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I need the best electric sharpener

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

 I know this has been discussed plenty but I am in a pickle. I thought I was out of the food biz due to a workers comp injury (carpal tunnel) which came about by being a one man kitchen for 40+ people but am a preferred worker for the state of oregon so I have been hired as the chef for a 62 apartment retirement community with the condition that I would not have to wash dishes or pots and pans (this is what realy brought on this condition). The state of Oregon will help me financially up to $20,000 to accomodate my disability with equipment to save my hands from doing all the work. I know from experience that useing the stones again will bring back the knumb hands so I have got to get a sharpener and since the state is getting it for me I want tne best. Knives to be sharpened will be euro from forschner to sabatier to f-dick with a couple old chicago cutlery.

Suggestions appreciated. Thanks Doug.............

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post #2 of 30

You may want to check out Chef's Choice. You will probably want one of the three slot sharpeners. If you read and follow the instructions you won't damage or excessively wear your knives. You can expect to get a pretty decent edge as well.

 

http://www.edgecraft.com/index.html

 

On the non-electric end you may want to check out the Edge Pro system. Hard to describe but with a little practice it will put a fantastic edge on your blades.

 

http://www.edgeproinc.com/

post #3 of 30

Depends what motion will not aggravate your CTS.

 

If a pull through motion is OK the edge pro would be best edgewise but takes many motions as you are pulling a waterstone across the blade.

 

If you need a electric wheel there are several options from F Dick and Truhone.

 

Since you used to sharpen by hand the pull through sharpeners may leave you wanting.

 

If you can move a blade side to side you may want to consider a belt sander, but you have to be fast, or a Tormek T7. Both you can freehand the angle but a belt is going to give a convex edge and the Tormek a slight hollow grind as it is a 10inch rotating wheel.

 

Jim

post #4 of 30

I did a quick search and found a few that looked interesting...have no experience with this contaption, but it looks promising...like it came out of someone's garage (in a good way)

 

http://sungoldgroupinc.com/equipment.html

 

this is described as a hybrid japanese/american sharpening system, runs ~$2200 and looks like it is made in the us of a...with some parts from japan

 

they also have a few other interesting models that are in the same ballpark price wise...

post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 

Wow , thanks for the link! They have a lot of cool options and this just might be my cup of tea for my situation. Off to work but will let you know what I am able to get. Thanks, Doug..........

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post #6 of 30

Most of those things are for hairs shears and other scissors. Jason does have a low speed belt sander on that page for knives but all those discs are 5-6" diameter and are intended for shears.

 

Give him a call and see what he has that may meet your motion limitations. I was up there training on shears last week and his shop is loaded with various gear.

 

Jim
 

post #7 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeSavers View Post

If you can move a blade side to side you may want to consider a belt sander, but you have to be fast, or a Tormek T7.

 

Jim

 

Wow that T7 looks like a serious machine. Have you used one of those Jim or do you have any idea what they cost?

 

http://www.tormek.com/en/machines/t7/index.php

 

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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post #8 of 30

I learned to use one when I trained with Steve Bottorff. He lists one at $630.00

 

When I am at the farmers market turning 25 to 40 blades in 4 hours it is essential.

 

I use a belt sander for coarse work, the Tormek graded at 1000 grit for medium to fine shaping and after deburring the Tormek leather wheel does final polishing.

Kicks ass on western blades but not good for japanese ones. I bring them home to waterstones. 

 

I freehand on it and seldom use the jigs. As said it is a 10" diameter wheel at 90 rpm through a waterbath and does leave a slight hollow grind.

They offer a silicone oxide and a 4000 grit waterstone as options.

 

If I had to use one machine only it would be the Tormek.

 

Jim

post #9 of 30

knifesavers why would you not use it on japanese blades the tormek is waterstones too right 

post #10 of 30

They are stones that rotate through water to aid in cooling but 2 of the 3 available aren't really waterstone material. They have the gray stock wheel, a blackstone of silicone oxide for harder steels, and a real waterstone.

 

I don't trust it for true japanese, due to the slight hollow grinding action. Jon at JKI drew quite a few diagrams for me detailing the angles in the blade path and how they are shaped and how the hollow grinding will not fit it properly.

 

It can sharpen them, but just not the right way.

 

Jim

post #11 of 30

what is hollow grinding?

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by spikedog View Post

what is hollow grinding?


There's a picture on this page. As you can imagine, it's the inevitable outcome of sharpening on a wheel. Which isn't to say that wheels aren't use in making traditional Japanese knives, just that they're inappropriate for the final edge. Here's a Tormek in action for comparison.

post #13 of 30

A Tormek T3 just went on my want list. I have an el cheapo from Tractor supply that I use for lawn mower blades and other tools. That's a major upgrade from what I'm using now. It looks like Tormek has a 4K blade as well.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #14 of 30

Watch it on the T-3 Dave. It can only run for 1/2 hour at a time and I don't think the 4K waterstone wheel is available for the T-3. I know the Blackstone isn't available for it.

 

Jim

post #15 of 30

thanks wuderbier, i do not think i can get one of Mr. Nomara's wheels so the tormek it is. i will just be careful not to hollow grind.

post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 

I will give him a call this week and see if he has something that will save these old hands.

Thanks for the tips everyone, Doug

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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #17 of 30

You can get a Kalamazoo 1" x 42" belt grinder for $200 or so shipped that will do pretty much everything you'd ever need.  It's not my preferred method for sharpening Japanese knives but it will do an excellent job on them if needs be.  The learning curve is very short and the results you can obtain are superb.  Nice thing is that with the correct assortment of belts you can get a shaving edge from about 8-10 passes.  That shouldn't aggrevate your CT.

"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
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post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by KnifeSavers View Post

Watch it on the T-3 Dave. It can only run for 1/2 hour at a time and I don't think the 4K waterstone wheel is available for the T-3. I know the Blackstone isn't available for it.

 

Jim

 

 

Thanks for the info Doug. I'll have to take a closer look. The T3 is leaps and bounds above what I have now but the T7 looks awesome.

 

Dave

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post

You can get a Kalamazoo 1" x 42" belt grinder for $200 or so shipped that will do pretty much everything you'd ever need.  It's not my preferred method for sharpening Japanese knives but it will do an excellent job on them if needs be.  The learning curve is very short and the results you can obtain are superb.  Nice thing is that with the correct assortment of belts you can get a shaving edge from about 8-10 passes.  That shouldn't aggrevate your CT.

Very true Phaedrus one can work also. I run both a belt and the Tormek to take advantage of what both can deliver. Had someone bring a hatchet yesterday and that was all belt work.

Depending the OPs limitations and environment will make the determination.

The belt sanding is messier and is all freehand. The Tormek captures all grit in the water and has jigs if needed.

I take the belt sander outside to let the grit fly and use the Tormek anywhere since there is none thrown off except a little from the leather wheel but at 90rpm it doesn't go far. I lay a newspaper down behind it and it catches all.

Jim
post #20 of 30

Yeah, a belt grinder won't work in everyone's situation.  I happen to have a dry & tight unfinished basement where I have my shop/ sharpening dungeon.  But the noise and dust might be problematic in an apt, for instance.  Although I will say that the Kali runs very quite; almost no noise at all when you're running the motor but not actually grinding.  And while it's freehand if you work in the slack an inch or two off the platen the convexity reduces the need to keep a very steady angle to get a screaming edge.  Plus choosing belts judiciously can minimize the number of passes you need, further minimizing cumulative errors.  Belt nOObs often are fearful of using very coarse belts, and with good reason, but when you get a bit of experience those coarse belts are your best friend.  They remove enough steel to get down to a real edge in very few passes while generating minimal heat.

 

I haven't had a chance to use a Tormek.  IIRC there's another machine very similar to it but a bit cheaper, too.

"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 #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post

 

I haven't had a chance to use a Tormek.  IIRC there's another machine very similar to it but a bit cheaper, too.

This thing perhaps? I have no idea about it, just remembered seeing it a few weeks back browsing that website. Looks interesting, but maybe problematic with longer, straighter knives. Dunno.

post #22 of 30

I've never seen that one either but it's interesting looking.

"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
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post #23 of 30
Thread Starter 

OK so I got rushed by my state worker into submitting my items for approval by the state so I went with an on-line restaurant supply store and the best sharpener they had was the chefs choice 3 slot of which I asked for the best one (I Hope) which cost a little over $300. When I get it I will do some practice runs on some older knives and see how good this thing is. Thanks all for your advice, Doug 

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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #24 of 30
The professional chef's choice is a pretty good sharpener. The nice thing about it, compared to the non-professional models is that it can be cleaned pretty easily and the stones are easily replaceable. It's also very easy to learn, but not fool proof. You'll still have to train your employees or they'll push too hard, get their blades in at weird angles, try to lubricate the machine, try to sharpen dirty knives, etc.

The downside, such as it is, is that the angles and bevels are not user adjustable and they are completely inappropriate for good, Japanese knives. If you and your staff use the usual Euros and commercial "white handles," it will be more than fine for years to come.

BDL
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post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input BDL, I think I will be happy. As far as my staff the kitchen has the usual white handle Sysco knives with most having the usual bent tips from steam pan removal. I do have one cook who seems very trainable so I think I will by him from Sysco a 10" Forschner and bring my used but still in great condition Norton India combo Medium/Fine as well as my Arkansas combo Soft/Hard and give him some instruction as well as directing him to cheftalk here to pick up some of the finer points from you pros. Heck he might even turn into another knife Junkie! As far as the Chefs Choice goes I think I will leave that at home and do my sharpening there as you brought back some bad memories of people abusing the old tri stione which used to be in just about every kitchen. Stay sharp my friends, Doug

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post #26 of 30

Hey, I know you're more interested in an electric sharpener due to hand problems, However try this: http://ezesharp.com/ It is WAY better than an Edge Pro Sharpening System. It is heavier duty. It is WAY easier to set up, especially using an angle cube. And, you can use almost ANY large stone you want. Granted it only comes with one combination stone. However, you can buy the oil/water stones of your choice to fit the included stone holders/jigs. I bought one a couple of years ago. It came in pieces, that at the time, I couldn't be bothered with assembling. Recently, while scrounging in my knife trunk, I came across it. If you disregard the confusing set-up guide, it goes together very logically and is incredibly adjustable. So much more than the edge pro. It is way more heavy duty also. You can set you knife blade in the holder to level and adjust the angle with the guide post. Or, set the guide post to level and adjust the blade to the angle you want. Or any combination there of. It is really user friendly and you can use 8" X 2" X 1" Stones or 9"X3"X 1" stones of YOUR choice. In my mind it is  probably the best pro sharpener available and No ONE is talking about it. I am not a schill for them... I live in CA. The manufacturer is in Australia. I wish I had paid more attention to it when I originally bought it. It would have saved me many a head-ache. Take a look. You will not be disappointed!


Edited by atch71 - 4/26/14 at 7:34pm
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by atch71 View Post
 

Hey, I know you're more interested in an electric sharpener due to hand problems, However try this: http://ezesharp.com/ It is WAY better than an Edge Pro Sharpening System. It is heavier duty. It is WAY easier to set up, especially using an angle cube. And, you can use almost ANY large stone you want. Granted it only comes with one combination stone. However, you can buy the oil/water stones of your choice to fit the included stone holders/jigs. I bought one a couple of years ago. It came in pieces, that at the time, I couldn't be bothered with assembling. Recently, while scrounging in my knife trunk, I came across it. If you disregard the confusing set-up guide, it goes together very logically and is incredibly adjustable. So much more than the edge pro. It is way more heavy duty also. You can set you knife blade in the holder to level and adjust the angle with the guide post. Or, set the guide post to level and adjust the blade to the angle you want. Or any combination there of. It is really user friendly and you can use 8" X 2" X 1" Stones or 9"X3"X 1" stones of YOUR choice. In my mind it is  probably the best pro sharpener available and No ONE is talking about it. I am not a schill for them... I live in CA. The manufacturer is in Australia. I wish I had paid more attention to it when I originally bought it. It would have saved me many a head-ache. Take a look. You will not be disappointed!

Dude, the thread is like 2 yrs old and why does it feel like you're yelling at me......

post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by harlock0083 View Post
 

Dude, the thread is like 2 yrs old and why does it feel like you're yelling at me......


Not everyone has read the thread before. Sorry to offend you. Does this font suit you better..........DUDE?

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by atch71 View Post
 


Not everyone has read the thread before. Sorry to offend you. Does this font suit you better..........DUDE?

orz

post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 

Just an FYI . I did get the Chefs choice sharpener but returned it due to the fact I could not bear to hear how much metal it removed. I have retired from chefs job for the present and am doing Hospital security mostly in emergency rooms which is another form of customer service but I can tell you this is a job which can be quite dangerous and conflicting. I still cook at home and for family affairs but i do not have to tune my knives as often and when I do I go back to the stones which I will never replace. Stay sharp, Doug...

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