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Best Sharpening system for a line cook?

Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:30 pm

I am a line cook (and also a full time student) that really doesn't have the time to go to the stones (or even do my homework! I always have time for the forum tho ;) ). I'm going to purchase A Kaneshige 240 Wa-Gyuto. I also have a Wusthof Grand Prix II 8" chef's, Tojiro DP 240, and an Artifex butcher knife.

What would be the best and quickest way to keep the knives sharp? Right now I'm thinking of getting the Richmond diamond 12" rod to sharpen with and the Idahone ceramic 12" rod to maintain and finish. Is this a viable way for my knives? Also am I a blasphemer for even suggesting this?

Mahalo!

Re: Best Sharpening system for a line cook?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:49 am

The hone doesn't sharpen the knife it maintains the straightness of the edge. Honing is simply helping the line be straight again. A good knife you can simply do one task and then steel it...work again, steel it and it won't lose much of it's actual sharpness.

You absolutely need to use stones. It doesn't take hours. Either rod will work you only need one. You can't use a rod to polish a finish you need stones.

A combination stone of 1,000-5000 grit should be more than enough. You only need lower grit stones to repair abused knives.

Don't stress about sharpening. It can only take a few minutes a session. If you sharpen once a month you'll be ahead of the game. You will also probably be despised by your co-workers...

What is it about chefs/line cooks using awful knives? Seriously once they see how easy you cut things they'll give you a hard time :)

Re: Best Sharpening system for a line cook?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 3:13 am

I agree with Umberto. Rods can maintain an already serviceable edge but cannot create a new edge if it is worn or damaged. I just repaired a chipped 150mm petty using a 1k-6k progression. It took me less time to sharpen than it took to soak the stones. I put the stones in a pan with water, 10 minuets later I sharpened, ~8 minutes.

When you first start you will likely move a bit slower until you build muscle memory and confidence. Get the stones, set easy goals like only doing one knife a night, within a year you'll be as good as any professional sharpener and have a lifetime of sharp knives.

As far as rods are concerned the Idahone is the standard recommendation around here. I have the Mac and the Hand American smooth steel rod, I prefer the HA for maintaining an edge but the Mac ceramic can remove a bit of metal so it can do a little bit of sharpening (the Idahone is similar to the Mac)

Re: Best Sharpening system for a line cook?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:06 am

I would forget both the rods and the stones.

Get a couple of Kens Diamond Films. You can get a wide range of films for under 200$ and they will handle grease/oils found in the kitchen environment much better than waterstones.

Re: Best Sharpening system for a line cook?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:08 am

Get a cheap combination stone and learn to sharpen is your best bet... You have to remove enough fatigued metal to create a new edge and your steels wont take it far enough...

Re: Best Sharpening system for a line cook?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:06 pm

I agree with Nav. Get a good, inexpensive combo stone like the Imanaishi and get sharpening. It's super easy and once you learn with just a little practice you will have shaving sharpe edge for the rest of your life. You can sharpen with diamond rod followed by a fine ceramic rod but the diamond rod removes metal quickly and it's a little difficult to maintain the proper angle through the sweep. Most people sharpen with stones and touch up with a rod and I think that's the best method for most people, especially pros where rods can be used at work daily and stones used at home when the edges finally give out.

Re: Best Sharpening system for a line cook?

Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:31 pm

Sadden wrote:I would forget both the rods and the stones.
Get a couple of Kens Diamond Films. You can get a wide range of films for under 200$ and they will handle grease/oils found in the kitchen environment much better than waterstones.

I would forget Ken's films. Stones will last you much long and are more versatile.
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