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Sharpening Kitchen Knives, Running Out of Motivation

There are a few things that I have been smart enough during the past to spend good money on. These things include cutting boards, pans, pots, plates, cutlery and so on. Sadly, I have not been smart enough to buy great quality kitchen knives and coincidentally have not been smart enough to invest in good quality sharpening systems.

This is an example of the knives that I routinely use together with Spanish made Henkels
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A long time ago, I bought a steel to hone the knives, but eventually the effectiveness wears off. After that, I bought a cheap sharpening stone from the internet without knowing the grit rating. I suspect that the stone is a medium fine rating and is not of much use for polishing a blade. At the moment, in an attempt to sharpen the knives, I use the sharpening stone, then follow that up by stropping the blade on a 800 grit slab of sand paper. After that, if anything, I may try to polish the blade by stropping it on the exposed ceramic of a plate (and assume that does anything).

I am not getting the results I want. I suspect the knives are of poor quality, but that the real culprit is my lack of sharpening knowledge and tools. What do you think I should do (without breaking the bank)? I have looked into ceramic sharpening rods and are considering them as well as entertaining the idea of just ordering this and being done with it
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How much do you care about the edge of the knives? If you're looking just to get a good working edge, I would just drop the $100-150 and get a chefs choice/electric sharpener rather than stress and worry about honing knife sharpening technique to some professional/artisan level. You'll likely spend more money and time trying to perfect technique rather than taking the one time hit.
 
+1 on the Chef's Choice. I'm a woodworker, and am big on sharp edges, but we're not planing curly maple here. An electric sharpener does a fine job on kitchen knives, and is easy enough to use that you'll keep them sharp.
 
Look into the Work Sharp knife sharpener. It works quite well, fast, moderate cost. Some threads about it on Blade forum.
 
+2 on the Chef's choice. My first one lasted 20 years, and they gave me a trade-in on the newest model! It produces a really sharp edge with no work at all...
 
For about $50 you can pickup a Spyderco Sharpmaker. I've been using one for years on all my knives, and have never needed anything more. Very easy to use and it works.
 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
Get yourself over to Lee Valley
100 Susie Lake Crescent
Halifax NS B3S 1C7

Pick up one of these for $42.50(click here)

This system works wonders by keeping the angle steady as you sharpen. Once you have your knives just so . . . you may want to buy their 1000K water stone to try freehand. This is what Lenard Lee of Lee Valley recommends for kitchen knives. (about $30). Then as you obsess . . . as most of us do here . . . you can move into other hones and strops.

Good luck

Mike
 
+1 on the Spyderco Sharpmaker. Under $50 shipped from amazon. If you don't want to invest the time and $$ to get and use quality stones, this is a great option.

For about $50 you can pickup a Spyderco Sharpmaker. I've been using one for years on all my knives, and have never needed anything more. Very easy to use and it works.
 
Well if you are willing to keep your straight razor sharp enough to shave, it's probably a safe bet that you pretty much already have what you need to keep a kitchen knife sharp. Maybe add a coarse stone or so and then use your hones on your kitchen knives. This will give you a good start.

I guess it surprises me when I see someone capable of putting an edge on one type of 'instrument' not wanting a similar level of sharpness elsewhere.

As a professional knife sharpener, I can't think of too many more devices than a Chef's Choice that are the cause of repairs sent to me.

As a minimum for any 'assisted device' I'd suggest something that can sharpen at more than one angle with more than one grit.

---
Ken
 
Oh I dunno, My wife is a chef and routinely sharpens knives.
In the biz, they just used a grinder. Yup, right in the kitchen there was a grinder set up off in the corner where they sharpened their knives.
Now that she's at home most of the time (because we're in the family stage of life) she just used a chef's choice.
Anything can mess up your blade if you're not careful.

Knowledge is your best option. Don't fear any sharpening system, just learn how they work.
Buy a book if you have to and practice every day (if you have to)

I've seen Chefs (I used to work in the same kitchen as my wife) get a wicked sharp blade from the worst knives only because they know what they're doing.
 
Get yourself over to Lee Valley
100 Susie Lake Crescent
Halifax NS B3S 1C7

Pick up one of these for $42.50(click here)

This system works wonders by keeping the angle steady as you sharpen. Once you have your knives just so . . . you may want to buy their 1000K water stone to try freehand. This is what Lenard Lee of Lee Valley recommends for kitchen knives. (about $30). Then as you obsess . . . as most of us do here . . . you can move into other hones and strops.:a51::devil::devil::devil::devil::a51:

I added the emoticons to reveal the true nature of that post. You sir, I believe, are an enabler:scared:

The Chef's Choice is an appealing idea. It is probably the most sensible decision. It seems quick, simple and effective. But, I am worried that it won't be very versatile. The Spyderco also seems like an idea, looks like the new improved style of sharpening systems, but I'd love to see one in person before buying it.

Alls things considered, after work today, I am going to head over to Lee Valley. It is nice to see things in person before buying and I have a feeling that I will walk away happy. I like how adjustable the Lansky type system is. Also, getting to see a couple of affordable fine stones will be nice, there is a good chance that I will buy something to add to the sharpening set :thumbup1:

Thanks for the input, some good ideas, just the kind of helpful information that I have learned to rely on from B&B members.
 
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I added the emoticons to reveal the true nature of that post. You sir, I believe, are an enabler:scared:

The Chef's Choice is an appealing idea. It is probably the most sensible decision. It seems quick, simple and effective. But, I am worried that it won't be very versatile. The Spyderco also seems like an idea, looks like the new improved style of sharpening systems, but I'd love to see one in person before buying it.

Alls things considered, after work today, I am going to head over to Lee Valley. It is nice to see things in person before buying and I have a feeling that I will walk away happy. I like how adjustable the Lansky type system is. Also, getting to see a couple of affordable fine stones will be nice, there is a good chance that I will buy something to add to the sharpening set :thumbup1:

Thanks for the input, some good ideas, just the kind of helpful information that I have learned to rely on from B&B members.

I've used a Lansky sharpener on my kitchen knives (my brother has one). It works very well. It has the proper adjustments for the proper angles. I can't remember what that is (maybe 22 degrees??) but the instructions will show you.
The nice thing about a Lansky sharpener is you can get different abrasives, even diamond ones.
 

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
I added the emoticons to reveal the true nature of that post. You sir, I believe, are an enabler:scared:

My pleasure to be of service :a51: (Lee Valley has a couple of lovely multi led flashlights for under 10 bucks as well. If you want to see folk obsess . . . check out the Nib forum)
 
If you are interested in sharpening your kitchen knives a good read is :thumbup1: An Edge in the Kitchen by Chad Ward. :thumbup1: Lots of info as I recall and a run down of the pros and cons of different sharpeners and systems. My library had a copy. I had a Chefs Choice. It was the 2 stage model. It did OK but started to wear out. So I learned how to sharpen manually.
 
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