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New sharpener with some questions.

Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:31 am


I have another question. I am practicing on a very old set of knives b/c I don't want to try my new ones until I feel more comfortable (don't mess them up). They were pretty dull. I used my Imanishi combo stone and they are sharper, but not as sharp as I was hoping. I used the angle cube to make sure I was holding it at about a 15 degree angle.

So, my question is...do you think it's b/c I need a rougher stone to start out with to define the edge more or a finer stone to fine tune the stone OR is this just chalked up to inexperience and I need to work on this knife longer than normal since it's so dull?? (If it matters, it's just a Henkels chef knive)

What do you recommend I try to do?


Re: New sharpener with some questions.

Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:41 am

Hi Mindy,

Congratulations! Actually starting to use your stones puts you well on the way to mastering sharpening. I talk to so many people that are paralyzed by fear of doing it wrong they never get to it and learn the skill.

When you're first learning you need to find the angle that the knife edge has and then you need to grind at that aproximate angle until you get a burr. Most new sharpeners neglect this and the knife doesn't get ground to a sharp edge.

So, get a sharpie and mark an inch of the edge on each side. Then sharpen on the 1K side of the stone a little and check the mark. You want to basically remove the entire mark. If you do this you will be grinding on the existing edge.

Then, grind the whole side of the knife until you feel a burr on the oposite side of the knife. You should be able to feel it with your thumb but you can also wipe the knife off with a paper towel and it should grab the towel and fray it as the burr hits it. Once you feel a burr on one side flip the knife over and repeat.

Then git rid of the burr by drawing the knife through something like a wine coark.

Then go to your 6K side and sharpen the knife again. Don't worry so much about feeling a burr on this stone since it's very fine and you won't be able to detect it.

You can then use a few edge trailing strokes on each side of the knife on the 6 K side just to lightly refine the edge and your done.

Try this and come back and tell us how it works out.

Re: New sharpener with some questions.

Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:24 pm

So what you are kindly saying is that I just need to practice:) That's fine. I'll keep working at it. One more thing, in your reply you stated that I needed to use the sharpie to draw 1" on each side of the knife. Does it need to be in the middle portion of the edge of the knife or does it need to run the length of the edge but thicker? I guess I'm not entirely clear about that. Was it mentioned in the video? If it was, I'm sorry I missed it and this question is redundant...

Thank you for your help! I really appreciate it!!

Re: New sharpener with some questions.

Sat Dec 08, 2012 7:25 pm

One more thing, how can I be sure of the existing angle on the knife. I tried to lay it flat against the edge of the stone, but it's such a small angle, it was hard to tell.


Re: New sharpener with some questions.

Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:49 pm

Ok, finding the edge by sharpie method. You can mark the entire edge if you like. I usually just mark a small part and the idea is that once I find the angle on one part I just try and stay consistant throught the rest of the knife. It ultimately doesn't matter what angle you use as long as your close. If you are a little to high you will form a micro bevel which is fine and your knife will get sharp. If your angle is too low or accute, you will end up thinning the knife until it eventually grinds a new edge. This takes a while but it still will happen. If you get a burr you will know you have succesfully ground an edge. Don't move off that low grit stone until you get a burr and you will be fine. Beggining sharpeners move up the grit progression too fast before they grind and edge and that's the main reason when the knfie doesn't get sharp.
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