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Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:58 pm

Hi,I bought this knife from you.I want to sharpen it
but not sure what the factory angle or angles is on the bevel or do you recommend different angles?
You guys also sell the Wicked edge sharpener,do you recommend this sharpener for Japanese knives?

Thanks
Mark

Re: Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:01 pm

I learned to sharpen on the edge pro but I have way more fun sharpening by hand. It's up to you. The jig systems work really well if you thing that would be more enjoyable for you.

As for the angle etc don't worry about that. Use a sharpie to mark the edge and then the first time you sharpen adjust the angle so you are removing the entire mark and that will help you find the factory edge. Once you figure out that edge you can make small adjustments to tweak the edge to your liking.

Re: Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:42 pm

I think most on this site would recommend hand sharpening. It is less up front cost, a more flexible skill set, allows more variety in stone choice, and, for most of us, is a lot of fun. The down side is a lack of objective and easily quantifiable bevel angles and mechanical repeat-ability. For a newbie the downsides seem substantial, but they are actually fairly marginal issues. The low start up cost of hand sharpening is probably better for someone starting out, and the learning curve has more to do with you learning to assess you edge and experiment with your technique than it has to do with "doing it right".

Search the forum or even google the sharpie technique for sharpening and you will learn a lot about the process.

Good luck. Have Fun. :)

Re: Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:32 pm

I started on the Edge Pro Apex guided sharpening system and I'm currently mostly free hand sharpening with water stones. I enjoy free hand sharpening much more. +1 to what cedarhouse said.

Re: Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:43 pm

You probably only need to do a light touch up to bring the edge sharp. The combination stone would work or get a separate 1k and 5-6k stone. It's also possible that all it needs is a little stropping.

Get a piece of wood and wrap it in newspaper or cardboard...strop about 10-20 times per side...Cut...you'd be surprised.

Re: Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:03 pm

Unless you buy some jig system don't worry about factory angle. With free handing your angles are going to change slightly every time you sharpen. Just strop the knife OOTB as some have mentioned and the knife should be great.
The Arashiyamas are a great starter set for a newbe sharpener. Great stones that you won't grow out of, still two of my favorite stones. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/4pcshstset.html
I prefer these as oppose to starting with a combo stone that you will probably just set aside later.

Re: Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:21 pm

I'd go freehand all the way. There is a very quick learning curve, so even if you've never sharpened before you will be putting a screaming edge on your knives in no more than a week or two. I also find sharpening very cathartic. There is just something relaxing in forcing steel to do your bidding with nothing more than some rocks water and your own will. Also, there is always room to improve your skill. I am learning new things all the time despite having been freehand sharpening for nearly 20 years.

I also agree with Jeff b that the Arashiyama set is a good, relatively inexpensive way to start. I would ad a Leather strop to that as well.

Re: Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:08 pm

The cost of the jig is excessive when you consider that the stones for those systems are very tiny. I think it's better to buy three stones for the price of one of those jig systems.

To find the angle is pretty simple. Get a wooden block...wrap it flat in newspaper. Practicing stropping. You'll be very surprised that bad news can bring good news for the edge.

Lay the knife as flat as possible, keep raising it until you feel the edge catch on the paper, that will give you a good indication of where the edges are meeting.

Re: Sharpening my new knife Sakai Damascus 240mm gyuto

Mon Jan 13, 2014 6:25 pm

A good indication, indeed. The real sharpening angle is a few degrees lower. The trick will work only with undamaged edges. Microbevels may complicate things somewhat. I would first use the marker trick.
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