Pocket knife guy getting into kitchen knives and cooking

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
43
Location
Mid TN
Hello, I have taken an interest in cooking and quickly realized I needed a decent knife in the kitchen so I ordered a Tojiro DP Santoku. I got it yesterday and yes, I have already cut myself with it.

I’m pretty much knife crazy so I ordered a carbon steel Fujiwara gyuto 210mm today. I wanted a carbon blade to see how the patina develops.

I look forward to getting more kitchen knives the steel used is so different from the folders and fixed blades I’m used to, except for VG10. I am mostly used to 154CM, D2, S30V and such with folders. I have two Bark River fixed blades in D2 that I really like.

 
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
758
Reaction score
1,010
Welcome! The good news is that, if you enjoy sharpening, the White and Blue steels used in many Japanese carbon steel kitchen knives are about 10 times as fun to sharpen as anything used in pretty much any folder/fixed blade knife. Sometimes, when sharpening these steels, I could not escape the impression that they wanted to assume the shape of a sharp knife, and I was just along for the ride.

I said "pretty much" only because I know Spyderco did a run of Aogami Blue Steel a while back.
 

Benuser

from The Netherlands, EU.
KKF Supporting Member
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
8,252
Reaction score
2,946
Welcome aboard! You've made a solid choice with the Tojiro DP and Fujiwara Kanefusa FKH as first knives. Not too expensive, well-thought, utilitarian, easy sharpening, excellent to find out what are those geometry discussions about asymmetry, thinning behind the edge and food release you will discover here.
One of this forum's founding fathers used to suggest the FKH as first knife for people entering into kitchen knife sharpening.
 

Matt Jacobs

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2020
Messages
348
Reaction score
521
Location
Washington
Welcome to the forums. I have always had pocket knives but didn't worry to much about quality, my opinion changed after getting into kitchen knives. I really struggle to sharpen small blades but find kitchen knives very easy. If you are good with small knives I think kitchen knives will be a breeze.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
43
Location
Mid TN
Welcome to the forums. I have always had pocket knives but didn't worry to much about quality, my opinion changed after getting into kitchen knives. I really struggle to sharpen small blades but find kitchen knives very easy. If you are good with small knives I think kitchen knives will be a breeze.

Matt,

I have to be honest and admit I have struggled to sharpen knives. I’ve tried an Edge Pro and an over $700.00 Wicked Edge system and still get lackluster results with my folders. There has to be something about it I don’t get. I think it has to be user error.

I’m willing to give it a try again with these new knives and some decent water stones.

My two longest everyday work carries have been a Benchmade 550HG and an Emerson CQC8. Both are 154CM and never rust.The Emerson has served more than once as a light duty pry bar in freezing weather or to open 55 gallon drums of degreaser at work. It’s like a fixed blade folded up in my pocket. I don’t leave the house without it and wouldn’t carry anything else.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
758
Reaction score
1,010
I have to be honest and admit I have struggled to sharpen knives. I’ve tried an Edge Pro and an over $700.00 Wicked Edge system and still get lackluster results with my folders. There has to be something about it I don’t get. I think it has to be user error.

Alas, yes. It does. It is. But we've all been there, unless there are some born-to-sharpen people here I haven't met.

What I strongly recommend is magnification. A Loupe (not the kind you screw into your eye, though I guess that would work too). Or a USB microscope. Or both. You have to see what is actually happening to your bevels, and at your edge, to know how to adjust and correct it. For example, I have a bad habit of coming up short of the edge on the curve of the knife. I compensate for it now.

The thing to keep in mind is that sharpening is simple in concept. The two bevels touch at the apex, and if the apex is clean and narrow to the point of invisibility, you have a sharp knife. I know that seems obvious, but the point is that if you don't have a sharp knife after sharpening, that just can't be happening. So you have to figure out why.
 

KingShapton

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
1,040
Reaction score
1,220
Location
Germany
Matt,

I have to be honest and admit I have struggled to sharpen knives. I’ve tried an Edge Pro and an over $700.00 Wicked Edge system and still get lackluster results with my folders. There has to be something about it I don’t get. I think it has to be user error.

I’m willing to give it a try again with these new knives and some decent water stones.

My two longest everyday work carries have been a Benchmade 550HG and an Emerson CQC8. Both are 154CM and never rust.The Emerson has served more than once as a light duty pry bar in freezing weather or to open 55 gallon drums of degreaser at work. It’s like a fixed blade folded up in my pocket. I don’t leave the house without it and wouldn’t carry anything else.
Welcome to KKF.

My fascination with kitchen knives also came after pocket knives, I can understand you very well.

Now to your sharpening problems (btw I like your honesty), I think you can get a grip on that here.

Decades ago, when it came to pocket knives, I initially had to work with the forerunners of today's guided systems. Lansky and Sharpmaker somehow sharpened my knives, at least they weren't dull anymore. A friend of mine at the time used the same stuff to make scary sharp knives and I was more than jealous!

Later I found my "gamechanger" - water stones in bench stone format. In retrospect, I think Lansky and Sharpmaker were too "technical" and at the same time too simple for me - if you know what I mean?!

It took me a lot of practice on water stones, developing muscle memory and finding my own technique, but even in the beginning the results were miles better than the stuff before.

This way of sharpening just seems better to me, it's less technical, I like the feedback I get with freehand sharpening and just understand it better. With the corresponding results.

Maybe you are one of those, maybe your attempts with edge pro and wicked edge were just the wrong way for you. There are loads of friendly, helpful and very experienced sharpeners here on the forums, I'm sure we can help.

A quick tip first, invest in a good stone at the beginning, just a single one, something around 1000 grit (you can find plenty of recommendations here), read information about techniques in the sharpening station, use the search function there and take it an old knife of yours, preferably one with an edge that is as straight as possible, little to no curves and start practicing, sharpening and deburring. Practice until the knife shaves arm hair and you can repeat the result with other knives. Only then does it make sense to buy and use another, finer stone.

And keep in mind that later, when you have learned how to sharpen, you might have to buy another stone for some pocket knives made of exotic, very wear-resistant steels if your existing stone reaches its limits. But that's later, now you have to learn to walk before you start to run. And we can definitely help you here to do that!
 

cooktocut

Arm perpetually half shaven
KKF Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
345
Reaction score
1,528
Location
Florida
Matt,

I have to be honest and admit I have struggled to sharpen knives. I’ve tried an Edge Pro and an over $700.00 Wicked Edge system and still get lackluster results with my folders. There has to be something about it I don’t get. I think it has to be user error.

I certainly don't want to discourage your venture into stones, but I have the same Wicked edge system. I've used it for both folders and kitchen knives. Kitchen knives are more fun and seem to be easier, in part because of how thin the edge metal *usually* is, and how acute my sharpening angle is. With folders, my beefier 25% sharpening angle is less glamorous to do, but is extremely sharp and long lasting. Do you scrub, or swipe? For longer kitchen knives, I use a combination of the two but more long, smooth swipes in both directions. For the folders, I scrub the hell out of them, so almost like a circular motion with the stone on the rod. I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that, but in my earlier days before getting involved in this forum, the guys that work at Wicked Edge were extremely helpful. If you plan on selling it and jumping headfirst into stones, all power to you. If you want to see if you can get your money's worth first, or at least satisfy that frustration, you could always give them a call and walk them through your steps. They all use the system themselves, and can offer shortcuts and tips that aren't necessarily obvious. Either way, hope this helps, and welcome!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
43
Location
Mid TN
I certainly don't want to discourage your venture into stones, but I have the same Wicked edge system. I've used it for both folders and kitchen knives. Kitchen knives are more fun and seem to be easier, in part because of how thin the edge metal *usually* is, and how acute my sharpening angle is. With folders, my beefier 25% sharpening angle is less glamorous to do, but is extremely sharp and long lasting. Do you scrub, or swipe? For longer kitchen knives, I use a combination of the two but more long, smooth swipes in both directions. For the folders, I scrub the hell out of them, so almost like a circular motion with the stone on the rod. I'm sure there's a lot more to it than that, but in my earlier days before getting involved in this forum, the guys that work at Wicked Edge were extremely helpful. If you plan on selling it and jumping headfirst into stones, all power to you. If you want to see if you can get your money's worth first, or at least satisfy that frustration, you could always give them a call and walk them through your steps. They all use the system themselves, and can offer shortcuts and tips that aren't necessarily obvious. Either way, hope this helps, and welcome!

Thank you and everyone else for the advice and encouragement. This seems like a great place.

I’ll definitely keep the Wicked edge for my folders. I have all the grits on up to 1,500 along with glass blanks for the finishing tapes. And I have a Sharpmaker as well for touching up folders I sent to Benchmade for sharpening. Does the WE clamp onto kitchen knives very well? I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard it can be a problem for knives without a thick spine, like your typical folder.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
43
Location
Mid TN
Alas, yes. It does. It is. But we've all been there, unless there are some born-to-sharpen people here I haven't met.

What I strongly recommend is magnification. A Loupe (not the kind you screw into your eye, though I guess that would work too). Or a USB microscope. Or both. You have to see what is actually happening to your bevels, and at your edge, to know how to adjust and correct it. For example, I have a bad habit of coming up short of the edge on the curve of the knife. I compensate for it now.

The thing to keep in mind is that sharpening is simple in concept. The two bevels touch at the apex, and if the apex is clean and narrow to the point of invisibility, you have a sharp knife. I know that seems obvious, but the point is that if you don't have a sharp knife after sharpening, that just can't be happening. So you have to figure out why.

Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I will look into a USB microscope. Is there a minimum amount I need to spend on it? Certain features essential for this purpose? I never knew they existed but can see how it would help.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2012
Messages
758
Reaction score
1,010
Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I will look into a USB microscope. Is there a minimum amount I need to spend on it? Certain features essential for this purpose? I never knew they existed but can see how it would help.

I don't know. I have an optical microscope, so I don't have a specific recommendation. But someone here probably does. Maybe start with a forum search.
 

cooktocut

Arm perpetually half shaven
KKF Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
345
Reaction score
1,528
Location
Florida
Does the WE clamp onto kitchen knives very well? I haven’t tried it yet but I’ve heard it can be a problem for knives without a thick spine, like your typical folder.

There’s an adjustment knob in the back, under the clamp, to compensate for thinner blades. I don’t find the thinness to be a problem though, it’s actually knives with an aggressive taper that give me problems. To adjust for this, I will tighten that knob and also use a piece of eyeglass cleaning cloth around the part of the knife in the clamp to provide more friction and stop it from slipping around.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2022
Messages
9
Reaction score
43
Location
Mid TN
The Fujiwara Gyuto came today! I had already made supper but I used it to slice a lime for some pico. I paid a little extra for finish sharpening and it came out the box screaming sharp. Dang near cut my index finger off making that pico!



Things got a little scary but the food was good:

 

KingShapton

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
1,040
Reaction score
1,220
Location
Germany
The Fujiwara Gyuto came today! I had already made supper but I used it to slice a lime for some pico. I paid a little extra for finish sharpening and it came out the box screaming sharp. Dang near cut my index finger off making that pico!



Things got a little scary but the food was good:

Oh man, this is definitely "your" knife now.
If a knife bites me right at the start then it's definitely mine.

And that happens to others too...there is a thread here with the really bad cases...

 
Top