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Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:04 pm

As a line cook my primary tools are my knives and I enjoy taking care of them. The kitchen I work in has knives but they are cheap and go through dish on a regular basis making them essentially useless. I have to give a lot of credit to CKTG videos for sparking my interest in knives and sharpening and helping me learn. I honestly don't know how I lived before learning how to sharpen! Ok, that sounds dramatic, but bringing a knife back to its fullest potential is not only useful but enjoyable. It's a good feeling to know you have the sharpest knives in the kitchen and that you did it yourself. Once the bug bites you, there's no turning back.

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:13 pm

Hi Ray,

Thanks, I'm glad I got you addicted to sharpening. :)

What is your current routine when you sharpen? Maybe we can give you some suggestions to improve.

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:42 pm

Well first of all I primarily learned from watching your videos on sharpening for newbies then went to YouTube and looked at other various videos. I'm still very much a beginner and being self taught from videos and practice any help and tips would be appreciated. Here is my basic routine:

I primarily use Tojiro DP's and a masamoto vg petty. I also have some victorinox scattered in there.

First i decide whether my Mac honing rod brings back the edge enough. If it needs to be sharpened, I and test the sharpness with a feel test and paper test. If the knife is in rough shape and needs some serious work I start with the bester 700 grit to establish that initial edge and try to get a burr developed. I count down from 10, 7, 5, etc. with the method you showed in your videos keeping the knife straight then working my way down on both sides.

I have the xx course flattening stone that I use below each session and during sometimes to get a slurry.

After that I attempt to find the burr (which sometimes is easier than others) then use the felt block to remove it. Next up is the imanishi 1k/6k combo stone. I usually start with this 1k on most sessions with my knives that get regular sharpening. I do the same routine and count down from 10 like in the videos. After this step I de-burr then try a paper test to test the edge. If satisfactory I move on to the 6k side.

On the 6k side I'll flatten it and then strop on it in one direction sweeping the blade. I find this to sometimes put a mirror sharp edge, but others times it almost feels like it dulls it a bit.

Lastly I will wash them off, hone them once or twice on each side and look at the loop to see the edge. My main concerns and recurring inconsistencies are accurately establishing and finding the burr and being consistently effective on the 6k stone. I tend to get good results, but the efficiency of my routine is still being worked out as i learn and improve. Hopefully that wasn't too confusing and some of you sharpening veterans can help me see any faults and provide some more great insight and tips! Thanks!

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:11 pm

It sounds like you're doing good!

I usually strop on my high grit stones too but it's a different motion and you may be changing the angle as you sweep the knife so concentrate on using light pressure and consistant angle when you strop on the stone.

Try stropping on newspaper after you're done. It will improve the edge. Leather or balsa with boron carbide work better but newspaper is free and readily available.

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:45 pm

Glad to hear I'm on the right track! What is the best way to strop on newspaper? Do I put it on a stone or directly onto my sink bridge? Thanks!

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:03 am

Put it on a flat surface. Murray Carter drops a piece right on his wet stone but I find putting it on a block of wood works better. Even on your kitchen counter will work but I like having it raised so I don't bump my knuckles on the counter as I strop.

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:29 am

Good deal. I'm going to try it soon! Thanks for all the help!

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:15 am

Hello all,

After reading this thread, i have come to find out that actually i know very little about sharpening:) and i have many questions in my head now :(

First of all, Stropping...what is it?? i saw some videos on stropping and most of the time i just skipped it and now i realize that stropping is really important to keep a sharp edge. in the past, i always used sharpening steel to keep my knives sharp because it came in with the starter kit for culinary student and it did stay sharp. Then when i started using Japanese knives (not too long ago), i had been advised to not using steel but stones. so I started to learn using stones and so far it's been quite good. But then again i found out that using higher grid stones not only makes the blade bright and shine but also helps to keep the egde lasts longer...! after using stones for a short while, my stones wears out really fast and i came across lapping stones to keep sharpening stones flat which is interesting but true. And on top of that i was introduced glass stone which is harder and cuts faster which i really am interested in. Now that i find stropping as well...there is so much to learn about all this and i really enjoy it. Can someone please explain to me what is the principle of stropping and how does that work? and there are so many different varieties of product as well.

Thank you all.

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 1:15 am

I'll bump this thread up to the top so someone who knows more about it can explain stropping! I'd like to learn more as well.

Re: How do I take my sharpening to the next level?

Sun Aug 05, 2012 2:21 am

I would love to do a video on this. I'll make time in the coming week.
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