Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
John Setzler

Knives & Sharpening

Recommended Posts

I have had the same set of henckel four stars since 1988. I love them. The 8" cheff has sliced and diced a lot of things, including my fingers, and traveled the country with me. I keep looking at the Japanese knives though. At some point I will probably get one. Its good advice to hold the knife first to get the feel. Its also good to learn how to hold the food you are preping and pay attention. I have the scars to show for it.

+1 on Henckel Four Stars - very reasonably priced 6 years ago. Have never re-sharpened them but I do try to "steel" them before every use - also never put them in dishwasher and only cut on wood or plastic cutting boards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have had the same set of henckel four stars since 1988. I love them. The 8" cheff has sliced and diced a lot of things, including my fingers, and traveled the country with me. I keep looking at the Japanese knives though. At some point I will probably get one. Its good advice to hold the knife first to get the feel. Its also good to learn how to hold the food you are preping and pay attention. I have the scars to show for it.

+1 on Henckel Four Stars - very reasonably priced 6 years ago. Have never re-sharpened them but I do try to "steel" them before every use - also never put them in dishwasher and only cut on wood or plastic cutting boards.

If u haven't resharpened your knives in 6 years, I would say they are long overdue. U will notice a huge difference once you do. A steel hone will extend the edge life, but eventually they'll need a new bevel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have a decent set of chef's knives but no stones, you can always take them to a good cutlery store. They never really charged me that much to sharpen my knives, but it has been a while. I bought a diamond steel a few years ago and have used it whenever my knives need a quick sharpening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If u haven't resharpened your knives in 6 years, I would say they are long overdue. U will notice a huge difference once you do. A steel hone will extend the edge life, but eventually they'll need a new bevel.

Nick2cd

Yes the steel aligns the sharp edge when it has bent over. Eventually the edge actually dulls and is rounded instead of being sharp. Only grinding away can fix that.

Your knife needs sharpening when it slides across the back of your nail instead of grabbing when you rest it on a nail tilted downward .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Knives (and sharpeners) are a bit of an eternal debate in cooking circles. I'm fortunate enough to get lots of knives across my countertop to test and I've probably put hundreds through their paces in my time. Just like cookware, I use a wide assortment of brands, sizes, and bevels with Wustof classics and Globals being featured because they fit *my* hand well. Your mileage may vary.

About the only absolute I've discovered was echoed by a previous post. Tests knives in your own hand, not based on reviews or hearsay. Hands (and knives) are all so different there's no way to match the two up virtually. What works for you could be wildly different than your BBQ mates next door. I've been known to take veg and a cutting board to the store and spend a few hours before the staff finally asks me to leave :D. At minimum, make sure you have a return grace period on any you buy.

Keep them sharp using whatever device you prefer. Mine get a quick treatment every other day and a full re-bevel about once every month but to be fair, I might put a bit more use on them than usual. I've tested most of the 'manual' systems and while they do an excellent, possibly even better job, I seem to have better luck with the 'automatic' powered systems simply because I'm more likely to use them regularly. A Chef's Choice model sits on my counter 24x7. The Edge Pro is in a box...somewhere. I can 'freshen up' an edge everytime I grab an extra ripe tomato in about ten seconds and it makes a world of difference. Anyone that's ever 'seen the sharpening light' after waiting a bit too long will understand. If you have unusual angle requirements because of your Asian bevels, there are automatic versions of sharpeners out there for them too. You typically just have to order them in from (usually) Japan. Any number of the stores in Akihabara (tech town) will have them available for mail order internationally.

A decent "roll up" knife pouch is also a great investment in my mind if you ever move your knives from place to place (cooking at friends houses, camping, a long walk to the kamado, etc.) or even if you're a bit messy about getting them back into a block in the kitchen. Any local restaurant supply will have a canvas version for about $15 because they're standard issue to every class of culinary students that comes along. Real misers can roll blades up in a kitchen towel with some heavy rubber bands on each end in a pinch or if you're stuck taking them to the store for sharpening. Just don't toss them willy-nilly into the kitchen junk drawer where they *will* get knicked and ruined.

A honing steel is NOT a sharpener. I'm sure all of you knew that but it's worth clarifying for newcomers.

One of my favourite French chefs who has probably worked with more knives than all of us combined once told me "Knives are as personal as shoes." Wise words indeed. And of course the old saying is very, very true that "a dull knife is much more dangerous than a sharp one."

- Razor Sharp Fork

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fork_N_Spoon well said.

I especially agree with what you said about powered sharpeners. One can sharpen four knives in the time it would take to get some of these systems ready to use. In truth the best system is what you actually use and use immediately when it is needed.

I can see the use for some of these systems for knives that do not get used ---- so they stay sharp--- and having a show piece knife that has a prefect appearance is the most important thing. I am not putting this collection thing down. It is just different than what one needs for knives that get a lot of use. My Lansky sharpening system just does not get used.

My knives are in great condition and very sharp after using the Chef's Choice sharpener but they are not visually flawless. That is probably why it is called the Chef's Choice and not Knife Collector's Choice sharpener.

The Chef's Choice Angle Select Can sharpen European / American--- 20 degree knives and Asian style ---15 degree knives.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking of grabbing a Dexter boning knife, 10 inch chefs and meat slicing knife from the local restautant supply store for cheap BBQ use. All 3 can be had for around 50 bucks combined and will stand up to abuse and lots of resharpening. They may not look pretty but they are for commercial use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm thinking of grabbing a Dexter boning knife, 10 inch chefs and meat slicing knife from the local restautant supply store for cheap BBQ use. All 3 can be had for around 50 bucks combined and will stand up to abuse and lots of resharpening. They may not look pretty but they are for commercial use.

It sounds like a great idea to me. If you go into a top rated restaurant i doubt that they are using these top status knives to prep the food.

If you get good quality restaurant knives and a good powered sharpener then you should be set. The Victronex knives with the fibrox handles that were mentioned further up in this thread are also a great value and the knife that most people in the Cooks Illustrated kitchen use.

Sam's Club's has Traomentina knives that look great and are very affordable also.

In the end we do not eat the knives just the food.

If the restaurant supply has them then that is likely what most of the food in your area is made with. I have kinda been shocked when they go behind the scenes of some of the top rated restaurants and they are cooking on old cheap beat up pans and turning out 5 star food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At many of the restaurants that I worked at, we had a knife service. They would bring re-sharpened knives every week and swap them out. I always saved my good knives for special occasions like demos and charity food shows.

I still think that if you don't want to buy an electric or manual sharpening system a diamond steel is a cheap alternative for keeping knives sharp for most people.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My "best" knife may be a plain Shun santoku - but it needs to go back for a factory sharpening. I still like the Chicago Cutlery set we got as a wedding present long ago, and my favorites are the Wustofs. They're kinda like handguns, it's easy to love 'em all. (Except for a lousy RG .22 which was traded to a Mexican cabby for a ride back across the river to Del Rio - but thank God it's long gone.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At many of the restaurants that I worked at, we had a knife service. They would bring re-sharpened knives every week and swap them out. I always saved my good knives for special occasions like demos and charity food shows.

I still think that if you don't want to buy an electric or manual sharpening system a diamond steel is a cheap alternative for keeping knives sharp for most people.

Yes you are spot on. It pushes the bent sharp edge up and the knife is sharp again. That is until the sharp edge gets blunted. If one has a way to get knives sharpened by a knife service that services the restaurant trade then that probably would make buying a powered sharpening system a poor investment.

I am amazed at being able to feel this straighting process. It almost feels like one is cutting the steel as the edge gets forced back to straight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing with diamond steels is that they have diamond grit in them and actually remove metal and sharpen knives. They aren't like a traditional steel that straightens the blade. Once you were the grit off of your diamond steel you better find something else to do with because it won't even help keep your blade aligned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The thing with diamond steels is that they have diamond grit in them and actually remove metal and sharpen knives. They aren't like a traditional steel that straightens the blade. Once you were the grit off of your diamond steel you better find something else to do with because it won't even help keep your blade aligned.

Thanks. I just learned something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most knife enthusiasts tend to gravitate toward Japanese knives, which tend to be made from harder steels than German brands like Wusthoff and Henckels. Tojiro's DP series and Fujiwara's FKM series are good entry-level Japanese knives. Richmond Artifex is an American-made line with steel that's comparable in quality to those two.

I snagged a couple Shun Wasabi knife sets on closeout recently, and I've been debating whether to hold onto them or resell them. They're made from Japanese Daido 1K6 high-carbon stainless steel. If anyone's interested in a set, drop me an offer via PM. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...