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What is the best way to sharpen Wusthof knives?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello!  I recently started cooking and will be taking a few classes.  I purchased Wusthof knives Pro series to use for these classes and at home.  So far I have a 10" chef, curved boning knife and a paring.  What is the easiest, fastest way to sharpen these?  I don't know anything about sharpening and I know a lot of you will suggest to buy that book "An edge in the kitchen."  But could I please have some quick suggestions before I buy and read this book?  Thank you all in advance!

post #2 of 17

I would also want to know how to sharpen a knife.

post #3 of 17

While you can read this and other knives forums to learn how to properly sharpen knives, it might really save you some time to actually read "An edge in the kitchen." :)

 

The general advice is usually to learn freehand sharpening on waterstones for japanease knives. It takes time but it worth it to learn.
You could also use steeling rods for a softer german steel of your knives. And avoid of electric sharpeners that are able to grind away to much steel from your knife really fast.

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for your help! :)

post #5 of 17

Another good article to start  learning about knives is "Knife Maintenance" http://forums.egullet.org/topic/26036-knife-maintenance-and-sharpening/ 

 

On this forum you could find lots of highly informative and interesting posts from Boar_de_laze, like the following one about profiles:

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/62065/french-and-german-chefs-knives-profiles-in-cutting

post #6 of 17
I have wushroff knife set also. Is the honing steel the way to sharpen? I hone the knives before and after cutting but over the years they slowly dulled now honeing them does very little. How can i get them sharp once more.

Thanks Paul
post #7 of 17

get "edge in the kitchen" and learn to use japanese waterstones.

a sharpening steel does NOT hone your knives.

its good for in between use but if you use your knives often, get them sharpened or sharpen yourself, on a regular base.

I sharpen mine almost weekly depending on my work...but then, I am in the trade, not a home cook.

most home cooks get their knives sharpened twice a year or more often, depending on amount of work/ dullness.

 

for in between the sharpenings on the stones, I use a ceramic sharpening steel.

but then this works best on japanese knives (I use blue paper steel) , my wustie seems not to take it that well.

post #8 of 17

Miami is big enough to have a good public library system.  You should be able to just go and check out a copy of An Edge In The Kitchen by Chad Ward without having to spend any money (or just read it in the library - it's not a thick book).  Do keep in mind that prices stated in the book are now dated.

 

Since the Wusthof "Pro" line is machined steel and not forged with a bolster, it will be easier to sharpen than the fully bolstered forged Classic line.  Score one for easier sharpening.

 

Unfortunately, there is no "easiest and fastest way" to keep knives sharp.  If there were one, the entire world would be beating down the door of the inventor.  What exists involves choices - and it depends on the budget and comfort level of the sharpener and knife user to determine how sharp is sharp enough.

 

The cheapest way is to buy a pull-through sharpener, which is likely to take more metal off the knife faster than you want, while not giving you a very sharp edge.

 

Much more pricey is to buy a quality electric sharpener, such as one of the Chef's Choice models (run up the comments in ChefTalk forums) and make your pick.  Be aware that you do have to keep a light touch.  Also keep in mind that the removed steel will eventually clog the sharpener and will have to be cleaned out.  It's also a "one-size-fits-all" type of edge profile with these machines - unless you choose a multi-bevel-angle machine, the angle of the edge bevel will be the same for every knife run through the machine, regardless of what your situation might call for.

 

Sharpening with stones can be the cheapest method, though it does require a bit of practice.  That's where reading An Edge  and online videos by Jon Broida of JKI, Chef Knives to Go, Bob Kramer and Murray Carter come in.  

 

For the least expensive single stone, it's not fancy, but you can get a Norton India Combination stone for about $20 to $30 in the Miami area.  If you are willing to clean out the impregnated oil in the stone (several runs through a dishwasher), then you can then use it as a waterstone.  Or, you can simply go and buy some mineral oil and use it as an oilstone.  It will be coarse to very coarse, but it will be functional.  In any event, that will be a not-quite-too-expensive beginning to freehand sharpening by stones.

 

One source somewhat close to you (as of June of this year) is Constantine's Wood Center of Florida, in Ft. Lauderdale.  They had an 8 inch by 2 inch India Combination Stone for $20 (Constantine's also carried various grit water stones and an Arkansas natural combination stone,) 

 

 If your budget grows a bit, you can also look at Chef Knives To Go and see their their selection - they have a 5 piece kit with 3 good stones (Beston 500 for removing a lot of steel for edge profiling, chip removal, etc; Bester 1200 for edge sharpening to a basic level and Suehiro Rika for edge polishing - to give the edge that final sharper edge) for $140.

 

Done right, freehand sharpening is the gold standard for sharpness.

 

Up in price is the Edge Pro Apex, starting at about $165.  Chef Knives to Go has an "Essential" custom Edge Pro kit for $230 which may be the best bargain (??!!!??!!) set, with 3 Shapton Glass Stones (500, 1K and 4K) custom made for CKTG.  The Edge Pro Apex is initially pricier, but stones are cheaper in the long run and the learning curve is much shorter than with freehand sharpening,  Your edges will be better than with any pull-through and will exceed the quality of electric sharpeners.  The edge quality can be brought to the level of an expert's freehand sharpening edge.  The drawback is the initial cost.

 

Soesje is right that a "sharpening steel" (which should be really called a "hone") doesn't sharpen.  Do yourself a favor and spend $30 on a Idahone 12" ceramic hone from CKTG.  While it won't sharpen, it will keep your knife's edge properly aligned - and lengthen the amount of time between sharpenings.

 

As for taking your knives to a "Professional" sharpener, it's Caveat Emptor ("let the buyer beware").  Unless you know the quality of the sharpener, assume the worst.  Read An Edge for how to ask the right questions before entrusting your knives for sharpening to anyone.  Some knives in the kitchen of my family's vacation house were taken by a relative to a "professional" sharpener and came back badly overground.

 

Hope that covers the points.

 

Galley Swiller


Edited by Galley Swiller - 11/8/13 at 6:24am
post #9 of 17

Avoid electric sharpeners. Learn to use a flat waterstone. steels are for touching up, not sharpening. Two minutes max on a waterstone every month will keep your knives and you happy. use a medium and a medium fine grit, e.g. 300- 1200. 5000 is for fetishists, of which there are plenty.

post #10 of 17
Thank you very much I bought a flat stone its arranged in a triangle each side fine then the other. I was trying to sharpen my bonsai sheers...I sharpened them so much they were like scalpels. Which is horrible for sheers as soon as cut a branch it sliced right through it and the blade got bnt and chipped. Same thing would happen to a scalpel on wood with that much pressure. Also how do you know when the edge is "sharp enough"?
post #11 of 17

For oilstones on western and european blades:

 

SharpeningSupplies.com to bevel and touch up the bevel and edge (coarse and medium crystolon and fine india)

 

and

 

HallsSharpStones.com  for the final finishing and honing  (soft arkansas and black surgical)

 

 

THE best way to go as far as western blades are concerned.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
Reply
post #12 of 17

Hi.

As an old home cook and long time Wustohof owner. As in I've just  bought a new Torijo 150mm Utility to replace my 40 odd yr old .worn down to blade thickness 6 in Wusthof Classic.  And my 8 in classic cooks is away getting changed for a new one (Hairline crack in spline

 

Their warranty is brilliant. Any fault. they just swap it. Over in US they even sharpen them for you.  Freebie.

 

Wusthof are a lovely. do anything\every thing knife. A bit soft but hold a decent edge for a while.

I've found that by taking mine down to 20deg's ea side rather than the 25deg. It gives you a sharper knife and still has the blade strength to chop cut  etc.

 

I'm an old hunter\skinner so used to haircutting sharp blades out in the field with a round axe stone and SMOOOOOth steel

At home. I use waterstones.  one is 500\1000  t'other is 1000\4000  (I use 1000 a lot)

With a 600 grit  diamond Oval steel and an oOOOLD  worn down diamond steel (smooth as)

Oh. And an old 3 inch ex army Mule strap brass buckle  leather  Perfect for finishing.

 

Spend the $12\15  and buy one of those "blade angle things you clip on spine of knife and use that till you draw automatically with out checking it. Saves all the "wobbles " on your sharp end.

Just get the right ones for German or Japanese knives.

 

Another lazy way is to look around and buy one of those "smith" carbide\Carbon pocket sharpeners.

 

Just draw blade through them till least resistance. Then use a steel then polish or strop.

They actually the same thing basically, as any of the draw through units and only a fraction of the price.

 

I'm in process of changing to Japanese. (Mainly Tojiro)  Multi layer. narrower. Multi sharper blades.

They do a much nicer job,IE SOOO much sharper and lighter.

but the Wusthofs Mundial and the like   are still best for heavier work.

  

Sharpening is easy.  Just turn your brain off and realise it don't get done in 5 minutes

In the meatworks I used to spend a MINIMUM of 30 min's Every night after work on my three knives for tomorrows work.

And I think a Stainless Steel Butchers LEFT glove is the next best thing to your sharpeners you can buy..

 

Personally. I think nowadays that the ideal is a Japanese  3 1\2 (9mm) Parer.

6  in (150mm) Utility. and a 6in\150mm Cooks to finish.

With an 8inch (200\210mm German Cooks knife.

And Maybe.... (myself) an 11inch Commercial  Butchers knife for Pumpkin etc.

Some like the 240 and bigger but I'm a single person cook mostly so small amounts in volume.

 

If you go to Pull throughs. Be sure you get the right ones for wide German steel and NARROW for Japanese.

IE Global and a couple of others.

NEVER use a wide one with your Japanese knives.  WHoopsy.

 

Knife sharpening is 90% patience and a SOFT touch. You can spend 100"s on sharpeners. But a coupla $35\40 wetstones and a 600grit Diamond steel is all you need. with that angle guide to start with.

ANY old leather belt will do when you get that advanced.

 

PS. Mitchel Cutlery is an Aust co deal mainly with meatworks fella's.

I got my 10in Butchers for $11 delivered. A bit clumsy but long enuff to double end the blade for Pumpkins etc.  Safer...

and my 600grit Diamond steel for around $23 from memory.

Good enuff for the boners.....


Edited by macka17 - 11/10/13 at 4:54am
post #13 of 17

The pull through sharpener that Wustoff makes for their knives works very well, and are quite affordable.

 

The honing steel simply straightens the existing edge on the knife, this does make the edge sharper but it wont put a new edge on.

 

Using a water stone or oil stone can ruin your knife, and it is very messy and time consuming. If you have basic needs for you knife don't go overboard.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastmasterflex View Post
 

The pull through sharpener that Wustoff makes for their knives works very well, and are quite affordable.

 

Using a water stone or oil stone can ruin your knife,

 

I do probably 100+ knives a week and many have bolster/heel issues induced by pull through gadgets.The only way a oil or waterstone will ruin a knife is operator error.

 

Pull through devices by their inherent design issue don't address the bolster/heel and you develop swales back there and lose full board contact.

 

Jim

post #15 of 17
I use a combination of diamond and ceramics and sometimes i finish on a leather strop and its great. My knives are always sharp. But if you're only going to sharpen german knives i would suggest a croc stick system such as spydercos or lanskys. One is nicer, one is cheaper. Either one should work for you. And if you ever move on to stones or machines you can always keep the croc sticks for quick touct ups.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart van Herk View Post
 

5000 is for fetishists, of which there are plenty.

You're funny ;) 

5000 is pretty good when you're in the trade like some of us here... as far as I know I'm no fetishist... :P

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by smontiel17 View Post
 

Hello!  I recently started cooking and will be taking a few classes.  I purchased Wusthof knives Pro series to use for these classes and at home.  So far I have a 10" chef, curved boning knife and a paring.  What is the easiest, fastest way to sharpen these?  I don't know anything about sharpening and I know a lot of you will suggest to buy that book "An edge in the kitchen."  But could I please have some quick suggestions before I buy and read this book?  Thank you all in advance!

Hi smontiel. Check with your public library, here in Seattle "An Edge in the Kitchen" is available for checkout bound and eBook. Also the link posted by Anton above http://forums.egullet.org/topic/26036-knife-maintenance-and-sharpening/ "Knife Maintenance" is a good read too. It's by the Author of "An Edge in the Kitchen", Chad Ward.

 

I'm inclined to direct you toward the Edge Pro or freehand sharpening with whetstones. Jon Broida from Japanese Knife Imports ahs some really good "how to" videos posted on the web. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB3jkRi1dKs&list=PLEBF55079F53216AB Here is a link to his sharpening video playlist. Jon's videos are presented in a very well thought out manner, rookies to seasoned pro sharpeners can all learn from them I think.

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