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Food & Wine Ground >> Sharpening knives


1/18/08 10:09 AM
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Kevin Curtis
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Edited: 18-Jan-08
Member Since: 07/17/2001
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Do you sharpen your own knives, or do you take them someplace?
1/18/08 10:24 AM
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alpo
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Edited: 18-Jan-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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I get them sharpened professionally. It's not expensive and you probably won't ever be able to do as good of a job as a professional. The best deal I've found is this 80 year old guy that always has a booth at this local monthly gun show. I just hand him a few knives, walk around and look at guns for a while, then pick them up when I leave. My friend snapped the tip of a knife clean off. It was really bad.. like probably 1/2" broke off. He dropped it on a tile floor and it landed tip down. Anyway, this guy actually grinded it down and reformed a new tip, adjusted the curvature and re-sharpened it. I think he only charged like $10 for that. He did a great job; you can hardly even tell, other than the new tip area is shinier(?) than the rest of the blade. Better than tossing out a $100 knife anyway. It was a Global, FWIW.
1/18/08 11:20 AM
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alxholic
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Edited: 18-Jan-08
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the place i took cooking classes at have knife sharpening tuesdays.. it's like 3 bucks a knife or something.
1/18/08 11:22 AM
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alpo
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Edited: 18-Jan-08
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That is about what I pay. Considering it only has to be done every year or two, depending on the knife, it's not a big deal.
1/18/08 11:46 AM
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Tys
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Edited: 18-Jan-08
Member Since: 08/29/2005
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I bought one of these things, seems to work pretty good. http://www.amazon.com/W%C3%BCsthof-2899-W%C2%BFsthof-2-Stage-Sharpener/dp/B0002JENO8/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=kitchen&qid=1200674709&sr=1-7
1/19/08 3:04 PM
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crescentwrench
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Edited: 19-Jan-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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I sharpen my own knives and could unzip your torso with anything I grabbed in my kitchen.  I just have a couple of bench stones and a mouse pad with 2000 grit sandpaper glued to it for "stropping".  I have a guide to keep my angle precise on my better knives but lately I've been trying my hand at free sharpening on crappy knives from old sets.  For cooking purposes I'm able to get them as sharp as you'd care to. You don't need a polished 8000 grit off a waterstone edge. 

1500/2000 is actually better because it will get through more food in one pass.  If you took a pristine mirrored edge to an old meat packing plant they'd throw it against the wall because it's too smooth to have the bite needed to get through those sides of beef.  

I do it because it's fun to me. A pro could probably get a marginally keener edge, but it's a hobby. I'm sure amateur woodworkers could get a better coffee table at the store too but that's not the point. And I'm able to sharpen whenever I feel the need.  Unless I truely screwed the pooch it only means one or two very light passes over my finest stone just to knock off something my steel couldn't get back to true.  You can do it too if you want, you don't have to be paranoid.  If you're not going to invest the time to figure out what you're doing though, don't ruin your good knives half-assing it.  

1/19/08 7:55 PM
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Extendo
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Edited: 19-Jan-08
Member Since: 05/12/2002
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First thing my dad told me when he gave me my first knife was to never let anyone else touch your blades. Learn to sharpen and hone your knives to your own tastes, IMO.
1/20/08 10:02 AM
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crescentwrench
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Edited: 20-Jan-08
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Extendo, that carries with it my warning about learning to do it right.  It's fine to let a kid loose on a $10 Case folder but I'd rather trust a pro with a $200 kitchen knife and tell him what you want. 

 

Also, how many people actually know what they want?  I know what I want, but do most know there are even choices other than the grinder on the back of the can opener?  They should imo.  Then they won't fold over a single-beveled Japanese style slicer on a chicken's thigh bone. 

I think knowing the practical basics is a skill every manly man should at least have an awareness of. One of those things like how to properly set up a campfire or tie a bowline. But on something you'll use every day you'll want more than a ragged honed on a flat rock edge. I agree with you only so long as you're going to invest the time to learn what you're doing.   If you're going to fly blind, please do it with one of those $2 counter knives from the convenience store

Here's the site by the guy who wrote the book I started with when I decided I wanted to learn how to sharpen my own stuff.

Razor Edge Systems

Here's the guide I use, but am trying to slowly ween myself from it

Terrific Introduction to Sharpening post by Chad Ward

Bladeforum's Sharpening/Maintenance Forum, really useful stuff on here

1/20/08 7:52 PM
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Tys
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Edited: 20-Jan-08
Member Since: 08/29/2005
Posts: 5395
Thanks for the links crescent, cool stuff.
1/21/08 8:12 AM
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Tys
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Edited: 21-Jan-08
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Posts: 5398
But I love you!
1/22/08 10:55 AM
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MikeZev
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Edited: 22-Jan-08
Member Since: 12/15/2002
Posts: 7842
ihave a bout 6 good knives and about 4 utility grade knives and i have them all sharpened by the chef that lives upstairs from me. i invested in a quality japanese stone about a year ago and it was well worth the $.
2/29/08 3:54 PM
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Lou Dukes
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Edited: 29-Feb-08
Member Since: 04/27/2007
Posts: 134

Sharpen them yourself. http://usa.jahenckels.com/index.php?subcategory=6

 


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