Hi everyone, I believe I have a really newbie question, but here it goes: when i am sharpening my knives, I always try to stay with the same angle, but i am not sure if this one is the right for my knife, a j-gyuto. Do you have any tips to find the right angle and to stay with it for the whole time?
There is no such a thing as a wrong angle. When I sharpen my knife I will start at the lowest angle I'm comfortable with -- somewhere behind the very edge -- and increase it little by little til I raise a burr. Then and then only I change to the other side. You may verify your progress by looking at the scratch pattern. Sharpening is not so much about putting and edge at the end of piece of steel. It's more about restoring a previous geometry that has been moved a very little bit towards the spine. If you only sharpen the very edge you should expect a progressive performance loss due to the thickening right behind the edge.
A simple way to do this is take a business card and make a 15 degree angle guide. Use a right angle calculator to figure it out. If you want detailed instructions I can give them but it's pretty easy to figure out with this. http://www.csgnetwork.com/righttricalc.html
Thank you Mark and Benuser for the reply! Benuser, i got what you sad, the lower angle that you start is for thinning the knife, and it makes perfect sense, because later , with a higher angle, you will actually sharpen your knife . Thank you Mark for the tips, and I saw all your videos from the "Sharpening for newbies" series, I already knew some things, but you gave some information that will make the difference!
Definitely use the sharpie trick. It will quickly tell you where you are sharpening.
the angle is usually between 10 and 15 degrees. I feel like it's more important to keep the angle the same over time. I find that with taller knives like gyutos it feels like the knife is too far away to be correct, but the sharpie trick will help. some knives won't have symmetrical grinds, so you just have to go with what feels right and keep it that way.
Your edge will tell you when you're too shallow, since it will fail by either chipping or rolling depending on the steel. One philosophy is to decrease your edge until it fails, then you raise the angle slightly. This way you're able to customize your edge to suit your cutting style and the heat treat of your steel. -Josh