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Thin blade Cleaver...... - Page 3

post #61 of 66
Thread Starter 
I have to also disagree about blade thickness not mattering. I keep all my knives sharp enough to shave with. The thick bladed Winco will perform poorly at certain cutting tasks no matter how sharp I have it. It will still break the carrots for example. Even less sharp , the very thin Kee Lee carbon cleaver will slice way better than the Winco. I have an old Chicago chef knife like that too. Ive tried to use it. I can have it wicked sharp, and it just breaks stuff. You can put it right next to a modern thinner blade, and it just cant cut like it does. Thick wedge shaped blades are not good for slicing I think.
post #62 of 66
If that old Chicago chef's knife is a carbon, it's quite easy to thin let's say the first inch behind the edge with automotive sandpaper on linen, start with P120, edge trailing only. It won't ever become a laser, but still a decent cutter, especially with meat and soft vegetables.
post #63 of 66

If you are actually going to do this only use a belt sander if they have it, that is what is used to thin and shape knives.  Your stones would be murderously slow reprofiling the edge after you grind your curve into it, and I think you are going to find the sidewalk very slow also.  I grinding wheel should not be used directly on the edge at all, it will overheat it, and you will also find reprofiling tricky with it also. 


But reprofiling the winco on the grinder is definitely worth a shot though.  You know when you are getting too close to the edge when you see sparks just starting to fly over it, but always stop and visually check the grind to be sure where you are.  Stay well above the center of the wheel.


If the wheels are good and in good shape it will go pretty fast.  If they are loaded up or just need dressing they may have a slag stone lying around for that.  Consider wearing thick gloves, and definitely safety glasses of course.  Be careful, keep your fingers out of the way, go slow.




Edited by Rick Alan - 10/23/14 at 4:38am
post #64 of 66

Just because there has been so much unnecessary back and forth here over the issue, I thought it would be a good idea to explain approximately where I feel "sharp knife" begins and ends.


In the typical pro kitchen I'd say you mostly do not expect to see a knife much thinner than .015" behind the edge, and more likely knives that haven't seen any thinning after numerous sharpenings and can be .030"+.  And these will typically be sharpened around 18deg/side, with nothing finer than a 2K stone, and very often <1K.  Steel of a hardness usually no greater than 59RC, and probably 55 as a mean.


The kind of knife I was referring to as "sharp", as in sharp enough to get the kind of result I and others were referring to, would start off being around .005" behind the edge, angle no more obtuse that 12deg/side, and finished with minimum of a 10K stone.  Hardness a minimum of 58RC (at least for most stainless), but much more preferably 60+.  These figures are for ordinary stainless alloys, carbon and finer stainless can probably get away with slightly more obtuse angles and lower grits for the same result.


This knife can do the bottom end of the kind of cutting I was referring to.  Those restauraunt knives above would come no where close.  There are knives much harder and of very fine grain and which can be chisel-ground to as little as 10deg inclusive I understand, but that is another ball game.


With a 60RC and the rest meeting the initial figures above, such a knife could be used all day long in a pro environment cutting soft veggies and boneless meat with only the occasional truing.  And whereas the typical Western/European restaurant is concerned they may not care, certainly something to try at home.




Edited by Rick Alan - 10/23/14 at 3:34pm
post #65 of 66
It might be helpful to distinguish keenness and sharpness. A convexed fine-grained soft carbon steel edge, polished with Cr2O3 at an inclusive angle of 50 degree, can be very sharp, and is probably close to what Escoffier used for his "chiffonnade".
post #66 of 66

Yes good point.  There is keenness of edge, how pointed the edge actually is at the apex - and then there is "perceived" sharpness, or how sharp the knife appears in general usage.  That is of course a function of keenness along with the whole blade profile: the primary and secondary edge angles; the profile above these (on a lazer the secondary angle would ideally run all the way to the spine); and to a very large extent the thickness where the primary and secondary meet, or what I referred to as thickness behind the edge. 


As the edge on my knives weaken and deteriorate I tend to thin just a bit and micro-bevel after truing.  Jon described micro-beveling some of his stainless knives to a rather obtuse angle, significantly increasing edge retention without sacrificing much sharpness.




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