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Thread: Is sharpening a necessary skill to keep a decent working edge?

  1. #21
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    Don I agree wt. Cadillac be a good nephew & sharpen her knives when you go over,esp. if she does not want to do it herself.I can get King 1000 here for 28.00,I give these to my nieces & nephew & teach them how to sharpen.They all have kids of their own now & cook at home alot.

  2. #22
    The issue is that I'd love to sharpen my aunt's knives for her, but she lives in a different state. It's the same story for some of my other friends and family too - I only see them maybe once a year.

    Maybe I could get them some King 1000's and show them the basics if they're interested?

  3. #23
    I think that honing rods have their place for when it is an emergency and you need the knife to grab and go. However, when I use a honing rod, unless it is what I use to maintain the knife exclusively(like my CCK1303), I consider the edge screwed up and in need of a bit more love on the stones.

    I see it like hunting knives. People keep looking for sharpening solutions for the woods, but nobody lives in the woods! You are out there for a few days! If your hunting knife won't hold an edge for 5 days, something is wrong. If you can't get through busy shifts at work without touching up your knives, you either need training or new tools.

    I think people should learn to sharpen, and if you don't want to, get a talented friend/family member to do it. If you don't have anyone or your demands are too high for them, pay a professional--it's not expensive!

    All those Tin Cup gadgets with batteries suction cups and carbide rods and grinding rollers and levers and hinges and clamps are a complete waste of time and money unless you are physically handicapped and sharpen as a hobby.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by BurkeCutlery View Post
    I think that honing rods have their place for when it is an emergency and you need the knife to grab and go. However, when I use a honing rod, unless it is what I use to maintain the knife exclusively(like my CCK1303), I consider the edge screwed up and in need of a bit more love on the stones.

    I see it like hunting knives. People keep looking for sharpening solutions for the woods, but nobody lives in the woods! You are out there for a few days! If your hunting knife won't hold an edge for 5 days, something is wrong. If you can't get through busy shifts at work without touching up your knives, you either need training or new tools.

    I think people should learn to sharpen, and if you don't want to, get a talented friend/family member to do it. If you don't have anyone or your demands are too high for them, pay a professional--it's not expensive!

    All those Tin Cup gadgets with batteries suction cups and carbide rods and grinding rollers and levers and hinges and clamps are a complete waste of time and money unless you are physically handicapped and sharpen as a hobby.
    I use a honing rod on my carbon knives all the time and have never felt like my edge is "screwed up"--quite the opposite. If one uses "steels" properly and with the proper rod it re-aligns the edge and brings it back to life without having to take it to the stones, grind away metal and create a burr. So a honing rod for me is part of my daily maintenance rather than an "emergency" device.

    Have you ever been on a week-long hunting trip with pals, and have had to field dress 3-4 moose?

    I agree that people should learn to sharpen if they value sharp knives, but I don't agree that waterstones are the only way. Moreover, hiring the services of someone gets expensive really fast. If I take it to the "local" guy, they usually butcher it.

  5. #25
    Some people look at sharpening as a means to an end--the end being a usable edge.

    Other look at sharpening as an end in itself--the gear, the process and...the gear being a big part of the hobby.

    Different strokes for different folks. I don't "hate" sharpening. In fact, I actually enjoy it. But I enjoy the mastery part, not the gear part. I'm definitely in the Murray Carter camp insofar that all I need to get a screaming edge are two stones (one starting out). I've always found more stones take more time, and do not give me a more appreciable "working" edge--especially not after the knife hits the board a couple times.

    However, I have noticed that many on the forums have switched their philosophy towards the number of stones one needs in a progression to a less is more approach. John Broida (sp?) I believe was influential in instigating this shift???

  6. #26
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    Even one medium stone can put a good edge on a blade.I used a polishing steel on my carbon gyuto's & Sugi. at work,the trouble wt. steels is improper use.Many use Diamond steels to sharpen their blades,this ends in failure.Freehand skills are a must for persons in the cooking profession.You will have a trained blade that cuts well,& as Murry Carter says you are not transfering respondsibility to a jig or someone else to get your blade sharp.

    Learning freehand saves you time & money in the long run.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian View Post
    I use a honing rod on my carbon knives all the time and have never felt like my edge is "screwed up"--quite the opposite.
    If you bend a piece of steel beyond the limits of its elasticity, it will never be as strong as it was before. It's like that game where you flick the tab on an aluminum can--the effects of the stress are exponential with every flick, and eventually it pops off. The steel may be straight, but it's not as strong as it was.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian View Post
    Have you ever been on a week-long hunting trip with pals, and have had to field dress 3-4 moose?
    No moose, but we'd dress 4-5 deer with a Buck skinner and it got sharpened like once a year. I'd love to go on a week-long hunting trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Canadian View Post
    If I take it to the "local" guy, they usually butcher it.
    I said a professional, not a local. It is a sad state that you can't get a knife, razor, or pair of shears properly hand-sharpened in at least every major city in the US. There isn't a single razor-honing service in the DFW Metro--6 million people!

  8. #28

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    I can go a looooong time between sharpenings in my home kitchen with a home made leather strop and an idahone ceramic rod.

  9. #29
    I will be sharpening families' knives whenever I can, but it'll be long intervals of time in between (and I'm sure they don't take care of their knives as carefully as we do).

    Would it be an OK choice to recommend them this 9" Lansky ceramic honing rod, for $10?



    There aren't many details, except that it says ceramic, and is 9" long. Decent ratings though, so it must mean at the very least it's not a horrible product?

    EDIT: I'll encourage a King 1000 whenever possible, but chances are they won't like the idea too much.

  10. #30
    Senior Member stevenStefano's Avatar
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    Speaking from my own experiences in work, everyone there either uses one of the pull-through type devices, or they use just a grooved steel. One of my co-workers uses a grooved steel on his knives that have never ever been sharpened, so basically it does nothing. I think most people don't give a damn about sharpening, if a knife cuts they don't care. Occasionally I sharpen the house knives in work and the edges last for a lot longer, but if you can use a pull through device and the knife cuts, that's all anyone cares about.

    How am I gonna convince them that using stones is better than the pull-through? I'm not!

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