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Re: Mac Chef Series HB-85

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello all!



I recently picked up a Mac Chef Series HB-85 8.5" Gyutou and couldn't find the following information about the knife / was hoping someone here on the forums could help me out:


1.) Does anyone happen to know if this knife is single beveled or a single edged knife?


2.) Any idea of what angle it should be sharpened at? would a 15 degree angle be sufficient or should something lower be used? 



Thanks in advance for your help and words of wisdom!






post #2 of 14
When you sharpen you don't start at the very edge, you start behind the bevel at the lowest angle you're comfortable with. Little by little you raise the spine until you've reached the very edge and raised a burr. That's the moment to switch sides.

This method applies on all double-bevelled knives, supposing you're happy with the previous configuration and want to restore it. Sharpening is restoring a configuration that has moved a very little bit towards the spine, where the blade is a bit thicker. That's why I suggest to start behind the bevel and thin. Otherwise, your edge will get thicker after every sharpening.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the sharpening tip! This actually makes a lot of sense now and it sounds like I'll have to test it out on a cheap knife to get a better feel for sharpening with this method.  Do you happen to know the the Mac Chef's 8 1/2" knife is a single or double bevel? 





post #4 of 14
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

@Benuser: Many thanks for the information! I looked around on multiple sites and there was any specific info on the bevel for this knife. I won't need to sharpen it for a while but wanted to know more about the knife. Thanks once again and cheers!




post #6 of 14
You're most welcome, Marvin. I should have added that in your progress towards the very edge the so-called Magic Marker or Sharpie-trick can be most useful.
Here described in one of Jon Broida's excellent videos.
post #7 of 14
Hi marvin. I have thr 7.25" version of this knife and mine came probably 60/40 maybe even 70/30 righty bias, very rough grind on the edge. I would recommend putting a 20 degree bevel on the knife when you sharpen, you'll find it holds an edge longer and is still a very pleasing little cutter. Just watch out the steel is pretty reactive. These knives respond well to a ceramic steel. Good buy. Pros talk alot of trash on macs but I always thought they were well designed and they do take a wonderful edge quite easily.
post #8 of 14
That sounds as a very likely outcome, but a relative novice shouldn't change an existing configuration with a new knife that drastically, IMHO. Better learn to reproduce the existing configuration, than how to eliminate possible steering, and only than adjusting according to the personal needs and expectations for longevity of the edge. We are now only at the first step.
post #9 of 14
I dont know how much of a novice the OP is or isnt but I do know the Mac chef series wont hold a 15deg edge any longer than a day before you can physically damage in the edge.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

@SpoiledBroth: Thanks for the info and advice! I had guessed that it was a 70/30 right bias which is going to be interesting in terms of sharpening (I've never had to sharpen something with that kind of angle). As for the ceramic rod, I was already looking into one but am trying to find a good balance between price / specs for my uses. Any recommendations?  Always nice to know that I made a good choice with Mac; I'd looked around on-line and while Tojiro seemed like a good option, I actually got to check out the Mac in person. The weight and feel pretty much had me sold from the get go lol.


@Benuser: I don't plan on re-profiling anytime soon as I'd like to know more about  the knife before doing anything drastic. Unless I chip the blade (likely doing something silly), I'll likely give the original configuration a try until I discover it doesn't work for me. 


P.S. I'm a home chef so while I cook daily, I likely wouldn't wear this knife out as much as you two probably would.

post #11 of 14
As a home user you don't need a ceramic rod. You may very well strop -- make light edge trailing strokes -- on your finest stone to refresh the edge.
A so refreshed edge is much stronger than the one you may obtain with a rod. In a professional environment a rod has its place as an emergency solution. A home user has better options.
post #12 of 14
I would agree and the knife responds well to stropping. If you arent very handy Lee Valley sells strops and servicable charging compound. I think general wisdom holds to ignore the bias on the edge of the knife when sharpening... mine did not steer however after 7 or 8 sharpening sessions it is a 50/50, mine was overground badly on the heel though. Its a very easy knife to sharpen really no transition from euro knives if you have any experience sharpening those. I am a relatively inexperienced sharpener and I can usually shave with my mac gyuto!!
post #13 of 14
Not so sure about that 'general wisdom'. It's probably the wisdom of EdgePRO retailers.
Seriously, don't change the fundamentals. The edge is off-centered, that's what makes it asymmetric, and bluntly recentering it will cause over time crazy steering and wedging. Given this off-centered edge, one has to balance friction on both sides to avoid steering. This can be done by applying different angles.
For the time being, stick with the existing configuration. When stropping, expect the left angle to be about 1,5 time the one on the right, something like 12 and 18 degree. Verify with the marker trick whether you hit the very edge.
post #14 of 14
Not so sure about that one.
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