Bite retention

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Off the stone, my knives is sharp and can slice through tomato skins no problem. However after a few uses, it seems to lose this bite and will glide off tomato skin. It is still plenty sharp for cutting onion,s carrots and the like but it will struggles with anything with a waxy skin. I notice this most with my white steel knives, where sharpness outlast the bite.

Are there good ways to prolong the longevity of these microscopic "teeth" without going back to the stone? Do I need to strop more, sharpen at lower grit, or maybe I need to choose a better steel?
 
The most noticeable difference between white and AS IME is one been more toothier than the other. Blue steel is between the middle.

IDK what steel properties made the toothieness difference, I do remember white steel have smaller carbide and AS have larger carbide size?
AEB-L VS D2 for example
 

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Definitely focusing on debuting can be helpful in the toothyness department.

Also keep in mind the nature of the steel in your knife and how you are using it. Pure carbon steels (think white steel, 1095, etc.) will dull in a way that feels slippery on the skin of some vegetables very quickly often after 1-2 shifts for me. More alloyed steels like Blue steels, 1.2519, etc. will dull in a different way leaving new larger teeth as the edge degrades.

When I want to squeak out a little more toothiness and life from a simple carbon steel I will often finish one side of the knife on 800 grit and then the other side with 2k,3k, or 4K. This gives a little bit more refined cutting feel and longer lives tooth than if you were to sharpen on 1k only
 
Even with really hard white steel that usually gets above average edge retention, after dicing a few tomatoes, you can really feel that edge start to go smooth from the acid. Low grits and hybrid edges definitely help, but only to a point.

Sharpening/stropping on diamond really seems to help, that bite from diamond plates/stones or spray is really well suited for tomatoes.

But steel type really makes a difference in this scenario. Most good quality stainless/semi stainless steels will work, but I really like SLD for this. The edge feels jagged and uneven, but in a good way. You can feel it when you test your edge on paper towel and it never seems to be too dull to cut a tomato. R2 is good too and has better overall edge retention, but SLD is a little toothier when sharpened at the same grit. SLD sharpened on diamond gives you enough bite for a relatively long time without needing to refresh the edge.
 
My rule of thumb is to sharpen when a knife will not cut a tomato well. I grow a large tomato garden and I cut hundreds of tomatoes every summer.

I have no problem using German stainless steel like Henckels and Wusthof knives.
 
Off the stone, my knives is sharp and can slice through tomato skins no problem. However after a few uses, it seems to lose this bite and will glide off tomato skin. It is still plenty sharp for cutting onion,s carrots and the like but it will struggles with anything with a waxy skin. I notice this most with my white steel knives, where sharpness outlast the bite.

Are there good ways to prolong the longevity of these microscopic "teeth" without going back to the stone? Do I need to strop more, sharpen at lower grit, or maybe I need to choose a better steel?
What grit are you finishing at?
 
My rule of thumb is to sharpen when a knife will not cut a tomato well. I grow a large tomato garden and I cut hundreds of tomatoes every summer.

I have no problem using German stainless steel like Henckels and Wusthof knives.
Does that mean that your knives become blunt over winter when you don't have any tomatos to cut?

😉😄
 
Thanks for everyone's input, lots of good knowledge here. We eat a ton of salsas at home so the knife goes through lots of tomatoes, onions, peppers and lemons. Guess all that acid is not doing any favors for the toothiness.

The point about steel type is interesting also. I am glad my gut feel about white steel is validated. I like white steel and how they get screaming sharp and after reading knifesteelnerd's articles I tend to favor steel with less alloy/smaller carbides. But hadn't considered impact of that on toothiness. I have a SLD Konosuke laying around, maybe it's time to break that out.

So far I am hearing:
- Learn to deburr better, maybe finish on lower grit stone
- raise burr on lower grit and de burr on finishing stone
- Strop knife on micron sprayed leather. Any spray recommendations? my strop is bare leather.
- Buy blue super knife (I really like this one ;) )
 
From my own kitchen: full stainless gives leaps and bounds better tooth-retention in acidic foods. I’ve had great luck with R2 for my one-and-only petty that sees a lot of fruit and acid work. I find my R2 is tricky to deburr really cleanly, but really shines when you get it right. I think any other stainless will still survive better than AS.

2000 sounds like a lovely grit. I don’t think enough people have fallen in love with this range for kitchen use. If you’ve never tried the JKI 2k stone, put it on your hanukkah wish list. It’s an absolute tooth monster, and very consistent, fast cutting. So far it is my gold standard for “how much tooth can a stone make”. The JKI 4k is #2. So far nothing can touch these. That said, my waterstone experience is a bit limited, but I picked these up from recommendations on here after people did some hunting around and pinned these to the top of their list.

Chef @M1k3 rowave is a fan of the SG500 to cardboard cereal box strop trick for maximum toothy overbite. For me it’s a bit coarse (as a limp-wristed dandy of a home cook), but he’s doing cases of prep and can’t slow down, so maybe worth a try.

Edge retention with acids
White << AS <<<<< R2
 
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Thanks for everyone's input, lots of good knowledge here. We eat a ton of salsas at home so the knife goes through lots of tomatoes, onions, peppers and lemons. Guess all that acid is not doing any favors for the toothiness.

The point about steel type is interesting also. I am glad my gut feel about white steel is validated. I like white steel and how they get screaming sharp and after reading knifesteelnerd's articles I tend to favor steel with less alloy/smaller carbides. But hadn't considered impact of that on toothiness. I have a SLD Konosuke laying around, maybe it's time to break that out.

So far I am hearing:
- Learn to deburr better, maybe finish on lower grit stone
- raise burr on lower grit and de burr on finishing stone
- Strop knife on micron sprayed leather. Any spray recommendations? my strop is bare leather.
- Buy blue super knife (I really like this one ;) )

I would personally try cardboard or newspaper for stropping and see how you like it. Diamond sprays on leather will start to polish and that's not what you're after.
 
From my own kitchen: full stainless gives leaps and bounds better tooth-retention in acidic foods. I’ve had great luck with R2 for my one-and-only petty that sees a lot of fruit and acid work. I find my R2 is tricky to deburr really cleanly, but really shines when you get it right. I think any other stainless will still survive better than AS.

2000 sounds like a lovely grit. I don’t think enough people have fallen in love with this range for kitchen use. If you’ve never tried the JKI 2k stone, put it on your hanukkah wish list. It’s an absolute tooth monster, and very consistent, fast cutting. So far it is my gold standard for “how much tooth can a stone make”. The JKI 4k is #2. So far nothing can touch these. That said, my waterstone experience is a bit limited, but I picked these up from recommendations on here after people did some hunting around and pinned these to the top of their list.

Chef @M1k3 rowave is a fan of the SG500 to cardboard cereal box strop trick for maximum toothy overbite. For me it’s a bit coarse (as a limp-wristed dandy of a home cook), but he’s doing cases of prep and can’t slow down, so maybe worth a try.

Edge retention with acids
White << AS <<<<< R2
Let me just say, that edge is for cutting lots of tomatoes per shift. Yes it's a bit coarse for other uses. But when you have so many ripe tomatoes.....
 
I agree with the stainless idea. I use a vg10/vg2 coreless steel gyuto for fruits/lemons. Haven't needed to sharpen it for over a year since the previous sharpening... No matter what you do, white steels lose bites way faster on fruits/lemons/tomatoes/pepper skins. Sometimes I feel like a good rain and open window will dull my white steel knives a little bit. Blue 1/2 are better, blue AS better than 1/2 but some hard stainless is much better for this task. Just remember to use some good abrasive to sharpen and deburr stainless or PM.
 
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