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Sharpening talk

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Good morning.

 

I was recently surprised with a Shun Kaji Fusion chef's knife for my birthday.  I love it so far!

But here's the thing - I want to keep loving it.  Having browsed these forums often enough, I think I've heard the chorus loud and clear that a knife is only as good as the quality of care that it gets. And I'd really like to give it quality care.

 

My particular question is about sharpening.  I've never been particularly adept at this art.  I was wondering if anyone might have any suggestions for some basic resources that can get me over the hump from "sorta nice" to "woah that's sharp"

 

One particular thought - I have had some success using the Spyderco Sharpmaker set on much less expensive knives.  I was thinking that the ceramic would be sufficient for the very hard Kaji Fusion, but wanted to solicit some opinions of whether this set was just gadgety nonsense, and something more basic (and hopefully not too expensive) would be better for someone new to this art?

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

post #2 of 6

You can use the Sharpmaker with some success for Japanese knives but you really can't use the corner of the rods.  In the end you'd be better served by picking up some water stones or an Edge Pro.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
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"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #3 of 6

It all depends on what you want.  There are severe limits in how good a job a Sharpmaker can do.  It's also extremely slow going with a damaged or very dull knife; and small enough to make angle holding for a regular sized chef's knife or slicer problematic. 

 

People frequently write that all they need is a few whacks on a "sharpening steel" and they can keep an edge "razor sharp" and "as good as it came from the factory" for years if not forever. Bless their hearts, they usually ascribe this to the (magic) quality of their knives or by implying the rest of us have absurdly high standards or are are somehow fooling ourselves.

 

If they're satisfied with their system, and you're satisfied with the performance you get from a Sharpmaker, who am I to say, "It isn't good enough?"  What I can say is, "If you and they are happy, I'm ecstatic for you.  By my standards though, those things won't make a knife adequately sharp.  So, they're not good enough for me."  And that is what I'm saying to you.

 

More specifically, it makes sense to consider a Sharpmaker in the same class as honing rods.  The differences are that the Sharpmaker will do a slightly better of "touching up" knives which are just starting to get dull, but won't true as well, as quickly, or as conveniently.  Unfortunately, neither does a very good job of  sharpening. 

 

If you demand a truly sharp edge, there are a very few sharpening set ups which do as good a job as skillful freehanding.  A Sharpmaker is not among them.  The sets are not inexpensive, running $150 - $250.  Ish.  While it seems like a lot, I suggest viewing the cost (and the expense, time and trouble it takes to master freehanding) through the looking glass of sharpening a couple of times a week to actual sharpness.   

 

A really sharp knife makes life a lot easier in a professional kitchen.

 

BDL

What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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What were we talking about?
 
http://www.cookfoodgood.com
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

It all depends on what you want.  There are severe limits in how good a job a Sharpmaker can do.  It's also extremely slow going with a damaged or very dull knife; and small enough to make angle holding for a regular sized chef's knife or slicer problematic.

BDL



Very true.  A Sharpmaker is handy for keeping an edge, not great for making one.  Even the "coarse" stone isn't really all that coarse and it removes metal very slowly.  My dad has the diamond rods for his and really likes them but I've never tried them.  The SM basically has no real ability to remove chips from an edge.  It's more accessory than actual sharpener.  I used to have one but I sold it maybe a year ago or so.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

I've been reading some of your other posts, and was wondering if you might be able to give some advice on, let's say, some info for beginners.

 

In particular, is there a resource you could suggest on learning technique, and maybe some sources for finding a starter set of stones? 

 

Thanks, I'm learning quite a bit!

post #6 of 6


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by parallax1 View Post

I've been reading some of your other posts, and was wondering if you might be able to give some advice on, let's say, some info for beginners.

 

In particular, is there a resource you could suggest on learning technique, and maybe some sources for finding a starter set of stones? 

 

Thanks, I'm learning quite a bit!

 

 

Being new here myself I can not offer the info your looking for etc, but I just started watching these myself, and Mark does a really good job of breaking things down etc http://www.chefknivestogo.com/knife-sharpening-tutorials.html

 

Hope it helps

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
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