guys this is after all a very old post and so, quite predictably it should be added, we have already heard everything there is to hear about the cc and it's various incarnations. Thanks so much for your efforts never the less.
Funny you should ask, this home cook does.
Funny you should mention Plastic Surgery. I guess sometimes working in a kitchen is like plastic surgery, and now wouldn't you prefer a $1500 diamond scaple to an exacto blade to give someone's face a new attitude? Not that you couldn't do a bang-up job with an exacto, of course.
I get your point though, I suppose we could have a separate forum for <$50 stainless knives and electric sharpeners.
Yep. Changing the quote is not fine forum practice tho i can't see why Rick did it.
Anyway, i'm a pretender home cook and i will spend any money i want in my knives. Sometimes getting expensive stuff makes you improve your cooking radically. In fact, the worst cooks i know, being they home cooks or chefs, use cheap knives.
I actually agree with iceman's sentiments. But, sure... you have a very good point: many of us home cooks aren't exactly average and we can afford to spend some coin on the hobby aspect of buying, collecting, and/or using knives we probably could cook without.
EDIT: including knives that may be used to slice Spanish Ham.
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I should add at this time that this old post was resurrected, to my understanding, not for discussing what average cooks do, or knife collectors, but for the purpose of discussing possible best knife hardware practices for converting a joint of Jamon into something delicately fine in terms of a visual, tactile and flavor-profile experience. To that end I hope at least some of us have been some help here to SliceSpanishHam, who I'd actually like to meet when I go to Spain next year, or at least someone like him.
SliceSpanishHam, Welcome to ChefTalk!
First, I must say that I do not like electric knife sharpeners.
When you use an electric knife sharpener, you are putting the edge of your knife against a very rapidly spinning abrasive wheel. That abrasive wheel generates heat at the edge of the knife. Since the edge of a knife needs to be very thin, the heat developed is concentrated in the steel at the edge. In fact, so much heat is localized at the edge that the amount of heat can (and often does)) re-temper the steel carbides and crystals of the steel, and in doing so, destroys the proper tempering of the edge. The result is a knife edge which is made much more fragile and will not hold its sharpness for long.
Much better is for you to learn to use proper knife sharpening with "water stones", which are artificial stones with a water-soluable binder. You will need at least 3 stones: a coarse stone for edge repairs with a grit of about 500 or so, a general medium stone for maintenance with a grit of about 800 to 1200 and a fine stone for polishing your edges of about 3000 to 5000 (though with Spanish, French and German stainless steel knives, that polish probably won't last very long). The stones should be a minimum of 200 mm long and 50 mm wide, though longer and wider is better. And one very important note: NEVER USE OIL WITH A WATER STONE. Water ONLY!!
Water stones are first soaked in water for about 15 to 20 minutes (though there are some high quality stones that are "splash and go" that do not need soaking, but simply an immediate application of water). The stones are then laid out and the knife edge is then lightly run at the proper angle along the stone in a "swoosh" which allows the entire length of the edge to have contact with the stone. Do this until you raise a bead. Then turn over and do it on the other side of the blade. When you have raised a bead along each side of the edge on your coarsest grit, then repeat with your next higher grit. For maintenance, you can begin a session with a higher grit. In between grits, you can run the edge of your Spanish, French and German knives through a small piece of cork to take off the bead.
For a very good tutorial, see Chad Ward here: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/26036-knife-maintenance-and-sharpening/ (Please be advised that eGullet is currently down for Internet maintenance).
For excellent videos, watch Jon Broida here: https://www.youtube.com/user/JKnifeImports
I would also suggest you might want to try a good Japanese knife. A good type of knife might be a "sujihiki", which is the Japanese version of a carving knife. I do suggest that you do not get a "Damascus" blade, since those are more expensive than necessary and are subject to being scratched up and looking awful very quickly. I also suggest you stay away from and do not buy a VG-10 core steel knife, since those are more difficult to properly sharpen (the bead must be properly abraded on a VG-10 core steel knife, or the bead will break off and you end up needing to re-sharpen immediately - a major source of frustration).
Hope that helps.
mmmm, this talk that began about an electric knife sharpening has become as sharp as passionate. I suppose every thing has been said know. I arrived to this post by chance, and it got me hooked for 2 days reading here and there about knives and sharpening. Passionate. Hand sharpening... seriously, something to put in my list for when I have got more time, it seems to be as much of an art as ham slicing itself. For the time been I have sharpen more than 20 knives on the Chef Choice1520, and all my slicing from vegetables to bone-in-ham has become a dangerous pleasure. I inherited a collection of 12 Victorinox kitchen knives, other ways I would not have some many knives. A dozen kitchen knives, including the ones for ham will be enough for me. Talking about knives for (bone in) ham slicing I strongly point out that only the knives made in Spain for the purpose can do the job as it should be done.
As some one suggested –and it was only 69€–, I though I could try and bought the Sabatier carbon steel ham knife, and it has been a waste, it is too hard, too wide, too short. Our knives for this purpose can cost from 18 to 100€, they have a soft long blade that is essential for the job. Sculpting and slicing that is how the knife is used.
If I had someone to teach me how to hand sharp knives, surely I will learn and do it instead of the electrical machine. Meanwhile I say the CC1520 its fine. By the way -Ice Man- blind folded I know the difference between knife sliced (100% Ibérico acorn feed) ham and the machine (same) cut ham, some techniques maintain or enhance the qualities of food, some machines alter them. But I agree with you in some of your comments.
Thanks to you all for your teachings.
Answering Rick Alan. When you are visiting Spain, surely I would love to exchange your teachings on stone knife sharpening for teachings on slicing ham with the knife, that should be some joyful experience. I will put the jamón, the knives, the Afinox ham holder and the wine. You can bring the stones, yes? on my account.
I have the Chef's Choice, but much prefer a trip to Michigan Saw and Cutting for a periodic sharpening. They really know what they are doing, and then I just use my steel for light maintenance. I have some Old Hickory carbon blades that are older than I am (and that is saying something!) and they are among my favorites. Right now the going price is $1.75 an inch.
I honestly think that if you know how you are much better off sharpening your knives yourself. Electric sharpeners can be too abrasive and take off too much. If you can get a good quality butchers sharpening steel. Not the round ones but the oval type and make sure it is of the diamond variety. You might pay a wee bit more for that but I have found that the angles are good and if you give your knife a quick rub up before you use it and after you have finished it will out last you. I have had this present set for over 21 years and the are still good. I would still be using my original set if they hadn't been stolen. Below is a page with a couple of facts and myths about knives. Most you may already know but it may be worth a read. I hope this helps, All the best.