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Wusthof Ikon

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know if Wusthof plans on releasing more knives in their Classic Ikon line? I bought a few of those knives and I absolutely love them, they have a great feel in my hand, and they are surprisingly sharp for a German knife.

Specifically does anyone know if they plan on releasing more Chef knives? I bought the 8" as part of a set and it's a little underwhelming, I would like to see a 10" or 10" wide chefs knife to come out. As well, I'm looking to buy a quality offset bread knife, but I don't want to buy the classic if they are going to come out with the Ikon version soon.

Anyone have any insight?
post #2 of 57
my crystal ball sez they already exist in 16 & 20 & 23 cm

item 4996
W√úSTHOF - Knife collections
post #3 of 57
they used to have listed on there website that they had a 26 cm(which i belive is 10 in) knife but i have never seen it at a store or on any online stores. Havent been onthere web site for a couple months so i dont know if the still have it listed. maybe try an email them, they can probaly leave you know if there going to make one, they were friendly and pretty quick the last time i emailed there customer service.
post #4 of 57
Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu 10-in. Cook's Knife - Wusthof Chef's Knives

60% off a Le Cordon Bleu -- same blade, same cut-down bolster, different (Classic) handle. If you really want the blade this is the one. If you're trying to complete the set and need matching handles -- I don't think they have it and doesn't look like they're likely to have it. I think Ikon sales have been tilted to the demographics which prefer the shorter lengths.

FWIW, the LCB line got blown away by the Ikon line, but other than the handles they're exactly the same knives.

post #5 of 57
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the Le Cordon Bleu is nice, but being a Johnson & Wales student, I just can't bring myself to buy one. Aside the point I already own a few Ikon knives, and I'm sold on them.
post #6 of 57
Good one.

Honestly, the only difference is the handle and the twist of the tang. In every other respect, type of steel (X50CrMo), shape of blade (slightly modified German profile, spear point), edge geometry (single face, 17 degree 50/50 symmetric bevel) weight, balance, etc., they are the same.

The Ikon was designed to combine the Japanese influenced blade and feel of the LCB with the ergonomic shape of the Culinair (itself strongly influenced by Global) and the ever popular POM scale material of the Classic and LCB. And how can you pass up that price?

If you use a standard pinch grip on your chef's knife, have a more or less normal sized hand, and don't suffer from hand problems, the handle shape shouldn't be much of an issue. Same handle as a Wusthof Classic -- one of the great handles ever. I've handled a lot of knives over the years and find most traditional handles comfortable as long as they're reasonably well finished. You may be less amenable to the style though.

You may also care about keeping all your knives within the same manufacturer and line. It's not very professional, but I'm in no position to criticize. My own knives have morphed from a set into a themed collection. Glass houses, stones, you know the deal.

If the cosmetics are the deal breaker, and you need a longer knife than the 8" you've outgrown, presumably you know that there are 9" Ikons available. That's the 23cm which Dillbert mentioned. Check out Cutlery and More. Wusthof Classic Ikon - Wusthof Ikon Knife, Wusthof Ikon Knives, Wusthof Ikon Classic Cutlery, Wusthof Icon Knife, Wusthof Icon Knives

Honestly, I wouldn't. You get a lot more work out of a 10" edge than a 9" And I don't think the Ikon's worth the $150 discount price, let alone $200 retail. Ikons have a nice feel, if a little hefty, they're very well made and attractive. It's a crying shame Wusthof is still using bunk steel. I wish the Euros and Americans would start making knives that really compete with the Japanese -- especially since so much of the good material comes from Sweden. But it's not my opinion that counts is it?

Here's hoping you find what you're looking for,
post #7 of 57
Thread Starter 
Half the reason I like the Ikons is that when I picked it up it fit in my hand. I'm a fairly big person and I have huge mitts, so the big handle just felt natural. As well the edge is very sharp, and is easy to resharpen. For work its amazing, its a clear winner with other knives because I can spend 8 hours prepping things with this knife without having to hone it or sharpen it, and I walk away from work without any hand pains.

You may not like the Ikon line, but for me it was a great fit.

As well, I don't have just 1 knife manufacturer or line in my knife kit. Some knives are good for somethings and others aren't. I use the Ikon 8" as my chef knife, a 7" shun classic santoku, and a Victorinox Fibrox offset serrated knife, amung others.

For me though, as I feel with everyone... it comes down to what your comfortable with, and what you can handle. Someone asks me what knife I recommend, I let the try out some of mine and see how they like it.

I'm waiting for Wusthof to come out with a 10" wide chef's knife, I've used the Wusthof Classic 10" wide, and loved it. I would have bought one if it wasn't for that **** bolster...
post #8 of 57
I do like the Ikons, just not as much as some other knives. I like everything about them except their weight and the quality of the steel they use. I've got big paws too.


Nearly all of my knives are antique carbon Sabatiers -- everyone worries too much about the care issues to recommend them -- but they work great for me. They can be made very sharp, and the edge lasts a long time with a good steeling regimen. I've got a lot of Forschner Rosewood specialty knives as well -- garde manger, filleting, that sort of stuff. And some Henckels Four Star that I used for awhile when I was still catering, and just HAD to have when it first came out in the mid-seventies; and some this and that, too.

I was teaching a few cooking classes in the nineties and early zeroes which ended up being a lot of knife skill stuff. Most of the students were other lawyers and so I had a chance to play with some very expensive knives from all over. Amazing how few people can sharpen a #*&ing knife, isn't it? Anyway, I still get calls to come over and "see my new knife," which usually means they want it profiled and sharpened.

We had a few really nice Japanese knives go through here (Hiromoto AS) but they were requisitioned by my son or my wife didn't like them or ... If I didn't have so much complicated personal and emotional history invested in my collection, I'd probably choose mostly Masamoto HCs. Again with the carbon.

Don't hold your breath. From what I was told, most Ikon purchasers are women and the trend is toward shorter knives, rather than longer. As adamm said, they apparently had a 26cm (10") but they discontinued it. The Ikons are just different handles on LCB blades -- and the blades were an overt attempt to copy Japanese shapes, which themselves are mostly copied from the French. So, unless Wusthof decides to work away from it's own Ikon design philosophy, you probably won't see that deep, curved belly either.

I don't get what you don't like about the (now discontinued) Wusthof Le Cordon Bleu line. It seems to be exactly what you're asking for -- a Classic without the finger-guard. (Ikon's have a bolster but no finger-guard) -- but maybe the blade doesn't have enough arc? Whatever. You want big belly, no finger-guard, big hand friendly? Do I have a knife for you! F Dick 1905 Chef's Knife 10"

Good luck on the hunt
post #9 of 57
if you like the 10 in classic(just not the bolster) just get a file and go at it. youll have it worked out to where youll like it. Or get a non bolstered knife, aka japanese, i have a misono sweedish carbon series and love you nice fit in the had good balance. you mentioned you have a shun so you have a clue what japanse steel can do. Its far suppier in edge restention. the biggest down fall is you cant try and feel them in your hands first but i dont think youll be disapointed. Trust me take the plung its worth it.
post #10 of 57
Thread Starter 
The only problem with that, is I have never held a Misono or used one for an extended period of time. I bought the knives I own based on actual use, and opinion, not on someone else's opinion. However Misono has quite the reputation and I have looked at them before, I've just felt a bit apprehensive towards buying one because I've never actually used one.

Right now, I'm content with my knives. If Wusthof comes out with an Ikon 10" I'll probably buy it, but if they don't I'll probably take a look at that F.Dick or the Misono.
post #11 of 57

I don't want to steal your thunder. Tell him about the dragon.

post #12 of 57
Thread Starter 
What's this dragon you speak of?
post #13 of 57

heres a picture of mine

Korin - Fine Japanese Tableware and Chef Knives

you can buy them at korin, btw there carbon steel and will react with just about everything but the patina is cool once it sets in. Theres lots of knives out there beyond the world of german knives, I was all in to german knive and bought a bunch of knive about a year ago and now have 4 japanse knives that cover the basics right now and looking to get more. I still use the german knives but not as much as japanse. the shapness and edge retention on japnse knives will blow you away, but keep in mind they will be sharp out of the box but not to there fullest potential.
post #14 of 57
Thread Starter 
And here I am thinking that Misono only made the UX10 series, which from what I hear is still pretty sweet. I do like Japanese knives, and slowly but surely they've been finding their way in my knife kit replacing German knives. I just find it hard to find a Japanese knife with the qualities I like in a knife.

In a nut shell my perfect knife would have some sort of contoured handle much like the Ikon because it is comfortable to me, it wouldn't have a bolster, it would be big - something like 9-10" long and 3-4" wide, and it would have to be durable. Sharpness is big on there, but I'd much rather have a blade that stays sharp longer, than one that can have a sharper edge but loses it after an hour of heavy use.

That dragon knife you showed me, how is that like in comparison with the UX10?
post #15 of 57
A number, if not most, of the better Japanese knives will hold an edge much longer than any Wusthof.

There are a few ergo handles, but very few. You might be interested in a traditional Japanese "wa" handled knife -- but the balance is very blade forward if you care about that. Also, forgive me, but you don't seem like a real experimental kind of guy.

UX-10 is Misono's top of the line stainless. Misono Swedish is their top of the line carbon. Like most of the big Japanese manufacturers -- but not all, and not the small ones either -- the stainless is the top of the top. So, the UX-10 has, as a whole, better fit and finish. It's a little complicated because a great many of the Sweden series don't have any F&F issues at all. So we're talking about things like better rounding on the heel, and absence of grind marks on the tang -- that sort of thing.

The Sweden blade is a very good one. Light, sharp, good shape. The balance is very good. Edge taking and holding are much better than your Wusthofs. Rockwell Hardness is around 60, IIRC.

The Misono Sweden has some serious competitors in the Kikuichi Elite Carbon and the Hiromoto Tenmi Juryaku AS which is an exotic carbon steel core surrounded by a stainless -- so the only exposed carbon is the edge. AS (aogami super) is one of the best Japanese steels.

Masamoto makes two carbon knives, the CT and the HC series both of which are excellent. Masamoto makes very comfortable knives well finished knives -- true across all of their lines. The HC is probably one of the best western style knives made. Great steel. They also make two stainless series. The least expensive is the VG-10 (same steel as the core of your Shun Classic), which is a knife you'd probably like a lot. Reasonably priced too.

The closest thing to the Ikon handle are the Nenox western G and S-1 series. It's a long story, but the Ikon handles evolved from the Culinair, which was (and is) Wusthof's attempt to copy Globals. The S-1 series are probably far more than you want to spend on a work knife. The Gs are nice knives

I know of some heavy gyutos, and some yo-debas for that matter, but I don't know of any Japanese knife with the deep, curved belly you're describing.

Do you have a reason for wanting such a deep belly with so much arc? Are you looking for a lobster cracker?

If you can put up with carbon -- another idea you're probably not going to like -- is one of the antique Sabatiers that were made for the Canadian market in the first half of the 20th Century. There are some deep blades in the Elephant and K-Sab collections, which look to me as though they were made at the same place at the same time but the companies have wildly different stories. The bolsters on these knives were formed in the martinet's mold at the same time the knife was forged. They look like narrow finger-guards -- a lot less prominent than the German finger guards you seem to dislike so much. Other than that the knives don't have any bolsters at all. If you're interested, I'll give you some urls so you can at least look at the pictures.

post #16 of 57
Thread Starter 
I live in New England, so to an extent I need a lobster cracker... But the real reason I like big knives is thats what I'm accustomed to. You've probably worked in kitchens that has big knives. Someone told me a while ago that consumer knives are made usually around 2" wide so that they can fit into a block - makes sense. But in the industry most of the stuff I've used has been gigantic, not saying I want gigantic, but I do like larger knives. It's what I know how to use best, and what I feel comfortable with.

As for my selections with knives, I said in an earlier post that I bought stuff I've used. When I was trying to research different knives on the internet it was very hard to find an unbiased opinion.

Although, the Misono stuff has interested me for a while... I haven't bought one yet because I've never actually seen one in person let alone used it. I went the safe route and got a Wusthof, which I'm completely happy with. However, I do want to buy a larger knife because my Ikon is only 8", so I might splurge on the UX-10 9.5".
post #17 of 57
Yes. It's childish, elitist, snobby, stupid, and pompous, but there's that idiot part of me which thinks anything less than a 10" chef's knife is lacking.

Don't know about the block thing. Could be. You'd think blocks would be made to fit knives rather than vice versa, but things happen for the silliest reasons then stay that way because that's just how they are.

Length is one thing, big belly another. I want some power in a lobster cracker -- so I see the need for weight there. And for that matter understand why some people like a lot of arc. I don't like it, but I get it.

Yes it is. Ridiculous in fact. I don't mind a little bias if the reviewer at least tells me where he's coming form, so I can discount it. The biggest problem seems to be people who need you to validate the choice the made for themselves by making the same choice. That's the main reason I don't recommend the knives I use -- at least not without a lot of encouragement.

I'm sure someone in New England must carry Misono. Stupid advice: Check Japanese restaurant supply stores. Ask at your favorite sushi place. There are a bunch of places in NYC, if you get the time.

UX-10 is Misono's top of the line. If you can live with that stylized bolster and total lack of "heft," you can't go wrong. Personally I prefer a 27cm to a 24cm. If you're comfortable with a German 10" cook's, you'll be comfortable with a 27cm Japanese gyuto. Because of their lighter weight and flatter bellies they point more easily. Of course you need a big board, too.

Last consideration I always try to jam into knife chat: I don't know how you're sharpening -- my India stones were fine used dry with UX-10 steel, the soft Arkansas was slow, and the black Arkansas was just okay as to speed. My HA borosilicate "steel" worked very well, and so did my old Henckels fine groove -- although the UX-10s don't need much steeling.

post #18 of 57
Thread Starter 
For sharpening I use a norton tri-stone. At school thats what they showed me to use, so I bought one. It's easy enough and does the job quite well, but I figure for Japanese steel I should by a higher grit stone but I haven't really addressed that issue yet.
post #19 of 57
Higher grit and harder surface, too. Presumably you have a crystolon and two Indias, or two crystolons and an India. These will do for your coarse repair and profile; and your first sharpening surface. A soft Arkansas if you have one is problematic. A Hall's will work slowly. I don't think a Dan's or a Norton will work at all. A black Arkansas will actually work okay for a polishing stone given enough patience, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

The whole waterstone subject gets very complicated and somewhat expensive when you start considering time and money spent not only on the stones -- but on maintaining them.

I like Shapton stones, particularly the GS (glass stone) series for hard Japanese steel. You'll probably want a 1000# as your basic sharpening stone and depending on how much fish you cut, either a 4000# or 6000# to finish -- or if you become a Japanese knife nut as so many do, an 8000# to finish. There are some other options in the higher grits like lapping film on glass which you might find more attractive. It's all very complicated.

I got some Japanese knives and a pretty expensive sharpening kit last year, but my somehow they went home with my son when he went back to school. So, I was sharpening my wife's Hiromoto AS on my Indias and Arkansas stones. It was doable but time consuming. I'm not sure how AS stacks up against Misono UX-10 steel. It's nominally quite a bit harder, (HRc 63 vs. HRc 59), but carbon is a lot easier to sharpen than stainless. So ... kind of a knowledge dearth.

There's a forum pretty much devoted to Japanese knives Fred's Cutlery Forum - Foodie Forums and I think it would be a lot of fun for you to hang there for awhile. Those guys are nuts! You'll learn a lot. Almost everyone there knows 100 times more than I do about Japanese knives. Unfortunately, few know as much as I do about sharpening on "oil stones," so ... quien sabe?

(BTW, I put oil stones in quotes because I use mine dry; and fwiw, used to use water -- both of which work better than oil.)

You might also want to check out Knife Forums, Main Index - Knifeforums.com - Intelligent Discussion for the Knife Enthusiast - Powered by FusionBB Tons of information on kitchen knives and sharpening.

Both of those forums have more people and a little less white noise -- if you know what I mean.

Last but not least, if you can get your hands on a copy of Chad Ward's "An Edge in the Kitchen," you should definitely take a look at it.

post #20 of 57
Thread Starter 
So, I just bought a Misono UX-10 chef's knife, now the question is how to keep it sharp? I haven't encountered a biased knife such as this before, I don't want to sharpen, or hone it for that matter, in the wrong way and kill its beautiful edge. How would you recommend sharpening it?

Common sense dictates that I just simply sharpen it more towards its right side, but I do not want to ruin its edge by attacking it with an aggressive sharpening.

Any advice?
post #21 of 57
The bias is 70/30. That means the edge itself is not directly under the center of the spine (50/50) but about 1/3 of the way towards one side, and 2/3 of the way (duh) towards the other. This means the outside (right side if you hold the knife in your right hand) bevel will be about twice as long as the inside.

Sharpen in the regular way, by raising a burr (or wire), refining it, sharpening the burr off, then polishing. You might find it helpful to mark the edges with magic marker before sharpening to keep track of the bevel lengths and to make sure the bevel shoulders track the edge smoothly.

BTW, you can re-profile the knife to make it left handed or ambidextrous relatively easily with an extra coarse stone.

If you keep the 70/30 asymmetry the knife won't do all that well with a steel. That means you'll be correcting rolls and bends by "touching up" on a very fine or polishing stone. In the case of waterstones, that means you'll be putting a fair amount of wear on the stone you use for the purpose. If you want to steel as an easy way to maintain, you'll have to move the edge towards the center which isn't that big a deal. I would, but I'm left handed anyway.

The UX-10 is a good enough and hard enough knife that you'll notice the difference between good and mediocre stones. You're not absolutely stuck with waterstones, but ... yeah, pretty much. The best for you -- and for most American sharpeners -- are probably Shapton GS. There are cheaper ways to go, though. Norton waterstones are decent.

Do you prefer a four stone or three stone approach?

Do you want a coarse stone for repairing and reprofiling?

Do you want to put a high level of polish on the knife?

What's your budget?

post #22 of 57
Thread Starter 
Right now I just have a Norton Tristone, which is an oilstone, but I might switch over to those block whetstones. The one I have wasn't that expensive, but it works fairly well... with the school knives anyways.

Since I've been dropping some decent money on knives in the first place, I don't think it's unreasonable to get a good whetstone. Aside the point, I know a few guys with a local grinding company who will sharpen my knives professionally and give me a deal.

I'd imagine I'd need a good whetstone for the misono's or for the shun's I own. I haven't figured out which to buy just yet, but I figure I'd go to a four stone system, and use the varying grits if the knife needs it. As for price I'm shooting for something around $200 or less for the whole package.

P.S. I looked at the shapton glass stones, and they seem to be very popular. The only noticeable flaw people have talked about is that eventually the stones have to be flattened. What would be the best way to do this? Shapton sells a lapping plate... but its roughly $279. At some point I would consider buying that, but it's a bit ridiculous considering its more expensive than the knife I'm using it for.
post #23 of 57
you dont need the lapping plate to flatten the stones. i have glass stones and flatten them with a dmt xxc wich is 120 grit. you can get the xc(i think) which is a 325 not as coarse and you wont need a stone between it and a 1000 and will work just as weel for a flattner. it will work as a stone flaterner plus a coarse stone. then i would go with a 1000 then 4000. youll pretty much see the max shapness off of the 4000 grit stone. if you want to get all crazy about it you can get a 8000 grit and put a mirror polish. you can get all the stones from japanese knife shapening. com he post of foodie forums and knife forums. If you get into japanse knive and im guessing you will i would check those sites out. never met him but always seems helfull with his post. plus everyone says how he putts some hair splint edges on knives if you cant get a knife sharp. and if you want to spend some dough you can get a stropping system through him and put an even finer edge on the knives.
post #24 of 57
Thread Starter 
I probably will get into japanese knives, I mean I already own a few and my Misono UX10 chef knife just came in so I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. The only complaint I have with the Misono is that **** biased edge, I'll probably just have the knife sent out to be ground equally on both sides. The only question is what angle I should put on the Misono, because I'm not quite sure what it can handle, let alone what I should do.

I checked out that Japanese knife sharpening site, and its brilliant. I might send out my Misono's to them to get the edge reground. However, I'll probably use it for a while and when it needs to be sharpened, then send it out.

As far as it goes with using stones, I'm a novice. However I am going to purchase some nice stones soon, but I would most likely go to walmart or target and buy a cheap chef knife, and practice putting an edge on it.
post #25 of 57
The best stones for you are Shapton GS series. They're a little expensive though, and might be something to aspire to, more than something to purchase -- for the time being. Norton makes very good waterstones. It might not be a bad idea to purchase a set, and as they wear out to replace them with others. Sharpening Supplies sells a two combi-stone, four surface set (220, 1000, 4000, 8000 ) for around $120 -- including a flattener. You'll also need a "prep" stone for the higher grits. Water Stone Kit

If you can sharpen a knife with any confidence at all on the tri-stone, you can reprofile the UX-10 and sharpen it to a fine edge indeed on any adequate waterstones.

Also, depending on the condition of the stones in the tri-stone and their grits -- you can probably reprofile the UX-10 on it just as well. A polished edge is another story. Norton's finest man made stone, the fine India, is actually pretty coarse; and their finer and polishing stones are Arkansas -- which is marginal on steel as hard as a UX-10. It will do the job, but it's very slow.

The best waterstone grit for profiling a UX-10 is around 200#, such as a Norton, King or Shapton 220#, but you can go coarser or finer (good idea if you don't trust yourself). I wouldn't want to use anything finer than a 500# Shapton GS, which is very fast considering how fine it is.

The coarsest stone, on your tri-stone, probably a coarse or medium Crystolon or a coarse India will do the profiling as well as a waterstone, providing it's not clogged or glazed.

Two other good choices are the DMT XXCoarse and XCoarse diamond stones. If you go DMT, remember to use very gentle pressure all the way through. These stones cut very fast.

Here's the technique for reprofiling: Start by marking the entire edge bevels, on both sides from front to back with magic marker -- in fact, to black (or red or blue) the first 1/2" of the blade. Then lay the knife on your coarsest stone (at approximately a 15deg angle), and feel for the manufacturer's bevel, by moving the knife in little circles, or Ws with very little pressure. When you can feel the bevel, hold the knife at that angle, and slowly and gently try to grind the magic marker off the edge. Do this on both sides until both bevel edges are cleaned.

Now compare the bevels. One is much longer than the other. If you hold the knife by the handle, the side to the right of your hand will be longer, and to your left will be (duh) shorter.

The bevel angles are the same -- in the case of the Misono, that's around a 15deg edge angle.

Start grinding the short side on the stone using circles or Ws -- and moderate pressure. Every few passes check to make sure that one area of the knife isn't moving much faster than another. Also, compare the bevels as you lengthen the short side. Don't hurry, you'll be at this for awhile.

As you work, inevitably you'll find that some parts of the knife grind slower than others. Correct that by "sectioning" the knife. That means grinding back and forth using straight up-and-down strokes so you only sharpen one section at a time. When you've got it even, go back to using your grind strokes that move the knife across the stone as well as up and down it.

Eventually you'll have the bevel you're working on will match the factory bevel. The knife is profiled 50/50. All there is to it.

The UX-10 is not a difficult knife to sharpen at all. Sharpen it in the regular way. I'd suggest polishing it to between 4000# and 6000# with Shapton, or 8000# with Norton, If you want a "bright mirror" polish, you're better off using compound on lapping film or a strop, than a stone. Stones get ridiculously expensive and don't do a much better job.

Although it's on the expensive side, I'd suggest looking at one of the EdgePro Apex kits. If you're obsessive enough to set it up every time you want to sharpen a few knives -- it's a good system with a relatively shallow learning curve.

Your idea to practice on an el-cheapo or an old beater is, of course, a good one. Some practice in holding the angle is very helpful. More than anything it's developing the confidence. Freehand sharpening isn't difficult. Not even doing it well.

post #26 of 57
Thread Starter 
That EdgePro system looks pretty sweet, its almost idiot-proof. For $200 it isn't all that bad considering my current knife roll is worth something like $1600, and the Shapton stones I was going to buy anyways seemed to be around the same price all in all.

I suppose the real question I have is, will the EdgePro reprofile misono's any good? As well, is it good with other knives such as Wusthof, and Shun?

My only fear is that I have a perfectly good knife that I ruin through my own incompetence with sharpening it. So the EdgePro seems like the way to go until I get the hang of it, and buy a few Shapton stones.

I figure I'd buy this one Apex Kit 3 - Edge Pro Inc. unless you see a reason why I shouldn't.

Also, this is the stone I already own, except I bought it at my school's store for $80 so boo-yah. http://www.sharpeningsupplies.com/No...em-P48C18.aspx
post #27 of 57
The Apex is a good system, and really the best of its type. You can use it to reprofile. Reprofiling and repairing are just the same as sharpening -- only with coarser stones and more patience. It takes an evening, or sometimes two to reprofile a knife by hand. Use the magic marker method I explained, and you'll see the blade take shape as you work.

A good professional sharpener can do it on a belt or wheel in about 5 minutes. Oh well.

Yes it will work for all your knives. The weaknesses of the system are that it's a bit awkward around the tip, awkward around knives with a lot of curve (not kitchen knives, usually), and doesn't provide for a real high polish.

It sets up easily as rod guides go, is very good on angles, and is a pretty easy system to learn.

I hear your lack of confidence. Has freehand sharpening been less than satisfactory for you? Or, is there something else you don't like?

post #28 of 57
Thread Starter 
In a nut shell, I've worked in kitchens since I was 14. I am now 23, it wasn't until I was 21 before I was introduced to my first set of quality kitchen knives. Albeit they were the standard issue Johnson & Wales kit, provided by the good folks at F.Dick.

Needless to say, they are mediocre at best.

I describe those knives as professional grade, but entry level at that. So since then I've bought my own personal knives for use. Now being I haven't had much exposure to fine cutlery or proper care for said cutlery I have been trying to give myself a crash course in knives.

I use stones, but I don't use them often. For most of my culinary experiences your standard NSF Sysco knives were the knives I used. Sharpening stones only really entered my realm of existence once I went to school.

Now that I have invested a lot of money into my own knives I feel that I need to know how to properly maintain and sharpen them. Sharpening stones are something that I will learn to use, but until then I don't want to ruin my knives in the process.

I might wind up buying that book you recommended or buy a DVD to actually show me the ins and outs of sharpening.

I don't think its that hard to learn how to sharpen properly, and with advice from these forums I think I have been pointed in the right direction.

I was also advised against re-profiling because it introduces certain problems to the knives such as skewing, and it throws off the entire knife because it the blade as a whole is engineered and ground a certain way, by grinding the edge 50/50 all it does is allow you to sharpen it with the same angle.

Is it even worth re-profiling a Misono?
post #29 of 57
Unless you're sharpening on a jig to hold a precise angle, you'll gradually reprofile and convex any knife you sharpen freehand. Just the nature of freehand sharpening. And there is nothing wrong with that.

With the common crock stick type sharpener you'll also create some variance in the edge. Not enough to be a problem for most people. While you can also vary the angles with the crock sticks with a few tricks, that pre-set angle often doesn't match the factory angle either.

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #30 of 57

Some disagreements here.
A good freehand sharpener creates and maintains the profile (s)he wants. I'm good but not great, and can move the edge anywhere I want it. All it takes is a stone hard and coarse enough to move the metal -- and the (learned) ability to hold the angles and create the shapes.

To determine the proportional lengths between bevel lengths on an asymmetric bevel, like the UX-10's 15*, 70/30 edge; the ratio itself, "70/30," e.g., states the proportional relationship. The length of the bevel (hypotenuse) is a function of the sin of the given angle 75* (compliment of 15*) and the proportionality of the adjacent sides (70/30) is given. QED. Math isn't hard, it's just a foreign language.

And, as I wrote earlier, the technique to see the edge lengths is as easy as using a magic marker.

Flat bevels and convex bevels each have their own sets of strengths and weaknesses. unwanted convexing, at least to the degree where it diminishes the advantages of a flat bevel aren't inevitable they result from bad technique -- usually as the knife is lifted from the stone at the end of the stroke. This can be largely prevented by the simple expedience of doing it right.

To take this a little further, I create a convex bevel, or a micro-convex secondary bevel by using different techniques than I use to profile, sharpen or maintain a flat bevel. Two ways to convex are to use the "mousepad trick," or a "strop stroke." If you strop stroke (lead with the spine and trail the edge) you will "automatically" convex the blade when it leaves the stone. Maybe that's what you meant.

More generally, nothing's perfect, especially when free handing; but there are degrees. And as long as I'm having such a good time of punning (sorry, can't help myself) on the word, "degree," is the primary area of imperfection with freehanding. Even the steadiest hand will create some variance along the length of the knife; and even the most practiced eye will miss the desired edge and respective included angles by at least a couple of degrees unless using some sort of tool and/or jig is used. You can even this out a little by referring to an ideal angle, sectioning, etc., but there are limits. That said, you don't have to be that close to make the knife work. Whether you sharpen at 15* or 12*, the acute angle will outperform an obtuse 22.5* by quite a bit.

Same as freehanding and for the same reason. The big difference is that people are more comfortable with the idea of holding a knife "perpendicular" to within a close tolerance, than they are at holding it "horizontally" on a stone laid flat on the table.

The hardest part of good sharpening, in my opinion, is getting comfortable enough with the idea that you can do it without screwing up your knife.

As it happens, the "crock-stick" under consideration, the Spyderco Sharpmaker, is set for 12.5*, 15* and 20* edge angles. The knife under consideration, the Misono UX-10 is factory set at 15*, which makes the Sharpmaker a pretty good choice.

The probelms with the Sharpmaker are that it doesn't get a knife really sharp (edge < 1/2000",) it takes a lot of strokes to get a dull knife there, and its finest stick won't polish much. The limitations on sharpness are a function of deburring and common to all crock stick systems. Other ceramic crock sticks just as slow or slower. No one includes truly fine grit rods because the demand for polish isn't there with crock stick users. Diamond sticks are faster, but they scare the heck out of me because a mistake has consequences, and they're expensive but wear quickly.

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