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Henckels on deck

Wed May 15, 2013 12:14 pm

Quick question for my sharpening brethren. I have some Henckels blades coming up for a client of mine and if I remember past posts, most of you have been treating them similar to Wusthofs, I.e. not going above 1K - 2K grit finish, softer steel, etc. Correct? -Josh

Re: Henckels on deck

Wed May 15, 2013 12:40 pm

I would say, sharpen on a J500 or so, and end with a few very light edge trailing strokes on a J1200. I use Choseras 400 and 800. Any higher grit is in my experience counterproductive. However, there are very serious reports about excellent results with the Naniwa 2K SuperStone - the Green Brick.

Re: Henckels on deck

Wed May 15, 2013 12:57 pm


Re: Henckels on deck

Wed May 15, 2013 12:59 pm

Ah yes...thanks Melampus. That's the one I was searching for!

Re: Henckels on deck

Wed May 15, 2013 2:37 pm

Henckels uses a "proprietary" alloy which might as well be X50CrMoV15. It's the same alloy used by Wusthof, Victorinox (including the Forschner series), Lamson and many other western makers. With the exception of Wusthof, most knife makers claim an RCH in the 56-57 range. The alloy is fairly fine grained, and considering the indentation hardness, seems to have fairly good scratch hardness.

If there's a practical limit to how high a polish the steel will take, I don't know what it is. I've pushed it in fairly close steps up to the 0.25u diamond limit with visible increases in bright polish with every step. However, there is a limit to how much polish it will hold; and the sharpener will be aware that knives made from the alloy will probably receive a LOT of steeling between trips to the stones. It doesn't make sense to polish to levels which will be scuffed to smithereens in no time.

On the other hand, finer edges are usually perceived as sharper.

I generally prefer to use oil stones for these types of knives, because an Arkansas edge is so hard wearing; but also use water stones now and then. The Hall's Surgical Black Arkansas and Chocera 3K finishes represent a near ideal balance between sharpness and durability for these types of knives unless they'll be used in situations which want a lot of teeth. I believe Jim Bullman was finishing Euros on a Hall's Translucent Arkansas (slightly finer than the Black) and claimed excellent results.


Re: Henckels on deck

Thu May 16, 2013 5:27 am

Thanks for the additional insight BDL, I appreciate it.

Re: Henckels on deck

Thu May 16, 2013 8:26 am

I sharpen Henckels every day for cooks who really don't know much about knives yet, for Executive Chefs that do know knives/edges and for little ol ladies that just know what knives look like and use them for anything from cutting a tomato to separating a bag of frozen peas.
I also recently got hold of an interesting graphic from Chosera on what they recommend for grits, it is based on the food being cut not the quality of the steel. Basically, 1K -3k are the magic numbers for just about everything.

I have no Arkansas stones and likely never will until I find some in my travels to the US.
I rely solely on water stones for sharpening.

I have simplified my sharpening regime very recently and use the following to finish Henckels and similar knives:
400 chosera, 1k Chosera, 3K Sigma Power Select II and a very light finish with a 5K Chosera.

On a separate but related topic, sadly, a very common issue here is that the vast majority of folks do not use a Steel in between sharpenings. Those that do have long ago reached the stage where they were punishing the blade rather than re-aligning the edge. They often use the steel that came with their block of knives and convinced themselves that it is all that is need to sharpen a knife and even after several years they still convinced themselves, they just used more force. I know everyone here has seen this.

Re: Henckels on deck

Thu May 16, 2013 1:26 pm

Could you send a link to that Chosera graphic?

Re: Henckels on deck

Fri May 17, 2013 3:56 am

Hi, I will look for the link that someone else sent me from Naniwa but if not, I will just send a picture of it, it is just one sheet with pictures of food and a corresponding grit graph. Sorry I meant to do that last night.

Re: Henckels on deck

Fri May 17, 2013 4:24 am


Don't shoot the messenger folks.
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