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Converting from 20 degrees to 10-15 degrees?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey! I'm thinking about resharpening on of my Wüsthofs to 10-15 degrees, and one of my japanese style gyutos as well. Do you have any input, is it just grinding away at the desired angle? 

I'm experienced with sharpening and with knives, but haven't converted the angle of sharpening on a knife before, so please help me :)

post #2 of 10
If you experience some performance loss with your Wüsthof, I guess it has to do with thickening behind the edge, more than with the angle you're sharpening at. Anyway, the soft stainless won't hold a 10 degree angle, supposing it would take it.
A relief bevel of 10 degree though would be very useful to restore performance. After that, try sharpening at 17 degree per side and see if it holds.

As for the Japanese, which brand and steel are we speaking about? In general they take and hold much finer edges than our stainless German friends. But the final edge shouldn't be too acute either or will need a lot of touch ups.

About the idea of a relief bevel, and the thickening behind the edge, see these excerpts from Chad Ward's An Edge in the Kitchen.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hi! Thanks for your reply!


Just before I sat down here and read your post I actually tried to thin my Wüsthof classic ikon and I can't really believe the (in my opinion) rather extreme performance boost. Didn't thin it alot, but it worked! :)

post #4 of 10
Go on thinning til you reach the very edge. You may verify by looking at the scratch pattern.
post #5 of 10

Wuesthof Classic series... my initially glee using the Edge Pro, did that.  took my 8" Chef to 15 degrees. 

did not hold up.  and I use the steel virtually every trip.....


my slicers - which get lighter usage, hold up well in the 17 degree range.


the chef knives get much heavier duty usage and I've found 20 degrees about the max that will "last-a-while" in home use.  defined for me as 6 months before needed a full blast edge profiling & sharpen.


ymmv - but indeed it appears to me one can put too fine an edge on the Wuesties.....

post #6 of 10
Well, if you have thinned without excess, I believe it will hold a more acute bevel. I know this is a somewhat controversial. Common wisdom is that a thick blade behind the edge will support it. A thick blade though will cause more friction and needs much more force to be applied. Once the blade being thinned less force will be needed and the contact between the very edge and the board won't be that brutal anymore.
post #7 of 10

With Wusthof Classics, when the knife was made can make a difference.


Originally, Wusthof Classics (and the other X50CrMoV15 steel knives) were heat treated to a hardness level of hRc 56 or so.  Then, a few years ago, Wusthof changed their heat treatment process and their resulting knives had an average hardness of hRc 58 - a significant improvement in hardness.


The older knives with their softer steel won't hold as acute an angle as the newer knives.


Relief, or micro-bevels, can be used.  Jon Broida at JKI has a video where he shows how he puts a significant relief micro-bevel (30 degrees or so) on one side of the edge only.



Galley Swiller

post #8 of 10

not sure my microbevel technique is the best for this situation... it is more geared towards high hardness steels and/or super thin knives and/or very brittle knives

post #9 of 10

Jon - I stand corrected.


By the way - Congratulations on your family, and best wishes for all.



Galley Swiller

post #10 of 10


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