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stupid noob question: good stones and bad knives?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I've been reading this forum for a while now and found it immensely useful. Over the next few months I'm looking to upgrade my cutlery. I want to start with sharpening stones (most likely i'll go with the Edge Pro, probably with the Chosera stones from CKtG. I suppose a case could be made that the Chosera stones are overkill, but the set isn't that much more expensive than the set with Edge Pro stones, and I expect with the 'training wheels' of the Edge Pro to get competent pretty quickly. Feel free to chide me for gadget overkill, but i am pretty shameless about my infatuation for gadgets (as long as they work).


The big question I have before I pull the trigger on a sharpening kit: will sharpening 'bad' knives damage good stones in any way? What can go wrong?


most of my current knives are cheap stainless, my current main knife is a cheap Chinese cleaver (definitely NOT comparable to a CCK). I plan to replace these knives fairly quickly, but budget-wise it'd be a month or two after buying the EP before i could get a good main knife, and i'd have to cook with something. besides, that, my thinking is that i can use my cheap, soft knives to play around with different bevels, etc. a sharpening lab.


I live in Thailand and the knife guy in my old neighborhood did a pretty decent job sharpening my knives, but I l don't want to go all the way back there (through Bangkok traffic) and i like to do things myself where possible (for a while I even obsessively ironed my own clothes, now I've settled down into nagging the laundry shop when they make a mistake).

post #2 of 4
What makes you think the EdgePRO is the right thing for you? Why not try free handing before opting for an expensive system with its limitations?
All you need is a medium coarse stone and a flattener. The Chosera 800 would be a great choice.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

in my previous experiments i didn't have a great time getting the angle right, even with a sharpie marker, but i didn't pursue it too much. perhaps a stone, a flattener and my crappy cleavers is the way forward? then once I've got some skill I could get better steel...


I'd have to be confident that i would get reasonably competent reasonably fast though, as I do want to cook now and then in the meantime.


the other noob question that haunts me is whether i can get away with carbon steel. between the humidity and Bangkok's notorious air pollution metals generally don't do too well (and concrete would likely make a very poor knife). Anyone out there in the tropics, near the sea, and in an overpolluted City... using carbon rather than stainless?

post #4 of 4
I live in the philippines and carbon steel isnt a problem. I found during cooking you just have a damp towel to wipe away the stuff that might stick to the blase every few cuts. Makes for a cleaner knife and less possibility of rust. And then i accelerated the patina process by exposing my knife to mustard. Helps protect my knife from rust. Lots of instructions on the net on how to do that. Of course expect some rusting on the blade edge since u wont forming a patina on there that'll stay long enough coz you'll be sharpening it away eventually.

Then if u wanna store them and not use them for say a week, oil them with mineral oil before putting them away.

If u do that you'll be fine.

I have btw two carbons at the moment, a 1095 steel one and another that's clad in stainles with a blue carbon steel core.

The 1095 one is a lot more reactive but is my workhorse. Will rust within hours if u dont oil it or wipe it dry. The blue carbon one isn't even a problem. Wont rust for weeks even if u leave it unoiled before storing. Just dont leave it out wet even for like an hour.
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