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Thread: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    That's a beautiful knife!

    Before I recently went through and sharpened my knives, I thought they were pretty sharp, and they were, they cut food great. But the 'paper test' - they didn't pass. They didn't make nice clean easy cuts without tearing.

    After resharpening them to the point where they passed the 'paper test' - yeah, they're noticeably better now when cutting food!

    I think it's one of those things that changes so slowly you don't really notice the worsening performance, so long as you don't let them get really bad. But there is a difference, and it's well worth the small amount of time to get them back in shape. I'm going to start touching mine up every couple months just to make sure they stay nice and sharp.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    What would I need to attack the knives I described above, to take something from completely dull to sharp? What grit, what type of stones and is there a preferred source for said stones?

    These are relatively budget knives so I don’t necessarily need high $$ stones, I hope.

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    UPDATE. Damn rabbit holes.......

    On a whim bought two diamond stones at the hardware store yesterday (this one, both a fine and a coarse, which is really a medium).

    SO MUCH BETTER than the whetstone. No water or oil needed, and seems to work a lot faster. If I could do it again, I wouldn't get those little ones, I'd just get the full size stones. The issue with the little 'diafold' ones:

    They're short. Works fine for pocket knives, but larger kitchen knives, not so much.
    The surface of the stone isn't the 'highest' surface, the handle is. Which means when pushing the edge away from you the handle limits how close to the end you can start while holding the angle you want, and when pulling the edge toward you, you can run it into the handle if you're not careful.

    In a few months when I want to re-sharpen my kitchen knives I'm gonna get this set of bench stones :: https://www.amazon.com/DMT-W6EFC-6-I...dp/B003NCVFC4/

    FYI, DMT's scale of various grits, there is no 'medium'. Their 'coarse' is literally in the middle of their scale. They say the fine is for 'everyday sharpening' and the coarse is for more thorough touch ups. After using them a bit, that seems about right. The fine puts a hell of a nice edge quickly and easily. In reality the extra fine isn't needed...but I do wanna try it out.

    If you don't let your knives get in bad shape, the fine is probably all you really need. But the individual stones are in the $45-60 each price range, so $75 for three seems to be the best deal.

    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    those aren't a bad choice, but.... I would consider getting the 2 stone set in the larger 8" size. about the same price or a bit cheaper, and you get the the nicer base.
    If you want to splurge the 10" stones look nice too, but I went with the 8's. you'll appreciate the extra real estate when working with larger knives.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
     

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Ohhh, good eye, I hadn't seen that one.

    I'm gonna order one of these too to touch up my serrated Wusthof bread knife :: https://www.amazon.com/DMT-FSKF-Diaf...dp/B00004WFTZ/

    I may need the coarse too, but I'm just gonna start with the fine and see how it does.
    Last edited by dgaddis; 12-13-2018 at 09:49 AM.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Reading through this thread is like trying to learn another language, for me at least. Help!

    What's the practical difference between something like this whetstone kit ad the the DMT kit mentioned in Dustin's last two threads?

    Does one work "better" than the other or easier to use? Will one material bring my knives back to life with less effort?

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    I'm *FAR* from an expert. But from what researching I've done ::

    High quality Japanese whetstones are the best if you want the very best finished edge imaginable. But they're $$$.

    In my experience, the DMT diamond stones work way faster than the generic two-sided whetstone I got at Ace Hardware. Faster, easier, won't chip or crack if dropped. Also with whetstones, you occasionally need to re-flatten them as they wear down. I have no idea how often that's required. Because a whetstone is so much thicker, if you do keep them flat, I can only assume they'll last waaaaaaaay longer than the DMT stones, which is really just plastic with a diamond coating that will eventually wear off. Again...I don't know the timeline on that.
    Dustin Gaddis
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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    I had to exercise some impulse control this afternoon. I went into the local kitchen supply place (a national chain) to see what they had in terms of stones and learned they are going out of business. No sharpening gear but plenty of discounted Shun and Miyabi knives. I stared for a long time wondering if I should just buy a new chefs knife for $140 and start from scratch.

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    you still have to do upkeep on the edge ^

    i've used a cheapie diamond stone like a few posts up...i didn't really like the feel of them.

    I like the feel of wetstones, getting a slurry developed and all that stuff.
    I would look for a rough stone for fast heavy edge work, like 220-500grit...this is what you need if you can shine light on the edge and you see chips.
    then something around 1000-1500 grit. and from there something around 3000-5000.
    use a strop (i usually just take my belt off and lay that on the counter)...it only takes about 10 strokes per side...
     

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Yeah I know. I'm going to order some stones tonight but also picked up a nice 5 inch prep knife for a silly price because the shop was going out of business. I forgot how nice it is to cut with a sharp knife!

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    Yeah I know. I'm going to order some stones tonight but also picked up a nice 5 inch prep knife for a silly price because the shop was going out of business. I forgot how nice it is to cut with a sharp knife!
    I know, it's pretty eye opening. I need to sharpen all of our knives again but I've been a bit lazy with it. It's always so nice to use them when they have a great edge on them. You can totally feel the difference.
     

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    18221892_820114971480172_1231387100299928185_n.jpgIMG_7339.JPG

    Don't over think it, but one thing is to know what SHARP actually is.

    I though t is was when the edge would become rounded, but my friend who has a couple edged tool patents to his name told me I was mistaken, it's that it becomes rolled over.
    What you need to do is knock down that roll or shear it off.

    I spend allot of time with these guys passing around a stone - made allot of friends cleaning fish, I was endeared to this family in that in 25 years of fishing they said I was the first American to help clean the fish.

    We lost Marco a few years ago but I'm fast friends with his widow and his sons, same table / different fish / same stone - just a tale of knife sharpening, carry on......

    - Garro.
    Last edited by steve garro; 12-22-2018 at 12:12 PM.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookietruck View Post
    you still have to do upkeep on the edge ^

    i've used a cheapie diamond stone like a few posts up...i didn't really like the feel of them.

    I like the feel of wetstones, getting a slurry developed and all that stuff.
    I would look for a rough stone for fast heavy edge work, like 220-500grit...this is what you need if you can shine light on the edge and you see chips.
    then something around 1000-1500 grit. and from there something around 3000-5000.
    use a strop (i usually just take my belt off and lay that on the counter)...it only takes about 10 strokes per side...
    Thanks again for the summary. I just ordered a couple of King stones to keep me busy over the holidays. There's a dizzying array of stones on the market and it's really easy to spend $$$ on sets of stones that have more than really needed...alot like buying knife sets when all you really need are 3 basic styles.

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by steve garro View Post
    18221892_820114971480172_1231387100299928185_n.jpgIMG_7339.JPG
    I was endeared to this family in that in 25 years of fishing they said I was the first American to help clean the fish.

    - Garro.
    Not to go off on a tangent but: What's up with that?
    Last year I did a little bird hunting with a guide. On one hunt there were about 10 of us and we shot probably 50 birds and I was one of the only people to pick up a knife to starting butchering them. I had no idea what I was doing at first, but I knew if I shot 'em I should be responsible for cleaning them. It seemed only right. The others sat around BS-ing.

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    Not to go off on a tangent but: What's up with that?


    I had no idea what I was doing at first,.
    Right?

    If you can open a beer can you can clean un upland game bird !!!

    It sure worked out for me well - these guys are like family to me now, we all go camping and it's "Familia"

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
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    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Spent my afternoon with these



    This is a Before shot.
    I can tell it's going to take awhile to get good at this. I had to spend A LOT of time on the coarse stone just to get the beginning of a bur. It requires more pressure than I thought it would. Now I see why people use grinding wheels!

    I got my two chef knives back to semi-sharp. I could probably spend another 20 minutes on the coarse stone, they are that dull. My paring knife......Ugh....I think I'll just use a cheap ceramic one instead because it still looks and feels like crap.

    Luckily my dish washer has been broken for 4 weeks waiting for PC Richard to get around to coming to fix it, so I won't have to worry about the knives being put in there for a while.

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    I mostly hang out in the general discussion and framebuilding forums on VS so I am late in seeing this one, but I figured I would add my 2 cents.

    I cooked in kitchens for 20 years, and for most of that time just used whatever knives they supplied us with (mostly Victorinox/Forschner NSF type stuff, pretty low end). Similarly, I didn't really think too much about sharpening them either. Many kitchens use a local sharpening service, and I was happy to let them take care of that.

    Within the last couple of years for some reason I got the knife bug, and the sharpening bug, and started looking into it all. I watched a lot of YouTube videos on the subject. I particularly like this guy, who runs the Burrfection channel, Burrfection
    - YouTube


    After trying DMT diamond bench stones at first, I ended up trying some Chosera whetstones by Naniwa and found the sharpening experience with them to be much more enjoyable, and got better results with them too. I had the Chosera 400, 800, and 3000 grit stones, followed with a strop and really liked that combination.

    I'm about to re-purchase all my sharpening equipment as I lost everything in the Camp Creek fire that destroyed the town of Paradise back in early November. I plan to buy all the same stuff again, except I may replace the Chosera 400 with a Shapton Glass 320, as I have recently heard good things about that stone.

    Anyway, knives and knife sharpening, quite the rabbit hole. Pretty fun though. I find it to be very relaxing.


    Alistair.
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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Please dont put knives in a dishwasher. Wash and dry them immediately after use...
     

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by mzilliox View Post
    Please dont put knives in a dishwasher. Wash and dry them immediately after use...
    It's a challenge to obtain and maintain compliance from my family on this. They reflexively put everything in the dishwasher, even things that say "Not dishwasher safe!"
    I have a right mind to lock up or hide some of the knives.
    I can't blame them, it's genetic. A couple of summers ago I was visiting the in-laws and watched my father in law take a chefs knife into the garage and cut up cardboard boxes and plastic milk containers so they would fit in the recycling bin. And then promptly return the knife to the kitchen drawer.

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    Default Re: Keeping sharps sharp - a foray into knife-sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobonli View Post
    It's a challenge to obtain and maintain compliance from my family on this. They reflexively put everything in the dishwasher, even things that say "Not dishwasher safe!"
    I have a right mind to lock up or hide some of the knives.
    I can't blame them, it's genetic. A couple of summers ago I was visiting the in-laws and watched my father in law take a chefs knife into the garage and cut up cardboard boxes and plastic milk containers so they would fit in the recycling bin. And then promptly return the knife to the kitchen drawer.
    Thankfully my wife knows not to put knives in the dishwasher. I do most of the chopping tho, so she doesn't handle them often.

    The last bit reminds me of a story about my father in law, a very stereotypical small town southern man. He lives outside of town, because 'the city' is too busy. Hunts, fishes, always drove a truck, usually carries more than one knife, loves UGA football, and when buying anything, if camo is an option, that's what he gets. His recliner is camo. His favorite hat is a camo Dawgs hat, obviously. He calls the internet "the email". Strangely, the man LOVES greeting cards. Last spring he rescued a baby bird. He fed it a mix of Ensure and cat food he combined in a blender. It worked tho, bird grew up, and he let it go.

    Anyhow. One time we were visiting. Standing around in the yard, we saw a big black grasshopper, like 3" long. I'd never seen one, it's a south GA thing apparently, they're called Georgia Thumpers. My MIL was having a war with them, they were eating all her flowers. So he stepped on it, then, for reasons I can't begin to imagine or explain, he cut it's head off with his pocket knife.

    45 minutes later, we're at Longhorn, he says "this steak knife is too dull!" pulls out the same pocket knife he just used to decapitate the bug, and uses it to cut up his steak.

    He's a character!
    Last edited by dgaddis; 12-31-2018 at 09:36 AM.
    Dustin Gaddis
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