Sharpening your own Knives - tell us your experience

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by sgtraven, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    So,

    My shuns have become increasingly dull after 12 months without a sharpen (they are still sharp though) and I was sick of paying $40-50 to send them away for 3 knives to be sharpened.
    My initial investigations into sharpening showed me that buying multiple large stones would/could be costly as well as the learning curve for getting the right angle could also be costly (poor shuns)
    In saying this I would like to eventually learn but not on my shuns……

    Ive never really trusted the sharpeners you drag your knife through and a steel is only good for keeping an edge and even then you need to learn how to use one.
    When I had almost given up I came across the Lansky range of Sharpeners
    @$60 it was about the price of a good quality hand held “drag knife through” type but it was all the advantages of a proper stone.

    I gave it a try last night after receiving postage. First the crappy $10 job that was never really sharp to begin with, applied a 20deg angle and after about 30 mins work (I deliberately made a totally new edge) this knife was BRILLIANT. Yea, it wont hold its edge as well as the shun but who cares…..

    I did all 3 shuns last night giving them a 16deg RAZOR angle and my god it mad a difference, im now thinking of how much better a BIG stone would be.

    Heres the one I bought http://lansky.com/index.php/products/dlx-5-stone-system/

    p.s this isnt an advertisment, its just something i thought id post after seeing the knife sharpening disaster thread :p
     
  2. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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  3. OP
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    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    Amf, that looks like a much better product than what I'm using, I think that's my next purchase.
    @$245 (fine option) for a $700 collection of knives I think it's worth it for me. How often do you use it?
     
  4. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    I use it every few months. You are welcome to borrow it :)
     
  5. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    I kinda want one now :)
     
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    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    The fact that you can sharpen your own knives to the exact factory angle whenever you want and don't have to wait 2 weeks for your knives to be returned.
    There's not many places I trust to sharpen my knives, now I can do them myself.
     
  7. Anakist

    Anakist Member

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    I have found I can't get a decent edge with the Lansky.

    I just bought a Razor Edge block and use it on my water stones, but that is a temporary solution until I get a better system. It works beautifully, but it is (slowly) wearing and will change the angle. I have tried freehand on the stones but I suck.

    That apex pro looks awesome!

    James
     
  8. negatron

    negatron Member

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    so if all these stones and systems are what we need, then what's the little metal stick that came with my knife block for?

    I have a set of wusthof classics that I've been using for 4 years now, perhaps they need a sharpen too...
     
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    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    That's interesting, I macroed my shuns to look at the edge after going all the way to 1200grit and found they had a very good edge with a consistent angle.
    I did take my time and smoothly work the blade each side.

    In saying that I know I could do better with a bigger stone


    Negateon,

    That metal stick is refered to as a steel, the steel is for maintaining a straight edge, it doesn't necessarily remove material to sharpen but instead it "bends" the blade back into place in cases where you have hit bone or the wood constantly.
    This is why you see butchers use them "constantly"
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  10. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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  11. Tone

    Tone Member

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  12. 8MadDog8

    8MadDog8 Member

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    Sorry for a bit of a highjack, but im after a bit of advise. We have a set of Mundial knives that we have had for about 3 years. They are still pretty sharp, but not as good as they used to be.

    I have never really sharpened any knives, so what would be the best sharpener for us?
    Something like the Shun electric knife sharpener? Becuase i doubt we would be any good using a set of stones by hand, and dont want to ruin the knives....
     
  13. scon

    scon Member

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    I've got a couple of whetstones that I use when my knives get a bit raggedy. I'm not a master sharpener by any means but I can get them to a fair decent point - certainly sharp enough for the sort of work I do around the kitchen.
     
  14. --B--

    --B-- Member

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    edit: in reply to Maddog:

    after three years they most certainly need sharpening

    if i were you id get them professionally sharpened.. king of knives stores do it. as do some butchers.

    if you start to really notice the difference and appreciate a sharp knife, you could then invest in a sharpener.

    imo no electric gadget will beat some form of manual sharpening though. see above for options or try the spyderco sharpmaker which gets good reviews.
     
  15. Commie_Mike

    Commie_Mike Member

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    i spent $2-5 each on my knives and i sharpen them on the underside of a coffee mug. cheap chinese stainless knives - need to sharpen them every second time you use them, but it takes seconds and they get incredibly sharp.
     
  16. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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    Certainly wouldn't recommend the Shun Sharperner for German knives. The only reason why I got one was because it's made for the Shuns. The angles are different and you can ruin the knife or the sharpener or both.
     
  17. apsilon

    apsilon Member

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    I have the same. It's the best "system" IMO. Perfect for reprofilling and can do any angle so can handle any knife.
     
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    sgtraven

    sgtraven Member

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    shuns are a 16deg angle, the wusthof are about 20deg

    if you use the wrong sharpener you arent fully utilising what the steel/thickness is designed for.

    in saying that a wusthof knife is likely to keep its edge longer due to the angle but then they are in many situations designed for more "rigorous" work
     
  19. Amfibius

    Amfibius Member

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    Knives lose their sharpness in two ways. In every day use, the sharp edge gets bent, forming a burr. You can actually feel this burr if you carefully draw your fingers perpendicular to the knife edge. This burr can be straightened with the steel (as mentioned earlier in this thread). The second way knives lose sharpness is when the sharp edge wears off. No amount of steeling can restore this, so you need a knife sharpener.

    Wusthofs are made of softer steel. Shun and most typical Japanese knives are made of harder steel. As sgtraven points out, Japanese knives also have a more acute grind than typical German knives. The combination of harder steel and a more acute grind means that Japanese knives have an unrivalled sharpness and an incredibly clean cut. You have no idea what "sharp" means until you try a Japanese knife.

    The softer steel means that Wusthofs need more frequent steeling than Japanese knives. However - because Japanese knives are more brittle and have a more acute angle, they require more frequent sharpening.
     
  20. negatron

    negatron Member

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    erm... so I should use the steel more often.

    but give 4 years of daily use I should go visit keith soon? :leet:
     

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