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Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:03 pm

I just came back from a one hour sharpening workshop put on by Lee Valley Tools. The instructor was talking about the angles of knives and said generally western knives are about 20 edges, and Japanese knives are about 15-17 degrees. So I'm with him at this point, but then he looses me and says this angle is an inclusive angle, so therefor in the case of a western knife, we need to sharpen 10 degrees on each side. He then proceeds to get everyone to use a wetstone and sharpen the knives they brought in so that the angle we are sharpening at is 10 degrees on each side (20 degrees inclusive).

I'm new to this so perhaps I'm wrong, but I thought the idea was to sharpen a western knife at roughly 20 degrees each side, or 40 degrees inclusive. If this is the case I'm sure a few people are going home with knives (everyone there had a typical western chefs knife) that will fail very quickly.

So am I mistaken in that I should be sharpening my western knives at 10 degrees each side (8-9 degrees for my Japanese knives), or is the instructor incorrect?

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:17 pm

No, 20 per side not inclusive. That's much too low for a inclusive angle.

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sat Mar 15, 2014 10:05 pm

Jason B. wrote:No, 20 per side not inclusive. That's much too low for a inclusive angle.


Just so I understand you correctly, the instructor was wrong in the way he was teaching?

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:14 am

It does seem like that is incorrect.

Western knives are commonly ~40° inclusive or ~20° per side.

Japanese cutlery is typically ~30° inclusive or ~15° per side.

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sun Mar 16, 2014 4:56 am

cedarhouse wrote:It does seem like that is incorrect.

Western knives are commonly ~40° inclusive or ~20° per side.

Japanese cutlery is typically ~30° inclusive or ~15° per side.


That!

:)

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:32 am

OK, thanks a million guys.

I think I will call Lee Valley and try to get the instructors contact details and set him straight. I feel he is harming many knives teaching this incorrectly.

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:38 pm

I have to ask, is he putting a microbevel on after? Even so, the angles are pretty extreme, but that could be an explanation. If not, it seems to me that it would be immediately obvious even to the uninitiated that the bevels are far too wide, the sharpening is taking way too long, and the edges are rolling/chipping way too easily.

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:58 pm

No, no micro bevels afterward. We were just working on typical double bevel V grind knives. He actually made a jig up out of plywood and some 2x4. It's very hard to explain but this jig held the sharpening stone at a 10 degree angle and you held the knife flat on the board so what happened was the stone was held at a constant angle (in this case 10 degrees). It reminded me of some of the commercial knife sharpening jigs you can buy.

I asked him at the end of the seminar about the angles. I specifically asked him"so what your saying is a western knife has a 20 degree angle, you are getting us to sharpen at 10 degrees on each side to give a 20 inclusive angle, so the total angle is 20 degrees"' he replied yes.

Don't think there is a knife out there that can withstand a 10 degree edge under normal household kitchen use.

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:06 pm

May I ask what credentials this individual claims?

If this is what passes for a qualified instructor, I think I may have found a new career.

Re: Is this instructor wrong WRT angles?

Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:11 pm

Dakki wrote:May I ask what credentials this individual claims?

If this is what passes for a qualified instructor, I think I may have found a new career.


His name is Tim Rose.
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