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New to sharpening. What direction do you suggest

Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:35 am

Dear Mark,

A few months ago I bought a couple of nice knives in London where I live, they were quite expensive and are made of aogami blue no 1 steel.

I was looking at the wicked edge because It looks like it can do everything and i can get really sharp knives without having to learn anything (i'm a bit lazy)

Part of me though kinda likes the idea of learning how to do it properly with stones freehand, but that might just be a nice fantasy.

I'm just a home cook, cook for me and my girlfriend but probably a family in the not so distant future. spending hours trying to learn a new skill like this will most likely not go down too well with my other half. is it a long road to get good results?

As i'm probably only going to sharpen them a few times a year i'm concerned i'll just have to relearn it every time. Do people find this is the case?

with these things in mind could you recommend a solution.

I'm also looking for something to care for the knives in the interim, between sharpening. Should i be looking at a strop, or a steel or a honing rod.

Kind regards,


Re: New to sharpening. What direction do you suggest

Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:39 am

Hi Charlie,

I want to encourage you to try free hand sharpening. It's fun and you will get the hang of it quickly. I got a usable sharp knife my second attempt after watching some videos to get the basics. It's really a very simple concept. Grind knife on stone at a consistant angle unitl you get a burr. Flip the knife over and repeat. Clean up the edge (deburr) and you're good to go.

I have some free videos for first time sharpeners here:

If you really would prefer a guided device I would suggest the Edge Pro but give free hand sharpening a try. I think you will enjoy it.

For a very simple start all you need is 1 stone like this:

Or this:

If you want to get a good multi stone set get this:

Re: New to sharpening. What direction do you suggest

Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:45 am

For maintenance between sharpening a simple strop will do or you can use a rod. Your choice.

You can use this by balsa pad with some spray or compound:

Or you can use a rod like this:

Re: New to sharpening. What direction do you suggest

Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:44 am

Sharpening is like riding a bike....once you learn how, you never really forget.

That said, it takes constant practice to be at the top of any game. Sharpening on a regular basis gives your motion more consistency...that's for sure. But, if you're not chasing the dragon's tail that is ultimate, hair popping sharpness.....sharpening every 3 months will not get lost.

For me, sharpening with a stone is a right of passage all nice knife owners should enjoy. Besides, free hand sharpening has more options than an EdgePro or other guided system....at least in my opinion.
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