9. #9
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    Was short of time before, welcome to the forum and congrats on the new job. You're in the right place to ask questions, but you'll find, if you haven't already, there is no single right way or wrong way.

    Most people here will use waterstones to sharpen their knives and then strops and/or a honing rod for maintenance/touch ups between sharpening.
    If you haven't used the knives for long then the edge should still respond to steeling on a honing rod. This will realign the edge and if abrasive e.g ceramic or diamond will remove some steel. After a while you'll notice that the edge no longer responds to steeling and this is when it's time to grind a new edge on, using sharpening stones or by sending it out to be sharpened. Working in a pro kitchen you'll find that you need to sharpen more frequently than a home user and so getting stones and learning to use them will mean your knives are easier to keep sharp and you don't have to be without them. I'd read Chad Ward's edge in the kitchen, I linked to an excerpt before, and watch some of the vids. A quick cutting 1k stone and a ceramic rod would be my rec

    As ever ask as many questions as you can and good luck,

    Tom

  10. #10
    Welcome! As you have been finding out there is basically only what works for you and you situation. Maxim (Japanese Natural Stones) has some great vids on Youtube as well as (Jon Japanese Knife Imports). And of course there is the guru himself, Dave (Japanese Knife Sharpening/Martel Knives). I know that Dave has some vids for sale on his site. These sources can help immensely with your Shuns, and the principals can also be applied to your Wusthoffs. I would also agree with Tom on the 1K stone/ceramic rod combo. That's the best all around purchase you can make, minimal expenditure with the most versatility. As you become more accustomed to using stones then start branching out to the higher and lower grits. But definitely go with water stones. Oil stones clog so fast and become less effective. More bang for your buck with the water.
    Congrats on your new job, and give 'em hell.
    Do not tell me I can't, let me succeed or fail. Even a failure is a small success.

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