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Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:44 am

Hello
When I sharpen the knife I always hold it in my right hand, like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB3jkRi1dKs&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLEBF55079F53216AB

But I have that both Ken and Mark change hands when the change the side of the knife the sharpen.

Which way do you guys think is the best to use?

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:27 am

I don't think that there is best way except to say that the best way is the way that is most comfortable, allows you to repeat the motion easily and delivers results.
Ken is ambidextrous and Mark is comfortable with switching back and forth.
I used to use both hands, but I noticed the the bevels on the left side of the knife were not exactly the same as on the right side so I was using less pressure on one side.

I now use my right hand only to sharpen and love it. It is the best way FOR ME.

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:47 pm

That is the reason for that I also use only my right hand only. As I have understood this is the japanese way since all videos of knife sharpening from Japan they only use one hand when sharpening.

But both Ken and Mark have perfect results with both hand so it is possible only a matter of practice.

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:44 pm

It depends on how you start, I guess. The video I went by most when I got my first waterstone was Mino Tsuchida and he switched hands, so I started doing it that way. BY the time I saw how many "real" sharpeners were using just the one, I had already got into the habit of switching. I'll still flip the knife in my right hand when I'm doing the final zoop-zoop strokes to dissolve the burr.
http://youtu.be/SIw5ChGOADE

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:06 pm

As with Pete, I started sharpening with switching hands but over time and trying different techniques I noticed that I was more consistent just using one hand. It's all about trial and error and what works for you. It doesn't make you more or less skilled by switching hands. There are a lot of guys out there that sharpen as well or better than Mark and Ken that use one hand.

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:34 am

I have the same experience. Get more consistent results with only using my right hand for sharpening.

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:32 pm

That's all that matters.

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:57 pm

Do what's most comfortable and what'll yield the most consistent results. It's also muscle memory, so practice will play a big role in it. I'm righty and use my left hand for pushing and applying edge pressure. Put in the hours and what's natural will win out.

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:41 am

"I don't think that there is best way except to say that the best way is the way that is most comfortable, allows you to repeat the motion easily and delivers results." I'm sort of task specifically ambidexterous, but do what gives you consistent results. Every sharpener develops his own style and you do what works best in YOUR hands.

---
Ken

Re: Sharpen with both hands or only left/right

Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:35 pm

When I started it just felt weird to me to flip the knife over and sharpen so that's why I started changing hands. That said I've practiced enough now that I can do it with my right hand only. Still feels a little awkward but i agree it really doesn't matter which way you do it as long as it feels good to you and you can keep the knife at a consistent angle.

The other thing I've changed since I started is I sharpen more diagonally than when I started. Again it feels more natural to me and I have to adjust less toward the tip.
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