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How do you sharpen your knives?

Ruth's picture

How do you sharpen your knives?

  • On a stone
  • With an electric sharpener
  • With a manual sharpener
  • I take them to a pro
  • Other

You will not be able to change your vote.

JaneRose's picture

(post #32926, reply #1 of 27)

But I found that my fabulous local butcher will do them, too. So I will give him a try. He is two blocks away.

Jean's picture

(post #32926, reply #2 of 27)

My fabulous husband keeps mine sharp.



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madnoodle's picture

(post #32926, reply #3 of 27)

Mine too.  So I'm not sure which option to check.

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Li's picture

(post #32926, reply #8 of 27)

Mine too. He uses a stone.

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UB4853's picture

(post #32926, reply #23 of 27)

Hi JaneRose;


I have a Wet Wheel Stone Sharpener that has a reduction gear on it to have it run on slow speed.   The wheel runs through a container of water and therefore keeps the knives cool all the time.  This gives me a nice tapered concave sharpened knife.


Once I am finished I will use my Steel Honer to remove any burrs and end up with a razor sharp knife.


Uncle Bill


 

Wolvie's picture

(post #32926, reply #4 of 27)

Once again, I needed 2 answers. I use an electric sharpener, and also take them to a pro once a year or so.

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.


THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY,  September 23, 1860.


 

 

Ricks503's picture

(post #32926, reply #5 of 27)

I think a lot of people use either a steel  to maintain the edge and some form of sharpener when needed and then use a pro every year or so to get it to where it should be. 

1 - measure the board twice, 2 - cut it once, 3 - measure the space where it is supposed to go        4 - get a new board and go back to step 1

 

 

" There'll be no living with her now" - Captain Jack Sparrow

Wolvie's picture

(post #32926, reply #11 of 27)

oh - I use a steel most every day. I was talking about periodic sharpening. :-)

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing.


THOMAS HENRY HUXLEY,  September 23, 1860.


 

 

Ricks503's picture

(post #32926, reply #12 of 27)

Now if the question is meant to include honing, then most of us here would need 2 answers.  I have 2 steels, a regular and the flat F. Dick multi-steel and I use one or the other just before using a knife.  I also have a Chefs Choice 120 3 stage electric sharpener, I use that ( on stage 2 & 3 ) about every 6 months and stage 1 about every  year to year and a half.  As needed, I will take them to a professional.


The stage 3 is a honing stage and I use that once or twice a month.


So, with that, I would need up to 3 answers for the question


1 - measure the board twice, 2 - cut it once, 3 - measure the space where it is supposed to go        4 - get a new board and go back to step 1

 

 

" There'll be no living with her now" - Captain Jack Sparrow

transona5's picture

(post #32926, reply #6 of 27)

Yeah, I needed dual options as well. I use a whetstone for the regular knives, and a manual ceramic water sharpener for my Japanese knives.

 

 

Gloriana's picture

(post #32926, reply #7 of 27)

Also use a steel to "feather" the edge each time before using a knife.
This is in addition to 3 stage machine sharpening twice a year. (and I NEVER put them in the dishwasher!)


Edited 8/15/2006 9:40 am ET by Gloriana

Susan-Calgary's picture

(post #32926, reply #9 of 27)

I take mine to a pro every year or so, and sharpen with a Henkle sharpener in between time.  I bought a stone about 30 years ago, but have never felt comfortable using it - I think there is some magic angle you are supposed to keep the knife at or you just ruin the edge - probably not that hard once you know what you are doing, but  - I think I just got into the habit of being afraid to use the thing and have never made a real effort to get over it.

schnitzel's picture

(post #32926, reply #10 of 27)

Would you believe that I haven't had to sharpen my knives yet? Honest, and I've been using them for about 5 years. I do steel often to hone the edge.
Love my Wüsthof knives.


sanderson's picture

(post #32926, reply #13 of 27)

So Ruth...asking food fanciers about "a" knife sharpening method is like asking northern indigenous people to describe snow in one word.  How about a more in depth questionnaire?  I'm guessing this is setting background for an article/video.   Hope so.  I feel inept in knife sharpening.  I am curious, is there any sure correlation between ease of sharpening and knife quality?  My limited experience in sharpening has been that there should be some "how to sharpen" coding on a knife.  How about a list of pet peeves brought on by sharing knives?  I once worked with someone who insisted on 'honing' each knife before she used it.  Fine if the edge were improved but she wreaked the edge with her inconsistent angle.  She said sorry, she was learning.  I marked my knives and told her to leave 'em alone.  Didn't promote kitchen calm. 

pamilyn's picture

(post #32926, reply #14 of 27)

OMG Sue. One time I was teaching a class and this guy was chopping parsley with my knife. He scooped up the parsley with the blade and then started smashing the knife on the side of the pan. I didn't know I could scream so loud...LOL

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sanderson's picture

(post #32926, reply #15 of 27)

I feel your pain.

Susan-Calgary's picture

(post #32926, reply #16 of 27)

I can just imagine someone screaming just like that whenever I think about using my stone - let alone honing.  No wonder I'm scared!  LOL.   That's why I have to use a pro, and a tool with  preset angles like the Henkle sharpener - I think of it like tying chopsticks together at the top for children to teach them how to use them - baby stuff.  I really must learn how to do it right - and since my knives are about 28 years old, and I'm the only one who uses them, it probably wouldn't be that terrible if I ruin the edge a few times learning.  Any hints on how to do it right? 

TracyK's picture

(post #32926, reply #17 of 27)

Buy a slide-on angle guide... you keep the guide flat against the stone, it keeps your knives at the ideal sharpening angle.

Salt early, salt often.

Susan-Calgary's picture

(post #32926, reply #18 of 27)

Thanks Tracy, that sounds like the perfect solution if I can find one -  I've never seen anything like that, but I'm sure I'll be able to find one now that I know to look for it.

TracyK's picture

(post #32926, reply #19 of 27)

I'd never seen one either, but I was in the Broadway Panhandler store in NY and asked the guy behind their knife counter what was the best way to sharpen knives... he gave me a two-sided stone and a pair of the clip-on guides (one for larger knives, one for smaller knives). I haven't used them yet, but they do make it look pretty easy! :-)

Salt early, salt often.

MadMom's picture

(post #32926, reply #20 of 27)

Isn't it important that the guide be set to hold your knife at the proper angle, which might depend on the knife?  I almost bought one for my Globals, and wish I had, because I think they are sharpened at a lesser angle than regular knives.  I shall have to check next time I'm somewhere which might have them.



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TracyK's picture

(post #32926, reply #21 of 27)

You can't set the guide, I think it's just meant for non-high-maintenance knives, for which the recommended angle is 15 or 20 degrees (can't remember which).

Salt early, salt often.

suziannie's picture

(post #32926, reply #22 of 27)

My dad was a grinder for 50 years....he always told me to stay away from home sharpening machines...and ginsu knives. :)


Some knives are hollow ground and some are just edged....they are sharpened differently but both are honed. My dad always did ground on the wheel and then in a honing machine...also how I did them when I worked for a grinding company.  Edged were always done on a wet stone. 


I always tell people to have a professional sharpen their knives especially if they have invested in a quality set...don't try to sharpen them at home.  And while you are at the grinders, have him/her show you the correct angle to use the steel. I prefer a ceramic steel and I steel the knife almost every time I use it.  Even normal use on a wooden or plastic surface can put micro chips in your edge.  Also, a dull knife is harder to cut with and you are more likely to cut yourself with it.  Trust me on that one.


 

paretsky's picture

(post #32926, reply #25 of 27)

Lee Valley sells a couple different things for sharpening knives. Here is their angle guide:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=32456&cat=1,43072

And the rest of their knife sharpening tools:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&p=43079&cat=1,43072

If you need Canadian prices,

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=32456&cat=1,43072

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=1&p=43079&cat=1,43072

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Susan-Calgary's picture

(post #32926, reply #26 of 27)

Thanks for the info paretsky.  What a strange looking thing the guide is; it looks like it would be rather awkward to use, doesn't it?  I think I should just not be so timid and try to learn to  sharpen on a wet stone like so many seem to do - (the old fashioned "just learn it" philosophy...), and go to a pro when I can.

TracyK's picture

(post #32926, reply #27 of 27)

Yeah... that thing looks frightening! I've looked on several different sites and cannot find an example of the snap-on guide I got a Broadway Panhandler... not even on their own site! I will take a look at the manufacturer ino from the packaging and try again.

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wonka's picture

(post #32926, reply #24 of 27)

I hone my knives often and take them to my local butcher about once a year.