What is an effective technique for sharpening stainless steel kitchen knives?

What is an effective technique for sharpening stainless steel kitchen knives?

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  1. If you’re in a commercial kitchen, sharpen them a couple of times a week and don’t let them get dull. If you’ve had a busy night, run them over a steel before you store them for the night.
    If you want to keep a sharp edge, though, stainless knives aren’t friendly. Real steel knives keep their edges 20x to 30x longer than stainless ones because they’re much harder material. The next time you get an opportunity to pick up a decent one cheap, buy it and try it. You’ll be shocked.

    Authentic XYJ Since 1986,Outstanding Ancient Forging,6.7 Inch Full Tang

  2. An effective technique for almost all knives are whetstones (and a strop afterwards). It takes some practice and patience to use but it’s one of the most satisfying things when you get a knife razor sharp. One can learn how to use a whetstone with a simple YouTube tutorial.
    After sharpening a blade please don’t put it in the dishwasher. It dulls and chips the blade. Just hand wash it.
    Do not use pull through sharpeners. They will destroy the blade and most of the time they don’t even sharpen the knife.

    Wanbasion Black Stainless Steel Knife Set, Sharp Kitchen Knife

  3. The majority of stainless steel kitchen knives will neither take nor hold a cutting edge worthy of wasting time on. There are a great many sharpening systems and techniques available, but the key issue boils down to whether the knife itself is any good or not.
    Since the majority stainless steel knives are junk, you’re not going to be satisfied with the results should you invest in some moderately priced sharpening devices, let alone some expensive systems.
    The majority of stainless steel kitchen knives will perform best with a rather rough edge produced by a course grit whet stone or cheap cubic boron nitride (manufactured diamond) hone. Keep a 15–20° bevel angle and make the edge cuts in one direction only as if slicing. The roughness of the edge will function like micro-serrations reducing the cutting force with the trade off being a lesser quality cut, though most people will not notice any issues with cut quality. If you’re not up for learning hand sharpening techniques, there are a variety of inexpensive pull-through sharpening devices which as the name implies, allow you to simply pull the knife edge through the tool. The ones with square carbide cutters typically work the fastest and best for most cheap knives, while ceramic and manufactured diamond models will do fine for little bit higher quality knives.
    If by chance you happen to have a fairly good alloyed and heat treated stainless steel knife, then you should get a decent whet stone or diamond hone.

    Gerber Gear 22-48485 Paraframe Mini Pocket Knife, 2.2 Inch Fine Edge Blade

  4. First of all you will want to assess the secondary bevel and take note of any damage to the edge. With kitchen knives, many times you will find small notches taken from the apex, and also pitting. This is due to several factors including the knife contacting ceramic cookware and tableware in a sink, which are harder than steel (not tougher), and exposure to water along with oxygen in the air while wet, and chemicals, etc.
    If there is no deep pitting or actual chipping, then stropping, possibly with an abrasive compound, is where you will want to begin and end, assuming that the apex was established correctly, and never significantly altered, and was sharp prior to sharpening consideration.
    If your knife’s edge shows pitting and chipping, the first step should be to take the edge completely off with a rough stone at 90 degrees, until the deepest chip has been eliminated. Then with the same, rough stone, choose an angle that is comfortable in both directions (both sides). Begin with a scrubbing action maintaining the same angle across the entire blade and stone face, continuing on the same side, periodically checking for the desired bevel face. Examine the edge that was ground flat to check the progress of your angle to near center. Switch sides and establish a uniform bevel face on that side as well. Once you are about a hair’s width from the center, switch sides again and continue scrubbing until the burr forms across the entire edge. At this point reduce the downward pressure against the stone and continue until you feel a much smoother action and less friction between the surfaces. Switch sides and repeat.
    It is at this point that you are ready to continue in this fashion through the desired grit progression. When you have reached the final grit, use a hardwood block edge and run the knife edge along in to scrape off the wire burr. Strop, then perform light strokes against the finest stone and feel for grittiness, which is pieces of remaining burr coming off. Back to the wood block with light strokes, then strop. When it feels as though there are no more burr pieces hanging onto the steel and the bevel faces are stropped smooth, it is time to set the “teeth” onto the apex. Just a few light strokes across the fine stone on each side, then almost no pressure on the strop for only a couple of strokes on each side. This should yield a very very sharp knife with consistent bevel faces and apex. RT

    CJRB CUTLERY Folding Knife Crag

  5. Step: Wrap the blades of the knives you want to sharpen in some packing paper.
    Step: Put them in a bag.
    Step: Get them to a professional knife sharpener. Those guys work magic for a hilariously small amount of money.
    Seriously, I am a knife collector and know how to sharpen a knife. However, even with that skill I take my kitchen knives to a professional sharpener. Those guys know what they are doing, are more precise than I can ever hope to be and I pay just a couple of bucks per knife every year or even just every other year. In between, honing should be sufficient, but that depends on the quality of the knife.
    Additional advantage: the knife is usually polished up too, so all those nasty scratches are also gone.

    Forged Viking Knives, Husk Chef Knife Butcher Knives Handmade Fishing

  6. The simple answer is do not let any knife become excessively dull, before you try to restore its edge.
    As soon as any knife loses its ability to start to dry shave hair off of my arm, or even worse pierce a sheet of newspaper and the make a clean cut by pressure alone; I try to restore it to a shaving sharp edge using a fine sharpening steel or better, a fine ceramic sharpening rod. These tools remove little metal, but tend to straighten and true a dull edge.
    If you do not allow a knife to become horribly dull, it is not difficult to keep a near shaving sharp edge on it as long as you do not abuse it. It really does not matter what type steel is involved.
    Knives that have been badly neglected and/or abused, usually require significant metal removal (usually by hand or power abrasive grinding) to restore their edges. Most persons need a special tool(s) to successfully accomplish such.
    There are a number of hand and power tools that are intended to accomplish what is described in the preceding paragraph. They vary greatly is price, ease of use, speed of use, and effectiveness.
    Persons skilled in freehand sharpening on abrasive stones, etc. can usually get a serviceable edge much faster working freehand than by using special machines. However, most persons lack said freehand skills and need a sharpening tool that takes most of the skill out of the sharpening process.

    RoverTac Pocket Knife Multitool Folding Knife Tactical Survival Camping Knife

  7. Folks each have their own sharpening routine. Some are more effective than others, some will even ruin the cutting edge of knives. The technique I use, and find best, is using a steel and strop pretty much daily as necessary to maintain a sharp edge, and for more aggressive periodic blade maintenance, I use three whetstones: One is a medium grit Carborundum stone for heavier repairs, nicks, broken tips, etc. Two is a fine grit Carborundum stone for finer edge finishing, and Three is a hard Arkansas stone fir the final edge, which I then polish on the strop. I only use water as a lubricant on my stones, as I find this serves better to keep the stones clear of clogging and buildup and allows for the stones to remain sharper.
    I suggest a tour of some YouTube videos for more detailed instruction regarding blade and cutting edge angles and stone and strop use.

    Mossy Oak Survival Hunting Knife with Sheath, 15-inch Fixed Blade

  8. A2A, I’m not an expert in sharpening, but I did some reading up on the topic, so maybe I can give you a roadmap for your own research. Dan Yeager ‘s answer is a good start. There’s a ton of information out there, much of it poorly expressed and a significant amount of it contradicts each other.
    Note: The following applies to sharpening most knives in general, not just stainless steel knives.
    Start by reading this answer: Steven J Owens’s answer to What grit and brand of whetstones should I buy to sharpen my kitchen knives?
    Actually sharpening a knife boils down to:
    what bevel (edge angle) to use for sharpening
    how to hold the knife at a consistent angle to get that bevel, when sharpening
    when to stop sharpening
    how to polish with a strop
    how to hone with a steel
    stone selection and maintenance: grits, water or oil stones, flatness, diamond stones
    What Bevel (Edge Angle) To Use For Sharpening
    The bevel is the angle between the actual edge and the flat of the blade. It’s the area where your sharpening stone is actually grinding away the metal.
    Some blades (most often on tools rather than on cooking knives) actually use two different bevels. You’ll sometimes see a reference to a “microbevel”, meaning that the bevel then has a secondary bevel. Or to put it another way, if you look at the blade/edge shape in cross section, you’ll see a total of three different planes on each side of the blade. The broad plane of the blade, the plane of the cutting edge, and in between the microbevel/secondary bevel plane. The point of the microbevel is simply to decrease the area of metal surface that you have to grind away with the whetstone. Microbevels are more common on tools (for example wood chisels) than on cooking knives.
    Different knives have different bevel angles. Even different chef’s knives have different bevel angles. Chef’s knives seem to vary from 15 degrees (Japanese) to 20–22 degrees (German). I shoot for a bevel angle of 22.25 degrees. Just kidding, I use a knife made with a 15 degree bevel, so that’s what I aim for. If you’re reading this answer, odds are you’re a beginner, so just use the bevel angle your knife was made with.
    EDIT: Look at the diagrams early in the “burr or wire edge” video below, to see what I mean by the bevel.
    Even two identical chef’s knives will have slightly different bevel angles from when they were hand-sharpened during manufacturing. This guy shows a neat trick using a marker to figure out the right bevel angle for your knife:

    How To Hold The Knife At A Consistent Angle When Sharpening
    There are a ton of gadgets out there for knife sharpening; most of them try to solve the consistent-angle problem. Some people have their favorites, but I just sharpen free hand.
    I’ll skip over the sales pitch for sharpening free hand, other than to say that:
    Like many things in modern life that used to be done entirely manually and we now seem to take it for granted are impossible for ordinary, everyday people to do, free hand sharpening really isn’t that hard to learn to do well with a moderate amount of practice, and
    Yes, while I wouldn’t mind becoming a zen, kung fu monk of free hand sharpening, you don’t really need to get that good at it to get good enough results.
    I try to aim for consistency. I suspect this gets me 80% to 90% of the way there and that any more is gilding the lily. Unless you’re a master craftsman or something it’s probably six of one, half a dozen of the other to you. And unless you’re a master sharpener, you’re probably not going to be able to consistently hold the knife at exactly 17 degrees or whatever.
    If you want to practice sharpening free hand, it’s probably a good idea to have a friend watch you sharpen and give you feedback. It’s hard to see variations in your own angle. Sharpening in front of a mirror can help if you don’t have a friend to watch you.
    Unless you’re using a single-bevel knife (google it) your knife is going to have a bevel on both sides, so you’re going to need to use two different motions, one for each side, either flipping the blade back and forth for each stroke, or doing over-and-under strokes, or changing hands, or whatever.
    There are a lot of different ways to hold the knife and the stone and move them around. Everyone’s body is different, you need to find the approach that works well for your body. Watch a lot of videos, try different ways. Find what body mechanics you feel comfortable with and that you think you’re getting consistent angles with. Practice at it.
    Besides the obvious, whether you’re left or right handed or ambidextrous, your eye dominance will be a factor. Google on it, but the short version is that most people tend to favor one eye or the other. It’s like your mental “camera” is off center towards your left or right eye. People have this in different amounts. For most people, it’s the same eye as their dominant hand, i.e. they’re right handed and right eye dominant, or left handed and left eye dominant. Some people, like me, are “cross-eye dominant”, meaning I’m left handed and right eye dominant. It makes some things a little trickier. The first step towards coping better is recognizing it, so go google on how to figure it out.
    When To Stop
    This is really two questions, first how many different grits you should use, and second how many strokes. For grits, see the section on stones below. As for how many strokes, there are two answers, the easy answer and the correct answer.
    The easy answer is, unless you’re repairing a damaged knife (in which case you should know what you’re doing and don’t need my advice) just give it 3–5 strokes on either side, the same on each side. If it’s already pretty sharp, fewer strokes.
    The correct answer is you should learn how to evaluate the edge and figure out whether the sharpening is done or not. There are different ways to do this. One is the “burr” approach, which I’ll let you google on. Another approach is looking for shiny spots on the actual cutting edge (this indicates that the edge has been flattened out).
    EDIT 2: My new favorite video on knife sharpening and the burr:

    EDIT: Tom Slijkerman’s answer to What am I doing wrong with knife sharpening? has some really good photos of the burr. And this video is a pretty good explanation of the burr, aka “wire edge”:

    My favorite approach was a guy on a knife forum who said he’d apprenticed as a tool and die maker in Germany, and they practiced sharpening while periodically checking the edge by eye and then checking again under a very powerful microscope. You might find a jeweler’s loupe or pocket microscope useful.
    I bought one of these relatively cheap loupes for looking at wood grains. It’s not spectacular but it’s helpful. Note, the big difference between a cheap lens and a quality lens is how much of the area of the lens has distortion. The entire piece of glass doesn’t show a usefully undistorted view; the perimeter area of the glass distorts the view. The higher quality the lens, the bigger the undistorted area is, and the more useful the lens is. This lens is pretty cheap, so the area of the lens that’s undistorted enough to be useful is about half the diameter of the lens.
    niceEshop 40 X 25mm Glass Lens Jeweler Loupe Magnifier With LED
    I bought a few of these pocket microscopes a few years back as gifts for some relatives’ kids. They weren’t fantastic but not bad for a cheap gadget. There may be something better on the market now:
    Carson 60X-75X MicroMax LED Lighted Pocket Microscope (MM-200)
    I also bought this cheap USB microscope. Calling it a microscope is really being very charitable. A real microscope with digital out costs at least $150-$250. These things are literally webcam innards with cheap lenses and a plastic housing to make them minimally functional. Also, the “magnification” they list on the descriptions are always bullshit because they include the monitor size in calculating it. Still, it was a neat little toy and somewhat useful.
    Carson eFlex 75x/300x Effective Magnification (Based on a 21″ Monitor) LED Lighted USB Digital Microscope with Flexible Stand and Base (MM-840)
    How To Polish With A Strop
    Stropping with a leather strop and honing with a steel hone have some overlap in terms of how they improve and maintain the edge. I have no strong opinion on which to use. As one of the other answers mentions, stropping is more for woodworking tools, which need to be much sharper than kitchen knives. I do more cooking than woodworking (though I’m working on that) so I don’t do much stropping, so I won’t offer any tips, but you should look into it.
    EDIT: This looks like a pretty good explanation of the difference between stropping and honing:

    As I mention in my other answer, which I linked to at the beginning, stropping is polishing the edge after you’ve finished grinding it. Stropping can be done with just plain leather, or with leather that has rouge, an abrasive paste, rubbed on it.
    EDIT: I’ve added some video links below, so here’s a good video about stropping:

    How to Hone
    A honing steel looks like a steel rod with many grooves running lengthwise, and a handle. A lot of people confuse a honing steel with a sharpening rod, and in fact when I googled for the image below, a lot of sharpening rods came up. The grooves are the main thing to look for, as far as I can tell.

    What is an effective technique for sharpening stainless steel kitchen knives?

    Source: File:Cucina 009.jpg – Wikimedia Commons
    Free-hand honing is a lot like free-hand sharpening. As I suggested for sharpening, watch a lot of videos and find the body mechanics that you’re comfortable with. Honing is faster and easier than sharpening and will make your knife’s edge last much, much, much longer, which in turn means it’ll make your knife last much, much, much longer.
    Hone early, hone often. I hone my chef’s knife literally every time I use it. Just 3 quick strokes on either side. As a result my knife is always nice and sharp and I sharpen it far, far less often.
    Sharpening Stones
    You can fill a book or three with stuff on sharpening stones and I’m sure somebody has. The good news is that for your everyday use, you can use a pretty simple set of answers and you’ll get 90% there by just buying two or three diamond stones, and you can just ignore that last 10% unless you feel like getting into it.
    All sharpening is fundamentally about rubbing a piece of metal on some thing at a particular angle, to change the shape of the metal. Given infinite amounts of rubbing, almost anything can be used to sharpen. For example, a common tip is to use the bottom of a ceramic cup as an improvised sharpening stone.
    The rest of it is details about how to speed up the process while maintaining effectiveness. You do this by using just the right combination of roughness and durability in the thing you’re rubbing the metal against, and doing it in multiple stages with different amounts of roughness.
    But some things make the job go faster than others. We generally call these things sharpening stones.
    As with the number of strokes to use, above, there’s the easy answer and the correct answer. For the easy answer, get a decent quality (but still quite affordable) diamond stone. More details on that below. For the correct answer, you need to think about:
    How many different grits and what grits to use.
    What kinds of stones: water, oil, or diamond.
    How to avoid screwing the stones up when you use them (water or oil).
    How to maintain the stones (flatten them).
    Grits are measured in numbers, the higher the number the finer the grit, just like sandpaper*. Low hundreds is rough grit and will remove material rapidly, but leave a more ragged edge (though probably still too fine for you to see the raggedness). A thousand or a little above is medium grit. Several thousand is fine grit.
    (* And while I’m mentioning sandpaper, there’s entire sharpening system built around sandpaper, called “Scary Sharp”, popular with woodworkers.)
    As far as how many different grits to use, again for most people you’ll get a ton of effectiveness out of just a few grits, 2 or maybe 3. You can go nuts and have eight different grits, etc, but you’re really just wasting your time and money. I’ll give some suggestions below.
    (Note: At this stage, I mean. I’m not saying some master craftsman who likes to use eight grits doesn’t know what they’re doing. Although it’s possible they don’t; there seems to be a ridiculous amount of misinformation out there on sharpening, even among people who are expert on some other topic.)
    The three most common types of stones are oil stones, water stones and diamond stones.
    Oil stones and water stones need their respective liquids applied to the stone before you use them. The reason why is that when you sharpen your edge, you grind metal away. That results in very fine metal particles. The liquid keeps the metal particles floating rather than sitting on the stone. If they’re floating, your next pass with the blade against the stone will sweep the particles away. If they’re sitting on the stone, your next pass with the blade will rub the particles into your stone. That embeds the particles in the stone, where they then cause damage to the edge you’re rubbing against the stone. That messes up the sharpening action, and it’s permanent so it ruins the stone.
    Diamond stones are metal impregnated with diamond powder. They’re utilitarian, lower maintenance and almost impossible to damage, and don’t need fluid, just a quick rinse at the end to clear away the metal particles (though James Hamilton, the Stumpy Nubbs guy in the videos below, recommends using water during the sharpening anyway; I can’t see any reason why not).
    However, not all diamond stones are created equal, see the second Stump Nubbs video on diamond stones, below.
    This page looks pretty decent for explaining the different types of stones:
    Difference in Sharpening Stone Materials
    After a lot of sharpening, oil and water stones can become concave instead of flat. There are techniques for re-flattening your stones by rubbing them against each other. If you’re using oil or water stones, research that and learn how to do it.
    Now that easy answer I promised you above. For cooking knives and belt knives and the like, I personally use a cheap diamond stone with 325 grit on one side and 750 grit: Diamond Combo Bench Stone . I’m sure all three above facts (325, 750, diamond stone) would be enough to make serious sharpeners shun me, but they get the job done for me and I’m not a professional so I don’t need more. I do have some higher grit stones for woodworking tools, but I’m not going to get into that here.
    EDIT: James Hamilton, aka Stumpy Nubbs, explains stuff pretty well. This video is about woodworking sharpening. Woodworkers in general seem to get much more obsessive about sharpness than chefs. Stumpy Nubbs gives a good overview:

    Also, all diamond stones are not created equal, see Stump Nubbs’ other video:

    imarku Japanese Chef Knife – Pro Kitchen Knife 8 Inch Chef’s Knives

  9. If you want quick and dirty, especially if you are only sharpening a $9.95 walmart special, a carbide pull-through “vee” sharpener is fast and effective. The trick is to use light pressure because these things can create havoc on an acute bevel if you have a heavy hand. I carry a Lansky Quad-Sharp in my pocket and have others in my shop, the kitchen, and on my boat. They are quick and convenient, and have preset notches at four different bevel angles, and they are cheap as dirt.

    They also make a ceramic and a diamond version but I have not used them.
    All of my kitchen knives are cheapies. My wife is hell on knives so no way are we going to spend a hundred or several hundred dollars on a fancy pants exotic knife. For us, that is plain stupid. Three or four passes through the Lansky at 20° and then one very light pass through the 25° notch and my knives are up to any kitchen task. I also have a steel rod for stropping, though TBH it usually sits in a drawer somewhere and doesn’t see a lot of use.
    I sell, restore, modify, hone, and even make straight razors, so I suppose my use of a pull-through sharpener for knives is somewhat shocking. My razors are honed on a progression of lapping film from 60μ to 1μ, then on a progression of backed, lapped, and diamond impregnated balsa from .5μ to .1μ, before stropping on a Kanayama 90k or else a compressed cowhide strop of my own manufacture. I also have a couple thousand dollars tied up in natural and synthetic stones. So, you would think I would be more particular about how I sharpen a kitchen or pocketknife, right? Well, the fact is, I just don’t care to spend my time carefully honing every single knife in the house when they will just get abused, anyway. The Quad-Sharp gives me an edge with a lot of cutting power in just a few seconds. With one of my razors, the smallest micro chip gets honed out. For a kitchen knife, I hardly even look at the edge. It is still gonna cut even with chips nearly visible to the casual inspection with the naked eye. The Lansky laughs at such minor damage, and plows right past it.
    If you want to get all over it, of course you can be more particular than that! You can spend as much time and money as you like, on making your kitchen or pocket knives sharp. To do this “right”, you first need to determine your desired bevel angle. A more obtuse bevel angle is more robust and resistant to damage. A more acute bevel angle is sharper, has greater cutting power, but is more easily damaged. A slicer might have an included bevel angle (this is the angle between one bevel face and the opposite bevel face) of 18° or 20°, nearly as fine as a razor, but a chopper will have typically a 30° or 40° included bevel angle. A cleaver could have an even more obtuse bevel angle. So, the normal use of the knife must be identified and the desired bevel angle determined. You don’t have to select a particular number, only be aware that a fine, delicate edge will have the bevel set with the spine of the knife fairly close to the honing surface, and a more rugged edge will have the bevel set with the spine up higher.
    Edge repair and bevel setting are done on a fairly coarse stone, and with knives this means typically in the 200 to 400 grit range. For now, let us disregard edge repair, because setting the bevel will in itself remove most smaller chips and dings. The idea is to make the two bevel faces flat, and for them to meet at a precise apex. Steel is removed in a controlled manner by rubbing knife on stone. The honing angle, whatever angle it is, must be precisely maintained, always consistent. Beginners benefit greatly from the use of a wedge shaped “honing guide” to begin with, for reference. The knife is stroked along the stone with the edge leading. As the edge travels along the length of the stone, the knife is also pulled across the stone. At the end of the stroke, the edge is flipped up and over and back onto the stone, and it is stroked the other way, again pulling it across. This makes sort of an “X” movement. Eventually the two bevel faces are ground into each other and you have your apex and therefore your bevel is set.
    You can get the heavy lifting done quickly with the burr method. Hone only one side of the knife until you can feel a tiny burr deflected upward from the hone, when you lightly and carefully run your finger off the edge. It may be hard to feel, but if you feel both sides of the blade you will notice a subtle difference. Anyway, raise the burr along the entire length of the blade, then flip the blade and hone the other side the same number of laps, and you should now find that the burr is on the opposite side from before. Now do your x strokes, alternating side/side, until the burr is gone. Congratulations. Your bevel is set. However, you ground away a good bit of steel to get there. The good news is you shouldn’t have to do that ever again unless you severely damage the edge.
    If you look at your bevel through a loupe or a cheap fleabay pocket microscope, you will see that it is covered with parallel scratches from the stone, and the edge has a slightly sawtoothed profile. That is actually okay for most kitchen work. If you get your rocks off by slicing raw fish vegetables thin enough to read a newspaper through them, or you are just anal about your edges, you will want to refine that bevel through a process called progressive honing. To do this, you go to a finer stone and do your x strokes until those initial coarse scratches are obliterated, replaced by the finer scratches of the finer stone. This of course also makes the micro teeth of the edge smaller. Then on to a still finer stone. Again, the finer stone must completely remove all of the coarser scratches left by the previous stage, replacing them with its own, finer scratches. Each stage must do its job completely. You can’t remove coarse scratches from the initial bevel set, with your finishing stone. All you will do is to put unnecessary wear on your finisher.
    So, at the end of the progression, you will have two very highly polished bevel faces that meet in a very finely developed apex. The finish for a razor is usually 12k though I go much further than that. The finish for a kitchen knife can be 1k up to about 8k. And sometimes the finisher is a natural stone, which has no particular grit rating. Expensive Japanese kitchen knives are often finished on expensive Japanese natural stones, referred to as “Jnats”, with slurry raised by rubbing with a “nagura” which is a small piece of stone, usually different from the mother stone. There are other prized naturals used for finishing, such as Thuringians or Charnleys or Welsh Slates or Belgian Coticules. However, a set of good synthetics such as Shapton Kuromakus or Naniwa Choseras or Superstones are much more manageable and consistent.
    For best results, which if you are all about this process are the only results worth pursuing, you must lap your stones when you get them and re-lap periodically thereafter. The superior way to lap a stone is to glue a sheet of wet/dry sandpaper of the appropriate grit to a calibrated granite surface plate. You can improvise with a polished marble floor tile or the sink cutout from a polished granite countertop, but the surface plate is flatter and so is better, and it can’t wear out so it will last forever. Grizzly sells a cheap one, good enough for lapping and honing purposes.
    An intermediate platform between the pull-through and the progression of stones is the diamond plate. These will laugh at the hardest steel, and remove steel quickly and efficiently. They can be fairly cheap, too, with one set from Harbor Freight costing only about $10. However, flatness or lack thereof can be an issue, and when these are new, they have a tendency to knock chips off the edge. But they have their place, and many happy users.
    Finally I have to mention the rod and bracket sharpening systems. Lansky (I Swear, I do not own stock in the company and do not get paid for mentioning them!) makes a getup that clamps to the spine of a knife blade, with slots into which you can insert a rod with a long narrow stone attached, and the different slots give you different honing angles. With the rod in the slot, the stone is drawn along the edge, giving you a nice consistent angle and a very flat bevel, even if you have zero skill or aptitude at sharpening. The stones are in a range of grits so you can use a progressive approach. For a complete noob, this system is a gift from heaven. It works quite nicely and an old pro might turn his nose up at it, but it WORKS right out of the box.

    When your knife gets dull again, generally you can simply revisit your finisher. You do not usually need to go all the way back to your coarse bevel setter. Some guys will actually resharpen by raising the bevel angle and only taking 3 or 4 light strokes on the finishing stone, creating a compound bevel. This makes for an extremely robust edge though perceived sharpness can be ever so slightly less. The edge lasts a lot longer, though.
    Books, and very long ones, can be written on this topic. Do your homework, and absorb the background knowledge, and join one or more of the internet forums dedicated to sharpening bits of steel. You aren’t going to become a great honemeister from posting a few quora questions.

    Forged Viking Knives, Husk Chef Knife Butcher Knives Handmade Fishing

  10. Sharpening is a minor art form, and you can get lost in it forever. I came at it from cabinet making and until you’ve used a blade so sharp you don’t know when it has cut you, you haven’t really used a sharp blade.
    BUT that level of sharpness isn’t required in the kitchen.
    For most people the best and easiest answer is Chef’s Choice Sharpening . It holds the blade at the correct angle (very hard to learn to do without a jig) and delivers consistent results in seconds. What you need to remember is to sharpen your blades at least a couple of times a week. Daily is even better, and you’ll only need to use the finest grit sharpening then.
    Another easy use choice is one of the hand held units with a V-notch for the whet stones. Knife Sharpeners Scissor Sharpener, RIVERSONG 4-in-1 Professional Kitchen Knife Sharpening stone System with Tungsten Diamond,for Steel and Ceramic Knives in All Sizes,Silver Stainless Steel Knife Sharpener (Silver): Amazon.ca: Home & Kitchen
    Again the real answer is sharpen REGULARLY.
    After that… well how compulsive a persontality are you? I have Japanese waterstones (very good but hard to use on long blades), a flat plate with ultra fine grit, a few jigs for holding the angle I want on whatever I’m sharpening, and a few other systems. Wicked Edge makes an amazing system but it ain’t cheap.
    For my 8″ and longer blades I like the flat plate and micro grit best. But I keep a hand v-notch sharpener in the kitchen and use it when I’m feeling lazy.
    Over to you. But keep on sharpening! Daily! Hourly! Your friends will find your blades amazing.

    ALBATROSS EDC Cool Sharp Tactical Folding Pocket Knife


  11. Reply
  12. First off, buy very good knives. The better the knife, the better it will hold its edge. With that purchase, get a good, honing rod or steel.
    Learn to use your steel and use it often, …I mean often . Depending on what I am cutting, I may use my steel to hone after only a few cuts. It is an essential tool to keep a good cutting edge.
    Beyond that, get a good whet stone to sharpen any blade that may have been dulled for any reason.
    Like every other tool, a kitchen knife must be right for the job and must be taken care of.

    Smith & Wesson Extreme Ops SWA24S 7.1in S.S. Folding Knife with 3.1in


  13. Reply
  14. I have several knives. I have some stainless “breaker” knives that I use for heavy tasks, like breaking down fish or chicken, Heavy tasks require a sharp knife but not too sharp, the edge will turn with the first tough task. these I sharpen on a Chefs Choice electric sharpener. It is the home cooks best choice. I also have various Japanese Damascus, very expensive knives that I use for specific tasks. These require specialty sharpening techniques on stones. If you want to slice transparent slices of tomato, invest $1.000 in Japanese knives. If you are just satisfied with chopped liver buy a Chefs Choice sharpener for Stainless Steel knives.
    Chef Cuts With The World’s Sharpest Knife
    Chef’s Choice by EdgeCraft – Professional Knife Sharpeners

    12-Piece Color-Coded Kitchen Knife Set, 6 Knives with 6 Blade Guards

  15. Simple, the same techniques work for all steel blades. The differences in how you will use the sharpened knife are cause to use a bit different methodology. Filleting fish is an example. If cutting through ribs removing the fillet the knife still has to be very sharp but a ‘toothy’ edge will bite the bone allowing it to be severed easily. A finely honed edge like that of a straight razor has a tendency to ‘skate’ over the ribs. Both cut flesh easily but one requires putting more force into the cut. More force equals less control, which isn’t a safe practice. On the other hand, if you’re boning out a Chuck you want the edge to skate off the bone rather than bite into it. The difference in sharpening different alloys of steel is in how hard the steel is and it’s susceptibility to galling. Carbon steel sharpens easily on diamond without lubrication but will eventually cause buildup on the sharpening surface. Stainless without lubrication on the other hand will quickly build up surface deposits. I use a wide range of sharpening tools but tend to stick with diamond, ceramic and Arkansas, depending on the use the edge will be put to and how keen an edge I’m working towards. Grit levels I find most useful are 100–400 for edge repair, 600–1200 for hatchet, axe or hedge shears, 1800–2400 for most kitchen, utility and hunting knives. If I’m after the finely honed and sharpest edge I’ll use a black and then finish with a translucent Arkansas before stroping. My daily carry folder will shave dry whiskers but it’s not a shaving choice you’d enjoy.

    MOSFiATA 8 Super Sharp Professional Chef’s Knife

  16. If they are cheap knives, replace them. Otherwise, arrange to send ALL of them back to the manufacturer for proper sharpening. Buy a few cheap knives to use in their absence. We have done this once with our quality cutlery. You can also buy some ordinary carbon-steel knives while they are gone and sharpen those by hand to an acceptable edge.

    Tac-Force- Spring Assisted Folding Pocket Knife


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