Knive sharpener

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by larrym, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. larrym

    larrym Meat Mopper

    Not sure if this has been covered or not but I could not find anything with a quick search.

    I bought a Kitchen Aid knife set for wife several years ago, it has one of those standard sharpening blades.  She has complained lately that the knives were not sharp enough so I decided to use the dang thing and give them an edge.  They turned out okay but not as sharp as the Chicago Cutlery knives that I also honed on them.  I do understand that the type of steel is very important for a proper edge,, I can shave from the 3 Chicago knives but the cheaper Kitchen Aid ones, need a lot of work :)  My question to any chefs,, what is the proper way to use that sharpening rod ? 

    I normally try to hold blade at 45 degree angle and starting at tip of rod and base of blade, bring towards me and away with a downward stroke so I get the tip sharpened also, alternating each stroke with each side of blade.  After about 10 strokes per side,, I switch too to moving blade away from me, starting at base and pulling away so that tip gets sharpened too.  I seem top get a nice edge on the Chicago Cutlery but not so good on the Kitchen Aid ones.  Is there something I am doing wrong with this sharpening rod ?
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  2. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    45* seems a bit much , IMHO , I would drop the angle to 20* to 25*. Pull the knife across toh stone as if you were cutting a shaving off the stone , do this an even amount of times on each side.

    If you have a Steel, hone it 2 to 3 times before each use. This keeps the edge from folding over and dulling the knife.

    Hope this helps ...[​IMG]
  3. michael ark

    michael ark Master of the Pit

    This is what i use.   I don't  use a rod but some knifes are super hard steel and take forever to get a edge.
  4. I think the "stick" you are referring to is actually a hone. This is not to sharpen the blade but instead realigns the edge (hone does not remove material a sharpener does).

    The best way to use a hone is to start at the base of the hone with the base of the knives edge and then proceed to run the length of the blade against the hone in a pushing/pulling motion away from you as you slide the blade up the hone.

    This may sound confusing as all heck if you get desperate youtube gordon ramsey's knife honing/sharpening it will make much more sense.

    As far as sharpening goes the best sharpener I have found is the spyderco triangular sharp maker. You can even sharpen serrated edges on this sharpener. Although the learning curve is steep with this type of sharpener when done correctly you will be left with an edge that is typically better than what it came out of the box with.

    Worst case spend some money on some good knives I prefer wusthof and just pay a local shop/mobile sharpener to sharpen them every few months.

    edit: You should hone your blades before every use it will help them stay sharper a lot longer
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    As OldSchool Stan said 45* is way steep...20ish Degrees is the Spine or back of the Blade about 1/4 inch above the Stone or Steel...Chicago Cutlery Steel is softer than many "home use" Knives so it will be easier to Sharpen....The term Sharpening Steel is used to SELL Steels! They don't exactly sharpen... In reality, a Steel is used to TRUE UP or HONE an already mostly sharp Blade to keep it performing between Sharpenings.....A knife that is used all the time and Bangs around in the tool drawer...Will not get sharp using only a Steel, some type of Sharpening Stone or Machine is needed to put a new Edge on the knife...BTW...The thing on the back of the CAN OPENER will DESTROY your good knives!...JJ
  6. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Best thing I ever did was buy a good electric sharpener. The cheapest knives come out like a razor.
  7. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have a 3 stone in oil sharpener and a Chefs Choice Electric for quick fixes. There are lots of great videos on youtube on sharpening knives.

    Good luck
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have a chefs choice 3 stone electric sharpener that works great, I usually run all my knives on it about once a month or so and keep them all razor sharp. I picked it up used for about $30 several years back. The three stones are heavy, medium, and fine grit - usually I only have to run the medium and fine grit stones.
  9. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    Unless it's a smooth glass or metal rod, you do more than realign the edge.  It does take off metal

    But what ever.  Most Euro designed chef knives will have a symmetrical edge of maybe 25* on each side.  Here's a trick to see where the edge is.  Lay the knife down on a wood cutting board and while sliding the edge forward, lift the spine slowly.  When it bites you have found the edge angle.  Now try to replicate that angle on the rod.  If using a leather strop it's easier to transfer that angle to the strop and it's what I would recommend. 

    The steel on these knives is usually pretty soft.  Will not hold an edge long and will deform quickly but will not chip like hard Japanese steel. I am not an advocate of pull through sharpeners but for inexpensive Euro style knives the ones with ceramic rods like the Accusharp will do a pretty fair job.  BTW a ceramic rod has a grit of 1200 on average.  I would never use stone higher than a 1000 if sharpening one of these knives.  The payback is pretty poor.  I could split a hair after a sharpening session but it will not last more than the first use. 
  10. big andy a

    big andy a Smoking Fanatic

    I also use a Chefs Choice -  - to sharpen my knifes and then a steel to re-straighten the edge periodically.  I bought mine a long time ago when they only had one or two models to sell.  Now they have a bunch for different uses and knifes.  

    I have a stone which I use also but frankly it's too much bother for me and the results are so-so.  I know if I spent more time I could acquire the touch to get a better edge but I usually revert to the electric sharpener.  The Chefs Choice does a great and importantly, consistent job on my knifes.  

    Good luck,

  11. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    A well cared for knife will be fine with proper use of the steel for a long time.

    I try not to sharpen more than I have to.  Sharpening takes metal off the blade while using the steel will true up the blade without removing any but miniscule amounts.  Every now and then, even the best cared for knife will need sharpening.

    I use a stone, and I have the Chef's Choice sharpener.  When using the Chef's Coice, I stay away from the coarse stone on the three stage sharpener.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  12. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Chicago knives are softer carbon steel. KA 's are stainless . The stainless knives are harder to sharpen but will hold an edge once done right w/ a little care.

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