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MAC Rollsharp

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm getting my mom a MAC 8" Pro for christmas, after my dad chipped her wusthoff classic while hacking at some bones recently...anyway, I don't want to burden her with stones or even steels, if possible. MAC recommends their handheld "Rollsharp" for keeping all their knives up to snuff. I've never used one of these handheld sharpeners, but at $15, it seems the rollsharp would be a great option for her to maintain her blade in between times when I can come over and sharpen it up using stones (which I am currently in the process of getting into, thanks to this forum).

So has anyone used the Rollsharp? what about other, multi staged manual sharpeners, like the chef's choice? any hearty recommendations, if not the rollsharp?
post #2 of 9
About 4 years ago, I bought that same knife after spending a few hours talking with Harold, who is the owner of MAC knives USA. He convinced me to try the rollsharp, which was not easy after 20 some years of using stones, but he did. After 4 years of professional use, it is still the sharpener that I use. Very satisfied with both the knife and sharpener.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
post #3 of 9
Chef's Choice makes four machines for "asian bevels," any of which would be good for your MAC. One of them, the 1520 sharpens to both 15* and 20*, and is designed for people who sharpen both Japanese and western knives. Alas, it ain't cheap. The other three (15XV, 315S, 316) will convert European knives to an Asian 15*. Whether or not your Dad's Wusties will hold the edge is another question.

The roll sharp is okay as pull-through, ceramic sharpeners go. It will leave you with a coarse, but serviceable edge at the expense of not too much effort. It will not work for the Wusthofs. It's principle benefits are that it is inexpensive and fairly easy to clean. It may be cynical, but it seems unsurprising that a representative of a knife company would recommend the knife sharpener sold by that company as the best choice for their knives.

As those things go, the best ceramic pull through for Asian knives is the Minosharp for a few bucks more.

If the choice is between a pull through and a Chef's Choice, go with one of the Chef's Choice models with a "honing" stage. It will give Mom and Dad better polished and trued edges.

No honing stage, and you'll have to add a "steel" to your sharpening set for truing the edge which tends to roll and wave, before actually wearing down. The best choice right now is the Idahone "fine" ceramic. It's an excellent hone, fine enough so as not to harm or wear your knives down, but just rough enough to keep them away from the sharpener for a long time. It's only downside is that, like other ceramic hones, it can break if you drop it. If your longest knife is less than 10" get the 10" model, if longer, get the 12". All hones require some technique and skill to use, or you risk doing more harm than good. But don't worry, it's not hard to learn.

More sharpening questions? Just ask.

Hope this helps,
post #4 of 9
Let me note that unless Dad took off half of the Wusthof blade, you can and should have it resharpened (or do it yourself). Assuming it was a fairly big, ugly chip, and you're getting the MAC for Mom, you probably won't want to be using the Wusthof as a main chef's knife any longer. One possibility is to have it sharpened nearly straight-edged, and of course rather less tall-bladed (because of the chip), but if it's the same length it would make a nifty slicer.

You could do this yourself, if you have a very coarse stone (and the more usual set) and some know-how, and you'd certainly learn a great deal doing it. If instead you have it sharpened, be sure you're able to talk to the people doing the work. Some places, you give it to the salespeople or whatever, and then they send it to the sharpeners. You'll need to explain to the actual sharpeners what it is you're doing and why. But it's a pretty easy job, all things considered.
post #5 of 9
Funnily enough, I was reading some of the "knife sharpening" threads on your guys' forums, thought you were very insightful, and thought I'd register to ask a question about this very sharperner. The SR-2 Rollsharp (thank god I actually checked the forum before posting double posting like a jackass).

Now, I have a fairly large set of Mac Knives (8 in total) that I use. I will steel them on a fine ceramic steel, and when they get to the point that just un-rolling my edge won't do, I'll pop them on my Edge-Pro. But there comes a middle-ground when steeling just isn't enough, and they're just sharp enough still to not require me taking them home and setting up the rather laborious Edge Pro. Enter, the SR-2 Rollsharp.

A co-worker of mine (who also uses Mac) showed it to me one day, while I was complaining (much like this thread), and gave me a demonstration, and I at the time was fairly impressed, for only 15$ how can one go wrong.

Though I am still wary having read a many a horror story that over long periods of time "roll" style sharpeners have done more damage to a knives edge than overall benefit. But then I hear a story like my co-worker, who has had the same knife for well over 5 years and has no complaints, and doubled with cheflayne's post, it makes me think there might be some merit to it. (He also takes the edge to a fine-grit ceramic steel after "rollsharp"ing them).

I also took a look into the electric-diamond sharpeners you mentioned boar_d, but have read, again, a many a horror story as to how much material these things can remove in a single sharpening.

My question is, what would I be better off doing? I do not mind spending the 90-100$ on an electric sharpener if I feel confident it won't damage my knives and (what I assume) will be much quicker than using my edge-pro. Or should I stick with what I'm doing and pay a measly 15$ and going that route.

Any response would be greatly appreciated. (Would have posted a link to the product, but I need 4 more posts).
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

post christmas

Thanks for the advice.

I decided on the minosharp, since my local shop had it in stock (nwcutlery in chicago fyi, great selection and prices!).

Also, my mom did have the wusthof resharpened when it chipped, but the sharpener made the blade dead flat from the bolster to 3 or 4 inches up the blade. it made any kind of cutting awkward. it will probably be used for rougher jobs (like cutting through more bones) so the MAC blade stays nice and pristine. She--and I--loved the MAC (Pro 8" with dimples) by the way, if more praise could possible be given to it.
post #7 of 9
It's possible to hurt a knife with a Chef's Choice electric, but you have to work at it pretty hard. Anyone who rates them with the sharpeners which used to come on the back of electric can openers, is really clueless.

You can't put an EdgePro level edge on with an electric Chef's Choice, the polish level is relatively limited, and the models with a "honing stage" don't hone as well as a skilled user with a good steel. But, better than a rollsharp? Yes, by quite a bit. Rollsharp plus steeling? Better, but not by as much.

I rate the Chef's Choice as just below the EdgePro overall. You don't get as good an edge, but it's a lot less trouble. They're great for people who don't want to deal with the PITA quotient that good sharpening engenders. But your knives only get sharp -- not very sharp. That's a shame for a knife like a MAC Pro.

The thing is, if you make good jobs of sharpening and honing, I wonder what a machine's value really is. If you were a free hander, the ideal choice for you would be a "touch up" stone like a synthetic aoto, a Norton 4000# or a hard Arkansas. But you don't freehand.

On the other hand, if your MAC collection includes a lot of Superiors, Originals, and Chefs series knives -- you'll like the heck out of a Chef's Choice. No kidding. Those blades are very flexible and the rotary action of the machine doesn't make the blade chatter -- so you get a really nice edge. Better polish than a rollsharp, for sure.

Some things to think about,
post #8 of 9
Thanks for you advice boar, and actually my entire set are all from the MAC Professional line (except the scalloped breadslicer, as there isnt a Pro variant). So maybe I will look into the 316, or 315S you mentioned, just because to really re-edge most of my knives, I need to put a good chunk of my day aside to get them all done.

All of my knives get used, being an apprentice I am bounced all over my kitchen, doing different jobs, etc. So it's not like I just am sharpening my Gyoto or Satoku, I'm sharpening those, a boning, filet, paring, (and since the holiday season is now over) my god **** carving knife.

So it's time to see if I can find a retailer around here who sells either of those two models, thanks again for your time.
post #9 of 9

Can you recommend a sharpener that has a honing stage suitable for MAC knives? 

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