Sorry for the long post...thought that providing as many details as possible might improve my odds of success here.
I'm looking to start upgrading my collection of (run of the mill) kitchen knives, and thinking that I should have a clue about maintaining them before investing in anything significant. So I got to work with some of the gear already on hand, which included:
- Sabatier Au Carbone 10-inch chef's knife. I've had this one for about 10 years, 4 or so of which were spent in heavy use as my primary knife in a restaurant kitchen. Relegated to much lighter use cooking at home for the past 5 years or so. Has been maintained over the years via various commercial sharpeners, pull-through sharpeners, and the occasional attempt at using a stone.
- Henckels Stainless 7-inch Santoku. Maybe 7 or 8 years old, gets a lot of home use by both my wife and I. probably never sharpened, honed on a steel as necessary.
- Some stones I have had around for a few years but rarely used: 2 labeled 'Splex Japanese water sharpening stone', 800 and 1200 grit, and one labeled 'Suehiro Ohka water finishing stone', 6000 grit
got the stones soaking, watched a couple sharpening videos I found on the web, and got started. Results were less thrilling than I had hoped. While the knives were marginally improved, they were nowhere close to being able to cut paper in the air like in the videos. I never did feel the burr that I was supposed to develop, unless it is much subtler than I was expecting. Possible reasons for this, in decreasing order of likeliness:
1. I'm really bad at sharpening. Either I need lots for practice, or am just going at this all wrong.
2. I'm grinding too much or not enough (I would say I spent 20-30 min on each knife)
3. The tools I'm using are inappropriate for the work I'm trying to do.
4. The knives I have are not going to take the edge I want regardless of how they are sharpened (I have a hard time believing this, as the santoku was quite sharp out of the box, and the sabatier took a sharp but short-lived edge after each of it's occasional sharpenings).
I'm willing to invest in different stuff if that's what it takes, and to practice in order to improve my skills. I'd like to have an idea that I'm practicing the right way, though. Thoughts?
Also, any thoughts on things like the Edge Pro that are supposed to help maintain a constant angle between the blade and stone?