Quantcast

A question on sharpening and wear: How long do kitchen knives last?

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

nakiriknaifuwaifu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
484
Reaction score
1,001
Location
Atlanta
I enjoy refinishing sharpening my knives, but they often don't need them. That got me thinking: how much steel am I wasting, and how long do knives last for you all?

I wonder if there's a formula like (random numbers): 0.1mm height lost per sharpening session x 1 time per week = 5.2mm lost steel behind edge lost per year
 

Jason183

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
132
Reaction score
105
Location
United Stats
Depends on how you using it and how often you sharpening, I sharpen one time per week in pro environment, I found my knives still in good condition after 10 years. So for home use will last very long time, probably 20-30 years, some chefs sharpen everyday, it probably last around 5 years
 

spaceconvoy

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
716
Reaction score
1,122
Location
Florida
Depends in your standards. I've gone through periods where I didn't sharpen my knives for about a year and they still cut ok. I'd have to pierce tomato skin with the heel of the knife before making a cut, but it was workable. That was when things were crazy at work, and I wasn't cooking as much either. Now with covid I feel like I'm over-sharpening. I might experiment with strops and diamond paste to see if that can satisfy my urges without wasting so much metal.
 

M1k3

That right angle choil triggers me
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2018
Messages
4,837
Reaction score
5,947
For reference, there is always the photo of Morimoto's knives that has done the rounds several times.


The bottom knife is apparently 3 years old.
This also using the traditional sharpening daily. Not allowing a patina.
 

esoo

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
1,159
Reaction score
1,402
Location
Canada, eh?
The blades I can understand, it's the handles I wonder about. I hope that's cheap wood, otherwise I'm worried about his ****
The rumor is that the handles are sanded every day as well - supposedly to help with the balance of the ever decreasing blade size. Info gleaned from reddit so .....
 
Last edited:

Ochazuke

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2018
Messages
288
Reaction score
236
I’ll also add that the average Japanese chef isn’t necessarily thinking about the knife itself when they sharpen. Most of the time they’ll go harder than you’d think on an arato then a nakato. It’s about getting it functionally sharp as quickly as possible for most of them. Only the people who work in fancy joints are gonna even bother with a shiageto.

That’s why Japanese users tend to burn through knives. For the average American chef who sharpens regularly, they’ll last decades. For home users, I agree with the lifetime.
 

Benuser

Supporting Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
6,780
Reaction score
1,248
I enjoy refinishing sharpening my knives, but they often don't need them. That got me thinking: how much steel am I wasting, and how long do knives last for you all?

I wonder if there's a formula like (random numbers): 0.1mm height lost per sharpening session x 1 time per week = 5.2mm lost steel behind edge lost per year
Do you always apply a full progression? Why not touching up with a 4k or so as long as you can?
My knives get only a full sharpening if touching up with 2 and 4k doesn't work any longer. A full sharpening starts at 800 or lower, and includes some thinning behind the edge.
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
484
Reaction score
1,001
Location
Atlanta
Do you always apply a full progression? Why not touching up with a 4k or so as long as you can?
My knives get only a full sharpening if touching up with 2 and 4k doesn't work any longer. A full sharpening starts at 800 or lower, and includes some thinning behind the edge.
Usually I'll go 3k and 8k for touch ups, but I like refinishing my knives every couple of weeks so I always go 400 and up to reset the bevel.
 

Jason183

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
132
Reaction score
105
Location
United Stats
For reference, there is always the photo of Morimoto's knives that has done the rounds several times.


The bottom knife is apparently 3 years old.
Wow, I can even see the metal coming out from that handle
 

Ericfg

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2017
Messages
166
Reaction score
172
Location
SW Floriduh
I enjoy refinishing sharpening my knives, but they often don't need them. That got me thinking: how much steel am I wasting, and how long do knives last for you all?
I'm working with a 1950s/60s Wenk&Muller cimiter and a 1920(or less) Henckles at the moment. Both blades had been treated well before me but both have a boatload of steel yet to be used.

So, how long does a basic knife last if treated well? Decades, easily.
 

HappyamateurDK

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
165
Reaction score
61
Location
Denmark
I've thought about that too. Might sound foolish. But when spending a lot of money on a knife. I would rather not have it being ground down in a few years . 😊
 

captaincaed

(____((___________()~~~
Joined
Aug 29, 2017
Messages
1,426
Reaction score
1,215
Location
Pacific Northwest
For reference, there is always the photo of Morimoto's knives that has done the rounds several times.


The bottom knife is apparently 3 years old.
Never seen that one. I'm surprised the tang hasn't rusted out of the dang thing.
 

GorillaGrunt

Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2016
Messages
1,259
Reaction score
555
Lots of “i heard” but I’m gonna add to it - i heard the traditional ho wood handles are considered disposable, they don’t last nearly as long as the blade so you wear one out and get it replaced. Also I have a 100 year old sheffield-made knife that is still good and I use it at home and at work.

edit: despite what my coworkers may believe, I haven’t owned it for the whole hundred years.
 
Last edited:

coxhaus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2020
Messages
143
Reaction score
81
Location
Texas
I am 67 and I have my mom's old Henckels 4 and 5 star knives. They are 50 years or more old. She used them when I was growing up. She bought a lot of them in the early 70s, maybe some in the 50s but I was too young. She lived in Germany twice for 2 or 3 years each time.
 

stringer

Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
807
Reaction score
1,394
Location
Boston, MA
When I was a professional chef I bought a new everyday gyuto about once every 2-3 years. I went through all of the cheaper ones. Shun, Global, Mac, Misono, Tojiro, Kikuichi, Masahiro, Fujiwara, Kanehide, etc. There was usually plenty of steel left but I have large hands and my knuckles would start dragging. I usually sharpened a couple of times a week and usually only with a Naniwa Super Stone 2k. Here's a thread showing what a replacement knife looks like next to a brand new one. Home knives should last decades unless you have a serious sharpness fetish or you are extremely rough on your tools.

 

Michi

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2019
Messages
3,357
Reaction score
4,734
Location
Brisbane, Australia
I'd say you can count on at least a generation for a knife in home use.

I have a Wüsthof 20 cm chef's knife that my parents gifted to me thirty years ago. That knife has seen a lot of use (and I still use it frequently). There is no wear of any significance on the knife. It's definitely good for another thirty years and, likely, another thirty years after that.
 

NO ChoP!

Old Head
Joined
Apr 11, 2011
Messages
2,821
Reaction score
701
Location
North Carolina
I work with a guy who has a Sakai Yusuke white #2 and a Tanaka blue #2. He sharpens frequently, and weirdly. His knives are bird beaked and at least 5mm shorter in height than stock. They are thick behind the edge, which drives him to sharpen even more.

I've tried to give him some suggestions, but he's set in his ways.

So, me being a very light and infrequent sharpener, I would say a knife should last a minimum of a decade. Sharpen like my coworker, and you will wear through a good gyuto in a couple years.
 

Noodle Soup

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
1,736
Reaction score
121
I replaced my favorite F. Dick 6-inch straight flex boning knife this fall after 30+ years of use. The blade was wore down to about half its original width but I liked it that way for its intended use. I don't know how many deer, elk, cattle and fish I used the knife on but the handle was starting to come apart. It was replaced by a Victorniox of the same pattern and the new knife has two deer on it now. I think I'm going to like it alot too!
 

RDalman

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2015
Messages
1,807
Reaction score
1,604
I work with a guy who has a Sakai Yusuke white #2 and a Tanaka blue #2. He sharpens frequently, and weirdly. His knives are bird beaked and at least 5mm shorter in height than stock. They are thick behind the edge, which drives him to sharpen even more.

I've tried to give him some suggestions, but he's set in his ways.

So, me being a very light and infrequent sharpener, I would say a knife should last a minimum of a decade. Sharpen like my coworker, and you will wear through a good gyuto in a couple years.
Yea they do exist.. Had a few knives sent back like that for thinning and refinish. Suuuuper thick and lost 5-10 mm height on a year or two :eek:
Ofc no judging though. I don't know how many meals those cooked and if someone likes to sharpen heavy handed and feel a tougher edge works... Different strokes 😅
 
Top