› ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Knife Reviews › A kitchen sink full of questions about knives
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

A kitchen sink full of questions about knives

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a post up in the introductory section which describes the kit I currently carry. Since my 'weekend.' my Shun Fiji Chef's knife is locked away in a place that is currently inaccessible to me so I cannot use it. I used the term "wreck" in that post, and suspect that may have been a mistake. I had mentioned that I had been tapping two other staff in the kitchen to maintain my knives, however only that first Victorinox ever saw a stone (and not by my hand). The second Victorinox chef's knife and the Shun Classic 7" HG Santoku have never seen stones, only steels.

Reading here, sounds like I need to apply a (15-)16deg edge to both sides of the Shun Classic. I'm assuming the same would be true for the Shun Fiji. What is the default angle for the Victorinox chef's knife? Can I apply that same 15-16deg angle edge to that knife as well? (If yes, I presume the first time I sharpened it that way, it will be considerably more work then doing maintenance in the future.)

I should also state that quite frankly I don't care what my blades look like, as long as they perform as needed in the workplace. They don't need to be polished works of art (tho that Fiji is damned pretty).

I have been shopping stones, was initially leaning towards a set of Shaptons (wanted the 500/2000/16000 field set, plus a 1000 and a 6000--later a flattening diamond stone), however this website has me looking at the 3 stone kit offered by JKI. What bothers me about the JKI set is that they are soakers. While I mentioned in my introduction, was looking at a Mac black ceramic honing rod, IIRC the grit on that is "only" 1200. If I end up with 6k+ stones, why would I not just use those to give knives a (semi?) daily treatment? I'm fine with soaked wetstones for the lower grits, but if it is reasonable to use the finer grit stones in this way, I'd much rather use splash and go for daily 'honing' needs.

Something I have not ran into here, is advice on sharpening serrated edges. My Victorinox 10.5" bread knife is not nearly as sharp as it once was. The Winco knife I purchased before it just plain wants to grab and tear with its teeth (I've actually been wanting those to get 'dulled down'). I met a retired chef (blew out his knees) at a local bar, he claims using a low end dremel set actually works pretty decently for doing a standard serrated edge. I've had my eyes on the Mac 10.5" wavy edge slicer, which is the opposite curve of a standard serrated. Sharpening those nooks would be damn near impossible without doing it hand file (al-la chainsaw) style, however at no point should it have the grab and tear problem. So yeah, that Mac is one knife I am still looking at (suggestions here are welcome).

The other knife purchase which is still high on my list... The Mac (again Chef LIne) 4" Santoku. I prepare a salad very regularly that requires sliced strawberries. I first cut the top off and place it top down, then halve, then cut 90deg off of that into approx 5/16-3/8" slices. Doing this with a paring knife is uncomfortable, but yet doing so with a 7" Santoku or 8"+ chef's knife is really overkill. Plus I really enjoy having a few knives at my disposal. If I have something I am doing that has 'contanimated' one knife, and that project gets set on hold, that whole project can get tucked away on a speedrack, and I have other knives at my disposal (if not optimum) that are clean and ready for use. Plus I spread out the wear and tear.

Yes lots of questions in there. While quite a few in my kitchen use Macs, I never would have picked up any Shuns had I been completely swayed by their opinions. After spending some time reading around here, there are perhaps even better options available which aren't necessarily more expensive. All opinions are welcome, and thanks for your time to read this.
post #2 of 9



Welcome to ChefTalk.  What an essay! 


1) I'll start with stones and sharpening since that affects ALL your knives.



IIRC the grit on that is "only" 1200. If I end up with 6k+ stones, why would I not just use those to give knives a (semi?) daily treatment?


EXACTLY what I've been saying.  Soakers don't all require the same amount of time.  Coarse stones take longer than medium stones usually.  The Gesshin 6k is splash and go, but works better soaked 1-2 minutes.  I have the Gesshin 5k and it works the same way.  I use it as my 'touch up' stone regularly.  It will work with just a splash of water, but I find it worth soaking 1 minute.


Soaking time really isn't an issue for me.  The bigger problem is drying.  It has to be out in the open at room temperature, and flip them so they dry evenly.   Don't put it anywhere hot or in the sun.  Uneven drying -> cracking



2) Now about edges- yes 15 ish degrees is kind of standard.  I've taken Victorinox there and thinned behind the edge and convexed it.  Cuts like a different knife.  It will get scratched up doing this.  Who cares!  15 degrees is probably the limit of this steel.  Lower and it won't hold an edge very well.


3) Serrated knives.  Depends how far apart the serrations are.  If they are bigger, it's easier to do.  Basically this thing


On the grooved side (probably right side), then de burr on stones the left side.

post #3 of 9

You'll really want to microbevel your vic at 20deg/side, it can't hold a 15 with any significant board contact.




post #4 of 9
Or give the Vic a one -- right -- sided microbevel at some 30 degree. And start it with a 1200-ish stone, just deburr and stop!
post #5 of 9

The steep one-sided micro-bevel is recommended, micro-beveling the right side if you are right handed.  But it requires an especially light touch, and preferably a reasonably flat surface also, if you are using soft mud-binder stones as the edge can dig in.





post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Been busy, spent most of the week away from the net, weekend finally here, had to check back in on this.

The Shun Fiji spent the week locked in my garage (with my garage keys). Still very hesitant to even use it now that I have retrieved it from there.

Not sure if it was Thurs or Fri, but my station ended up with a bit of a lull during dinner rush. I ended up pulling out the house tri-stone, and gave my Victorinox some of my (admittedly rookie) attention. With about 10min of work, it was back to cutting thru tomato skin like it was butter. Since it was still out, and hit another lull later in the eve, I attempted to hone it further on its finest surface, as I've been told, the finer you go, the longer you want to spend on it. I didn't totally wreck the edge as it is still sharper then it was originally, but I should have left it alone. 18deg is about what I applied to it on both sides.

Checking back in, and reading that I should consider sharpening this blade as a single edge'd knife is a mind blowing proposition. As a rookie, working on that right side, right handed felt completely natural. Trying to work on the left side right handed however... Felt awkward as hell.

While the tri-stone was out and oiled, I gave my Benrinner blade some attention on the fine stone. I think its sharper now then when I received it from the factory. After seeing improvement in my Benrinner, I gave the house Benrinner some attention. While that blade is nowhere near as sharp as mine is, after some work, it is massively sharper then what it was (being abused as it has, and going thru the dishwasher)--to the point that I wrote "D A N G E R !" with permanent marker on both plastic surfaces just adjacent to the blade.

I may end up treating that Victorinox as a single edged blade. For a few hrs it was my go-to knife again. Now its about as sharp as my Shun Classic Santoku, which hasn't seen a steel in weeks.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Just to post an update, another 60h week on the books. No knife saw any sharpening/honing attention whatsoever. The Vic is still loving tomato skin. The Shun Santoku not so much, but cutting other things, both feel pretty close yet. I don't think that Shun has been given any attention in a month. As far as the Shun Fiji goes, it sliced 3 turkey breasts Sat. It remains on restricted duty until I can buy stones to care for it, but damn is that thing sharp.

I did cut myself on the house Benrinner, apparently too used to using my uber sharp one. The house one is 'sharper then it was' but is still no match for what I carry in my bag.
post #8 of 9

Yeh, in some ways nothing more dangerous than a dulish knife.




post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Only a 45h week on the books this time. The Vic Chef is finally back to needing attention. My Vic bread knife gave me a nice bite when a piece of bread unexpectedly rocked. Getting to be time to replace it I think. I really want that Mac wavy edge slicer, and getting a hold of that 4" Santoku of the same line, I'd use that alot, would decrease usage on my longer blades.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Knife Reviews › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Food & Equipment Reviews › Cooking Knife Reviews › A kitchen sink full of questions about knives